The forensic mental health field is growing rapidly. As a result, there is a need for highly qualified forensic psychologists. Graduates in Forensic Psychology will be particularly qualified to work in prisons (both adult and juvenile), forensic psychiatric (inpatient and outpatient) facilities, police services, probation services, and in areas such as child protection and domestic violence.
Master in Forensic Psychology alumni around the world
Students start their career in Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University and then spread out all over the world.
On this digital map you can find out more about the career paths of some of our alumni
Colinda Serie | The Netherlands
- Graduated: 2014
- First job after FP: Workexperience Psychologist Addiction Treatment at Vincere-GGZ + Research Assistant at Maastricht University (Forensic Psychology research group)
- Current job: PhD Student in youth criminology at KU Leuven, Belgium
"The programme was intensive, but I learned a lot. I enjoyed the skills labs most as they really prepared me for my future career. Spending the two years with a small group of enthusiastic students and teachers was encouraging and fun. The programme also thought me to be critical, curious and open-minded."
Benno Huhnt | Germany
- Graduated: 2014
- First job after FP: Psychologist in a drug rehabilitation clinic in Berlin-Neukölln.
- Currently: training to become a psychotherapist (Behavioral Psychotherapy) at the Berliner Fortbildungsakademie in Berlin-Steglitz.
"I have fond memories of my time at Maastricht University. On the one hand there was the many friends I found and the experience of growing into an adult among so many people who have become important in my life. On the other hand, I look back at the transformation I underwent during my bachelor and master programmes.
The Master in Forensic Psychology introduced me not only to very interesting topics and hands-on-practice of the work of a forensic psychologist, but also to a better understanding of scientific reasoning and critical thinking. It was great to work with so many interesting and smart people from all over the world in this highly international master's programme.
When it comes to Maastricht, I have fond memories of the international student culture and the great things independent students and the creative squatter-scene (krakers) of Maastricht organised. I hope that the residents and politicians of the city remain or become aware of the great cultural benefit that such a scene gives the city! The Hotel De Ossekop and the Casa Mergel live on forever! Diversify!"
Alejandra de la Fuente Vilar | Bolivia
- Graduated: 2015
- First job after FP: Clinical Research Assistant at Medtronic
- Currently: following the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate in Legal Psychology
"I still remember fondly my two years in the Forensic Psychology masters, despite all the deadlines and stressful study sessions. Following this programme gave me the amazing opportunity to conduct my clinical placement in England and my research internship in Canada. Both experiences gave me first hand, invaluable lessons about the assessment and treatment of mentally ill offenders, and showed me the important role of scientific research across legal proceedings. Most importantly, following the Forensic Psychology masters at UM shaped my decision to become a researcher in this field, and helped me secure my dream PhD position. Furthermore, the academic staff as well as my fellow graduates continue to be an inspiration to me in the pursuit of improving the criminal justice system."
Maarten Pieters | Netherlands
- Graduated: 2012
- First job after FP: Behavioural Scientist at Mondriaan, Forensic Psychiatric Care
- Currently: Behavioural Scientist/E-health developer at TelePsy
"After successfully finishing my Master in Psychology and Law in 2010, I still felt the need for more in-depth and hands-on knowledge about the field of forensic psychology. Fortunately, 2010 was also the year Corine de Ruiter kicked off the Master in Forensic Psychology. The idea of obtaining more knowledge, and more importantly, having the possibility to do an internship in the forensic field, was more than enough for me to try to enroll into the programme. And I got in!
The programme offered a lot of new insights and experiences. After successfully completing it, I knew I wanted to work at the Dutch Police. My first job was at a Forensic Psychiatric Clinic. I learned a lot during these years in which my education benefited me a lot. In the meantime, I tried to get a position with the Police, which proved to be more difficult than I thought. My second job was as a psychologist in a General Practitioner’s office . Since I already had some experience in seeing patients with complex mental health problems (internship during the Master Forensic Psychology and job at forensic department of Mondriaan), I felt I had a solid base of skills and knowledge needed during my face-to-face contacts with patients suffering from a variety of mental health problems.
Because I also have an interest in the field of ICT, I applied at an e-health company named TelePsy. I work there now as a behavioural scientist and e-health developer. Unfortunately, my work is no longer related to the forensic field. While I love my current job, I always keep my eyes open for an interesting position in the forensic field."
Ilvy Goossens | Belgium
- Graduated: 2015
- First job after FP: Research Assistant, Provincial Health Services Authority
- Currently: PhD student in forensic psychology and law at Simon Fraser University
"I had a unique experience and look back fondly at my time in Maastricht. UM was pretty challenging, the course load was heavy and the work that was asked of us was high level. That being said, I loved my time there. Every course, every semester, I could see growth in my academic writing, my understanding of the international forensic landscape and what I wanted for my future in the field of forensic mental health. The module-based learning approach together with the tutorials of the Master in Forensic Psychology helped me with long-term retention of the material. I have noticed that I remember important names, research traditions or papers from our UM tutorials in classes now, which enables me to contribute in a more meaningful way in my current programme.
The doctoral programme at Simon Fraser University is a notoriously arduous one, but the structure and demands at UM have prepared me perfectly. Staff at UM were very supportive, they really rallied around our cohort and made us feel like our accomplishments were theirs as well. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable with connections worldwide. There was also a richness in real world experience; we visited a criminal proceeding in the international criminal court of the Hague, we explored a TBS centre, I was able to review materials about a recent internment case, etc., etc. The list is very long! Through Dr. de Ruiter I got introduced to the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (www.iafmhs.org), an organisation I have been a student affiliate with since 2014 with 3 years (and counting) on the student board. At IAFMHS, I have made connections with peers that have led to collaborations and friendships that have lasted for a few years now. Once you are “in”, you are really in. I feel like the cohorts of the Master in Forensic Psychology form a little family, with lots of cross-cohort contact at conferences or our online group. You see people asking about articles, posting job offers, and helping each other get practicum placements across different cohorts. Dr. de Ruiter is like our den mother, she remains supportive of our trajectories way beyond our time in her programme. I have recommended the programme time and time again and will continue to do so."
Patricia van Reekum | Netherlands
- Graduated: 2015
- First job after FP: Psychologist at Psychiatric Penitentiary Centre Vught
- Currently: GZ Psychologist at Psychiatric Penitentiary Centre Vught
"I look back on two very instructive years. The master helped me tremendously in my career. The forensic knowledge gave me self-confidence during my work in a psychiatric prison. In addition, it gave me a head start during the application for the internship and also later for the "GZ opleiding". Looking back, I gained a lot of knowledge during these two years, which I still use today. After four years I still work with great pleasure in the same place as where I did my internship."
Sarah Wefers | Germany
- Graduated: 2014
- First job after FP: Research Assistant at Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf
- Currently: doing my PhD at Sheffield Hallam University on transnational child sex offending
"Completing the Master in Forensic Psychology was probably the best thing I could have done. I had known for years that Forensic Psychology would be my professional future, and the master’s prepared me extremely well for it. I’m grateful for the two years full of exciting things to learn; personally, I especially loved the courses on sex offenders, the clinical courses on personality disorders and assessment of offenders, and the biological courses. The way the programme is planned out is very helpful in assisting with your own development. I was very lucky in getting a wonderful internship opportunity at Broadmoor Hospital for my second year, where I could already put so much knowledge acquired during the first year into practice. The people I got to meet during the two years have become my closest friends and lovely colleagues. I can only recommend this programme to anyone interested in Forensic Psychology. It opens the door to following your passion!"
Rose Cloete | South Africa
- Graduated: 2016
- First job after FP: Research Associate at Child Welfare South Africa
- Currently: doing a Master’s in Clinical and Community Counselling at Stellenbosch University
"I still consider my time at Maastricht as one of my lifetime highlights. Having the opportunity to study at such a prestigious university in such a phenomenal programme is an experience that I am exceptionally grateful for. I moved to the Netherlands for this degree and moved to Maastricht knowing absolutely no one. I still consider Maastricht one of my homes in the world, even after leaving the city. It is an exceptional programme with world class lecturers that anyone would be lucky to be taught and mentored by. The sense of camaraderie in my cohort is also something that I appreciated during my experience, I graduated in 2016 and some of my closest friends today are from my cohort.
Underlying all the different courses, this Master’s programme fostered and emphasized critical thinking. I am currently in the process of becoming a registered clinical psychologist in South Africa. My current training does not include forensic work but the feedback that I have received from lecturers and supervisors is that the background of a previous Master’s and the associated experience has come across in my current training. I am about to carry out my internship at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, which is a demanding site and year. However, the course demands of the Forensic Master’s has allowed me to take this current training and demands in stride and I feel the same about the upcoming internship. The Forensic programme is carried out in a supportive and nurturing environment that allows the students to grow both personally and academically and I will forever be grateful for that."
Britta Schumacher | Germany
- Graduated: 2017
- First and current job after FP: Psychologist at the correctional facility in Düsseldorf, Germany
"Being a student at UM for five years was a very important time that helped me to grow in two ways - academically and personally. The bachelor's programme constituted the basis for my professional development and it made me feel well-equipped to continue with the Master in Forensic Psychology. The combination of research-based knowledge, skills courses, and clinical experience have been really helpful in getting started with my career as a forensic psychologist. Additionally, I was able to meet many knowledgeable and inspiring people who supported me along the way and encouraged me to see things from different perspectives. The most important thing I've learnt during my time at UM was to realise that there are usually several possible answers to one problem and that a healthy amount of curiosity and critical reflection can be very useful to find the best possible solution."
Katrina Serpa | USA
- Graduated: 2015
- First job after FP: Director of Service Development for Global Institute of Forensic Research
- Currently: Director of Service Development & Training Consultant for Multi-Health Systems Inc.
"Having the opportunity to study and graduate from Maastricht University was an incredible experience. I remember when I was first looking to apply to UM, I joined the ‘Maastricht Students’ and ‘Psychology Faculty’ Facebook page and I felt like I had been peeking through the keyhole of a community that I truly wanted to be a part of and the fact that I was able to fulfill that aspiration is something I’ll be forever grateful for. Throughout my academic career, I always had the overarching goal to bridge the gap between research and real-world application in the form of implementing evidence-based best practices. The way the Master in Forensic Psychology is set up, specifically its implementation of problem-based learning, internship opportunities, and mentored research allowed me to acquire unique and practical skills that ultimately positioned me to seek out opportunities that allowed me to achieve my goals. Through this, I learned how to identify what is needed in the forensic psychology field and how I can apply my knowledge that I gained from UM to provide the necessary resources. I am currently the Training Consultant and Director of Service Development for the leading provider of online training for mental health, correctional, and legal professionals working in both general care and forensic settings and I can say I would not have gotten here without Maastricht University’s Forensic Psychology Master’s program."
Peter Cernohorsky | Netherlands
- Graduated: 2016
- First job after FP: Therapist at the Dutch national suicide prevention centre (113 Suicide Prevention)
- Currently: still doing that part-time and part-time researcher in psychopathy at Florida State University.
"I look back on my time at UM with fond memories. Both my bachelor's programme Master in Forensic Psychology proved challenging and certainly gave me the proverbial 'run for my money'. Owing to the Problem-based Learning system, I learned the value of critical thinking and collaborative discussions. It taught me to never accept anything as fact until someone can convincingly make a case in its favor. The Master in Forensic Psychology also gave me the opportunity to work together with like-minded and ambitious students, many of which I now still regard as some of the brightest people I've ever had the pleasure of calling my peers."
Rosa Pedrero Nuñez | Spain
- Graduated: 2016
- Currently: studying further to become a Prison Psychologist. Summer 2019 I will start this highly competitive selection procedure.
"I consider that the education and training obtained from the two-year master programme at Maastricht University significantly enhances my chances to be successful in the selection process mentioned. This fact can be translated into two specific and very relevant outcomes from my education at UM:
- I have already covered a considerable portion of the content during the programme, which helps me not only to present the topic in a more fluent and confident manner in the oral exam, but also to include new facts and extend the knowledge beyond the information required. My learning during the programme provides an appropriate background in which to locate the new information acquired during the past months and to stablish connections with other areas of interest. In many occasions, I turn to my notes from the Sex Offenders, Personality Disorders or Deception and Malingering courses (among others) in order to clarify and complete information for my summaries. Also, my performance during the practical case nature of the last exam is benefitted by the extensive training we received in this type of exercise during the master.
- Apart from all the highly valuable knowledge, the master has also taught me to work within a very structured routine and with specific goals. This facilitates my learning process and makes me focus on the day to day work."
Madeleine Dalsklev | Norway
- Graduated: 2016
- Currently: obtaining my Doctorate in clinical psychology at Queens University Belfast with a specialist placement in forensic psychology
"I look back at my years in the Master in Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University with so much fondness, and truly believe it is one of the best experiences I have had, both in terms of what I learned, the experiences I accrued and the friendships I formed while I was there. The Master in Forensic Psychology was challenging and I had to work hard, but it was very invigorating as I thrived in the stimulating environment with classmates and staff that always kept discussions about forensic psychological issues going. We were taught by some of the best forensic psychologists in the field, who challenged our thinking and also supported us to reach our potentials. I really learned the value of critical thinking and the importance of continuing to update our knowledge of the field. The Master in Forensic Psychology at UM is exactly how I think an excellent course should be. I am certain that this Master made it possible for me to get accepted into the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Queens University Belfast, and the experiences I gained through this course made it possible for me to specialise my placement and dissertation in forensic psychology."
Christina Winters | USA
- Graduated: 2014
- First job after FP: Human Services Coordinator, South Carolina, Department of Mental Health, Sexually Violent Predator Treatment programme
- Currently: PhD Candidate in Psychology at Lancaster University
"I fondly look back at my time in the Master in Forensic Psychology, and now I only wish it had lasted longer! It was a big decision to study abroad, especially a discipline as impactful and sensitive as forensic psychology. One of the first questions I asked myself is: Will my practitioner credentials be transferable to the USA? In the end, I chose not to let this affect my decision to attend, as forensic psychology is a rapidly b udding field and consequently, I perceived the scientific rigor, expertise of professors, and training opportunities offered to be more important to my professional development than having absolute certainty of a career path in my home country. The courses on ethics, sex offenders, young offenders, and the therapy skills labs were most beneficial to my continued success as a clinician and researcher. Understanding theoretical underpinnings, historical and cultural context, and answering the "why?" question (i.e., ethical/legal considerations, why people offend, why use a certain therapy) is greatly emphasized in this program. In the end, attending was an invaluable experience and the right decision for me, as it opened doors to clinical opportunities at home and research opportunities all over the world."
Sophie de Valk | Netherlands
First job after FP: Treatment coordinator in De Vaart (secure residential youth care institution of Horizon Youth Care and Education).
Currently: Consultant at JSO, Gouda and PhD student at University of Amsterdam (“Repression in residential youth care institutions”).
"During my bachelor’s program, I seriously considered quitting and studying Criminology instead. However, I heard the Master’s programme in Forensic Psychology was about to start and luckily I got into the programme. Because it is a two-year programme, I felt well prepared when I started my clinical and research internship at the forensic psychiatric institution De Rooyse Wissel in Venray in 2011. The most important thing I learned was to always use evidence-based instruments next to your clinical experience, and always try to work with colleagues to share your ideas and learn from each other."
Denis Yukhnenko | Russia
- Fast facts: Forensic Psychology Graduate 2016.
- First job after FP: Lead Psychologist at the Ministry of Emergency Control of Russia.
- Currently: PhD student, Department of Psychiatry, the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
"The Master's programme gave me a lot in terms of knowledge and skills. The professors and tutors inspired us, the students, to think critically and systematically. The most important thing that I learned there is how to evaluate scientific evidence and apply it to practical matters at hand. I learned to base my professional decisions on evidence and to communicate them to non-psychologists.
This programme is known by many lead academics and practitioners in the field, so it really boosts your employability and gives you the tools to further advance your career.
P.S. And you will make a lot of friends."