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Research MSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience - Psychopathology

Course Description

The specialisation in Psychopathology provides you with the theoretical background and clinical insight necessary for future research in the various fields of mental health, in particular experimental psychopathology, clinical psychology and psychiatry. A strong focus on research questions that can inform prevention and intervention strategies differentiates this master’s programme from many others, making it an ideal choice for those who intend in the future to combine science and clinical practice. You work with a multidisciplinary team of internationally esteemed researchers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, epidemiologists, and neuroscientists.

Programme Outline
A total of nine interactive core seminars, each extending over 4 weeks, cover current theories and methods that can clarify genetic, environmental, psychological and neurobiological processes underlying the onset, course, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders throughout the lifecycle. In addition to specific disorders, attention is paid to broader issues and controversies, such as gender and cultural differences, validity of classification systems for psychopathology, advantages and disadvantages of experimental and animal models, gene-environment interactions and the nature of resilience.

Through extensive practice in writing research proposals, you will learn to formulate testable hypotheses and translate these into research designs. Workshops will expose you to a wide variety of research methods, ranging from neuroimaging to epidemiology. Although research remains the primary focus, this specialisation includes training in diagnostic and other clinical skills, as well as clinical and research experience in a health care setting.

Psychopathology researchers at Maastricht University are internationally recognized for their studies on mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, eating disorders, developmental psychopathology, pain, stress, and positive psychology. Experimental, epidemiological and intervention studies, combining state-of-the-art cognitive, biological and experience sampling approaches, provide a rich choice of topics for research electives and internships. You will have access to advanced laboratory facilities and equipment.

Given the strong multidisciplinary research infrastructure here in Maastricht as well as extensive international networks, you will have ample opportunities for internships related to any aspect of psychopathology, either locally or at other top universities throughout the world. We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals. If you specialise in Psychopathology, you may choose to do a clinical internship, in addition to the research internship.

Career Focus
This specialisation provides optimal preparation for PhD studies in psychology or psychiatry and careers in academic and other research institutions. Graduates are also well equipped to enter clinical training programmes, which they often combine with further research.

Is This Programme Right For Me?
The specialisation Psychopathology is the right choice if you are intrigued by the complexities of the wide range of mental disorders and are eager to develop the theoretical knowledge and research skills needed to understand, treat and prevent them. Students with undergraduate degrees in health sciences or psychology (cognitive, biological, clinical) and sufficient statistical background are well suited, provided they are open to exploring interdisciplinary approaches in translating clinical problems into empirical research questions.

Entry Requirements


Course Fees


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