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Master Forensic Science

Anna Mapes (2012), Forensic Scientist and PhD student at Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences

As a child I always wanted to be a detective one day, solving mysteries. During high school this grew into a great interest in biology and the human body so I decided to try and pursue a career as a forensic pathologist. For this career you need to study medicine, but unfortunately I didn’t want to be a doctor. So first I finished a bachelor in Biopsychology. Then I discovered Forensic Science, where all the different aspects, biology, science and solving puzzles in a forensic context, were integrated in one study.

Anna Mapes

I am currently working as a PhD-candidate at the University of Amsterdam, researching the impact and how to bring science to the crime scene, with a focus on mobile DNA-technologies. Especially my research project prepared me for my current job. I thought it would be great to work with scene of crime officers, therefore I arranged my internship at a police forensic department. That is where I learned a lot about practical crime scene investigations and where I realised that a lot of benefit can be gained when several disciplines work together.

This PhD-study had many interfaces with my research project, but also my experience with the police forensic department and my enthusiasm of integrating science within the police resulted in my current position.

Therefore I advise everybody to use the first year of your master’s to find out what your field of interest is. Thereafter, preferably already in your first year, try to get an internship at your place of interest and start your career with passion. Try to build a network and ask everybody for job-openings. Also in the field of forensic science “It’s not (only) what you know but who you know”.