The UNSW combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Forensic) is a four-year, full-time degree designed to train a select group of postgraduate students to undertake high-calibre research in areas relevant to the professional practice of psychology.  

The program has a research component as well as coursework and professional placement. Its emphasis on training in forensic fields includes advanced research skills particularly relevant to the area. The program is unique among Australian universities as it combines teaching from the School of Psychology and the Faculty of Law & Justice.  

You’ll lead a significant contribution to the knowledge of the nature of psychological processes in the field of forensic psychology.

  • full scholarship is required to undertake this program.

    Primary supervision must be provided by an academic who holds a position in the School of Psychology.

    The minimum academic eligibility requirement is completion of a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology, including a major research thesis/project, with Honours Class 1 (85%), or international equivalent. Qualifications must have been completed within the last 10 years (exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances).

  • While there is a standard process to apply for most Higher Degree Research programs at UNSW, there are additional requirements for Combined applicants which relate to the Masters component of the program.

    Please review the step-by-step application guide.

    The School does not have specific requirements for a research proposal/research description. Applicants can be guided both by the general information published in the Document Submission Guidelines and advice from their potential supervisor.

  • Applicants must:

    All applicants, domestic and international, are encouraged to use AHPRA’s Pathways diagram for all professions (under ‘Additional resources’) to guide their understanding of AHPRA’s requirements.

    • Term 1 is the only available intake for this program.
    • Applicants should familiarise themselves with the key scholarship dates, as deadlines are strict and a scholarship is required to undertake this program.
    • International psychology qualifications must include a major research thesis/project and must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) before an application is submitted.  Note that the APS will only assess complete qualifications.
    • As the number of places available each year is limited, entry into this program is competitive. Selection is based on the availability of supervision, academic qualifications, two referee reports and performance at an Assessment Centre. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an Assessment Centre.
    • Enrolled students must register as provisional psychologists prior to program commencement and registration must be maintained for the duration of enrolment.
    • Applicants should familiarise themselves with the relevant registration standards for the psychology profession. You must meet these requirements before an application for registration as a provisional psychologist can be approved.
    • Applicants interested in BOTH a Combined program AND a stand-alone Master program must submit ONE research (Combined) application and ONE coursework (Master) application.
    • Applicants interested in a Combined program AND a stand-alone PhD should submit ONLY a Combined application.
    • Applicants interested in BOTH Clinical and Forensic Combined programs should submit ONLY a Forensic Combined application.
  • The program is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as a fifth and sixth year of study. Graduates are eligible to apply for full membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA).

    Graduates are also eligible for Associate Membership of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists. After completing a Psychology Board of Australia approved Forensic Psychology registrar program, graduates are eligible to apply for APS College of Forensic Psychology Fellowship and endorsement as a Forensic Psychologist.

  • The UNSW School of Psychology is considered the best in Australia and is ranked among the top psychological schools worldwide. We attract award-winning staff and offer excellence and innovation in our teaching.   

    The school has excellent research and professional training facilities that include extensive computing facilities, a psychological test library, a psychology clinic, a technical workshop and laboratories in all areas of experimental psychology.  

    The school also has strong links with professional practitioners in the areas of clinical, neuropsychological and forensic psychology.

  • There is an increasing demand from legal, investigative, corrective, and policy agencies across Australia to obtain psychological expertise to aid understanding and management of forensic issues. 

    Forensic psychologists work in a wide range of settings, including:   

    • prisons   
    • courts   
    • probation and parole   
    • child protection   
    • juvenile justice   
    • insurance   
    • mediation   
    • private practice   
    • public policy   
    • legislative review. 
  • Research component (PhD): Contact the Admissions and Scholarships team at the GRS or the Postgraduate Coordinators for the School.

    Coursework component (Master of Psychology): Prospective applicants should review the School’s Frequently Asked QuestionsProgram Guide, or contact the School.

Learn more about our programs and connect with the UNSW School of Psychology.