Explore the intersection of mental health and criminal behaviour. This degree offers comprehensive training in forensic mental health. It covers the theoretical and practical aspects of criminal, civil, child and family forensic mental health sub-specialties.  

 

Faculty
Faculty of Medicine and Health
Delivery Mode
Fully online
Award
Master of Forensic Mental Health
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
1 Year(s)

Overview

Explore the ways our criminal justice and mental health systems interact. Forensic mental health services assess and treat people with mental health problems who have a history of or are at risk of criminal offending. Professionals in this field might also work in civil legal settings, such as the family court. Forensic mental health is a major consideration for professionals in a range of fields, including medicine, law, nursing, criminology, psychology, occupational therapy and social work.

The Master of Forensic Mental Health was established in response to a local need for trained professionals to work in this expanding field. This progressive degree brings together a diverse cross-section of experiences and perspectives from mental health professionals, members of the legal profession and those involved in the criminal justice system. Through live video discussions, students can exchange viewpoints and insights in an interdisciplinary setting.

Key features

  • Multidisciplinary field
    Your study will build on the mental health disciplines of psychiatry, medicine, nursing, law, criminology, psychology, occupational therapy and social work. Lectures are delivered by experts in the field, practising forensic clinicians, legal practitioners and other experts.

  • Designed for mental health professionals
    The degree is designed for mental health professionals including medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists and social workers. It’s also open to members of the legal, policing and correctional professions.

  • Flexible delivery
    This degree is taught entirely online, through video lectures, forums and activities. The flexible delivery of this program allows you to balance your study with other commitments.
  • Connected learning experience
    Peer contributions throughout this master’s degree provide an enhanced learning experience that reflects real-world practice. You’ll have the opportunity to build a network of professional contacts with specialised knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Leverage our industry connections

The program is proud to have an active role in transforming mental health work in correctional facilities across NSW. We’re also working toward tailoring the program to increase its interstate and international engagement through our global partners. This program draws upon the rich clinical resources of the Justice Health Long Bay Matraville complex, which includes the high secure forensic hospital. 

Study with the School of Psychiatry

This program is delivered by UNSW’s School of Psychiatry, which is widely reputed as the pre-eminent psychiatric research department in the country. It’s also one of the leading university psychiatry research groups internationally. The School receives considerable research funds from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

 

Program Code
9012
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
48
Indicative Enrolments
53

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Entry requirements

For entry into this degree, you must have an undergraduate degree in health, law, psychology or criminology and one of the following:

  • honours or other postgraduate qualification in health, law, psychology or criminology
  • two years professional experience in health, law, psychology or criminology

English language requirements​

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

For entry into this degree, you must have an undergraduate degree in health, law, psychology or criminology and one of the following:

  • honours or other postgraduate qualification in health, law, psychology or criminology
  • two years professional experience in health, law, psychology or criminology

English language requirements​


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

The Master of Forensic Mental Health is designed to build onto the disciplines of psychiatry, medicine, nursing, law, criminology, psychology, occupational therapy and social work. You’ll cover theoretical and practical aspects of criminal, civil, child and family forensic mental health sub-specialties, amongst many others. Upon graduation, you’ll have the skills and expertise to work in forensic mental health in the private and public sectors.

Full program structure

The Master of Forensic Mental health is completed over two years of part-time study. The program is made up of four core courses and four elective courses. 

Future careers

With a rapidly growing need for a skilled workforce in forensic mental health both in Australia and internationally, this degree opens career opportunities in a variety of settings, including:

  • departments of corrections
  • departments of community services
  • fire brigades
  • police forces
  • judiciary and legal agencies
  • departments of the Attorney General
  • juvenile justice service
  • district mental health services
  • private practice in the areas of health, law and criminology.

In New South Wales, the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) are the primary providers of forensic mental health services in criminal justice settings. They require increasing numbers of qualified professionals to support their work in improving Forensic Mental Health.

Our alumni

“I enrolled in the Master of Forensic Mental Health to increase my knowledge and confidence in this unique and often controversial area of mental health practice. The learning resources and lectures provide up-to-date insights into forensic mental health practice and I found that really interesting, as it was so applicable to situations at work. Being able to build up a network of professional contacts with such experience and knowledge in their specialist areas has been very beneficial, and the contributions of peers in the course enhances the learning experience further.”

Yvette Black

Occupational Therapist, Macquarie Unit (Orange)

“The course provided me with a greater understanding of mental health legislation, mental health disorders and the various disciplines within the Criminal Justice System that manage the care of offenders who are diagnosed with a mental disorder.”

Adriana Mugica

Assistant Superintendent, Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$29,580*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$29,580*

*There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

Fees are subject to annual review by the university and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year you enrol in, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

 

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$31,440*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$31,440*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the university and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year you enrol in, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

 

Scholarships

At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


  • Top 50
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2022.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

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The learning resources & lectures provide up-to-date insights into forensic mental health practice.
Yvette Black

Yvette Black

Occupational Therapist

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