Take the next step towards a professional career as a registered forensic psychologist. This program is designed for psychologists looking to pursue a career within the legal system.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Science
Delivery Mode
Research, Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Master of Psychology (Forensic)
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration (Full Time)
2 Year(s)

Overview

Legal, investigative, corrective and policy agencies across Australia are looking for individuals with the psychological expertise to aid understanding and management of forensic issues. The Master of Psychology (Forensic) will prepare you to meet the increasing demand for professionals in this field.

This program - first offered in 1998 - focuses on the integration of clinical, research and legal skills. Your courses will cover psychological assessment, intervention in and applications of forensic psychology, law for psychologists and professional and ethical practice. In addition to coursework, you’ll complete a research thesis, in the form of a scholarly journal article, on a topic relevant to forensic psychology.

Forensic psychologists can be involved in all professional aspects of the interface between psychology and the law. Forensic psychologists work in a wide range of settings, including prisons, courts, police, probation and parole, juvenile justice, public policy, insurance, community services and child protection. 

Key features

  • Practical experience 
    You’ll undertake training in the assessment of people with a range of psychological disorders and disabilities. You’ll be equipped with knowledge and skills in a multitude of areas, including interviewing and intervention skills, civil and criminal law, expert testimony and investigative approaches. 
  • Two industry-leading schools
    This degree is unique among master’s programs in forensic psychology in that both a school of psychology and a law school are involved in its teaching.
  • Combined degree option 
    We also offer a combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Forensic). This four-year, full-time degree includes a research component as well as coursework and professional placements.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Study with the best
The UNSW School of Psychology is one of the best in Australia - we’re ranked 24th in the world for psychology.* UNSW Law is ranked 13th in the world* and is a leading Australian centre of rigorous legal education and research. We have strong links with professional practitioners in the areas of clinical, neuropsychological and forensic psychology.

Prepare for professional practice
This program includes a professional practice component, where you’ll complete a minimum of 1,000 supervised practicum hours within the UNSW Forensic Psychology Clinic and in at least two other field placement settings. This practical experience will ensure that you develop and demonstrate competence in a wide range of work undertaken by forensic psychologists.

Learn from industry-leading educators
You come to university to learn from the experts – researchers who are leaders in their fields, striving to create new knowledge. The School of Psychology is well known for its research tradition. Many of our staff have international reputations in their respective fields and a number are Fellows of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. Our staff attract several million dollars in external research funds per year.

Access cutting-edge facilities
Our teaching facilities include world-leading behavioural neuroscience laboratories and cognitive testing laboratories running specialist software that will allow you to design/implement your own psychological research and analyse/interpret the data you collect. You’ll also gain access to laboratories for the analysis of cognition and brain function, including electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and eye-tracking.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021

 

Program Code
8257
CRICOS Code
028068E
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
96
Indicative Enrolments
13

Want to see more from UNSW Science?

  • The minimum academic eligibility requirement is completion of a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology, including a major research thesis/project, with Upper-Second Class Honours (75%), or international equivalent. Qualifications must have been completed within the last 10 years (exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances).

    Psychology qualifications from overseas must include a major research thesis/project and must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as equivalent to a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology completed in Australia. Please note you must have your qualification assessed before you apply.

    As the number of places available each year is limited, entry into the program is competitive. Selection is based on academic qualifications, two referee reports and performance at an assessment centre. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the assessment centre, which must be attended in person at UNSW (Kensington campus). Although work experience is not an admission requirement, applicants with a history of employment will be positively regarded, even if the employment is not necessarily clinically or forensically relevant.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 should review the inherent requirements of the program before applying.
    • Applicants interested only in coursework should submit just one coursework application. An additional coursework preference can be nominated within the same application (i.e., apply for Forensic and nominate Clinical as a second preference).
    • Applicants interested in BOTH a Combined program AND a stand-alone Master program must submit ONE research (Combined) application and ONE coursework (Master) application.
  • The minimum academic eligibility requirement is completion of a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology, including a major research thesis/project, with Upper-Second Class Honours (75%), or international equivalent. Qualifications must have been completed within the last 10 years (exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances).

    Psychology qualifications from overseas must include a major research thesis/project and must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as equivalent to a four-year APAC-accredited sequence in psychology completed in Australia. Please note you must have your qualification assessed before you apply.

    As the number of places available each year is limited, entry into the program is competitive. Selection is based on academic qualifications, two referee reports and performance at an assessment centre. Only shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the assessment centre, which must be attended in person at UNSW (Kensington campus). Although work experience is not an admission requirement, applicants with a history of employment will be positively regarded, even if the employment is not necessarily clinically or forensically relevant.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 only in coursework should submit just one coursework application. An additional coursework preference can be nominated within the same application (i.e., apply for Forensic and nominate Clinical as a second preference).
    • Applicants interested in BOTH a Combined program AND a stand-alone Master program must submit ONE research (Combined) application and ONE coursework (Master) application.

Program structure

The Master of Psychology (Forensic) will develop your knowledge and skills in ethics, critical thinking, clinical practice and research design and evaluation. You’ll learn these core skills in the context of criminal and civil domains. The program is made up of three key components - coursework, professional practice and a research thesis.

Full program structure

The Master of Psychology (Forensic) can be completed in two years of full-time study. Please note that this program of study is very intense. Professional practice activities, in particular, are time consuming and not limited to particular hours. It’s not possible to complete the program part-time while working full-time.

Future careers

Psychology is an ideal career path for people who enjoy working with and caring for others. At UNSW Science, our graduates demonstrate skills in assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems at an individual and organisational level.

There’s 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.

Accreditation

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.

Our alumni

“The Masters of Psychology (Forensic) program at UNSW provided a well-rounded mechanism through which to enter the field of forensic psychology. Exposure to teaching by the Law faculty inspired consideration of the complex nature of the clientele and the issues they face from within the criminal justice system, which added to the empirical focus on the human condition which the UNSW School of Psychology built into me over my time there. Their dedication to ensuring all students have access to the skill-building and experience required to expose them to the reality of forensic psychological work was greatly appreciated.”

Sam Ardasinski

Senior Psychologist (High Risk Offenders) Serious Offenders Assessment Unit, Corrective Services NSW

How to apply

Applications open on 1 August and close on 31 October. The application process is the same for domestic and international applicants.

Before you apply, please:

  1. Review the program entry in the University Handbook
  2. Review the "important information" under the "entry requirements tab" on this page
  3. Review the program’s Inherent Requirements, available on the School’s website
  4. Review the postgraduate coursework FAQs
  5. Read the step-by-step guide to applying

Ready to start your application?

Applications open on 1 August and close on 31 October. The application process is the same for domestic and international applicants.

Before you apply, please:

  1. Review the program entry in the University Handbook
  2. Review the "important information" under the "entry requirements tab" on this page
  3. Review the program’s Inherent Requirements, available on the School’s website
  4. Review the postgraduate coursework FAQs
  5. Read the step-by-step guide to applying

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

Commonwealth Supported Places

2022 Indicative CSP First Year Fee

$12,550*

2022 Indicative CSP Fee to Complete Degree

$23,195*

There are many Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) available for this degree. This means that the government subsidises a large portion of the fee for eligible domestic students, significantly reducing the cost to the student. Your eligibility to receive a CSP will be automatically assessed when you apply. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

2022 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$32,520*
2022 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$65,690*

Full Fees are the cost of the degree for students who do not receive a CSP place.​

*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 to enrol, 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 below.

2022 Indicative First Year Fee
$46,510*
2022 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$93,930*

*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 to enrol, 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 below.

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

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

I chose psychology as I was interested in understanding the ‘whys’ that underlie human behaviour.
Sarah Altmann

Sarah Altmann

Psychology Registrar

Stay in the loop!

Sign up and we'll keep you updated on degree information, scholarships and upcoming events.

Thank you! 

We will be in touch soon!

Oops!

There was an error but we're working on it!