forensic psychology courses australia

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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.

FacultyFaculty of ScienceDelivery ModeResearch, Face-to-face (includes blended)AwardMaster of Psychology (Forensic)Commencing TermsTerm 1Duration (Full Time)2 Year(s)

  • Overview
  • Entry requirements
  • What will I study?
  • Future careers
  • How to apply
  • Fees & Scholarships

forensic psychology courses australia

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. 

A detailed flowchart showing the study pathways to becoming a registered psychologist

Key features

  • Professional accreditation
    This program is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) as the fifth and sixth years of study, leading to registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA). After completing a further two years of supervised practice, you can apply to the PsyBA for full membership and endorsement as a forensic psychologist.
  • 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.

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 2021Program Code8257CRICOS Code028068ECampusKensingtonTotal Units of Credit (UOC)96Indicative Enrolments13

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