Overview

The Master of Forensic Behavioural Science comprises coursework and research training that will enable graduates to work in a wide range of forensic populations and environments and deal with issues in an autonomous manner. Students undertaking this course will be able to choose two or five-research-related units, depending on their preferred future career aspirations.

View the Master of Forensic Behavioural Science handbook
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If you're looking to start in Semester 2, our Study Expo is your one-stop-shop for course info, career advice, and application assistance, covering all study areas and study levels.

Upgrade your skills

  • Effective and ethical in work and community situations
  • Apply technical skills to identify and evaluate evidence
  • Synthesise and articulate complex ideas
  • Adapt advanced knowledge and skills to forensic contexts
  • Develop, plan and implement responses to challenging forensic issues.

Stretch your career further

  • Forensic caseworker
  • Forensic clinical specialist
  • Clinical coordinator
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Professional partnership

This course is offered through the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne, in collaboration with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare).

Why Swinburne?

Ranked top 250 in the world for the subject of psychology

Times Higher Education World University Ranking by Subject 2023

83.5% of students found employment within 4 months of graduating

Ranked top 20% in Australia for 5-star PG Overall experience

Qualifications

Entry into the Master of Forensic Behavioural Science (MA-FBS) requires initial enrolment in the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma of Forensic Behavioural Science (GC-FBS or GD-FBS). If students are able to meet specific criteria (completion of the three Core units, FBS80001, FBS80002, FBS80003, with an average result of distinction (70%) or higher) they may then transfer to the MA-FBS the following semester. Any units completed in the GC-FBS or GD-FBS will be counted towards the MA-FBS. Please indicate your intent to transfer to the MA-FBS in your Statement of Purpose included with your application.

Applicants with equivalent qualifications that may provide direct entry into the MA-FBS will be considered on a case-by-case basis through applications for Advanced Standing. If you believe that you may meet requirements for Advanced Standing for the three Core units due to previous study, please speak to Student HQ and ask to speak to the MA-FBS course administrator to discuss your options.

The university may determine selection criteria and restrictions in respect of courses to apply in addition to these entry requirements.

Please read the Entry Requirements for the GC-FBS and GD-FBS when completing your application and ensure that you include the following information with your application form:

  • certified copy of your academic award(s)
  • a 500-word statement of purpose explaining what you hope to achieve from your studies
  • current résumé

Entry into the Master of Forensic Behavioural Science (MA-FBS) requires initial enrolment in the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma of Forensic Behavioural Science (GC-FBS or GD-FBS). If students are able to meet specific criteria (completion of the three Core units, FBS80001, FBS80002, FBS80003, with an average result of distinction (70%) or higher) they may then transfer to the MA-FBS the following semester. Any units completed in the GC-FBS or GD-FBS will be counted towards the MA-FBS. Please indicate your intent to transfer to the MA-FBS in your Statement of Purpose included with your application.

Applicants with equivalent qualifications that may provide direct entry into the MA-FBS will be considered on a case-by-case basis through applications for Advanced Standing. If you believe that you may meet requirements for Advanced Standing for the three Core units due to previous study, please speak to Student HQ and ask to speak to the MA-FBS course administrator to discuss your options.

Please read the Entry Requirements for the GC-FBS and GD-FBS when completing your application and ensure that you include the following information with your application form:

  • certified copy of your academic award(s)
  • a 500-word statement of purpose explaining what you hope to achieve from your 
Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and/or experience and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

How credit points work

To qualify for the award of Master of Forensic Behavioural Science, students must complete 150 credit points including as a minimum. Students choose to complete the degree with either a Coursework specialisation or Research specialisation.

  • Six core units (75 credit points)
  • Coursework specialisation: six elective units (75 credit points) - two of these units must be Level 3 units (25 credit points) or
  • Research specialisation: two additional core research units (25 credit points) and four elective units (50 credit points) - two elective units must be Level 3 units (25 credit points)

Your units

Graduate Certificate

Completing 3 core and 1 elective unit entitles you to the graduate certificate.

3
Core units
+
1
Elective unit
=
Graduate certificate
Units of study Unit code
Core units
Core Skills in Forensic Practice
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80001
Fundamentals of Criminal Law Process
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80002
Principles of Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80003
Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Behavioural Science

Graduate Diploma

Completing an additional 2 core and 2 elective units entitles you to the graduate diploma.

2
Core units
+
1
Elective unit
+
2
Core units
+
2
Elective units
=
Graduate diploma

Select 2 units from the list of core units below.

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Advanced Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80004
Mental Disorder and Offending
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80005
Working with Difficult Personalities in the Forensic Context
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80006
Substance Misuse and Offending
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80007
Problem Behaviours 1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80011
Problem Behaviours 2
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80012
Learn more about the Graduate Diploma of Forensic Behavioural Science

Masters degree

Coursework specialisation

Completing an additional 3 core and 2 elective units entitles you to the masters.

5
Core units
+
3
Elective units
+
3
Core units
+
1
Elective unit
=
Masters degree

Research specialisation

Completing an additional 3 core and 2 research units entitles you to the masters.

Note: If you select this specialisation you must do 1 less elective unit in the Graduate Diploma.

5
Core units
+
2
Elective units
+
3
Core units
+
2
Research units
=
Masters degree
Units of study Unit code
Core units
Research Design
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
STA60004
Statistical Practice 1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
STA60001
Research Project 1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS90001
Units of study Unit code
Statistical Practice 2
Research core unit, 12.5 credit points
STA60005
Research Project 2
Research core unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS90002
Units of study Unit code
Advanced Violence Risk Assessment and Management
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80004
Mental Disorder and Offending
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80005
Working with Difficult Personalities in the Forensic Context
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80006
Substance Misuse and Offending
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80007
Forensic Mental Health Nursing
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80008
Trauma and Offending
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80009
Development, Developmental Disability and Offending
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80015
Problem Behaviours 1
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80011
Problem Behaviours 2
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80012
Working in Corrections and Youth Justice
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80013
Psychiatry in Forensic Contexts
Elective unit, 12.5 credit points
FBS80014

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$35,900

Total fee* ($AUD)

$53,850

Commonwealth Supported Yearly Fee* ($AUD)

$16,323

Commonwealth Supported Total Fee* ($AUD)

$24,485

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$35,900.00

Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply for units studied in 2024 only and may change for units studied in future years. If part-time study is permitted, annual fees will be proportionally lower based on the number of units taken per semester.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

How do I pay my fees?

Two types of loans are available to assist with student study fees. Depending on eligibility, you’re able to apply for one of the loans outlined below.

  • FEE-HELP is a loan that’s available for full-fee paying higher education students. Depending on your eligibility, the Commonwealth Government can help pay all or part of your loan directly to Swinburne.
  • HECS-HELP is a loan and discount scheme that’s available if you’re enrolled in a Commonwealth-supported place. Depending on eligibility, a HECS-HELP loan can cover all or part of your contribution amount.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Finances
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Eligibility for FEE-HELP

You’re eligible for a FEE-HELP loan if you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or UniLink or OUA course at Swinburne, and you:

  • are an Australian citizen doing at least one unit of your course in Australia; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and will be living in Australia for the duration of your course; or
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category visa and meet the special eligibility requirements for New Zealand citizens
  • are undertaking bridging study for overseas trained professionals and will be living in Australia for the duration of this study
  • have not exceeded the new combined Help Loan limit.
     

The HELP limit is the maximum amount you can borrow from the government in your lifetime towards your education costs. It is fixed and cannot be topped up.

Eligibility for HECS-HELP

You are eligible for a HECS-HELP loan if you have been offered a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) for an undergraduate degree at Swinburne or a UniLink course, and you:

  • are an Australian citizen and doing at least one unit of your course in Australia; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and will be living in Australia for the duration of your course; or
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category visa and meet the special eligibility requirements for New Zealand citizens.

Student services and amenities fee

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

This amenities fee is included within your annual tuition fee listed above. The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

SSAF fee* ($AUD)

$351.00

SSAF fee* ($AUD)

$351.00

Scholarships

Scholarship applications for 2024 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 20 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
MA-FBS
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! 

Please note: This online course is not available to on-shore international students holding a student visa.

Start dates
Location
Last date to apply
Start dates
Semester 2
Location
Hawthorn
Last date to apply
24-July-2024
Start dates
29-July-2024
Semester 1
Location
Hawthorn
Last date to apply
26-February-2025
Start dates
03-March-2025
Start dates
Location
Start dates
Semester 2
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
29-July-2024
Semester 1
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
03-March-2025
Upcoming events
Midyear Study Expo
04-June-2024
Open Day 2024
28-July-2024