Overview

The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical and Forensic Psychology combines intensive high-level research training in clinical psychology and training in forensic psychology by way of coursework, clinical placements and a research thesis. Our program trains highly qualified researchers and clinicians who can work in clinical and forensic psychology domains.

There’s still time to start in Semester 1

Don’t wait another year to start your postgrad study. Start your application now and be in class by the end of February.

Your industry experience

As part of this course you’ll be required to undertake multiple clinical placements.

Graduates of the program will be eligible for:

  • Membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)

  • General registration as a psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA)

  • Clinical and Forensic Psychology areas of practice endorsement (after an additional 18 months of approved supervised full-time equivalent practice with a PsyBA-approved supervisor).
     

Research areas

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology

Skills you’ll learn

  • Develop and conduct research
  • Professional ethics
  • Psychological assessment
  • Psychological diagnosis and intervention across the lifespan

Your career opportunities

  • Psychologist
  • Academic
  • Researcher
  • Consultant

Key codes

CRICOS course code
083182B
VTAC Code (CSP)
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 accreditations

Why Swinburne?

Ranked Top 250 in Psychology

Times Higher Education World University Ranking by Subject 2023

Qualifications

Applicants must have completed within the last 10 years:

  • An APAC-accredited four-year sequence of study in psychology with at least an upper second class Honours (H2A) or equivalent overall mark; OR
  • An APAC-accredited Master's degree in Psychology; OR
  • Overseas qualifications assessed by the Australian Psychological Society as equivalent to either of the above; AND
  • Demonstrated possession of an appropriate level of knowledge and skill related to research.
  • Demonstrable counselling experience (e.g., Lifeline, Care Ring, or similar) is preferable but not essential for entry.

Applicants must have completed within the last 10 years:

  • An APAC-accredited four-year sequence of study in psychology with at least an upper second class Honours (H2A) or equivalent overall mark; OR
  • An APAC-accredited Master's degree in Psychology; OR
  • Overseas qualifications assessed by the Australian Psychological Society as equivalent to either of the above; AND
  • Demonstrated possession of an appropriate level of knowledge and skill related to research.
  • Demonstrable counselling experience (e.g., Lifeline, Care Ring, or similar) is preferable but not essential for entry.

Other requirements

Interview

Applicants meeting the above criteria will be shortlisted and interviewed by a selection panel and an order-of-merit for entry will be prepared taking into account (a) academic record, (b) demonstrated knowledge and skills related to research, (c) previous work experience and training, and (d) academic and professional referees' reports.

Worker Screening Check

Students enrolled in this course may be required to apply for and receive an acceptable NDIS Worker Screening Check prior to commencing placement with an NDIS provider. The relevant fee is the responsibility of the student.

Note: Students must be eligible for registration as a Provisional Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, and may be required to provide a satisfactory police check, Working with Children Check, and/or NDIS Worker Screening check to undertake placements.

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

Demonstrate English proficiency with one of the following:

English language tests are to be undertaken within two years of application and formal study in English for two years at AQF7 or above is undertaken within five years of application.

Note: Prospective students should refer to the following website http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registration-Standards/English-language-skills.aspx for details of the standards for English language skills for registration as a practitioner in the Psychology profession on completion of the program..

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.

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.

Course structure

To receive the award of Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic Psychology) students must satisfactorily complete 112.5 credit points in the designated coursework component, at least 1500 hours of placement (50 credit points), satisfactorily complete all HDR milestones as detailed in the Research Training Statement of Practice, and receive a pass from at two nominated examiners for their doctoral thesis (237.5 credit points).

Overall, the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic Psychology) degree comprises

  • 66% research component (thesis and associated research training), 
  • 15.5% coursework component, and
  • 18.5% placement component.
20
Core units
+
1,500
hours
Placement
+
Thesis
=
Doctorate

Progress reviews

Progress reviews used to monitor academic progress and provide feedback to candidates at different stages of their candidature. Progress review due dates will vary based on your degree and enrolment status.

Progress reviews process Due date from enrolment

Preconfirmation review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

3 months

Confirmation of candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

9-12 months

Mid-candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

I2-24 months

Draft thesis review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

33-36 months and follow-up 3 months prior to thesis submission

Your units

The Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic) is only available for full-time enrolment throughout Years 1-3. If all clinical placements are completed, students are able to transfer to part-time enrolment in Year 4 in consultation with their research supervisor. 

Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Counselling Theory and Skills
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80081
Advanced Psychological Assessment
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80075
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) A
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80091
Semester 2
Adult Psychopathology
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80074
Clinical and Forensic Placement A1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80102
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) B
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80092
Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Research
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80078
Psychology Practice with Children and Adolescents
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80099
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) C
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80093
Semester 2
Forensic Psychology, Theory and Practice A
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80100
Clinical and Forensic Placement A2
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80103
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) D
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80094
Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Professional Ethics and Psychopharmacology
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80086
Clinical and Forensic Placement B1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80104
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) E
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80095
Semester 2
Foundations of Health Psychology
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80101
Clinical and Forensic Placement B2
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
PSY80105
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) F
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80096
Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) G
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
PSY80097
Semester 2
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) H
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
PSY80098

Alternatively, candidates may apply to undertake research on a part-time basis during Years 4 and 5 (in lieu of full-time research units PSY80097 and PSY80098)

Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) G1
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80151
Semester 2
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) G2
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80152
Units of study Unit code
Semester 1
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) H1
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80153
Semester 2
Research Project (Clinical and Forensic) H2
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
PSY80154

Government-funded Research training program (RTP)

If you are a domestic student (including Australian and New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents) your application will be automatically considered for a Government-funded Research Training Program (RTP) place.

2023 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$37,800

Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply to 2024 unit enrolments for HE Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and Undergraduate Full Fee Paying (FFP) 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?

HECS-HELP is a loan and discount scheme available to you if you are eligible and enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place. 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.

Scholarships

Scholarship applications for 2024 are now open. Our research scholarships are awarded to candidates with exceptional potential who are undertaking doctoral studies. These opportunities seek to promote equity and recognise excellence and achievement. 

Please view our guidebook to help determine which documents you’ll need to prepare an application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 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
DR-CFPSY
Search for agents

Apply for a research degree

Step 1: Decide on a research topic

Your research topic should align with one of the areas of research we are involved in. You can find out about Swinburne's areas of research through our:

Step 2: Find a supervisor

Using the Find a Supervisor tool search for a potential supervisor in your area of interest and contact them directly to discuss supervision. You must find a supervisor for your research project before applying for a research degree. Your application will not be considered unless you have an appropriate and willing supervisor.

Step 3: Submit your application

Once you have decided on a research topic and found an appropriate and willing supervisor, you must complete and submit the online application form, along with the following documents prior to the closing date.

Intake closing dates
  • Semester 1 2024 - 5pm, 23 October 2023
  • Semester 1 2025 - closing October 2024. A specific date will be provided closer to time.
Course code
DR-CFPSY
Apply directly
Course code
DR-CFPSY
CRICOS code
083182B
Apply directly
Start dates
Location
Start dates
Semester 1
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
26-February-2024
Start dates
Location
Start dates
Semester 1
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
26-February-2024

Note: Applications for Semester 1 2024 close on 23 October 2023. Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted. 

Upcoming research events
5th Australasian Youth Justice Conference 2024. Strengthening Connections: The Power of Relationships and Strong Service Partnerships
16-April-2024