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Doctor of Psychology (Forensic)

Course summary for international students

Award granted Doctor of Psychology (Forensic)
CampusOffered at Burwood (Melbourne)
Cloud (online)No
Length3 years full time
Next available intake

March (Trimester 1)

LevelHigher Degree Research
CRICOS course code040945G
IELTS Requirement

Overall IELTS score of 7.0, with no band less than 6.5. More information is available at www.ielts.org

Deakin course code H952
Faculty contactsDeakin International
Tel +61 3 9627 4877
Online enquiry

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Doctor of Psychology (Forensic) aims to provide those who have completed a recognised four year psychology sequence/degree with the opportunity to obtain professional training in forensic psychology and develop the academic, practical and research skills required to register and practise as a forensic psychologist.

Throughout the course you will undertake a range of core units which are divided across coursework, placement and thesis requirements. Coursework includes units on applied methodology, interview and intervention skills, assessment and treatment of forensic clients, psychology and the law, psychopathology, and children and the legal system. You will have at least 200 days practical experience with forensic clinicians in four or more agencies and undertake supervised client work as appropriate. You will also have the opportunity to design, conduct and present a major thesis that reports the results of original research. This thesis is externally examined and is expected to reflect the program's status as a research degree. In addition to the coursework, placement and research components of the program, you will complete a professional portfolio, which is examined externally and based on cases from their placement work.


Throughout the course you will develop:

  • specialist knowledge of forensic psychology as well as the general knowledge and skills required by psychological practitioners
  • specialist knowledge of psychology and the law and assessment and treatment of offenders and victims
  • knowledge and competence in the theory and practice of psychological assessment
  • knowledge and awareness of the ethical principles of psychological practice, with particular relation to the practice of forensic psychology
  • experience of the practice of forensic psychology within a range of forensic settings
  • advanced levels of competence in the design and conduct of research in the area of child or family forensic psychology
  • an appreciation of the multidisciplinary practice of psychology through cooperation with professionals from other related disciplines during practicum placements.

You will also gain advanced knowledge and practical experience in the assessment and treatment of children and their families within a forensic setting.

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Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and meets the requirements for graduates to register as generalist psychologists with the Psychology Board of Australia, and for membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

Graduates will be eligible to apply for membership of the College of Forensic Psychologists and endorsement as a Forensic Psychologist following one year of work experience supervised by a forensic psychologist, together with completion of stipulated professional development requirements.

Fees and charges

Fee paying place - International (IFP)
A Fee paying place is one for which the University does not receive any government funding. As such, students enrolled in these places are required to contribute the full cost of their course.

Fees for international students apply to persons living in Australia with Temporary Resident status, provided that there is no limitation on study and persons living abroad who are not Australian citizens and do not have Permanent Resident status in Australia.

Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL)
EFTSL is the standard annual full time load. Eight credit points is the standard full time load for one year of study.

* The 'indicative annual course fee' cited has been provided as a guide only. It has been calculated on the basis of a typical enrolment of a student undertaking the course in 2014, and reflects the cost involved in undertaking a full-time quota of units within the specified discipline.
The actual fees charged by Deakin University will depend upon the discipline from which each individual unit is chosen, and may vary from the indicative course fee cited, particularly if units are chosen from a number of disciplines. The cost of each unit offered in 2014 can be viewed from the Unit Search.
Please note that the fees per unit/credit point may increase annually due to rises in the cost of course delivery and service.
Deakin assumes no responsibility for persons relying on 'indicative course fees' to calculate the total future cost of their course.

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Career opportunities

Forensic psychology is the branch of psychology that interfaces with the legal and criminal justice systems, such that their work often encompasses the provision of expert psychological evidence in courts and other tribunals, consultation to areas of the legal and justice system, and the development and delivery of research and clinical services to forensic populations.

As a forensic psychologist you may work in criminal, civil and family legal contexts and provide services for litigants, perpetrators, victims, and personnel of government and community organisations. You may be employed in a variety of areas, including mental health, corrections, child protection, family and rehabilitation services, treatment of substance abuse disorders, assessment and treatment of offenders and psychotherapy for victims of crime.

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Course rules

The doctorate course consists of 24 credit points of work covering three interrelated strands: theory, research and practice.

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Course structure

Level 1

Trimester 1

HPS914 Studies in Psychopathology  

HPS977 Interview and Intervention Strategies  

HPS978 Biological and Neuropsychological Perspectives on Disorder  

HPS979 Psychological Assessment  


Trimester 2

HPS924 Research Thesis A  

HPS934 Psychology and the Law  

HPS948 Forensic Placement 1 and Case Analysis Seminar 1  

HPS976 Issues in Professional Psychology  


Level 2

Trimester 1

HPS907 Advanced and Applied Research Methods  

HPS932 Forensic Placement 2  

HPS933 Assessment and Treatment of Forensic Clients  

HPS925 Research Thesis B  


Trimester 2

HPS926 Research Thesis C  

HPS935 Forensic Placement 3  

HPS936 Psychosocial Issues in Forensic Psychology and Case Analysis Seminar 2  


Level 3

Trimester 1

HPS927 Research Thesis D  

HPS943 Child and Family Forensic Placement 1 and Case Conference Seminar A  

HPS944 Children and the Law  


Trimester 2

HPS928 Research Thesis E  

HPS945 Child and Family Forensic Placement 2 and Case Conference Seminar B  

Note: All coursework units have a hurdle requirement of 80% attendance. A pass grade in a unit requires satisfactory completion of each component assessed.

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Placement program

Your placement program will be worked out jointly by you, the placement coordinator and the practitioners supervising the placements. Forensic placements are tailored to your interests, skills and career aspirations and are designed to provide you with a range of professional skills, and to develop your awareness of ethical and professional issues. It is desirable that you gain experience with a range of client groups in a variety of organisational and correctional settings. Contracts will be drawn up that will clearly specify the skills to be mastered, your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the placement supervisor. Placement supervisors are registered and endorsed psychologists, eligible for membership of the College of Forensic Psychologists. Each placement requires completion of the full complement of days and failure of any one placement may result in exclusion from the course.

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Entry requirements - general

The minimum qualification for admission as a candidate for a degree of doctor is a degree of bachelor with honours or a degree of master with a substantial research component, from a recognised tertiary institution, in a field relevant to the program which the applicant proposes to undertake and for which the University can provide the required supervisory expertise.

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How to apply

Tracking your application
If you have already applied and wish to enquire about your application please refer to the relevant area through which you originally applied.

  • If you applied through a Deakin representative please contact your representative.
  • If you applied through a Deakin International office please contact deakin-int-admissions@deakin.edu.au

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8th June 2007