Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic Psychology)

Swinburne University of Technology

Course details

CRICOS course code: 083182B

Level of study: Doctoral Degrees


This higher degree by research combines intensive high-level research training in clinical psychology and training in forensic psychology by way of coursework, clinical placements and a research thesis concerned with clinical forensic psychology. The program will train highly qualified researchers and clinicians who can work in clinical and forensic psychology domains.

Career opportunities

Graduates are equipped to seek careers in clinical and forensic psychology in research centres, psychiatric hospital settings, community mental health centres, specialist services for particular clinical groups, secondary and post-secondary education, clinical rehabilitation services and private practice.

Aims and objectives

The program is intended to meet the strong demand for professionals who have completed a high level of training in clinical and forensic psychology and related skills, and who possess highly developed skills in undertaking research.

Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of the research component (thesis), graduates will be expected to have:

  • A substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of the clinical and forensic fields in Psychology, including knowledge that makes a significant and original contribution to a discipline or profession
  • Substantial knowledge of research approaches, principles, ethical standards, and methods relevant to the clinical and forensic fields in Psychology including any applicable technical and creative skills
  • Cognitive skills that demonstrate the capacity to comprehend, synthesise and critically reflect upon theoretical knowledge and its applicability to practice
  • Cognitive capacity for independent, intellectual, critical thought, for critical evaluation of existing knowledge, and for systematic investigation as well as reflection upon theory and practice to generate original knowledge
  • Communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
  • Communication skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards and to communicate results to peers, scholarly communities and stakeholders
  • Expert capacity to scope, plan, execute, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge in their field of knowledge and/or professional practice
  • The production of an original piece of research that demonstrates intellectual independence, initiative and creativity, full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs, and the ongoing capacity to generate new knowledge.

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Tuition Fees (AUD $) Start date Duration Campus
36,360 Per Year 27 Feb 2023 4 years
Full time
Swinburne University of Technology
Hawthorn Campus
John Street
Melbourne Victoria 3122

Entry criteria

The formal admission requirements for the doctorate are:

A four-year degree from an Australian university and to have completed a four-year sequence of studies in psychology at first or upper second class level in a course or courses accredited by the Australian Psychological Society, or equivalent overseas qualifications recognised by the APS, or a masters degree in psychology recognised by the APS

Demonstrated possession of an appropriate level of knowledge and skill related to research. In accordance with the guidelines set by the Swinburne Graduate Research School, to have applied for and gained candidature approved by the Swinburne Higher Degrees Committee. Applicants who fail to gain candidature will not be eligible to continue in the doctoral program and may choose to apply for a place in the masters program.

Preferable: experience in face-to-face counselling or significant training in counselling skills e.g. Lifeline, Care Ring, counselling skills in tertiary programs or other appropriate work experience.

English language requirements

International applicants must provide evidence of one of the following:

  • minimum IELTS overall band of 6.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0 or a TOEFL iBT (internet-based) minimum score of 79 (with a reading band no less than 18 and writing band no less than 20); or Pearson (PTE) 58 (no communicative skills less than 50) no longer than 24 months before submitting your application
  • satisfactory completion of Swinburne’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced level certificate at the postgraduate level (EAP 5: PG-70%)
  • successful completion of a total of 24 months (full time equivalent) of formal study where the language of instruction and assessment was English at AQF level 7 or above (or equivalent) at an approved university no longer than 60 months before submitting your application.


Swinburne University of Technology
Hawthorn Campus
John Street
Melbourne Victoria 3122
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