About the Master of Forensic Mental Health at UNSW

The Master of Forensic Mental Health is a 2-year part-time postgraduate degree offered by the School of Psychiatry within UNSW Faculty of Medicine. This postgraduate degree offers a comprehensive education in Forensic Mental Health taught by industry-leading experts.

You’ll cover theoretical and practical aspects of criminal, civil, child and family forensic mental health sub-specialties, amongst many others. Upon graduation, you’ll have the skills and expertise to work in Forensic Mental Health in the private and public sectors. Your study will build on the mental health disciplines of psychiatry, medicine, nursing, law, criminology, psychology, occupational therapy and social work.

Forensic Mental Health involves the intersection of mental health with criminal behaviour. Services in this field assess and treat people with mental health problems who have a history of or are at risk of criminal offending. Professionals in this field might also work in civil legal settings, such as the family court.

Forensic Mental Health is a major consideration for professionals in a range of fields, including medicine, law, nursing, criminology, psychology, occupational therapy and social work.

This progressive degree brings together a diverse cross-section of experiences and perspectives from mental health professionals, members of the legal profession, and those involved in the criminal justice system. Through live video discussions, students can exchange viewpoints and insights in an interdisciplinary setting.

Peer contributions throughout this Masters degree provide an enhanced learning experience that reflects real-world practice. Students have the opportunity to build a network of professional contacts with specialised knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.

  • The degree is entirely online, through video lectures, forums and activities
  • Flexible delivery through online study allows you to balance study with other commitments
  • Lectures are delivered by experts in the field, practising forensic clinicians, legal practitioners and other experts
  • Choose from a wide variety of courses, ensuring your study is relevant to your career and interests.
  • World-leading research and teaching institute.

Your Career Opportunities

There is a rapidly growing need for skilled professionals in Forensic Mental Health in Australia and internationally. In 2013, the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) outlined the need for research and analysis, providing a comprehensive national picture of the different approaches to the mental health needs of people within the justice system. 

Graduates of the UNSW Masters degree in Forensic Mental Health pursue work in a wide range of professions such as medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, correctional staff, police and lawyers. 

Forensic Mental Health professionals are required in a range of organisations, including:  

  • Government bodies 
  • Departments of corrections 
  • Departments of community services 
  • Law enforcement 
  • Legal and judicial agencies  
  • Attorney General’s departments 
  • Juvenile justice 
  • District mental health services  
  • Private practice in Forensic Mental Health  

In New South Wales, The Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) are the primary providers of Forensic Mental Health Services in criminal justice settings. They require increasing numbers of qualified professionals to support their work in improving Forensic Mental Health. 

UNSW Master of Forensic Mental Health degree is designed for mental health, legal and corrections professionals who want to increase their knowledge in Forensic Mental Health and effective intervention strategies.  

Medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, correctional staff and members of the legal profession are just some of the professions who we considered in the development of this degree.  

  • PSCY9901 Law and Mental Health (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9902 Psychiatry and Criminal Law (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9903 Violence (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9904 Administration, Institutions & Services (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9911 Mental Disorders, Personality Disorders & Crime (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9912 Substance Use Problems and Offending (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9913 Disordered & Criminal Sexual Behaviour (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9914 Families, Children & Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9915 Civil Law in Relation to Psychiatry (6 UOC)
  • PSCY9917 Unusual Behaviours and Special Groups (6 UOC)

What Our Graduates Say

“The course content was extremely relevant to my day-to-day clinical work. The lectures and reading were easy to access and the flexible delivery allowed me to fit in coursework between other commitments. I enjoyed the online discussions with other students from different professional backgrounds and across Australia.” - Dr Sunny Wade 


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