Forensic behavioural science concerns the study of the relationship between human behaviour and offending, including: 

  • understanding how criminal behaviour is produced and what might be done to prevent such behaviour  
  • informing practice in the field of forensic mental health  
  • assisting professionals responsible for the assessment and treatment of the mentally disordered whose behaviour has led, or could lead, to offending  
  • influencing the way that law enforcement, courts and criminal justice systems identify and manage offenders.


Postgraduate research and clinical qualifications 

We provide postgraduate training opportunities to students leading to the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology, Doctor of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic Psychology), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Course information and entry requirements

Our research team can supervise students undertaking the above research programs, as well as those undertaking the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) offered in partnership with the Department of Psychological Sciences.

If you’d like to be considered for supervision, check whether your interests align with our research themes or projects. We encourage students keen to approach novel areas to also apply, but please discuss this first with your potential supervisor.  

Applying for Doctor of Psychology or PhD supervision

To apply for  the Doctor of Psychology or a PhD through the CFBS, you should first obtain support from a CFBS staff member to be your research supervisor. There is a two-step process:

  1. Please identify and email potential supervisors* who share your research interests. When contacting our team members, we encourage you to send through:  
    • your personal details — title, name, citizenship, country of residence, email and intent to apply for a scholarship
    • research details — the program you will be applying for, research areas or topics of interest, and previous research experiences and publications 
    • qualifications — qualification, year granted, results achieved, awarding institution and language of study
  2. If you receive support from a CFBS staff member to supervise your research project, you can then formally apply for a PhD program or the Doctor of Psychology^. A limited number of internal and external scholarships# are available to Doctor of Psychology and PhD students on a competitive basis.

*Potential supervisors may ask you to also provide a copy of your CV and a sample of academic writing.

Key dates

We recommend that you contact potential supervisors and discuss your research interests no later than 30 September (to start in February in the following year if successful).

^The Doctor of Pscyhology has a deadline for applications in October each year – offers are made after shortlisting and a competitive review.

#Submission date may change depending on the scholarship submission process.

  • Entry into Research Degrees

    Our research degrees give you access to specialist facilities, world-class researchers, training and support. Learn more about what we offer and how to apply.  

Professional courses 

We offer online graduate degrees to forensic practitioners around the world. Admission to the programs is available to students who possess a relevant tertiary qualification or significant relevant work experience. 

Forensic Behavioural Science 

This nested suite of courses aims to promote the use of evidence-based practice across a range of settings and disciplines. These three courses employ a flexible approach, allowing clinical and professional staff working with forensic clients to develop their skills according to their interests and needs. Students can commence their studies at the graduate certificate or diploma level and build towards to full masters qualification. 

Forensic Mental Health Nursing 

Nurses are essential workers in most services caring for forensic mental health patients. We’re a provider of education to both graduate and post graduate nursing professionals who wish to further their knowledge of best practice approaches to patient care. As effective nursing requires a range of skills, we provide the option of two forensic mental health nursing units, to ensure our graduates are best equipped to manage their complex roles. Our units are the preferred forensic specific training for staff at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare). 

Forensic Psychiatric Practice

We are one of three accredited providers of academic training for psychiatrists wishing to specialise in forensic practice. The Graduate Certificate in Forensic Psychiatric Practice is the only psychiatry-specific course that satisfies the academic requirements of Advanced Trainees for admission to the College of RANZCFP.

For clinical consultants, the unit Psychiatry in Forensic Contexts can be undertaken by consultant psychiatrists as a single unit as part of their professional development activities, equipping them with the necessary skills to expand their practice for work in the forensic field.

  • Female student with her laptop talking to an adviser

    Browse course units

    There are many ways to study single units at Swinburne, choose the option that suits you. 

  • two female students hug and smile to camera at the Hawthorn campus


    Learn the process of applying to study at Swinburne and understand our entry requirements, how to pay your deposit and how to accept your offer.

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Contact the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

There are many ways to engage with us. Whether you’re a student, from the media or an organisation interested in our professional development and training programs or consulting services, contact us on +61 3 9214 3887 or via

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