Entry Requirements

The admission of applicants as candidates for the PhD, MSc, or combined PhD/MPsychol programs at UNSW is dependent on three key considerations:

  1. Whether the applicant has the required academic qualifications;
  2. Whether appropriate research supervision is available for the applicant; and
  3. Whether the necessary resources are available or can be provided to support the research proposed by the applicant.

Before applying for admission, applicants must establish if supervision is available within the School by contacting academics whose research interests coincide with their own.

The minimum entry requirements for the PhD, MSc and combined PhD/MPsychol programs are summarised in the table below.

Prospective applicants should review the School’s Frequently Asked Questions, Program Guides, or contact the School.

Program Name


Minimum Academic Entry Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


A Bachelor degree with Honours Class 1, or Upper Second Class Honours, in psychology from UNSW, or an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution, as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC).

Master of Science (Research)


A Bachelor degree with Second Class Honours in psychology from UNSW, or an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution, as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC).

Combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Clinical)


An accredited four year, or three-year plus a fourth year, APAC-accredited sequence in psychology, including a major research thesis, completed within the last 10 years* with Honours Class 1 (85%) or equivalent.

Psychology qualifications from overseas must include a major research thesis/project and must be assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as comparable to a four-year APAC-accredited sequence of study in psychology completed in Australia.

Forensic program only: While work experience is not an admission requirement, applicants with employment histories will be positively regarded. An applicant’s employment history does not necessarily need to include clinically- or forensically-relevant experience; a track record of employment could indicate an applicant’s familiarity with team environments (or, conversely, autonomous work), working to deadlines, managing stressful situations, dealing with the public, and any number of other skills.

Please also read the information below this table about registration as a provisional psychologist.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview (Clinical) or half-day Assessment Centre (Forensic). Invitations are usually made on a rolling basis from around mid-November and in some instances may be made with only a few days' notice.

Interviews and the Assessment Centre are typically held during the last week of November and/or the first week of December. Shortlisted Forensic applicants should anticipate having to travel to UNSW (Kensington campus) to attend the Assessment Centre in person.

Combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Forensic)


*Exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances.

Registration as a provisional psychologist for Combined PhD/Master of Psychology students

  • Enrolled students must register as provisional psychologists prior to program commencement. Registration must be maintained for the duration of their enrolment.
  • Applicants should familiarise themselves with the relevant Registration Standards for the psychology profession. The requirements of these standards must be met before an application for registration as a provisional psychologist can be approved.
  • All applicants, domestic and international, are encouraged to use AHPRA’s Pathways diagram for all professions (under ‘Additional resources’) to guide their understanding of the Registration Standard: English Language Skills.