Master of Applied Psychology

Studying for your Master of Applied Psychology at the University of Waikato allows you to gain an in-depth knowledge of one of three key areas of applied psychology.

Leny Thomas

Leny was attracted to study at Waikato due to the reputation of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences' School of Psychology and in particular the Applied Behaviour Analysis programme.

You'll choose your specialist area in behaviour analysis, community psychology or organisational psychology. You'll develop a detailed understanding of the underlying ideas relating to your chosen area, as well as learn about the fundamental principles and guiding values connected to your specialist field.

During your Master of Applied Psychology studies, you'll be given opportunities to gain relevant hands-on experience. This will be through getting involved in work placements and projects, where you'll be connected with a range of organisations and community groups.

The type of workplaces you'll be placed in depends on the specialist area you've chosen. You could have a placement in an educational environment such as a school, university or special education venue. You may do a project at a research institution or in a private practice. Perhaps you'll work with business and industry, or in the health sector. You may have a placement in a governmental agency, or if it fits in with your specialist area, a zoo.

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Years 2.0
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $6,616-$7,926 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $31,495 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Graduate study options

To be admitted to the MAppPsy, you must have completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences (or equivalent) majoring in Psychology and must have achieved a satisfactory grade average over your 300 level Psychology papers – normally a B+ average or better.

In addition you should have satisfactorily completed 20 points at 300 level in Behaviour Analysis, Community Psychology, Organisational Psychology or equivalent.

Candidates who have not met this requirement may be enrolled in the BSocSc(Hons) or PGDip in Psychology in the first instance, with the possibility of transferring to the MAppPsy.

Please consult the Psychology Graduate Adviser ( for specific admission criteria and the required forms.

Master of Applied Psychology (Behaviour Analysis) – MAppPsy(BA)

Note: There will be no new applications accepted in 2017 for the MAppPsy (Behaviour Analysis).

If you choose to specialise in Community Psychology, you'll develop the practical skills you need to apply psychological techniques to a range of social issues. New Zealand is becoming a more diverse society, so it's vital you can apply these techniques in a fair and culturally sensitive way – during your MAppPsy(Com) you'll learn how to do this. You'll develop the ability to analyse complex situations and plan appropriate actions. You'll be introduced to research and inquiry methods, and carry out your own practical research. Throughout your studies, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of the key ideas, principles and fundamental values relating to this area of psychology.

In the first year of your MAppPsy(Com) studies, you'll gain experience in human and social services by completing a programme evaluation for a service provider. In the second year, you'll gain this experience by working with a relevant community organisation or organisations.

Once you've gained your MAppPsy(Com), you'll be qualified to work in health services, community service organisations, government departments and in private practice. You may choose to do contract work with human service organisations as a researcher, trainer or consultant.

The MAppPsy(Com) also provides a pathway into the Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Psychology (Community Psychology). This is a one year work-based programme accredited by the New Zealand Psychologists Board, which enables graduates to become registered as psychologists in New Zealand.

If you choose to specialise in organisational psychology, you'll be focusing on organisational and personnel (human resources/employee) psychology. Organisational psychologists are experts in aiding organisational effectiveness by improving the well-being of their employees. During your MAppPsy(Org), you'll learn how to carry out applied organisational research. This research relates to areas like job or competency analyses and surveys. You'll learn how to evaluate organisational and human resource (personnel) interventions.

Throughout your studies, you'll become familiar with how organisational psychology initiatives relate to an organisation's wider goals. You'll develop your ability to analyse and to carry out library research effectively. You'll refine your skills in presenting proposals and reports, both in writing and orally.

At Waikato, you'll have the opportunity to gain practical experience during your studies. You'll undertake projects in different organisations and you'll be able to join a professional network site called IO-net.

Waikato MAppPsy(Org) students learn from experts in the field of organisational psychology – Professor Michael O’Driscoll and Dr Maree Roche.

Where might your MAppPsy(Org) take you? Organisational psychologists work in staff selection and performance evaluation. They work in training, motivation and work attitudes. You might also use your skills to help with occupational stress and burnout. Organisations may employ you to work with leadership, organisational culture and organisation development strategies.


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

Graduate Support Administrator
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 837 9234

Psychology Graduate Student Adviser

Degree Structure

Degree Structures

Master of Applied Psychology (Behavioural Analysis)

Note: There will be no new applications accepted in 2017 for the MAppPsy (Behaviour Analysis).

Master of Applied Psychology (Community Psychology)

Students in the MAppPsy(Com) must pass the equivalent of 240 points at 500 level.

This is made up of 75 points from the following compulsory papers (or equivalent papers from another university)

Core Papers
  • PSYC511 (15 points) Evaluation Research Design
  • PSYC513 (30 points) Evaluation Research Analysis
  • PSYC582 (15 points) Community Health Psychology
  • PSYC583 (15 points) Foundations of Community Psychology
  • PSYC575 (15 points) Psychological Applications and the Treaty of Waitangi

And 30 to 90 points from optional 500 level papers in Psychology, Human Development, Anthropology, Development Studies, Screen and Media Studies, Geography, History, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies, Demography, Political Science, Philosophy and Public Policy.

In the second year of study students will complete either a 60-point dissertation (PSYC592) or a 90-point thesis (PSYC593) or a 120-point thesis (PSYC594). Although the regulations offer students the option of a 60-point dissertation, in practice students are strongly encouraged to take either the 90 or 120-point option.

Up to 120 points of the MAppPsy may be waived for students who have already completed four-year degrees (for example, an honours degree or other four-year undergraduate degree) provided that:

  • No required papers are waived, unless the student has already taken these papers (or equivalent papers) in their fourth year of study, and
  • At least 195 of the 240 points must have been psychology papers.

Optional papers should be selected in consultation with the Community Psychology Programme Convenor.

Master of Applied Psychology (Organisational Psychology)

Students in the MAppPsy(Org) must pass the equivalent of 240 points, including a 90-point thesis in their second year.

The remaining points come from the compulsory taught papers in Organisational Psychology and from other elective papers chosen in consultation with the Convenor of the Organisational Psychology programme.

Up to 120 points of the MAppPsy(Org) may be waived for students who have already completed four-year degrees (for example, an honours degree or other four-year undergraduate degree) provided that:

No required papers are waived, unless the student has already taken these papers (or equivalent papers) in their fourth year of study, and at least 195 of the 240 points must have been in psychology papers.

Core Papers
  • LBST531 (15 points) Advanced Employment Relations 1: The Employment Relations Framework
    LBST532 (15 points) Advanced Employment Relations 2: Current Policies and Practices
  • PSYC539 (15 points) Graduate Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC571 (15 points) Psychology of Careers
  • PSYC572 (15 points) Personnel Selection
  • PSYC573 (15 points) Training and Development
  • PSYC579 (15 points) Advances in Organisational Psychology
  • PSYC585 (15 points) Leading Organisation Development

Elective courses are typically a selection from the areas of Psychology, Labour Studies, Human Resource Management or Strategic Management.