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Originally the study of the spirit or soul (psyche), Psychology is today a diverse discipline which embraces all aspects of human experience.

As a behavioural science, Psychology examines the way behaviour is learned and can be changed. As a social science, Psychology focuses on individuals within the context of families, organisations and other groups, communities, cultures and societies. As a biological science, Psychology studies the senses (hearing, vision, touch) and how the brain and physiological systems relate to behaviour. As a cognitive science, Psychology studies perception, attention, memory, thinking and language understanding. The study of development, personality, learning and motivation are also part of Psychology at Waikato, as is animal behaviour and welfare.

Major areas of study in Psychology at Waikato include:

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Behaviour Analysis
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Community, Kaupapa Māori and Applied Social Psychology
  • Health and Mental Health Services
  • Psychology and Management specialisation
  • Organisational Psychology

The following specialisation is available:

Psychology and Management
Psychology and Management is an undergraduate specialised programme of study linking a Psychology major with key papers within Waikato Management School, preparing you to apply psychology in business as well as not-for-profit organisational settings.


Psychology can also be taken as a second major or supporting subject within most degrees.

School subjects required

There are no specific subjects you need to study at secondary school to study Psychology at Waikato, although mathematics, English or biology could be an advantage.

Other subjects that may interest you

Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Education, Human Development, Human Resource Management, Philosophy, Social Work, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies.

Career Opportunities

  • Behaviour Analyst
  • Clinical or Community Psychologist  
  • Community Programme Co-ordinator  
  • Human Resource Adviser  
  • Private Practitioner
  • Research Scientist  

Potential Employers

  • Community Agencies
  • Government Departments
  • Hospitals
  • Private Organisations or Businesses
  • Schools


PSYC102 Social and Developmental Psychology
An overview of psychological research and development of the person as a social being and on the interaction between the individual person and the groups, communities and global society to which we all belong.

PSYC103 General and Experimental Psychology
The emphasis in this paper is on the individual human being and his or her functioning. This involves examining the processes of development; learning, perception and cognition; and an introduction to the underlying biological basis of behaviour. There is a basic statistics component. Later sections of the paper deal with more applied aspects such as psychological testing and clinical psychology.

200 Level and Beyond
200 and 300 level papers examine applied social psychology, behaviour analysis, clinical psychology, community psychology, health and mental health services, organisational psychology and research.


Luke Elliott, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Environmental Planning / Political Science)


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