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Behaviour Analysis

Behaviour Analysis is a scientific approach to understanding why people and animals do what they do. Studying behaviour analysis will teach you how both animal and human behaviour is affected by events in the social and physical environment and what you can do to produce behaviour change to help improve lives. Knowledge of this science of behaviour and its behaviour-change technology will assist you in a variety of careers.

Applications for the 2024 intakes of the PGDipPracPsych and MAppPsy programmes have now closed.
Apply now for 2025. Applications close on 1 October of the year prior to entry.

As a field, behaviour analysis consists of concepts, principles and techniques.

As a student of Behaviour Analysis, you will learn how behaviour can be understood and changed. This includes an introduction to behaviourism, which is the philosophical underpinning of the science of behaviour and the experimental analysis of behaviour (EAB), which is the domain of basic research.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is concerned with the application of these foundations, in the development of a technology to improve socially important behaviours. You will learn many skills, including how to define and measure behaviour, create behaviour change programs and evaluate their effectiveness in courses that combine theoretical and practical learning to produce marketable skills.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Behaviour Analyst
  • Case Management
  • Child Protection
  • Community Programme Coordinator
  • Disabilities Support
  • Education and Development
  • Health Promoter
  • Injury Prevention
  • Policy Analyst
  • Private Practitioner
  • Research Scientist

Study in Tauranga

In Tauranga, Psychology is available as a major subject for the BSc, BA or BSocSc.

Please note: Behaviour Analysis is not a major, but is a specialisation within Psychology. Students may take Behaviour Analysis papers and count these towards their Psychology major.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

Graduate study options

Options for further study after completing the Master of Applied Psychology in Behaviour Analysis include:

Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Psychology (Applied Behaviour Analysis)



Core papers:

Recommended papers:

  • PSYCH337 Individual Differences and Measurement
  • PSYCH338 Mental Health and Well Being

Some students study Behaviour Analysis in order to apply their knowledge and skills to human problems, and to do work based on behavioural principles in an applied setting or to undertake research in these areas. Others study it to work with animal behaviour; they may be interested in research or in animal problem behaviours or animal training. Some combine both research and practice and/or the study of animal and human behaviour.

For whatever reason you are considering taking courses in this area, the behavioural courses and programmes will provide you with knowledge which you can use to understand, study and work practically with behaviour. An understanding of how and why behaviour occurs and how it can be changed for the better is of fundamental value to almost all professions.

Depending on your specialty, you may work in a range of settings (including research institutions, private practice, schools, special education settings, universities, health services, business and industry, and governmental agencies), and with a range of populations (including families, people with psychological problems, children with challenging behaviours, individuals with special needs, teachers, people and their pets, and others seeking positive behaviour change).

Students who have specialised in the application of Behaviour Analysis to human issues and clinical problems are working in the community, in health, in mental health, and in early intervention or in educational settings with individuals with a wide range of problems and disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Conduct Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

However, it doesn’t matter what type of psychology you choose to practice, or whether you end up in a field orientated to people or animals. What is important is that you gain an understanding of how and why organisms behave (i.e. what maintains and/or influences behaviour).


Behaviour Analysis Handbook


Donna Walsh
Programme Administrator
Phone: +64 7 837 9904
Email: [email protected]
Office: Hamilton Campus, K block, Level 1 (Room  K.1.12)
Office hours: 8.30am to 4.00pm