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Psychology

Widely regarded as the centre of Applied Psychology in New Zealand, Psychology at Waikato offers numerous study options for those keen to pursue this remarkable discipline.

From analysing the reasons for anger to considering the best way to train dogs, the study of Psychology allows insight into countless intriguing facets of cognitive function.

At Waikato, we offer plenty of flexibility to adapt learning to suit your desired focus. Psychology can be taken as a major for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of Science - unlike any other university in New Zealand.

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.

Areas of study at Waikato include Animal Behaviour, Behaviour Analysis, Clinical Animal Behaviour, Clinical Psychology, Community, Kaupapa Māori and Applied Social Psychology, Health and Mental Health Services and Organisational Psychology.

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Key information

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

Career opportunities

  • Behaviour Analyst
  • Clinical or Community Psychologist
  • Community Programme Coordinator
  • Human Resource Adviser
  • Private Practitioner
  • Research Scientist

You can choose to take Psychology under any of these degrees:

It's possible to complete any of these Psychology qualifications without leaving Tauranga. Note that the range of non-core papers (e.g. those shown as "List A" in bachelor degree planners) available in Tauranga will differ to those available in Hamilton.


Prescriptions for the Dip(SocSc) GradDip(GradDipPsych) and GradCert(Psych)

A Diploma in Social Sciences, Graduate Diploma and a Graduate Certificate are available to graduates who have not included Psychology at an advanced level in their first degree.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Psych), PGDip(Psych), BA(Hons), BSc(Hons), BSocSc(Hons)

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Psychology papers, a student should normally have at least a B average either over 120 points of their Psychology major or over 300 level Psychology papers to a value of 60 points and must have passed PSYCH307.

All programmes of study should be devised in consultation with the Head of School and/or the Graduate Studies Committee.

To complete a BA(Hons), BSc(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Psychology, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally PSYCH591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Psychology.

Note: PSYCH511, PSYCH513, PSYCH517, PSYCH518, PSYCH575, PSYCH581, PSYCH582 and PSYCH583 are not able to be counted towards the BSc(Hons).

Applications for entry to the BA(Hons), BSc(Hons) and BSocSc(Hons) close on the first Monday in December in the year preceding entry. Mid-year enrolments are accepted for the PGDip(Psych) only. Please contact the School of Psychology for further details. Applications for the PGDip(Psych) are accepted right up to the start of A and B semester.

Prescriptions for the MA, MSc, MSc(Research) and MSocSc

Entry to the Psychology Masters programme is competitive and it is recommended students discuss entry requirements and possible research topics with potential supervisors during their honours and PGDip year, before applying for entry to Masters.

To complete an MA or MSocSc in Psychology, students must take a 120 point thesis, or a 90 point thesis and the equivalent of 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and the equivalent of 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

To complete an MSc in Psychology, students admitted to the 120 point MSc, must take 60 points from approved 500 level papers and a 60 point dissertation.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(ClinAniBehav), PGDip(ClinAniBehav) and MCAB

Note: The Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate and Master of Clinical Animal Behaviour are not available in 2020.

Prescriptions for the MAppPsy

There are three specified programmes available within this degree: Behaviour Analysis, Community Psychology, and Organisational Psychology.

Behaviour Analysis

To complete a MAppPsy in Behaviour Analysis, students must pass the equivalent of 240 points comprising the compulsory papers: PSYCH538, PSYCH560, PSYCH561, PSYCH577 and PSYCH587 or a 15 or 30 point directed study (PSYCH588, PSYCH589 or PSYCH590) in a relevant area, a 60 point dissertation (PSYCH592), 90 point thesis (PSYCH593) or a 120 point thesis (PSYCH594) and a further 30 to 105 points selected from the optional papers: PSYCH564, PSYCH575 and PSYCH581. Optional papers should be selected in consultation with the Behaviour Analysis Programme Convenor.

Community Psychology

To complete a MAppPsy in Community Psychology, students must pass the equivalent of 240 points comprising 90 points from the compulsory papers (PSYCH511, PSYCH513, PSYCH575, PSYCH582, PSYCH583), a 60 point dissertation (PSYCH592) or a 90 point thesis (PSYCH593) or a 120 point thesis (PSYCH594), and 30 to 90 points from optional papers in Anthropology, Population Studies and Demography, Development Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Geography, History, Human Development, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Screen and Media Studies, and Sociology. Optional papers should be selected in consultation with the Community Psychology Programme Convenor.

Organisational Psychology

To complete a MAppPsy in Organisational Psychology, students must pass the equivalent of 240 points. A minimum of 180 points must be in Psychology, including the following compulsory papers: 120 point thesis (PSYCH594), on an I/O psychology topic, PSYCH539, PSYCH573, PSYCH579. Plus at least one from: PSYCH581, PSYCH585. The remaining 60 points may be chosen from a relevant, or related discipline, in consultation with the convenor of the programme.

Students considering enrolment in the MAppPsy must, in addition to fulfilling the requirements set out in the appropriate regulations, meet the School of Psychology requirements for entry into the programme. Entry is competitive. Applications should be made to the Convenor (indicating one of Behaviour Analysis, Community Psychology, or Organisational Psychology), MAppPsy, School of Psychology.

Prescriptions for the PGDipPracPsych

A Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Psychology is available to suitably qualified graduates and is designed to meet the requirements for registration as a psychologist under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. The Postgraduate Diploma is awarded endorsed in Applied Behaviour Analysis or Community Psychology. To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, students must gain 120 points from PSYCH541, PSYCH542 and PSYCH543 for Community Psychology, and PSYCH551, PSYCH552 and PSYCH553 for Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Prescriptions for the PGDipPsych(Clin)

Students considering enrolment in the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Clinical) must, in addition to fulfilling the requirements set out in the appropriate regulations, also meet the requirements for entry to the School's graduate programme. Applications must be received by 1 October in the year prior to their enrolment, and should be made to the Programme Administrator, School of Psychology. The number of students accepted into the programme is limited and shortlisted applicants are interviewed in November. Students should follow the application process as detailed on the University of Waikato's Clinical Psychology webpage.

Note: PSYCH521, PSYCH522, PSYCH523, PSYCH524, PSYCH526 and PSYCH527 are only available to students enrolled in the PGDipPsych(Clin).

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality. The requirements for admission to masters level study in Philosophy are set out in the Faculty Handbook.

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PSYCH100Brain, Behaviour and Cognition20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper introduces perceptual systems, mechanisms of learning, emotions and motivation, the biological basis of psychology, such as brain structure and functioning, processes underlying behaviour, memory and cognition.
PSYCH101Social Psychology, Health and Well-being20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper will introduce major issues in psychology particularly as they relate to health, wellbeing, mental illness, forensic psychology, lifespan development, and social factors in a range of contexts.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PSYCH202Mauri Ora: Social Psychology of Human Flourishing20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
The paper will examine important conceptual frameworks and theory within social psychology and the social sciences generally. Maori perspectives and exemplars will be a significant emphasis within the paper.
PSYCH203Cognitive Psychology and Development20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper will provide students with an overview of current findings and theories of cognitive neuroscience, cognitive development, and cognitive processes such as memory, attention, language, and decision making.
PSYCH204Behavioural Psychology and Perception20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
Students will learn the basic assumptions of the philosophy of behaviourism, the principles of behaviour analysis, and how those principles can be applied to issues of clinical and community importance.
PSYCH211Understanding Psychological Research20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper will cover the basic methodological approaches relevant to psychological and social science research, including research design, data collection, data analysis, and the dissemination of research.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV340Perspectives on Counselling20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the philosophical, psychological and sociological principles that underpin the aims and methods of the helping professions in general, and counselling in particular.
PSYCH300Work placement in Psychology20B (Hamilton)
This paper fulfils The University of Waikato's requirement for all students to engage with the wider community in a work-related or applied project setting. This paper provides opportunities for professional and personal development within varied work settings relevant to the field of Psychology. A limited number of placements may ...
PSYCH302Community, Culture and Diversity20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
The focus of this paper is the study of social justice, intersectionality, transformative interventions, and social change strategies that are central to community, indigenous and liberation psychologies. Issues covered include inequalities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and (dis)ability. Key considerations are the broader co...
PSYCH307Psychological Research Methods20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
The paper covers research theory and methods, making students critical consumers of psychological research. It expands on concepts taught in PSYCH211 to build more advanced research skills.
PSYCH314Behaviour Analysis20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This course is intended to give students an understanding of the philosophy of behaviourism, experimental methods used in the study of behaviour, and the application of behavioural principles
PSYCH317Organisational Psychology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This course offers a general introduction to the psychology of work and organisational behaviour.
PSYCH319Infant and Child Development20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
The objective of this paper is to provide students with an understanding of infants' and children's cognitive, emotional, and social development from a psychological perspective.
PSYCH322Memory and Cognition20A (Hamilton)
Research, theories and principles in memory and cognition, with an emphasis on the applications to real-world problems, such as the overlap of psychology and the law.
PSYCH337Individual Differences and Measurement20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This course will cover measurement issues in psychology, and a range of basic measurement techniques. It will include coverage of theories of intelligence and of personality and their measurement.
PSYCH338Mental Health and Well Being20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This course offers an introduction to the definition, assessment, and treatment of mental disorders.
PSYCH344Positive Psychology20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper will cover research in areas such as well-being, flow, personal strength, creativity, innovation, psychological health, resilience and characteristics of positive groups, institutions and organisations.
PSYCH360Special Topic: Psychology of Security, Crime Science, and Criminal Behaviour20A (Online)
This special topic examines topical issues in psychological aspects of security and crime science, by drawing on theory, research and relevant applications in psychological science
PSYCH389Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online), 20B (Tauranga), 20S (Hamilton), 20S (Online) & 20S (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with a flexible opportunity to undertake an investigation on a specific topic from a psychological perspective.
PSYCH390Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online), 20B (Tauranga), 20S (Hamilton), 20S (Online) & 20S (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with a flexible opportunity to undertake an investigation on a specific topic from a psychological perspective.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PSYC521Professional Issues in Clinical Practice20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
PSYC522Bicultural Approaches to Clinical Practice20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
PSYC523Clinical Practicum 1: Fundamental Clinical Skills20A (Hamilton)
No description available.
PSYC524Clinical Practicum 2: Advanced and Specialist Skills20B (Hamilton)
No description available.
PSYC541Case Study Analysis in Community Psychology20X (Hamilton)
This paper contributes to the suite of papers that comprise a supervised internship focused on learning to apply community psychology theories, knowledge and values into practice.
PSYC542Professional Issues in Community Psychology20X (Hamilton)
This paper contributes to the suite of papers that comprise a supervised internship focused on learning to apply community psychology theories, knowledge and values into practice.
PSYC551Case Study Analysis in Applied Psychology ABA20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Online)
Students learn to apply behavioural theory and research to specific issues faced in practice, develop evidence-based interventions, and evaluate the effectiveness of psychological interventions.
PSYC552Professional Issues in Psychology ABA20I (Online), 20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Online)
Students develop an in-depth understanding of ethical principles and other professional issues in the practice of behavioural psychology, including cultural competency requirements and familiarity with relevant ethical codes and guidelines.
PSYCH511Evaluation Research Design20A (Hamilton)
This paper provides a theoretical grounding in programme evaluation, with an emphasis on the evaluation of programmes in the not-for-profit sector. Emphasis is placed on qualitative methods, collaborative approaches and evaluation as a strategy of incremental social change.
PSYCH513Evaluation Research Analysis20X (Block)
This paper provides an introduction to evaluation praxis with a major focus on completing a small scale evaluation of a social service or health programme. Such roles as consultant, advocate, liaison and technician are part of the skills students experience. Engagement with the client through refining and negotiating an evaluation ...
PSYCH526Clinical Internship: Assessment-Focused20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
This paper consists of a supervised clinical internship focused on learning basic clinical psychology skills and principles. Students also attend weekly case conference and clinical concepts seminars, and produce case studies and appropriate documentation of their clinical experience.
PSYCH527Clinical Internship: Treatment-Focused20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
This paper consists of a supervised clinical internship focused on learning basic clinical psychology skills and principles. Students also attend weekly case conference and clinical concepts seminars, and produce case studies and appropriate documentation of their clinical experience.
PSYCH535Traumatic Memories and Repression20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines topical issues in traumatic memory and repression by drawing on theory and research in psychological science.
PSYCH538Applications of Behaviour Analysis20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Online)
This paper provides a depth of coverage on applying behaviour principles to interventions in applied settings. The objective is to examine and critique recent applications of the methods and theories of behaviour analysis in a range of settings to both prevent and change problems.
PSYCH539Graduate Research Methods in Psychology20A (Hamilton)
This paper will give students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills base in research methods in Psychology. Its focus is in assisting students to understand, critique and conduct and report on research in experimental and quasi-experimental designs, multivariate/correlational designs, meta-analysis, and this paper w...
PSYCH543The Practice of Community Psychology20X (Hamilton)
This paper contributes to the suite of papers that comprise a supervised internship focused on learning to apply community psychology theories, knowledge and values into practice.
PSYCH553The Practice of Psychology ABA20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
PSYCH556Advanced Topics in Adult Mental Health and Well Being20A (Hamilton)
This paper builds on PSYC338 and is a core paper for students in the Clinical Diploma Programme. It explores the various manifestations of adult psychopathology and covers the key areas of diagnosis, assessment, treatment and theories of etiology. It also investigates issues associated with psychopathology, such as stigmatisation, ...
PSYCH557Positive Psychology Research: Theory and Practice20A (Hamilton)
Provides students theoretical and practical broadening in Positive Psychology, the study of positive emotions, character strength, resilience and mental well-being.
PSYCH560Applied Behaviour Analysis: Theory and Issues20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Online)
This paper considers the conceptual theory behind, and the issues raised by, the implementation of behavioural programmes across a wide range of applied areas, such as clinical, educational, and health psychology and intellectual disability. The design and implementation of such programmes in practice is considered, and topics curr...
PSYCH561Behaviour Analysis: Concepts and Principles20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
This paper covers theory and research in several selected areas relevant to the understanding of behaviour and provides students with a) an understanding of the theoretical/conceptual principles underlining the research, b) the ability to examine and critique research in the area and c) an understanding of how theories, techniques ...
PSYCH562Theories of Psychotherapy20B (Hamilton)
This paper surveys the prominent systems of therapy in order to provide students with knowledge of how each type of therapeutic school conceptualizes the processes used to describe personal problems, relevant change mechanisms, and treatment modalities. Students are encouraged to develop knowledge of an integrative model to use as ...
PSYCH564Developmental Psychopathology20B (Hamilton)
This paper considers research on major childhood syndromes including conduct disorder, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adolescent problems and childhood anxiety.
PSYCH573Training and Development20A (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of training programmes. This paper is particularly relevant for student interested in organisational psychology, as well as those interested in developing training or workshop-based interventions to improve professionals' knowledge, skills or work behaviour.
PSYCH575Indigenous Psychologies20A (Hamilton)
Indigenous psychologies are sensitive to context, conscious of history and responsive to multiple ways of knowing and being in the world. This paper will cover topics relevant to students who wish to work as psychologists in applied settings, in particular, clinical, community and organisational settings and applied psychological r...
PSYCH577Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
This paper covers a range of topics in the applications of laboratory-derived principles to the understanding of, and attempts to change, human behaviour. Students will be brought up to date with the recent research in these areas and will learn to read, understand and critically evaluate the literature which attempts to apply the ...
PSYCH579Applying Psychology to Work20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines theoretical and empirical issues concerning the psychology of work behaviour in organisations. Students evaluate the application of psychological theory and research to behaviour in organizations and develop a critical awareness of psychological contributions to the study of organisations.
PSYCH580The Psychology of Criminal Conduct20B (Hamilton)
Over recent years correctional psychology has been developing into a specialised discipline with strong career paths for clinicians and researchers. This paper is designed to introduce individuals to the theory and practice of psychology applied to the analysis, prevention, assessment, and treatment of criminal behaviour.
PSYCH581Psychological Assessment20A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the selection, administration, scoring and interpretation of a range of psychological and behavioural assessments that are commonly used in New Zealand. The paper is targeted to students intending to pursue further study to become a registered psychologist.
PSYCH582Community Health Psychology20X (Block)
This paper provides an introduction to community health psychology and the theoretical and practical dilemmas faced by psychologists working with participative approaches within the health arena.
PSYCH583Foundations of Community Psychology20X (Block)
This paper emphasises the application of community psychology in Aotearoa/New Zealand, especially in relation to its emergence as a bicultural nation. Students are strongly recommended to also enrol in PSYC575, which deals specifically with the Treaty of Waitangi.
PSYCH585Leadership and Change20X (Block)
This paper focuses on the processes and outcomes of organisational change management, and the knowledge and skills required of organisational psychologists who function as organisational consultants.
PSYCH587Behaviour Analysis Practicum20D (Hamilton) & 20D (Online)
This paper focuses on the research knowledge and skills required in behaviour analysis. Students will gain academic knowledge and professional skills related to designing and undertaking a practical project in this area.
PSYCH588Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online), 20B (Tauranga), 20S (Hamilton), 20S (Online) & 20S (Tauranga)
No description available.
PSYCH589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online), 20B (Tauranga), 20S (Hamilton), 20S (Online) & 20S (Tauranga)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff. Open to selected students who meet the criteria set out in the School of Psychology Graduate Handbook.
PSYCH590Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Tauranga), 20D (Hamilton), 20D (Tauranga), 20S (Hamilton) & 20S (Tauranga)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff. Open to selected students who meet the criteria set out in the School of Psychology Graduate Handbook.
PSYCH591Honours Dissertation20D (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PSYCH592Dissertation20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PSYCH593Psychology Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
PSYCH594Psychology Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PSYC800Psychology MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PSYC900Psychology PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton), 20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
No description available.

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


If you want to go on to graduate study – and we hope that you do – please consult the Graduate Handbook or talk to academic staff about your plans, particularly before you finalise your 300 level programme of study.

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


Subject links

Psychology Programme


There are many different pathways you can take when choosing Psychology as a career - for example, Organisational Psychology, Applied Cognitive Psychology, or Organisational Psychology.

It's important to have your pathway in mind when you select your third-year papers, so talk to academic staff for recommendations or work with one of our student advisors - they can ensure that you select the right combination of papers to pursue your interest. For help please contact psyc-fass@waikato.ac.nz.


Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080
General and undergraduate email enquiries: psyc-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and postgraduate email: psyc-grad@waikato.ac.nz