Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice 

Students can enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice only with the written approval of the Head of School.

Before obtaining this approval, prospective students will need to apply to the programme on forms provided online or in the Psychology Postgraduate Prospectus, include the supplementary questions available from the Academic Administrator and provide additional documentation outlined below.

How to apply

Applications for this programme close in early October for study starting in semester one the following year. Please check the key dates at application processes.

Step one

Complete the application form for Selection into the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice. This form is available online or at the back of the Psychology Postgraduate Prospectus, and must be submitted directly to the School of Psychology (via the Academic Administrator).

Please ensure that you indicate the location (Auckland or Palmerston North) at which you would prefer to attend an interview.

This form requires that you submit four copies of additional information:

  • A current Curriculum Vitae
  • Passport sized photo
  • A brief personal statement (obtain details by emailing the Academic Administrator)
  • Optional supporting statements of support from whānau / family
  • Verified academic transcripts including the Title and Abstract of your Master’s thesis
  • Completed Supplementary Questions (obtained by emailing the Academic Administrator)
  • If you have been resident overseas in the past 5 years, you need to provide a copy of your application to the appropriate authorities for a record of your criminal convictions (see section below).

Record of Criminal Convictions

The Board requires every applicant to provide a Record of Criminal Convictions, and applicants for registration as an intern psychologist will be required to complete an Authorisation to Disclose Information form, which gives the Board authorisation to request disclosure from the NZ Police Vetting Service regarding any interaction you may have had with the NZ Police in the past seven years. If you have lived overseas you will need to provide a Police Clearance Certificate (such as FBI Criminal Conviction Information/Fingerprint Information in the USA) or an equivalent form detailing any convictions you have had in any country in which you have lived in the past 5 years. In that instance, you need to provide a copy of your request(s) for this information with your application to the programme.

Step two

Submit an enrolment application for the programme and courses via the University online enrolment channel:
Enrolments generally open in early October for study beginning in Semester One the following year and will close to new students early in December. Please check these dates online from the application processes pages.

The campus in which you will study the two academic courses is Palmerston North (Manawatu); Auckland students may choose to enrol as Auckland students for the practicum courses. The PGDipPsychPrac is offered in block mode, and you can only start in Semester 1. 

It is especially important that you can verify that your master’s degree (or higher degree) has actually been awarded, or will be before commencing the programme (required for Registration as an Intern Psychologist).

Please note: if your master’s degree has not yet been awarded, please request guidance on timelines and process from the Academic Administrator.

Please note: if you have completed your prior postgraduate qualifications at Massey University it is not necessary to submit a transcript of your academic record.

If your postgraduate qualification was from an overseas university you will need to have this assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority ( and/or by the New Zealand Psychologists Board for equivalence prior to applying for the PGDipPsychPrac. For students whose qualifying degree was not completed at an English-speaking university, demonstration of English language competence (equivalent to an overall IELTS score of at least 7.5 with no band lower than 7.0) is required.

Step three

Write the names of your two referees on the Application for Selection form – forward the Request Form for Confidential Referee Report to each of your referees.

The selection form requires the names of two referees. In order to ask your referees for a confidential report, you should send each of them a Request Form for Confidential Referee Report (available online or in the Postgraduate Prospectus).  This gives them information as to whom the reference should be sent (Academic Administrator) and by when.

Please note:
If you are given provisional admission to the qualification, you will need to be registered as an Intern Psychologist.  The New Zealand Psychologists Board will require three letters, at least one from a Registered Psychologist, attesting to your “character, work experience, and professional standing”.  The Board requires that these letters be no more than 3 months old, must be signed and dated and on official letterhead (where applicable).  It would therefore be sensible, and save you and your referees some time, if you selected for your Massey University application only referees who meet Board criteria for a personal recommendation.  In this way, your application to the programme and your application to the Board can use the same referees, who only have to do a small cut and paste task, and you need to find only one additional person.  You do however need to ask your referees for a separate letter for the Board; the University will keep the copies it receives for your application.

Ideally, a provisional agreement from an agency to provide an internship, and a provisional agreement from a Registered Psychologist to serve as a supervisor will need to accompany the application form.


To summarise, admission to the programme is a complex six-step process:

  1. Ensure that you have the basic academic qualifications and a clearly defined plan for a programme of supervised psychological practice.
  2. Approach a potential agency offering psychological services and negotiate with this agency the establishment of an internship.
  3. In conjunction with the agency, approach a Registered Psychologist and develop a preliminary contract for supervision (Steps 2 and 3 may be carried out interchangeably, and supported by Programme staff).
  4. If you have resided overseas, apply for the appropriate record(s) detailing any convictions you have had in any country in which you have lived in the past 5 years. Provide a copy of your letter with your application to the Programme (you will need to provide their response to the Psychologists Board when you apply to be registered as an intern psychologist).
  5. Complete a formal application to the School of Psychology by the due date in October, attaching the information requested earlier in this document, draft agreements obtained in Steps 2 and 3 and a copy of your application to the Ministry of Justice.
    Also, follow the university enrolment process to enrol into the PGDipPsychPrac programme and associated courses before the closing date in early December.
    If offered provisional admission to the programme, apply to the Psychologists Board for registration as an Intern Psychologist.
  6. When Board approval has been received, forward this to the University, via the Academic Administrator, to finalise enrolment in the programme.

The completed application form (Selection into PGDipPsychPrac) and any required supporting documentation including Confidential Referees’ Reports should be submitted to:

Academic Administrator – Professional Psychology
School of Psychology
Massey University
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand

It is essential that your application forms and your referees’ reports are submitted by the application deadline.

More information

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