Information about undergraduate studies of Psychology

Undergraduate Prospectus - School of Psychology

The booklet form of the Prospectus for Undergraduate Psychology - 2015 is available as a PDF file.

Psychology Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 (823 KB)

Degree and Course Information focused on Psychology

Students can study psychology as part of most degree programmes. Students who wish to major in psychology can complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree or a Bachelor of Health Science (BHlthSc) degree. Those who major in Business Psychology complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Students who already hold a university degree can complete the equivalent of a major in psychology by enrolling for the Graduate Diploma in Arts or Sciences.

Undergraduate papers in Psychology

Undergraduate Papers in Psychology listed with location and semester.

The Psychology Programme at Massey University

What is Psychology?

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. However, this definition does not reveal the diversity of content that characterises psychology. Psychology can be considered to be both a natural science and a social science.

  • As a natural science, psychology focuses on perception, cognition, learning and the biological bases of behaviour.
  • As a social science, psychology focuses on development, personality, social processes, and abnormal behaviour.

The natural science and social science aspects of psychology are linked together by a common core of research methods, which includes experimental design, data analysis, and psychometrics. Another important aspect of psychology is its applicability to the world outside the laboratory, to assist in the solution of individual and social problems.

Psychology at Massey

The range of psychology papers offered at Massey reflects the diversity of psychology. Undergraduate papers cover the natural science aspect of psychology, the social science aspect of psychology, research methods used in psychology, and applications of psychology. The table below shows how the various papers offered at Massey fit into the different categories.

  • 100 Level:An introduction to both the natural science and the social science aspects of psychology is provided by the two 100-level papers.
  • 200 Level:The 200-level papers offer further study of both aspects, and research methods are introduced.
  • 300 Level:At 300-level, all aspects of psychology are covered in a wide range of papers, and applied areas of psychology are included.

Majoring requirements in psychology are structured so that students include papers from the natural science category, the social science category, and the research methods category within the major. There is also flexibility within the majoring requirements, so that students can pursue their particular interests within psychology.


A Natural Science

Research Methods

A Social Science

Applied Psychology


Learning, Cognition, Biological Bases, Evolution

Research Design, Statistics, Psychometrics

Social, Cultural, Personality, Abnormal, Developmental



175.102 Psychology as a Natural Science

175.101 Psychology as a Social Science


175.205 Brain and Behaviour

175.206 Memory and Cognition

175.203 Introduction to Psychological Research

175.201 Social Psychology

175.210 Ngā tirohanga rua o te taha hinengaro: Bicultural Perspectives in Psychology


175.316 Evolution, Culture and mind

175.318 Experimental Psychology

175.303 Practice of Psychological Research

175.306 Assessment of Individual Differences

175.302 Abnormal and Therapeutic Psychology

175.311 Psychology of Women

175.301 Community Psychology

175.309 Forensic Psychology

175.317 Health Psychology

175.343 Personnel Psychology and Career Development

175.345 Organisational Psychology

Additional Recommendations for Psychology Majors

The School of Psychology encourages students to acquire skills in areas beyond psychology that will enhance their continued study of Psychology. Specifically, we encourage all students majoring in psychology or business psychology to seriously consider including the following papers in their degree:

Human Development

275.102 Human Development

Understanding of Māori Culture

The School of Psychology strongly recommends that students complete one of the following Māori Studies papers:

150.110 Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Māori
150.114 He Tirohanga o Mua: Māori Custom, Lore and Economics

The School of Psychology also recommends that students consider taking one of the following papers:

150.201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society
150.202 Hauora Tangata: Māori Health Foundations

Critical Thinking Skills

We recommend that students complete the following Philosophy paper:

134.103 Critical Thinking


We also recommend that students complete one of the following Statistics papers:

161.120 Introductory Statistics (recommended for BA students)
161.130 Introductory Biostatistics (recommended for BSc students)

Human Factors and Ergonomics

128.300 Ergonomics/ Human Factors: Work, performance, health, and design

An inter-disciplinary holistic practice-based approach to integrate work, leisure and people in occupational, organisational, and leisure contexts.

Library and Information Skills

We recommend that students attend tutorial sessions conducted by the library on the use of library resources and information retrieval. The Library publishes a tutorial programme for internal students at the beginning of each semester, and conducts sessions for Distance students during the contact course periods.

For those considering postgraduate study …

If you are planning to do postgraduate study in psychology, it is recommended that you take at least one Distance paper because postgraduate papers are delivered in a manner similar to Distance papers. They are taught in block mode which involves attending compulsory campus courses for short intensive periods of time.

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