COVID-19 update: All of New Zealand is now at Red. More information.
Develop your psychology research interests
With Massey’s Master of Arts (Psychology) you can build on your undergraduate interests and develop your research skills.
- Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
- 1.5 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
With a Massey Master of Arts (Psychology) you’ll further explore the thoughts, feelings and actions of individuals and groups in social and cultural contexts. Studying psychology will help you make sense of the human impact on the world. This is your opportunity to take an issue in psychology that grabbed your attention during your undergraduate studies and develop it further.
Internationally recognised and market-leading in New Zealand
Massey graduates more researchers and clinical psychologists than any other university in New Zealand. We’re connected to a wide range of community and statutory organisations, and produce unique and applied psychology research and training that’s recognised nationally and internationally. This expertise enhances the reputation of your degree and ensures your knowledge is relevant to today’s society.
Complete your master’s faster
You can complete an MA in three semesters of full-time study. If you study part-time, an MA will normally take three years to complete.
Careers and further study
The knowledge of human behaviour and interactions that you’ll gain from a Master of Arts (Psychology) will be useful in many careers including:
- human resources
- public health
- youth support
- rehabilitation psychology
- scientific research.
Explore your psychology options
If you want to be a registered psychologist, you can explore your qualification options in our psychology pathways tool.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
Master of Arts (Psychology) 180 credits
To enter the Master of Arts 180 credits you will:
- have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Arts degree (or equivalent) with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, with at least a B grade average across the 200/300 level major courses
Master of Arts (Psychology) 120 credits
To enter the Master of Arts (Psychology) 120 credits you will have been awarded or qualified for:
- a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a subject in the intended postgraduate subject with a B+ grade average, or
- a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts with an endorsement in the intended postgraduate subject with a B+ average, or
- an equivalent qualification with a B+ average.
You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
If you are intending to proceed to a professional qualification in Psychology (such as the Postgraduate Diploma of Psychological Practice or Postgraduate Diploma of Industrial Organisational Psychology) you must complete either a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts prior to enrolment in the Master of Arts degree. You will then complete the Master of Arts degree with a 120 credit thesis (direct admission to Part Two). These arrangements are necessary to ensure appropriate professional registration is subsequently possible.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
Courses and planning
- Part One subject courses (may include compulsory courses) – 120 credits
- Part Two research report – 60 credits
- Part One subject courses (may include compulsory courses) – 60 or 90 credits
- Part Two thesis course(s) – 90 or 120 credits
- Completion of Part One and Two
- Completion of a subject
- Coursework pathway (including a 60-credit research report), or
- Research pathway (including a 90 or 120-credit thesis)
Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 credits.
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
Courses for this specialisation
Part One: Coursework Pathway (120 credits) or Research Pathway (60 credits)
|175738||Psychological Research: Principles of Design||15|
|175718||Postmodernism and Psychology||15|
|175719||Applied Criminal Psychology||15|
|175720||Advanced Psychology of Women||15|
|175721||Child and Family Therapy||15|
|175722||Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology||15|
|175724||Advanced Experimental Psychology||30|
|175725||Advanced Social Psychology||30|
|175729||Psychology and Culture||15|
|175730||Professional Practice in Psychology||15|
|175732||Psychological Well-being in Organisations||15|
|175734||Child Clinical Neuropsychology||15|
|175739||Health Psychology: Understanding Health and Illness||15|
|175740||Occupational Health Psychology||15|
|175741||Psychological Assessment in Organisations||15|
|175743||Health Psychology: The Social Context||15|
|175744||Health Psychology: Promoting Health||15|
|175746||Psychological Research: Quantitative Data Analysis||15|
|175747||The Psychology of Sport and Exercise||15|
|175748||The Psychology of Organisational Change||15|
|175750||Qualitative Methods in Psychology||15|
|175761||Theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy||15|
|175781||Understanding Mental Distress||15|
|175782||Clinical Psychology Assessment||15|
|175783||Clinical Psychology Interventions||15|
Part Two: Coursework Pathway
|175873||Research Report Psychology (60)||60|
Part Two: Research Pathway
|175894||Thesis 120 Credit Part 1||60|
|175896||Thesis 120 Credit Part 2||60|
Planning your programme
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
The Master of Arts is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second. Read the regulations for this programme to find out more.
Grades achieved in the first 60 credits will determine eligibility for progression to Part Two.
- For the coursework pathway a minimum B grade average is required.
- For the research pathway a minimum B+ grade average is required.
The following courses have a restricted number of places available:
175.719 Applied Criminal Psychology
175.721 Child and Family Therapy
175.722 Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology
175.730 Professional Practice in Psychology
175.734 Child Clinical Neuropsychology
175.751 Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
175.761 Theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
175.781 Clinical Psychopathology
175.782 Clinical Psychology Assessment
175.783 Clinical Psychology Interventions
You are welcome to enrol in these courses however, selection for these courses will not be made until mid-January. Applicants who are initially unsuccessful in securing a place are welcome to apply to waitlist for possible vacancies via your student portal.
You will gain access to the student portal once you have applied and have been accepted to Massey.
Depending on course selection, travel between campuses may be required.
Not all courses are available in each semester.
Master of Arts 120 credit (thesis only)
When you enrol in a thesis, you commence with Thesis Part 1 (60 credits), followed by Thesis Part 2 (60 credits) in the next enrolment period. Both parts combine to meet the thesis requirements with a single grade assigned to each part.
If the thesis cannot be submitted at the end of the initial Part 2 enrolment, you must re-enrol in Part 1 (and pay fees) each semester until submission is made.
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.
A good fit if you:
- have completed an undergraduate degree with a major in psychology
- want to stay engaged with the current debates in psychology
- wish to investigate a particular aspect of psychology for your research report or thesis.
Accreditations and rankings
Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.