Educational Psychology – Bachelor of Arts

With Massey’s BA (Educational Psychology) you will explore what supports and hinders learning and how you can make a difference.

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand
Note: Not fully available on campus - some compulsory courses available by Distance only

Specialise in Educational Psychology for your Bachelor of Arts at Massey

With Massey’s BA (Educational Psychology) you will explore lifelong ako/learning and teaching through an understanding of cultural, cognitive, social, behavioural and emotional aspects of learners and teachers.

At Massey, educational psychology is:

  • the application of Western and Māori psychological knowledge in education and human development
  • a science and an art that seeks to understand
  • an art that seeks to apply those understandings in the real world, to help learners realise their potential

You will learn about the complex relationships between learners and their environment. You can choose from a wide range of courses that reflect the diversity of psychology and education.

The types of questions you will consider in the BA (Educational Psychology) include:

  • how can we make learning more effective?
  • what are the social mediators of thinking, learning and development?
  • how can teachers best meet the learning needs of a diversity of learners?
  • what factors help ensure educational success?
  • how do we support development of positive behaviours for learning?
  • how do we reduce learning difficulties?
  • how do we best support learners with disabilities?

Educational psychology looks at what supports and hinders learning. It informs policy and practice in education systems. Massey’s BA (Educational Psychology) will equip you with transferable skills. These include research, analysis, communication and problem-solving.

This qualification can be a strong foundation for postgraduate qualifications in teaching, psychology and educational psychology.

Your qualification options

Please note that the Bachelor of Arts (Educational Psychology) does not qualify you to be a teacher in New Zealand. If you want to become a teacher, you will also need to take a postgraduate teaching qualification. Please explore your options in our education pathways tool.

A Bachelor of Arts in Educational Psychology is a good fit if you:

  • have ever wondered how people come to understand their world and how they learn
  • are interested in applying psychological understandings in educational settings to enhance learning
  • want to make a positive impact for tamariki/children, rangatahi/youth, and whānau/family in schools and other educational contexts.

Planning information

If you study full time, in the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school if you wish. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

You need to pass five courses at 300-level for your BA. One of these (230310) is in the compulsory core and three are required for your major. If you are not taking a double major or a minor, you will need to take one 300-level elective course to meet this requirement.

About this major

An Educational Psychology major consists of 120 credits (eight courses).

Progression to master’s qualification

If you wish to progress to the Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology  you must have 60 credits in psychology courses and it is highly recommended that you include 60 credits in education in your BA (Educational Psychology).


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Arts (Educational Psychology) with a minor

You may choose a minor from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Science. If the minor is from another degree the regulations of that qualification will apply.

An educational psychology minor (for students who are studying a different degree) 

If you are not studying towards a BA (Educational Psychology) and wish to complete a minor in educational psychology see the BA regulations for requirements.  

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

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 qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Compulsory courses

Course code: 175102 Psychology as a Natural Science 15 credits

An introduction to methods and findings from the scientific study of psychology and its application to everyday human behaviour. Examination of basic behavioural, perceptual and cognitive processes and how these are influenced by biological mechanisms and cultural context.

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Course code: 256201 Educational Psychology 15 credits

An examination of the contribution of psychology to an understanding of educational processes with a focus on the learner, learning processes and instruction. Issues of theory, research and application will be studied in a variety of educational situations.

Restrictions: 186230, 186201

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Course code: 256304 Positive Behaviour for Learning 15 credits

This course provides in depth exploration of the strategies and interventions for maintaining positive learning environments that support effective school engagement and achievement.

Prerequisites: 256201

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Course code: 263301 Learning and Motivation 15 credits

A study of contemporary theory and research on motivation in educational contexts with emphasis on implications for learning and for educational practice.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level course from Education

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Course code: 263331 Assessment and Learning 15 credits

Assessment concepts and procedures for learning and teaching, the construction and use of educational assessments, and contemporary issues in evaluation.

Restrictions: 186331

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Course code: 275102 Human Development 15 credits

An introduction to the study of lifespan human development and learning within changing social and physical contexts.

Restrictions: 208102, 209102

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Course code: 175201 Social Psychology 15 credits

A survey of contemporary experimental social psychology. Against this backdrop critical perspectives are introduced with particular emphasis on the practice of discursive psychology in the New Zealand context.

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Course code: 175203 Introduction to Psychological Research 15 credits

An introduction to methods commonly used in psychological research with particular emphasis on measurement, study designs, data analysis, and communicating research results.

Prerequisites: 175102

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Course code: 175205 Brain and Behaviour 15 credits

An introduction to basic biological processes underpinning behaviour and what happens when these processes are disrupted. Students will develop critical thinking and effective communication skills (both verbal and written) in relation to biological psychology.

Prerequisites: 175102

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Course code: 175206 Memory and Cognition 15 credits

The central goal of the course is to consider how knowledge is represented and processed in the brain. Students will be introduced to the mental processes involved in thinking and knowing, studied within a converging methods framework that includes evidence from experimental psychology, neuroscience, neuropsychology, and cognitive science.

Prerequisites: 175102

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Course code: 175210 Ngā Tirohanga Rua o te Taha Hinengaro: Bicultural Perspectives in Psychology 15 credits

This course engages with the concept of culture, and its relevance and importance in a bicultural country such as Aotearoa. The interplay between non-Western cultural perspectives and the dominant form of psychology situated within a predominantly Western scientific paradigm, is explored. Indigenous perspectives in general and Māori worldviews specifically, are examined within and juxtaposed to, the discipline of psychology.

Restrictions: 175312

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Course code: 175306 Assessment of Individual Differences 15 credits

Study of the basic concepts of psychological testing within the broad context of the assessment of individual and group differences. Examination of the rationale behind testing and its application to a wide range of assessment situations.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 249384 Consultation and Collaboration in Inclusive Education 15 credits

An examination of methods and practices used in a consultative approach to assist learners with special needs in an inclusive educational environment.

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Educational Psychology), outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

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?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

You could find yourself working in:

  • education supporting inclusive practices
  • youth support and mentoring
  • youth justice support
  • community organisations with an education and/or community support focus
  • psychology (as a psychologist with additional postgraduate study).

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Education

Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for education in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

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QS Ranking - Psychology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

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