Doctor of Clinical Psychology – DClinPsych

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a competitive-entry professional qualification that will train you to become a registered clinical psychologist.

Type of qualification

Doctoral degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 10

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 years full-time (360 credits)

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Wellington campus
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Not available for international students

Study a Doctor of Clinical Psychology – DClinPsych

Note: Some health organisations, including Te Whatau Ora, community mental health, and community health care practices require vaccination as a condition of working in their organisation.

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a professional qualification that prepares you to integrate practice and research in your career as a clinical psychologist.

Places on this programme are highly sought-after and there is a competitive entry process.

Clinical psychology is an applied branch of psychology. It uses psychological techniques to help people solve a wide variety of mental, physical, behavioural and relationship problems.

What does the programme cover?

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a full-time qualification. You’ll take courses, do practical placements, complete an internship of supervised full-time practical work for at least one academic year and a doctoral dissertation (thesis).

Develop practical skills

You’ll get practical skills through practica placements. There are typically three placements in a variety of health service agencies, such as:

  • child and family
  • community mental health
  • drug and alcohol
  • rehabilitation
  • secondary care
  • forensic
  • Massey Student Health and Counselling
  • Psychological Service/Department of Corrections
  • Massey psychology clinics.

Get a diverse perspective

Massey is committed to the principles embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. You’ll be well trained from a variety of perspectives and be sensitive to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds and across their lifespan.

Our staff have a range of experience and interests. They approach clinical work from a variety of empirical and theoretical frameworks.

The scientist-practitioner model

Clinical training at Massey is based on the scientist-practitioner model. This emphasises the need for clinical psychologists to have a strong research background, as well as clinical skills. You’ll formulate an approach to understanding human behaviour that has a strong theoretical base.

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. Our unique and applied psychology research and training is recognised nationally and internationally. This expertise enhances the reputation of your degree and ensures your knowledge is relevant to today’s society.

A DClinPsych is a good fit if you:

  • want to become a registered clinical psychologist
  • have completed an honours or master’s degree with at least second class honours division 1.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

This programme is a selected entry qualification. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Doctor of Clinical Psychology you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor with honours or master’s in psychology with the award of first class or second class division I honours, or equivalent
  • have passed the following courses (or their equivalent) in your qualifying degree:
    • 175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design
    • 175781 Understanding Mental Distress
    • 175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment
    • 175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions
  • have sufficient personal qualities, ethical standards and professional potential to satisfy the Doctoral Research Committee you have the capacity to successfully undertake the programme, and to satisfy the requirements for eligibility to practice as a Registered Psychologist in accordance with the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act of 2003 (or as amended)
  • supply all documentation as listed below
  • be offered a place in the programme following a selection interview.

Limited places

This qualification has a limited number of places available. Meeting entry requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the qualification.

Application closing date and interviews

Applications close 1 September for study the following year. No late applications will be accepted.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed before a final selection is made.

Clinical programme selection interview dates

  • Pukeahu/Wellington Campus – 11-12 November 2024
  • Turitea/Manawatū Campus – 14-15 November 2024
  • Ōtehā/Albany Campus – 18-20 November 2024

No late applications

You must ensure that all documentation is supplied well in advance of the closing date. If you are applying close to the deadline you will need to ensure your referees are advised, as their report must be received by the closing date.

English language requirements:

Academic IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0; or a minimum TOEFL iBT of 90 overall (minimum of 20 in writing). These tests are valid for two years.

Documents you need to supply

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • A current curriculum vitae or résumé detailing your relevant training and experience
  • A passport-sized photograph
  • Brief personal statement (up to 500 words) which includes your reasons for seeking a career in clinical psychology. You may also wish to list perceived strengths as well as skills you will bring to your studies and training as a clinical psychologist
  • Supporting statements from whānau/family (optional)
  • Name, occupation and email details of two referees. Referees will be automatically contacted to supply a confidential reference in relation to this qualification. Referees are invited to comment, where they are able, on academic performance, ability to successfully complete further study, motivation and suitability for clinical psychology training, quality of interactions with people including with those from culturally diverse backgrounds, adherence to professional ethical standards, and knowledge and practice regarding working with Māori.

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 qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Official regulations

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.

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 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.

Structure of the Doctor of Clinical Psychology

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second. It consists of courses and a thesis, totalling at least 360 credits:

  • Part One: Provisional Registration
  • Part Two: Full Registration

This includes:

  • the courses listed in the Schedule for the qualification (check the regulations for more information)
  • a thesis
  • participation in compulsory activities including:
    • presentation of a proposal at a confirmation event
    • defending a thesis in an oral examination
    • demonstrating the competencies required of a professional Clinical Psychologist at a practical oral examination.

You will need to do practica placements and an internship of supervised full-time practical work for at least one academic year.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Thesis – 240 credits

Requires completion of Part One Provisional Registration and Part Two Full Registration including a thesis.

Participate in required activities including presentation of a proposal at a confirmation event, defending a thesis in an oral examination, and demonstrating the competencies required of a professional Clinical Psychologist at a practical oral examination.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

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: 175920 Clinical Psychology Practicum A 15 credits

Provides structured supervision of the student's clinical activities in the workplace to fulfil clinical psychology practicum requirements. It included observation of the work of clinical psychologists, supervised practice of designated clinical psychology skills, and exploration of individualised psychotherapy approaches and formal treatment protocols in a selected domain of practice.

View full course details
Course code: 175921 Clinical Psychology Practicum B 15 credits

Provides further supervision of the student's clinical activities in the workplace to fulfil clinical psychology practicum requirements. It includes supervised practice of all the professional activities of a clinical psychologist, including working in professional teams, conducting assessments under supervision, and using the empirical literature to guide clinical decision making.

View full course details
Course code: 175922 Clinical Psychology Internship 60 credits

Supervised experience in all aspects of clinical psychology service delivery in a professional service setting, with increasing emphasis on independent ability to offer specialised assessment and treatment programmes to a diversity of clients in a safe, culturally appropriate, and ethical manner.

View full course details
Course code: 175935 Skills in Clinical Assessment 15 credits

Provides advanced training in applied skills of clinical psychology assessment across the lifespan, including interview skills, skills in case conceptualisation and psychological formulation, and skills in the selection, administration, scoring, interpretation and reporting of psychological and neuropsychological tests.

Corequisites: 175920 Restrictions: 175833, 175834

View full course details
Course code: 175936 Skills in Clinical Interventions 15 credits

Provides advanced training in applied skills of clinical psychology interventions across the lifespan, including behavioural and cognitive behavioural interventions, family and systems approaches, and neurorehabilitation interventions.

Prerequisites: 175935, 175920 Corequisites: 175921 Restrictions: 175834, 175812

View full course details
Course code: 175991 Thesis Part A 90 credits

Thesis research builds the student's ability to carry out independent scientific inquiry which represents a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in clinical psychology. In the initial stages of thesis preparation, students participate in a group seminar to review a number of specialised methodological issues that exist within clinical psychology.

View full course details
Course code: 175992 Thesis Part B 90 credits

Supports continued research activities, normally involving selecting and testing participants; other data collection strategies as needed by the research design; statistical analysis of data, conceptualisation of the findings, and the development of tentative conclusions.

View full course details
Course code: 175993 Thesis Part C 60 credits

Integrates the student's emerging ability to carry out independent research of direct relevance to conceptual foundations of clinical psychology. The candidate integrates the major study with clinical follow-up study or studies of a practical nature, derived from the concurrent internship experiences.

View full course details

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

Our clinical psychology graduates typically work in their community in:

  • health
  • education
  • social services
  • justice
  • private practice.

Related study options