Where you can study
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Specialise in Psychology - Health Psychology for your Master of Science at Massey
Health psychology is the application of psychological knowledge to understanding:
- the experience of health and illness,
- what is good health care, and
- how to improve health promotion and health-related policies.
Massey’s MSc (Psychology - Health Psychology) addresses these goals with a broad view of health and wellbeing that integrates theory, research, and practice. Students develop strong understandings of the interactions between biological, psychological, social, economic, and cultural aspects of health and wellbeing and how these might be harnessed to improve health outcomes.
The MSc (Psychology - Health Psychology) is right for you if you plan to work in health, public health, or community settings. What you will learn in this qualification has both research and practical applications, including those supporting Māori, Pasifika and the diverse communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.
You’ll gain knowledge and skills relevant to a wide range of professional activities in the health sector.
If you are interested in pursuing research careers you are well qualified for entry into doctoral research in health psychology upon completion of this qualification .
If you are interested in becoming a registered psychologist you may apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice subject to taking specific psychological intervention and assessment courses and relevant work experience.
A Master of Science in Psychology - Health Psychology is a good fit if you:
- are interested in taking a psychological lens to understanding health issues
- are a critical thinker who wants to improve and support health and wellbeing
- want to understand, generate, and apply health-related knowledge.
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
The Master of Science (Psychology - Health Psychology) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.
You must achieve a B+ grade average in Part One to progress to Part Two.
Professional pathway to registration
We recommend you take:
175730 Professional Practice in Psychology (15 credits)
Other courses with psychological assessment and interventions will also be useful, such as:
175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment (15 credits) or 256754 Assessment in Educational Psychology
175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions (15 credits)
The following courses have a restricted number of places available:
- 175719 Applied Criminal Psychology
- 175721 Child and Family Therapy
- 175722 Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology
- 175730 Professional Practice in Psychology
- 175734 Child Clinical Neuropsychology
- 175751 Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
- 175761 Theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- 175781 Clinical Psychopathology
- 175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment
- 175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions
Applicants who are initially unsuccessful in securing a place are welcome to apply to the 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.
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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.
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.
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.
Course code: 175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design credits 15
An advanced study of the principles of research design in psychology. The course will provide a conceptual orientation to the integrated components of the design process. Through a meta-theoretical framework, various approaches to design will be explored to enable advanced engagement with psychological research from scientific, interpretivist and/or indigenous perspectives.View full course details
Course code: 175749 Health Psychology Practicum credits 15
Practical experience of at least 120 hours working in a community health agency under supervision. Students will participate in the design, implementation or evaluation of a health intervention, and critically reflect on their practice in relation to relevant theories and methods.View full course details
Course code: 175739 Health Psychology: Understanding Health and Illness credits 15
An examination of how psychological factors enhance physical health or increase the risk of illness and disease. Theoretical and methodological aspects of etiology are given particular emphasis using examples from such areas as cardiovascular diseases and psychoneuroimmunology.View full course details
Course code: 175743 Health Psychology: The Social Context credits 15
An examination of psychological theory and research on how social context shapes the experience of physical health and illness. An emphasis will be placed on the individual's understandings of health and experience of illness, and a critical consideration of research methods appropriate for examining these issues.View full course details
Course code: 175744 Health Psychology: Promoting Health credits 15
An analysis of psychological theories and methods as applied to health promotion and disease prevention, and consideration of their applications at group, community and population levels.View full course details
Course code: 150714 Ta Te Māori Rangahau Korero: Māori Research Methodologies credits 30
An examination of methodologies appropriate for research within Māori communities, iwi, hapu and whanau. Emphasis will be placed on accessing relevant information held in public repositories, on the internet and on computerised databases. The identification of frameworks for research in Māori contexts, ethical issues, and research design form important aspects of the course.View full course details
Course code: 175718 Postmodernism and Psychology credits 15
The course will focus on some of the ways in which the cultural phenomenon labelled as 'postmodernism' has impacted on/in psychology, with particular emphasis on the poststructuralist theories through which postmodern psychology is developing.View full course details
Course code: 175719 Applied Criminal Psychology credits 15
An advanced study of the aetiology of recurrent criminal behaviour with reference to cultural and ethnicity issues, familial and societal factors, and cognitive and psychopathological correlates. The underlying emphasis of the course is offender rehabilitation.View full course details
Course code: 175720 Advanced Psychology of Women credits 15
This course examines contemporary theoretical studies in the psychology of women. It is an advanced study of the history of women in psychology and critiques traditional approaches to research on women and girls. It includes three contemporary approaches focusing on specific areas of concern in the sub-discipline at present.View full course details
Course code: 175721 Child and Family Therapy credits 15
The course covers a variety of theoretical frameworks which are used in working with children and families. An in-depth case study approach will be used to develop students' skills in working with children and families. The course is designed to build on the students prior knowledge of developmental and abnormal psychology.View full course details
Course code: 175722 Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology credits 15
This course will focus on the principles of neuropsychological assessment, as they apply across the life span. Factors which influence neuropsychological functioning will be considered including neuroanatomy, cognitive functioning and the conditions that influence these factors.View full course details
Course code: 175725 Advanced Social Psychology credits 30
Identity, emotions, prejudice and attitudes are not things hiding in the person which the psychologist can 'discover' but are created by the language which is used to describe them. This course introduces students to discursive psychology in the context of social psychology. The 'turn to language' challenges previous notions of reality, truth, knowledge, objectivity and research methodology. Equal emphasis is placed on understanding both theory and practice.View full course details
Course code: 175729 Psychology and Culture credits 15
This course examines the wide-ranging influence culture has in people's lives, from their ideological beliefs and values to their behaviour patterns. How cultural influences have been considered in the theory, research, and practice of psychology will be examined.View full course details
Course code: 175730 Professional Practice in Psychology credits 15
The course provides an in-depth examination of the professional issues that impact on the practice of psychology. Models of practice, ethics, the statutes that affect practitioners, professional interrelationships and cultural issues are all analysed using a case-based approach.View full course details
Course code: 175732 Psychological Well-being in Organisations credits 15
This course examines the influence of organisational and work characteristics on staff well-being and performance. It covers stress and stress management, designing salutogenic workplaces, implications of disaster and crises for staff, families and communities, psychological aspects of promoting health and safety in organisations.View full course details
Course code: 175733 Sustainable Livelihood credits 15
According to the UN, Sustainable Livelihoods include not only access to shelter and food but also security, dignity, societal participation for groups and individuals. This course examines how workplaces potentially enable such capabilities, e.g., by respecting cultural foundations, enabling work-life-balance, providing decent work, and reducing inequality, through equitable partnerships between organizations along global supply chains, fair trade, living wages.View full course details
Course code: 175734 Child Clinical Neuropsychology credits 15
This course is designed to enable students to understand and use theories, research and skills involved in child neuropsychology. An emphasis will be placed on functioning in interdisciplinary teams.View full course details
Course code: 175737 Occupational Psychology credits 15
This course examines the relationship between people and organisations. Adopting a psychological perspective, it examines strategic aspects of staff development, job, social and cognitive approaches to task and role analysis, recruitment, selection, the training process, equal employment opportunities, industrial relations and performance assessment.View full course details
Course code: 175740 Occupational Health Psychology credits 15
The application of psychological principles and theory to health and managing hazards in occupational settings. Students will learn critical skills in psychological evaluation, appropriate for the environmental, cultural and political contexts of the New Zealand workplace.View full course details
Course code: 175741 Psychological Assessment in Organisations credits 15
This course investigates the application of the principles and theory of psychological measurement in organisational contexts. It covers the development of psychological tests, the implications of organisational factors for latent psychological constructs, test characteristics and test evaluation, and the application of psychological tests for processes such as selection, promotion, performance appraisal.View full course details
Course code: 175746 Psychological Research: Quantitative Data Analysis credits 15
An examination of how psychologists use quantitative data analysis techniques to address complex research problems involving multiple variables. Techniques including multiple regression, factor analysis and structural equation modelling are explored, with an emphasis on the relationships between analyses, research questions and design issues.View full course details
Course code: 175747 The Psychology of Sport and Exercise credits 15
The course will examine current psychological theories and related research in the sport and exercise domain. Specifically, the focus of the course is on how psychological factors influence involvement and performance in sport and exercise.View full course details
Course code: 175748 The Psychology of Organisational Change credits 15
This course examines psychological aspects of organisational change. It considers societal and organisational factors driving change and models of both planned and unplanned organisational change, illustrating these issues through the use of case studies of organisational change and psychologists' accounts of their experiences as change agents.View full course details
Course code: 175750 Qualitative Methods in Psychology credits 15
The course provides advanced understanding and skill development to enable students to undertake qualitative research in psychology.View full course details
Course code: 175751 Neuropsychological Rehabilitation credits 15
This course is designed to enable students to understand and use theories, research, and skills involved in neuropsychological rehabilitation. This course will review interventions that arise from neuropsychological evaluation. An emphasis will be placed on functioning in interdisciplinary teams.View full course details
Course code: 175761 Theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy credits 15
This course provides a broad overview to the theory and practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Early research foundations and current empirical support will be examined. In addition to gaining an understanding of the generic cognitive model and its variants, practical experience in the use of basic assessment instruments and procedures for effective behavioural and cognitive intervention will be gained through demonstrations and roleplays.View full course details
Course code: 175778 Principles of Social Therapy credits 15
A consideration of the key elements and objectives of Social Therapy.View full course details
Course code: 175781 Understanding Mental Distress credits 15
This course builds on undergraduate study of clinical psychology to provide an advanced understanding of mental distress across the lifespan. The focus is on recognising the most common experiences of mental distress and understanding their etiology using evidence-based theoretical frameworks, emphasising psychological approaches. Attention is given to recovery and lived experience perspectives, and contextual and cultural influences on understanding the experience of mental distress. A case study approach is taken to provide opportunities for applied learning.View full course details
Course code: 175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment credits 15
This course will examine a variety of standard objective and subjective clinical assessment instruments, and their use in diagnosis and treatment across the lifespan. Topics covered include cognitive, emotional and behavioural assessment; diagnosis-specific and population-specific instruments; and diagnostic interview systems. Principles of test administration, scoring and interpretation as well as ethical issues surrounding psychological testing will also be covered.View full course details
Course code: 175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions credits 15
The course emphasises empirically validated treatments and integration of psychotherapy research and practice across the lifespan. The course covers behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions, experiential and brief dynamic psychotherapies as well as other factors in therapy (e.g., the roles of therapist, client, and culture).View full course details
Course code: 231704 Hauora Māori credits 30
This course provides an overview and analysis of hauora Māori perspectives. Historical and contemporary contexts and challenges are used to discuss Māori approaches in public health, with reference to Māori knowledge and Māori leadership. The course focuses on developing critical consciousness for becoming advocates and champions for Māori health through Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led practice.View full course details
Course code: 231705 Pacific Health credits 30
This course provides an overview and analysis of Pacific health. Topics include: Pacific concepts of health; health effects of migration, urbanisation, demographic transition and economic development on Pacific people in Aotearoa and the Pacific; Pacific health promotion models and Pacific health policies. Pacific case studies will illustrate how providers can contribute effectively to Pacific development and improved Pacific health outcomes.View full course details
Course code: 231706 Occupational Health credits 30
This course provides an overview of the contribution that exposures in the occupational environment make to adverse health outcomes in the general population, and the appropriate methods of identifying and preventing occupational hazards. Topics include occupational diseases, industrial hygiene and exposure assessment, specific methods of occupational epidemiology, biological and chemical hazards, work physiology and ergonomics, exposure standards and regulatory practice.View full course details
Course code: 231707 Environmental Health credits 30
Critical reviews or applied research on advanced topics in Environmental Health.View full course details
Course code: 253750 Counselling Theory credits 30
A study of the theoretical bases of counselling. The course examines the place of counselling in society, its philosophical foundations, empirical status and major principles. Particular emphasis is given to selected approaches.View full course details
Course code: 253755 Culture and Counselling credits 30
An examination of the significance of culture in counselling. A multicultural perspective is adopted but with particular attention to the context in Aotearoa/New Zealand.View full course details
Course code: 279703 Social Policy Studies credits 30
A critical review of social policy in New Zealand with particular emphasis on policy processes, institutional frameworks, social policy delivery systems, outcomes.View full course details
Course code: 175894 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 credits 60
Course code: 175896 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 credits 60
Course code: 175899 Thesis credits 120
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Master of Science (Psychology – Health Psychology) you will have been awarded or qualified for:
- the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, or equivalent, with a minimum B+ average in the majoring 300-level courses, or
- the Bachelor of Science with Honours, in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B+ grade average over the contributing courses, or
- the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B+ grade average over the contributing courses, or
- the Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course.
If you have a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology, or Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Technology as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.
You must submit an approved research supervision plan with your application. This means you need to secure the agreement of a suitable supervisor for your agreed research topic.
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 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.
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.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
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.
- Student loans (StudyLink)
- Fees Free
- Student portal
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
With the Master of Science (Psychology - Health Psychology), you'll get the skills to apply your health psychology knowledge in:
- public health agencies
- community agencies
- health-related research
- policy analyst or adviser roles.
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Useful planning information
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions. Learn more on careers.govt.nz