Psychology – Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science

With Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Psychology), you’ll study in more detail the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals and groups in social and cultural contexts.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Course selection may require travel between campuses. Some courses are offered in block mode.

Specialise in Psychology for your Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science at Massey

If you have a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in psychology and wish to pursue your studies at an advanced level, then the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Psychology) is for you.

Studying psychology will help you make sense of the human impact on the world. You’ll build on your undergraduate psychology degree. You’ll study in more detail the thoughts, feelings and actions of individuals and groups in social and cultural contexts.

More psychology researchers and clinical psychologists graduate from Massey than any other university in New Zealand. We’re connected to a wide range of community and statutory organisations. We also 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.

Further study

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Psychology) can be your pathway to a higher research degree. You can combine it with a master’s by thesis (120 credits). This can meet entry requirements for qualifications that lead to registration as a psychologist:

Planning information

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Restricted courses

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
  • 175781 Understanding Mental Distress
  • 175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment
  • 175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions

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.

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 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 course

Course code: 175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design 15 credits

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.

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Subject courses

Choose 105 credits from
Course code: 175718 Postmodernism and Psychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175719 Applied Criminal Psychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175720 Advanced Psychology of Women 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175721 Child and Family Therapy 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175722 Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175725 Advanced Social Psychology 30 credits

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.

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Course code: 175729 Psychology and Culture 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175730 Professional Practice in Psychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175732 Psychological Well-being in Organisations 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175733 Sustainable Livelihood 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175734 Child Clinical Neuropsychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175737 Occupational Psychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175739 Health Psychology: Understanding Health and Illness 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175740 Occupational Health Psychology 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175741 Psychological Assessment in Organisations 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175743 Health Psychology: The Social Context 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175744 Health Psychology: Promoting Health 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175746 Psychological Research: Quantitative Data Analysis 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175747 The Psychology of Sport and Exercise 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175748 The Psychology of Organisational Change 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175750 Qualitative Methods in Psychology 15 credits

The course provides advanced understanding and skill development to enable students to undertake qualitative research in psychology.

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Course code: 175751 Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175781 Understanding Mental Distress 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions 15 credits

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).

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Psychology) you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Health Science degree with a major in Psychology, having achieved at least a B- grade average in the 300-level Psychology specialisation courses, or an equivalent qualification.

You will need to provide copies of all official 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.

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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

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

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Psychology) will give you knowledge and skills relevant to a broad selection of applied psychology areas. These include clinical, health, education, community, and industrial and organisational psychology.

These diverse options mean you can study what you’re most passionate about. You’ll be able to carry that passion forward into your career. The knowledge of human behaviour and interactions you’ll gain from a PGDipHlthSc (Psychology) will be useful in many careers including:

  • counselling
  • human resources
  • public health
  • youth support
  • policy
  • rehabilitation psychology
  • scientific research.

If you want to be a registered psychologist, contact us via the Get Advice button.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Psychology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 300 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

Learn more

Related study options