Two small groups of young people talking and having coffee
Areas of interest

Study psychology and mental health , Te mātai hinengaro me te hauora hinengaro

Deeply understand why people think, act and feel the way they do. Apply skills in different careers or specialise to be a psychologist, counsellor or mental health and addiction practitioner.

Need help or know what you want to study?

Specialise or go broad

You can specialise and become a registered psychologist, or apply insights, analysis and communication skills in other careers.

Cultural influence

In courses and at our Centre for Indigenous Psychologies, explore how world views affect people's thoughts and behaviours.

Make a contribution

Make sense of the world from different perspectives through Massey. Contribute to education, defence, sustainability and more.

Study your way

Our flexible learning options allow you to learn on campus, online or a mix of both. Fit study around your work and personal life.


Understanding people helps us make sense of the world. Our wide range of courses explores the human side of business, cultures, education, health, and many other areas.

Learn from world-class lecturers and researchers with expertise in areas such as indigenous and bicultural psychology or workplace stress. Delve into human behaviour, how the brain works, and how people interact. Hone skills in research, analysis and communication. Apply these skills and insights in different careers, or specialise to become a registered psychologist or mental health and addiction practitioner.

Psychology and mental health are a good fit if you:

  • enjoy school subjects such as psychology, sciences or social sciences
  • want to know what makes you and other people tick – or understand what shapes mental health and wellbeing
  • like exploring new solutions and helping to improve lives.

Course examples

Psychology courses may cover:

  • attention, memory and decision-making
  • child psychology
  • clinical psychology
  • forensic psychology, which explores issues related to psychology and the law
  • human development
  • indigenous psychologies – how communities' world views can influence thoughts and behaviour
  • neuropsychology – how the brain relates to behaviour, emotion and thoughts.

Mental health courses may cover:

  • addiction and mental health
  • factors that can impact mental wellbeing
  • developing meaningful relationships with people you'll support – individuals, whānau and communities
  • shared decision-making to plan and evaluate interventions
  • te reo Māori, tikanga and engaging with Māori.

Public health

How to study psychology and mental health

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in psychology and mental health – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Bachelor's degrees

Degrees are the standard qualifications you do at university – the most common is called a bachelor’s. Degrees give you enough time to explore your interests and also focus on specific subjects.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Graduate certificates

Graduate certificates let you study a subject you're interested in without doing a second bachelor's degree. Or you can use it as a bridge to postgraduate study if you already have an undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate diplomas

Undergraduate diplomas let you try university study before you commit to a degree. They’re also useful if you need to advance your career.

Graduate diplomas

Graduate diplomas can help you advance to postgraduate study or research in a subject you haven’t majored in for your undergraduate study.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications, you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Learn more about majoring in psychology

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Postgraduate bachelor's degrees with honours

Go deeper into a major subject from your undergraduate bachelor's degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma; at a higher level of study.

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate certificates

Postgraduate certificates give you an introduction to postgraduate-level study. They’re shorter than postgraduate degrees. If you’re successful, you may be able to use the credits towards a postgraduate diploma

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

Get more detail

Find out what you need to apply for postgraduate study in psychology.

Postgraduate psychology study
Explore specialisations

Relevant research areas at Massey

Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to psychology and mental health at Massey.

Psychology research

What our students say

“My experience at Massey set me up extremely well to get relevant and appropriate jobs in the field.”
Lydia Stallard

Senior Manager, Together for Mental Wellbeing charity, London (2015–2018)

Master of Science (Psychology) with endorsement in health psychology

“I’m interested in how people manage around adversity and what can be done to help them in a dignified way.”
Maureen Mooney

Researcher, Joint Centre for Disaster Research / Red Cross consultant

PhD Psychology

Our facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of first-class facilities when you study with us.

Centre for Indigenous Psychologies

The centre is an inclusive physical and intellectual space.

Through our teaching and research, indigenous psychologies are embraced, experienced, understood and developed – in ways to benefit all communities.

Location: Manawatū campus

International Media Psychology Laboratory

This laboratory researches how humans interact with new and emerging VR technologies. It houses a state-of-the-art, fully ambulatory, room-scale virtual reality (VR) system.

Location: Manawatū (Palmerston North) campus

Jobs in psychology and mental health

Deep insights into human behaviour or mental health add value to many careers.

Some graduates become psychologists or counsellors – or work in mental health and addiction services – after completing specialist qualifications. Others work in community organisations, in government, in businesses, in the justice system, or in schools.

Careers include:

  • counsellors
  • HR consultants and managers, who focus on recruitment and/or staffing
  • mental health and addiction practitioners
  • policy advisors or analysts, who interpret information for government or businesses
  • psychologists, who may specialise in clinical or educational psychology
  • psychotherapists
  • researchers.

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Becoming a psychologist

To be a psychologist who supports clients, here are the steps to follow.


Get a bachelor's degree specialising in psychology. If you already have a bachelor's in another subject, you need to do a graduate diploma specialising in psychology.


Complete a postgraduate qualification specialising in psychology which includes coursework and a thesis, such as an Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma followed by a Masters thesis.


Complete a postgraduate diploma in Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice – and complete the requirements for closely supervised practice.


Apply to the New Zealand Psychologists Board for registration and a practising certificate.

Specialisations such as clinical psychologist and educational psychologist have different requirements.

Which psychology and mental health qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Counsellor Master of Counselling Studies
Clinical psychologist Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Master of Clinical Psychology
Educational psychologist Master of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Mental health and addiction practitioners Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)
Policy analyst or advisor Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)
Psychologist Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice – after you have a postgraduate degree specialising in psychology

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Psychology

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

Learn more

New Zealand Psychologists Board logo

New Zealand Psychologists Board

Massey's postgraduate psychology qualifications are accredited by the New Zealand Psychologists Board.

Learn more

DAPAANZ - Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Addiction Practitioner Pathway in the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction) is accredited by the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ). Graduates are eligible to apply for provisional registration to work in the sector as addiction practitioner.

Get an information guide

Download our guides to find out more about studying psychology at Massey.

Download our health guide to find out more about studying mental health and addiction at Massey.

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