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To be accepted to study psychology at postgraduate level you need an undergraduate degree with a major in psychology or equivalent.
Undergraduate degree without Psychology major
If you have an undergraduate degree but no major in psychology you can enrol in the Graduate Diploma in Arts, or Science and Technology, and take eight undergraduate courses. This will give you the equivalent of a psychology major.
Graduate Diploma in Science and Technology
To take courses to follow your interests (not a formal qualification) you need a degree in psychology or its equivalent.
Ask early about your equivalent major
If you think you have the equivalent of a psychology major but are not sure you can send us a cover letter and copy of your university transcript. We can look over your qualifications and assess your standing.
This will take some time – likely more than 3 weeks. You need to send your request well in advance of any university deadlines for course enrolment.
Where to send questions
Academic Administrator – Professional Psychology
School of Psychology
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North 4442
Taking a few courses
If you are pursuing another postgraduate degree you may opt to take some postgraduate courses within the School of Psychology.
Arrange this by writing a letter to the Postgraduate Coordinator to ask for approval (see contact details below).
If you want to take one or two courses in the School of Psychology to enhance your professional development this is also possible.
Send a letter to the Postgraduate Coordinator detailing your qualifications and the reasons you want to take the course or courses (see contact details below).
Approval to take these interest courses will be granted if the qualifications are deemed suitable. Students without an undergraduate degree in psychology or its equivalent generally are not eligible to take interest courses.
Written requests to take courses for interest or as part of a degree from another university should arrive at the School of Psychology well in advance of the university deadlines for enrolment wherever possible.
Note some postgraduate psychology courses have a maximum limit of 25 students. Normally students accepted to study psychology will have preference in obtaining a place in these courses.
If you are a Massey graduate and supply us with your ID number, we will retrieve your transcript for you for the application review process.
You must supply an original or verified copy of your university transcript or transcripts if you are not a Massey graduate.
You do not need to enclose extra documentation such as a resume, CV or other details about your qualifications. The information we ask for on the application form such as academic grades, qualifications and honours is all we need.
Since we are admitting people to academic study, we feel the best indicators of your ability to successfully complete the work are past academic performance and achievement. A transcript is sufficient for our purposes.
Do not send additional documentation.
For applicants who have been away from academic study for some time it is quite important to list any recent academic work, certification classes, and so on in the appropriate place on the application form.
Applicants are chosen based on a weighted GPA (grade point average) formula. If you have questions about weighted GPAs, please contact the Academic Administrator – Professional Psychology.
If you are admitted to study at postgraduate level you are not necessarily guaranteed a place in your preferred courses or guaranteed your preferred thesis supervisor.
Depending on applicant numbers, some postgraduate courses and qualifications may limit the number of places available. We have only a finite number of lecturers available to provide research supervision.
Unsuccessful applicants may wish to consider taking extra undergraduate courses to increase their GPA and demonstrate current levels of achievement in their academic study.
Many students who were initially unsuccessful in their application have later been admitted for postgraduate study after taking more courses and performing well. But taking such courses offers no guarantee of acceptance in the following year.
You can study part-time for most diplomas and degrees at the postgraduate level. Be mindful of the timeframes to complete postgraduate study if you want to enrol part-time.
|Qualification||Full-time duration||Part-time duration|
|Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (Honours)||1 year||3 years|
|Master of Arts||2 years||4 years (5 without Distinction/Merit)|
|Master of Science or Master of Health Science||2 years||5 years (6 without Honours)|
|Postgraduate Diploma in Arts or Science (Psychology)||1 year||3 years (4 without Distinction/Merit)|
|Doctorate||2 to 4 years||3 to 6 years|
The Doctor of Clinical Psychology can only be taken full-time.
Read more about the Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Online, off-campus and distance study
Postgraduate courses can be completed off-campus except the Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych).
The master's thesis and research projects for the honour's degree may also be completed at a distance.
Supervision at a distance should involve some form of regular contact. This contact may be by:
- Zoom/MS Teams
- occasional visits to the campus where your supervisor is located.
Individual meetings with research supervisors on campus at negotiated intervals are also required. These are mandatory when you are doing a PhD at a distance.
The DClinPsych is full-time study which requires compulsory weekly attendance on-campus. It may only be taken internally.
Once you’re enrolled
Once you join the department as a postgraduate student you will have access to support tools such as:
- subscribing to the psychology graduates' email list (a virtual notice board for students and staff)
- Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) software access
- software such as EndNote, Office 365, NVivo, and Qualtrics.
Master's and PhD projects
Research funding for master's and PhD projects is available through the School of Psychology.
The School of Psychology occasionally has funds to support students attending conferences. You need to have submitted a manuscript to a journal for publication.
Manuscripts should be co-authored by thesis supervisors. Evidence of the submission of manuscripts for review should be provided with the application.
Advisor Academic Support
Phone: +64 6 951 8072