Why Study Psychology in New Zealand?


Research and postgraduate study

Having said that all universities offer undergraduate degrees in Psychology that span the breadth of the discipline, it’s at postgraduate level that things start to get really exciting. In New Zealand, an institution can only be a university if its staff are actively involved in research pushing the frontiers of theory and practice. Every three to six years, universities receive a report card of the quality of their research activities. In the most recent (2012) evaluation, Victoria was ranked first for research quality, while Auckland and Otago have also taken turns at the number one spot in prior evaluations.

Postgraduate study is research, and thanks to these regular audits, you can be confident of a world-class postgraduate experience. As well as Masters and Doctorate degrees, one of the drawcards offered by all psychology departments involves training to registration as a clinical psychologist. In New Zealand, this is a postgraduate degree that requires either a three-year undergraduate degree, or one-year graduate diploma in Psychology as a prerequisite. All Clinical Psychology programmes are accredited by the New Zealand Psychologists Registration Board.

In terms of distinctiveness, New Zealand’s unique culture and history play out in a range of novel postgraduate qualifications that span theory, research and practice. For example, Waikato University offers a Master of Applied Psychology degree that can be taken in organisational psychology, behaviour analysis or community psychology. Auckland offers Masters and PhD in Health Psychology, and Victoria offers Masters in Cross-Cultural Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience.

International students pay up NZ$30,000 to 40,000 per year for Masters of psychology, but (and it’s a ‘but’ worth paying attention to) international students pay domestic fees for PhD study (around NZ$6,000 to $7,000 per year).

Useful Links - Psychology Departments in New Zealand