Master of Psychology student Thomas Shankland is in his second year of postgraduate study, specialising in Behavioural Analysis.
“Behavioural Analysis explains the spectrum of human and animal behaviour, and equips us to help others change their behaviour to benefit their quality of life. I have always been interested in this, so naturally, it appealed to me as a subject.
“I studied a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology as an undergraduate.
“To become a registered psychologist, the full programme takes three years to complete. I am in my second year, which includes writing a master’s thesis.
“My current plan is to take a break between my second and third year to travel Europe and gain a better understanding of the applications of behavioural psychology outside of New Zealand. On my return home, I plan to complete my final year and become a registered psychologist.
I really like the student environment of the programme. It’s not competitive but collaborative. When one of us does well, we help each other so we all do well.
“An aspect of the subject I love is how forgiving it is of people. It places the fault outside of the person and instead focuses on the environment the person is in. This perspective allows for a more compassionate, patient, and optimistic outlook.”
“I really like the student environment of the programme. It’s not competitive but collaborative. When one of us does well, we help each other so we all do well.
“The lecturers and supervisors are dedicated and hardworking. They empathise with what students have going on inside and outside the university, creating a safe space to navigate their challenges.
“My advice to anyone considering this field of study is to do it if you care about people. Human behaviour is prevalent across all scopes of society, so the knowledge and understanding you will get through the programme will help you no matter what area you are passionate about.”