Undergraduate study in Psychology

What can you study in Psychology?

You can study Psychology as a major in the Bachelor of Science (BSc), a specialisation in the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (BAdvSci(Hons)) or a major in the Bachelor of Arts (BA). You can find out more about these options further down this page.

Some of the topics you’ll study include:

  • Cognitive science
  • Human neuroscience
  • Learning and behaviour
  • Mind, brain and behaviour
  • Perception and cognition
  • Psychology and gender
  • Social psychology

Meet our student

Rodolfo Villanueva is studying a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Psychology. Watch the video below and hear what he has to say about what it's like to be an undergraduate Psychology student.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Psychology

As a BSc Psychology student you’ll study a variety of approaches to the discipline, ranging from the quantitative to the qualitative and personalised, and the theoretical to the practical.

Modern psychologists base their theories on observable and repeatable behavioural data, ranging from counts of simple behaviour in animals to verbal reports of emotions and feelings in humans. As a result, practical work in the laboratory or field is an essential part of your major.

As part of your major you’ll complete a capstone course, PSYCH 399 Communicating Psychology, where you’ll work independently and in small groups to communicate psychological ideas and research using a range of media, including grant proposals, podcasts and print.  

Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (BAdvSci(Hons)) specialising in Psychology

As a BAdvSci(Hons) Psychology student you’ll take courses from a range of disciplines within Psychology, from social and applied psychology, to behavioural psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience and cultural psychology.

In your second year you’ll have the chance to specialise further as you take advancedcourses that will prepare you for research at postgraduate level. In your fourth year you’ll complete a practical research project under the direction of an academic supervisor, which will prepare you for entry into doctoral study or the workforce.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Psychology

Psychology as a BA major enables you to study how people think, feel and behave. You will learn how the brain works, how children develop, and how people interact with their world. You can explore aspects of behaviour and wellbeing, such as how people cope with stressful life events. You can also study human personality and intelligence, and people’s experiences of mental illness.

You can combine your BA major in Psychology with any other BA major that interests you. Some majors go particularly well with Psychology, such as Criminology, Sociology, Communication or Anthropology.

Structuring your programme in Psychology

If you began your degree prior to 2019 we recommend you seek advice to make sure you are taking the correct courses. Contact the Science Student Centre at scifac@auckland.ac.nz.

Where can undergraduate study in Psychology take you?

Many avenues open up to graduates with training in psychology. Registered psychologists work in many aspects of mental health care and clinical psychology.

Jobs are available in the business environment involving the use of psychological tests, statistical analyses, or survey and questionnaire development. Staff recruitment, personnel training and evaluation are also areas that employ a lot of psychology graduates. Research careers can be developed in neural function and cognitive science.

Jobs related to Psychology

  • Clinician
  • HR specialist
  • Mental health practitioner
  • Psychologist
  • Researcher
  • Staff recruiter

Help and advice

For further information and advice concerning the BSc and BAdvSci(Hons), please contact the Science Student Centre.

Science Student Centre
Level G, Room G 20
(beside the entrance to the Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre)
Building 301
23 Symonds Street
Auckland 1010

Phone: +64 9 923 7020
Email: scifac@auckland.ac.nz
Web: www.psych.auckland.ac.nz

For further information and advice concerning the BA, please contact the Arts Students' Centre.

Arts Students' Centre
Room G02
Mona Building 216
16 Symonds Street

Email: asc@auckland.ac.nz
Web: www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/asc