Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour. It is a wide subject that ranges from a scientific approach to one that is more personal, as psychologists create theories based on data, varying from counts of simple behaviour in animals to verbal reports of emotions and feelings in people. It can be strongly theoretical or highly practical.

Areas of study

The School of Psychology is a large department with over 50 staff located at the City and Tāmaki campuses. Our school has an excellent research record focused in areas such as social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, child development, learning, IWO (industrial, work and organisational) psychology, and psychological and developmental disabilities, and well equipped laboratories to facilitate world class research and student learning. Staff members are also actively involved with social and mental health services, and/or work places, providing opportunities for learning and research in the community. The School offers a lively and interesting educational experience.

You can study Psychology in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Bachelor of Science
Studying Psychology will equip you with an understanding of how people, and sometimes animals, think, feel and behave. You will learn about the brain and how it works, understand the way people respond to everyday and unusual situations, and consider theories on why individuals are different from each other with regard to personality and intelligence and why some people suffer from mental health disorders. Laboratory or field work is an important part of psychology and you will develop practical skills in these areas.

Bachelor of Arts
Psychology is concerned with aspects of how humans think, feel and behave. One important area is the brain and how it works. You can try to understand how people respond to everyday and unusual situations, such as work environments, illness and other stressful life events. You can also examine why individuals have different personalities and intelligence levels, and why some people suffer from mental health disorders.

As part of your study of Psychology you will undertake practical work in the laboratory or field.

Psychology could be especially useful combined with Anthropology, Education, Linguistics, Māori Studies, Sociology or Employment Relations and Organisation Studies.

Career opportunities

Many avenues open up to graduates with training in psychology. These may include mental health, research, industry and marketing, education or counselling. Jobs are available in the business environment involving the use of psychological tests, statistical analyses, or survey and questionnaire development. Staff recruitment, human resources, personnel training and evaluation are also areas which employ a lot of psychology graduates. Research careers can be developed in neural function and cognitive science. Many positions, for example as psychologists in private practice, require registration with a professional organisation. Registered psychologists work in many aspects of mental health care, and clinical psychology.

More information

Find out more about studying Psychology as part of a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts.