Psychology: postgraduate papers and qualifications you can study

Charmaine Bright

Charmaine Bright
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology

An undergraduate qualification in psychology is necessary to enter the psychology postgraduate programme. The Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology qualification is the entry point for postgraduate study in psychology.

Following successful completion of the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology, students may apply for the Master of Health Science in Psychology in one of the following pathways:

  • Counselling Psychology (required for progression onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology)
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Positive Psychology

Below is a summary of each qualification. Detailed paper information is available on the contact details and paper information link below. For a comprehensive overview of these qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.


Contact details and paper information
A step by step process on how to enrol

 

Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology (AK3662) 120 points

Entry requirements for the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology:

  • Completed the Bachelor of Health Science (or an equivalent degree, such as Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology or Graduate Diploma in Psychology) with a B+ grade average or higher in level 7 (third year) Psychology papers. 

Students complete the following papers:

Compulsory papers:
589601 Psychological Theory and Practice (45 points)
589602 Therapeutic Theories and Skills (15 points)
589668 Dissertation (45 points)

And 1 research paper from:
589122 Quantitative Research II (15 points)
589124 Qualitative Research II (15 points)
589125 Integrative Research (15 points)

The Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) can be taken part-time but is not offered as a distance education option.

Master of Health Science in Psychology (Counselling Psychology pathway)
(AK3485) 240 points

Entry requirements for the Master of Health Science in Psychology (with the aim to subsquently enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology:

  • Completed the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology with a B grade average or higher (120 points).
  • Applicant must have personal qualities that show suitability for this programme, including supplying references and satisfying a police check.
  • A written submission is required that details the applicant's background, suitability and personal and professional experience. This is typically due by the end of October in the year preceding study.
  • An interview and participation in a group process will be required. Interviews are typically conducted in the last week of November/first week of December in the year preceding study. Applicants must be present in person for the interview.
The Master of Health Science in Psychology is a one year full-time course or two years part-time on application. 

Students complete:

Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology papers (120 points)

And complete the following papers:
589603 Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis (15 points)
589604 Psychological Intervention (30 points)
589605 Supervised Practicum (15 points)*
589616 Practice Research Project (60 points)

*Supervised Practicum is offered as a 7 week block course (5 days per week).

FAQs regarding Counselling Psychology

Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology (AK1232) 120 points

The AUT postgraduate programme in Counselling Psychology provides a pathway towards application for registration as a Counselling Psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists Board*.

Counselling Psychology is a sub-specialty within psychology that focuses on health and wellbeing, and collaboration between psychologist and client to achieve desired mental health outcomes. Counselling psychologists acknowledge the importance of medical, psychosocial and cultural perspectives in understanding and explaining both the formation of mental illness and problem behaviour, and in understanding, explaining and implementing the treatment and caring regimes to sensitively address illness and problem issues.
                                                      
For counselling psychologists research and practice are not distinct activities. Counselling psychology is committed to building on the concept of scientist-practitioner by producing:
•    Practitioners informed by research findings
•    A science informed by practice issues

Students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology, followed by the Master of Health Science in Psychology, may enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology, subject to registration with the NZ Psychologists’ Board as an intern psychologist, and the securement of a suitable internship position (AUT has a number of internship providers, but agencies tend to interview for these positions). Note that in some cases, a further interview for selection into the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology may be required.

Direct entry into the PgDip in Counselling Psychology is not possible as the MHSc/PgDip is offered as an integrated package.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology internship is an integral part of the programme and is a full year of practice (4 days a week working in a practice setting – the equivalent of 1,500 hours as required by the Psychologists’ Board) and 1 day a week on campus at AUT North Campus.

Students complete:
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology papers (120 points
Master of Health Science in Psychology (120 points)

And the following papers alongside the 1,500 practice hours:
589606 Theories of Counselling Psychology (15 points)
589607 Professional Frameworks, Issues and Applications (15 points)
589608 Counselling Psychology Internship A (45 points)
589609 Counselling Psychology Internship B (45 points)

Master of Health Science in Psychology (Rehabilitation Psychology pathway)
(AK3485) 240 points

Rehabilitation psychology focuses on applying psychological knowledge and skills when working with individuals experiencing injury or illness in order to maximise health, independence and choice across the lifespan.

With knowledge and skills in rehabilitation psychology, graduates will be able to engage in a broad range of activities including consultation, programme development, service provision, research, teaching, training, administration, development of public policy and advocacy specialising in working with people experiencing injury and illness.

Students complete:
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology papers (120 points)

And complete the following papers:
PSYC805 Rehabilitation Psychology (15 points)
589597 Thesis (90 points)

And complete 15 points from one of the following options:
588558 Disability and Health (15 points)
589117 Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology (15 points)
589700 Concepts of Rehabilitation (15 points)
589712 Measuring Health and Wellbeing (15 points)
PSYC801 Advanced Positive Psychology (15 points)

FAQs regarding Rehabilitation Psychology

Master of Health Science in Psychology (Positive Psychology pathway)
(AK3485) 240 points

Positive psychology focuses on the optimal functioning of individuals, teams, organisations and communities. Topics studied include psychological wellbeing, ‘flow’, positive emotions, hope, meaning, resilience, human strengths, happiness, and savouring, amongst others.

Graduates may go on to undertake careers and roles as, for example, wellbeing researchers, educators, policy advisors, advocacy, mental and physical health support workers, wellbeing counsellors, and coaches in long-term care facilities, schools, organisations, and other private wellbeing and assessment providers.

Students complete:
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Psychology papers (120 points)

And complete the following practice focused papers:
PSYC801 Advanced Positive Psychology (15 points)
PSYC802 Strengths and Positive Communities (15 points)
PSYC803 Positive Organisation (15 points)
PSYC804 Positive Interventions (15 points)
589616 Practice Research Project (60 points)

Or complete the following research focused papers:

589597 Thesis (90 points)
and 30 points from the following:
PSYC801 Advanced Positive Psychology (15 points)
PSYC802 Strengths and Positive Communities (15 points)
PSYC803 Positive Organisation (15 points)
PSYC804 Positive Interventions (15 points)

FAQs regarding Positive Psychology

Research in Psychology

Other options are available for students interested in conducting research within psychology with a view to ultimately completing a PhD (or Master of Philosophy). A postgraduate qualification in psychology equips individuals with excellent research skills that can be used to examine topics within psychology and beyond. This is best suited for students who want a professional research or academic career.
 

Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Mental Health and Addictions

These coursework programmes provide students with the opportunity to undertake postgraduate study in the field of mental health and addictions.

Read more about the postgraduate programmes in mental health and addictions

Doctor of Health Science

The Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) is designed for health professionals with at least five years’ professional experience who wish to broaden their professional practice competency and expertise. It comprises of papers and research development, which culminates in a thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is undertaken by research only. There is no compulsory coursework involved. The PhD is an advanced postgraduate degree that is particularly suitable for students wishing to pursue an academic or research career. A successful candidate will make a significant original contribution to the body of knowledge in relation to a contemporary issue in health and environmental research. Students will have supervisors to guide and advise them, with one assigned as the primary supervisor. 

* This is the only postgraduate psychology pathway that leads to registration with the New Zealand Psychologists Board and allows you to practice as a psychologist.

Last updated: 01-Dec-2015 11.26am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.