Psychology Major - Bachelor of Arts

Psychology is the study of human behaviour. It explores what humans need to develop and thrive. This major looks at psychology within the context of our society, where we live and work.

An understanding of psychology is useful for a wide range of careers – including career and employment counselling, community development, management, marketing and communications, politics, public health promotion, or training and development. The Psychology major can also provide the foundation for the postgraduate studies required for registration as a psychologist.

This is part of the Bachelor of Arts.

This major introduces you to the main areas of psychology including cognitive, personality, clinical and social psychology. It takes a hands-on approach and provides you with research, assessment and intervention skills.

Core papers

All students in the Bachelor of Arts complete core papers. In this major, you study:
COMM570 Academic Communication
CLSY504 Knowledge and Inquiry
CLSY500 Culture and Society
COMM604 Communicating

Psychology papers

Papers you could take over your three years of study include:
PSYC580 Introduction to Psychology A
HEAL504 Psychology and Lifespan Development
PSYC502 Introduction to Psychology B
PSYC680 Individuals and Identities
PSYC681 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC683 Foundations in Psychological Inquiry
PSYC602 Social Psychology
PSYC601 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC603 Psychological Assessment
PSYC604 Personality
PSYC605 Brain and Behaviour
PSYC780 Emotions and Human Nature
PSYC781 Applied Issues in Cultural and Social Psychology
PSYC782 Research Project
PSYC701 Experimental and Applied Behaviour Analysis
PSYC702 Critical Evaluation in Psychology
PSYC703 Experimental and Applied Behaviour Analysis II
PSYC704 Biopsychology
PSYC705 Positive Psychology
PSYC706 Health Psychology
PSYC707 Approaches to Psychological Intervention

Workplace experience

Workplace experience (Work Integrated Learning) is the final part of your degree and takes a full semester. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s), for an organisation of your choice.

Recent placements included:

  • Affinity Services
  • Anxiety New Zealand
  • Auckland City Mission
  • Auckland District Health Board
  • Idea Services
  • Red Cross
  • Women’s Health Action

  • Career and employment counselling
  • Community development
  • Management
  • Marketing and communications
  • Politics
  • Psychologist*
  • Public health promotion
  • Training and development

* Psychologists are professionals who have completed undergraduate studies in psychology, followed by postgraduate qualifications in a specialist area of professional practice in psychology. Careers include: child or educational psychologist, clinical psychologist, counselling psychologist, forensic psychologist and organisational psychologist.

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Psychology Careers

Key features
  • Covers the main areas of psychology: cognitive, personality, clinical and social psychology
  • Opens up a wide range of careers
  • Workplace experience in a community organisation or business
  • Industry links: Mason Clinic - Forensic Psychiatry Services, Department of Corrections and Waitemata District Health Board
See yourself as
  • Empathetic and ethical
  • Interested in the behaviour of people
  • Analytical and organised
  • Questioning and enquiring

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