Psychology Major - Bachelor of Science

Want to understand people, and how they behave and think? The Psychology major in the Bachelor of Science prepares you for a career as a research scientist.

Study psychology to gain a better understanding of how people behave and think. In today’s workplaces, understanding people is a substantial advantage, regardless of your career. You can study psychology as a single major or as a double major with any other science subject.

Modern psychology is theoretical and experimental in nature, and current knowledge is based on observable and repeatable behavioural data. This can include counts of behaviours in animals and humans, and verbal accounts about emotions. That’s why the Psychology major includes practical work in laboratories or the field.

This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

Year 1

Complete the following courses

HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
PSYC502 Introduction to Psychology B

And at least one of

PSYC501 Introduction to Psychology A
PSYC580 Introduction to Psychology A

And at least two of

BIOL502 Plants and Animals
CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
ENVS501 Biodiversity
ENVS522 Our Dynamic Earth
ENVS523 Human Geography
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 courses

Complete the following course:
SCIE602 Research Techniques

And at least four of:
PSYC601 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC602 Social Psychology
PSYC603 Psychological Assessment
PSYC604 Personality
PSYC605 Brain and Behaviour
PSYC680 Individuals and Identities
PSYC681 Cognitive Psychology

Level 7 courses

Complete at least three of:
HEAL709 Advanced Research
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
PSYC780 Emotions and Human Nature
PSYC781 Applied issues in Cultural and Social Psychology

Plus five elective courses, or three electives and the Research Project course.

Workplace experience

In your final year you can enrol in the Research Project course (30 points) if you have at least a B grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve working on a project related to your major.

SCIE701 Research Project

Institutes and employer organisations involved include:

  • Airways
  • Auckland Council
  • Defence Technology Agency
  • Department of Conservation
  • Employment Relations Authority
  • Ministry of Transport
  • New Zealand Transport Agency
  • WorkSafe

Research scientist for private companies, and local and central government, including:

  • Airways
  • Auckland Council
  • Corrections Department New Zealand
  • Department of Conservation
  • Defence Technology Agency
  • Employment Relations Authority
  • Ministry of Transport
  • New Zealand Transport Agency
  • WorkSafe

*After completing a graduate diploma in education.


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

Psychology Careers

Key features
  • Useful skills in a large range of industries
  • Skills in testing behavioural theory
  • Opportunity to complete a major research project in your final year
See yourself as
  • Having creative problem-solving skills
  • Interested in how people think
  • Curious about what motivates human behaviour

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

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