Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau is the largest city in New Zealand. With over 1.5 million people, it is a fast-paced and dynamic place that is always on the move. What gives Auckland a big advantage compared to other large cities around the world is that it is surrounded by beaches, forests, and is just a couple of hours away from landscapes straight out of Narnia (Cathedral Cove). For those looking for a great balance of work and play, there is something for everyone in this city.

Catherdral Cove New Zealand
Auckland has great universities to study psychology and easy access to beautiful places. | Unsplash - Maddison Fantillo

One of the drawbacks is the cost of living, in 2021 the average cost of a 3-bedroom house was just over $600 per week, so around $200  for a room excluding expenses. It is not cheap. Studylink provides help with a student loan living costs payments of a maximum of $281.96  per week. Remember this is a loan and whatever you borrow you will need to pay back. For those who meet the requirements for the student allowance, you can only apply for the student loan if your student allowance is under $281.96. For more information read carefully through the Studylink website.

For studying psychology three universities in Auckland stand out, the University of Auckland, Massey University and the Auckland University of Technology. The courses are not the same and neither are the universities. They vary in location, size, and choice of courses. Have a read through this guide to get an overview of each of the universities and check out their websites for more in-depth details.

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Studying Psychology at the Auckland University of Technology

The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has been a heavy hitter in the University circle for a few years. With around 29,000 students from New Zealand and abroad, it boasts three campuses across Auckland. With a ranking of second equal in New Zealand by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2022 and ranked between 201-250 band of Universities across the globe, AUT has an impressive international record. But what about studying psychology there?

Undergraduate Psychology options with the Auckland University of Technology

AUT offers three pathways for undergraduate study. One of the pathways is a Bachelor of Arts that explores human behaviour, and what we as humans need to thrive within the context of where we work, our lives and the influences of society. Within this area, you will be introduced to a range of different specialisations within psychology. You will also need to choose a second major to be considered a full-time student with this pathway.

Eggs with faces drawn on them
There are many different pathways for you to take when you study psychology | Unsplash - Tengyart

Another pathway is to study psychology as a Bachelor of Health Science. With this route, you gain an understanding of psychological theory and research. This includes related ethical and legal issues. Within this stream, there are Te ara Hauora Māori health courses. These papers are about how to work more effectively and comfortably with Māori and their whanau. AUT recommends including at least one Te ara Hauora Māori course in your studies.

For those interested more in research, a Bachelor of Science will set you down the right track. This route is particularly interesting for those of you who are interested in practical work in laboratories or the field. This can be studied as a single major or a double, but the second major should come from another science subject.

Postgraduate Psychology options with the Auckland University of Technology

For those of you wanting to further your studies, AUT has an impressive range of postgraduate options. The options available to you can be determined by what degree you choose to do. So double-check with an academic advisor that you are on the right pathway for the future profession you want. Some of the options are; Honours: psychology pathway, Masters of Health Science, Masters of Health Science in Psychology and post-graduate diplomas in rehabilitation or counselling.

Studying Psychology at the University of Auckland

With eight campuses located around the country and five located in Auckland, the University of Auckland offers an immense range of options for University students. With 40,000 students attending their courses, the University of Auckland is the largest in New Zealand.

With a ranking of 87 out of 1000 Universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 42 out of the top 50 for psychology, the University of Auckland was the highest-ranked university in New Zealand Aotearoa in 2021.

For those who have a clear direction of what field you would like to enter in, the University of Auckland has a range of university-led clinics and centres of research. This includes partnerships with the Centre for Brain Research, Brain Research New Zealand and Clinics such as the Eisdell Moore Centre, Psychology Clinic, and the Speech-language Therapy Clinic.

Undergraduate Psychology options with the University of Auckland

For those of you entering Undergraduate study, there is no need to make any big decisions in your first year, except for what statistics course you want to take. In regards to specialising, you will study general psychology and will have more choice in papers in your second and third year. This is where it is important to talk to an academic advisor. They will help you pick the right papers you need to make the transition into your preferred master's course more streamlined.

Auckland tower from park - M.Kaercher from Gety
Auckland has two leading universities with strong psychology departments | Getty - M.Kaercher

There are two main pathways for undergraduates to take, a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, both requiring you to major in Psychology. Often the difference between the two is what bachelor's you would prefer to graduate with and if you decide to have two majors. For those who wish to continue with their studies, there is a range of graduate and post-graduate courses available.

Postgraduate Psychology options with the University of Auckland

So what exactly can you study at Auckland University? Once you have completed your bachelor's, you have the option to continue and do honours, post-graduate diplomas, masters and even doctoral study. There are three main subjects to continue your studies in. One is the Science route where you study clinical psychology, another is health psychology in the Medical and Health Sciences domain, and Psychology in the Arts/Science.

Studying Psychology at Massey University

With the original campus built in Palmerston North, Massey University expanded out to Wellington and Auckland in the 1990s and is known for its strengths in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities and Science and Health. The Auckland Campus has a lot going for it, including its award-winning accommodation complex Te Ōhanga Village. While more than 30% of the students at the Auckland Campus are postgraduate, it also has undergraduates majoring in Psychology.

Undergraduate Psychology options with Massey University

With world-class researchers and lectures to guide you, Massey University Auckland Campus offers two pathways to study Psychology. It can be done as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. This may seem similar to the other universities but Massey lets students specialise earlier in their major. Within a Bachelor of Arts, you can major in Psychology, Educational Psychology or Business Psychology. Within the Bachelor of Science, you can major in Psychology. There is also a range of Diplomas in Arts specialising in Indigenous Studies, Psychology and Educational Psychology that let you experience university study before you start your degree and can also help advance your career.

University lecture hall
There are a wide range of Psychology courses in Auckland, It is about finding the right one for you | Unsplash - Dom Fou

Undergraduate Psychology options with Massey University

If you wish to continue your studies in Psychology, the Auckland Campus has options to suit your needs. From Masters degree, which builds on the knowledge you have gained in your undergraduate degree to Doctoral studies, which are the highest and most demanding degrees Massey University awards, it is right here at the Auckland Campus. Check with a student advisor about what are the options best suited for you and your goals.

Where you can find support

If you are unsure where exactly you want to study or what courses you want to take, attending the open days are a great idea. That way you can check out the campus, speak to current students, and just a general idea of the place you may be spending the next 3 to 8 years. If Auckland isn't for you, check out guides on other cities to study psychology.

For those who are unable to attend, get in contact with the academic advisers. They can help you create a pathway, give you an idea of the course load you will be doing, and provide information on student housing. Speak to both universities to find out which one suits you more as a learner and what supports they have in place to support your learning.

Once you have chosen your pathway, Superprof can help you find the right tutor to support your learning. Whether that be for revision, exam preparation, or to improve your understanding or skills within certain subjects, you can find what you are looking for with Superprof.

 

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