Wellington, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Pōneke, the capital of New Zealand. Located at the bottom of the North Island, it is a city known for the arts, cultures, politicians, and some intense wind. But don’t let 120 kmph wind sweep you up, this thriving capital has a university campus that teaches Psychology at an undergraduate level. So what is so great about Wellington?

While the fact Wellington is the world’s windiest city by average wind speed (it is not called windy Wellington for nothing) may not be appealing to a lot of people, this city has a lot to offer. With a range of art galleries and weirdly the most coffee shops per capita in the world, for those who like the arts, there is something here for you not to mention the City Gallery which hosts a wide range of exhibitions for local artists and abroad.

Live band playing
Wellington has great nightlife as well providing a great place to study Psychology | Unsplash - Rahul Kukreja

For those looking for a bit of nightlife, there is a range of theatres including The Hannah Playhouse, Bats, Circa, St James and the Wellington Town Hall. That is not including the range of theatre productions produced and starred by university students.

For the music lovers, there are a range of venues from the more cosy atmosphere of Meow, the San Francisco Bathhouse, and Bodega (well if you think 500 people is cosy), to the large venues such as Michael Fowler Centre, St James Theatre, the TSB area, and the largest of them all, the Westpac Stadium.

From a range of cheap eats to fine dining, cafés to restaurants, bars to breweries, nightclubs to beaches. Wellington has most of it all within walking distance. Unlike other larger cities, the natural environment limits the spread of the city so the city is easily accessible by foot or public transport.

Like Auckland, one of the downfalls of this young city is the cost of living. With limited space, there is competition for housing and the prices are not super friendly. However, universities do offer student housing, especially for first-year students so check out their websites for more information.

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Victoria University of Wellington

Ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for a range of subjects, including psychology, three main campuses in Wellington and a number of research centres and institutes across the country, Victoria University offers great options for students. With around 22,000 students and ranked among the top 300 universities out of 18,000 across the world, it has attracted many domestic and international students.

Houses in Wellington
Finding the right Psychology programme for you is step number 1, step number 2 is finding your place | Unsplash - Robert Calvert

Undergraduate study at Victoria University

When studying psychology at Victoria University, you have three different bachelor's you can do. Each bachelor has its own set of course requirements and for those who are thinking of doing postgraduate study, it is better if your bachelor's degree aligns with your postgraduate study. In order to see if you are on the right track, work backwards from your end goal so you can see the steps you need to take in order to get there.

All three Bachelors will be completed at the Kelburn campuses if you decide to take a second major you may have to move across campuses. Luckily the three main Wellington campuses, Kemburn, Pipitea and Te Aro, are all within walking distance.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

In order to complete a Bachelor of Science, there is a range of subject requirements. This pathway has a strong practical focus with field trips, experience in hands-on laboratories, and opportunities for summer scholarships. In regards to the core or compulsory courses, you will need to take a 100-level course in either Econometrics, Mathematics, Physics, or Statistics.

The points work as stepping stones, the first is to make sure you have met the requirements of your major, and then you make sure you have met the requirements for your bachelor's.  Psychology is an approved course for a Bachelor of Science however you cannot double major with Education and Psychology or Health Psychology. This bachelor's suits students who wish to double major with a course from the Science department

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Arts, Humanities and Social Science programmes at Victoria University are ranked first in New Zealand and in the top 1% per cent worldwide. It is a strong department and this bachelor suits students looking to double major with a course from the Social Sciences department such as Criminology. This pathway will enable you to challenge ideas, expand your understanding of the world and give insights into a range of social sciences such as language, culture, history, politics, and more.

There is a difference between the pathways in regards to the number of psychology courses you need to complete, the price, and the options available to you in postgraduate study. Make sure you take the time to read through the requirements so you can make the best choice for yourself. 

Bachelor of Health (BHlth)

A Bachelor of Health is in itself one of your majors. This pathway gives students the expertise in health services, social health and population health, health policy and strategy in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad.

Unlike the other two pathways, you have five courses that will introduce you to concepts of health and wellbeing, health policy and services, statistical analysis and human biology, anatomy and physiology. You then have three courses you can choose from but need to meet the entry requirements of your second and third-year courses.

Within this pathway, you will be studying Health Psychology which is different from the other two degrees. It gets complicated quickly so speak to an academic advisor to help you navigate your way.

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Psychology has a range of Postgraduate options available so you can continue your studies | Unsplash - Caleb Woods
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Postgraduate study at Victoria University

When studying psychology, Victoria University of Wellington has a range of post-graduate options ranging from graduate diplomas, Graduate Certificates, Honours programmes and Masters. This is where the details become important, for example, to gain entrance into the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, you need to have a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology or a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology with an A- grade. 

Victoria University offers postgraduate courses in Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience, Cross-Cultural Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

Studying Psychology with Massey University

Massey University has three campuses spread across New Zealand. While starting in Palmerston North, they have spread out to Wellington and Auckland. For those of you wishing to study with Massey, you can study by distance and online.

For those who wish to attend in person, Massey University Wellington’s campus offers both courses in a Master of Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Often Universities allow students to start postgraduate study with them even if they completed their undergraduate at another university. The best thing to do is to speak with an academic advisor to see if your qualifications transfer across. Check out our guide on Auckland if you want to more about Massey.

Studying Psychology with Otago University

Otago University has campuses across the country with its main campus residing in Dunedin. At the Wellington campus, there is a range of postgraduate options. If you wish to continue your study at Otago University, you need to check that your courses transfer across as they do not offer undergraduate courses in psychology on this campus.

What next?

Once you have made the difficult choice of where and what you would like to study, it is time to get organised. If you are looking to move to Wellington start looking at flats or checking out the student accommodation available. It is also a good idea to check out the scholarships offered to help bring down the costs of your study or help cover some of the expenses such as books and laptops.

Once you are ready to go, Superprof can help you stay on track with your studies with a wide range of tutors that support you through specific courses, and exam revision, and can help you understand different ideas you come across. Check out Superprof today to find the tutor right for you.

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