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Become a registered psychologist
The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice is your pathway to becoming a registered psychologist.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice (PGDipPsychPrac) is a professional qualification that prepares you to work as a registered psychologist.
This is an internship programme that will train you to be eligible for registration to practise under the Psychologist Scope of Practice, as defined by the New Zealand Psychologists Board.
The diploma comprises two courses of formal academic work and two of supervised practice.
You’ll get supervised training in the application of psychological theory and research to contemporary settings. Your training will be academically rigorous and will reflect the highest standards of ethical, safe and culturally competent practice.
During your internship you’ll function like a professional psychologist, but under close supervision. You’ll gain the skills and learn the responsibilities you need to later practise psychology independently.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice is available by distance learning – you can study wherever suits you. You’ll benefit from Massey’s established expertise in distance education.
The diploma can also be completed in any field of psychological practice. This broadens your opportunities to practise psychology in New Zealand society.
More psychology researchers and registered psychologists graduate from Massey than any other university in New Zealand. We’re connected to a wide range of community and statutory organisations. We produce unique and applied psychology research and training that’s recognised nationally and internationally. This expertise enhances the reputation of your degree and ensures your knowledge is relevant to today’s society.
Psychological practice isn’t limited to one-to-one services for designated clients with mental health challenges. As a graduate of this programme, you might use your psychology knowledge to provide psychotherapy or counselling to individuals who are unwell, or you could be providing a different type of psychological service to the public. Common areas of practice include health psychology, kaupapa Māori psychology, community development, working with youth, and rehabilitation psychology.
Our graduates typically work in their community in:
If you want to be a registered psychologist, you can explore your qualification options in our psychology pathways tool.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.
To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice you will:
You will need to provide the following documents:
An interview may be required - indicate on your application which location would suit you best if you are shortlisted: Auckland (Albany) or Palmerston North.
If your master’s or PhD thesis has not yet been examined, confirmation will be required from your supervisor that your thesis will be submitted no later than the first week in January and is likely to have a passing grade.
There are a limited number of places available. Meeting entry requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the programme. A shortlist of candidates will be selected and interview appointments will be advised. Depending on numbers, these panel interviews may be conducted in person at either Palmerston North or Auckland.
See more detail on these requirements below. If you have questions or would like more information on this programme, please contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 1 October 2020. All documentation, including referee reports, must be received by this date. Applications to clinical training also close on 1 October 2020.
You will need to provide detailed information about your professional goals and aspirations, and your understanding of the PGDipPP. Please download and complete the Supplementary Questions form as part of your online application. Once completed, save the file and upload it using the ‘Upload’ button.
Please prepare answers to the following questions. Answers should be brief, direct and to the point, whilst providing as much details as is needed to answer the question.
1. Do you have a possible internship placement worked out (at least in principle)? If ‘yes’ describe the nature of this internship. If ‘no’ outline what steps you are taking to obtain an internship position for the upcoming year.
2. Provide the name and qualifications of your proposed supervisor for this internship. Do you have a formal agreement from this individual?
3. The PGDipPP requires completion of academic course work; one of these courses is titled Advanced Principles of Professional Practice. Please outline what you consider your preparation to be for an advanced course of this kind. For example, have you completed Massey University course in Professional Practice 175.730? Have you taken a similar course elsewhere? What other activities have you undertaken in order to prepare yourself academically for professional practice?
4. Psychological practice in Aotearoa New Zealand generally follows a ‘scientist-practitioner’ model, broadly defined. Please describe your research experiences, and provide the abstract and title of your master’s (or doctoral) thesis. Comment on how this research experience has prepared you for practice in your professional area of choice.
5. Cultural competence is one of the requirements for a practicing psychologist in Aotearoa New Zealand, which includes bicultural understanding and knowledge – for example, understanding the role Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) plays in professional psychological practice. Please outline briefly your experiences, both formal and informal, that you believe has prepared you for functioning in a culturally competent manner. What additional types of training or experiences – if any – do you think you might need in this domain?
6. Please outline your longer-term career goals. How will your selected internship offer you the types of supervised experiences that will contribute to these goals?
7. Are there any circumstances in your past personal or professional life that might make you unsuited for registration as a psychologist with the Psychologists Board? This includes English language ability, criminal convictions, or prior rejection for registration in New Zealand. If yes, or uncertain, please explain. (Note, you should check the Psychologists Board website; when you apply for registration as an Intern Psychologist, they will require from you a Record of Criminal Convictions. The Board judges all applicants on a case-by-case basis.)
If the information you need to provide is personally sensitive, you may indicate that here but enquire with us to submit directly.
8. What would you identify as your major areas of need – from a training point of view – in order to take full opportunity of your internship year?
If selected for this programme, you will be required to apply for registration as an intern with the New Zealand Psychologists Board.
When you apply for registration as an intern, you will need to authorise the Registration Board to request a check of your Criminal Record with the New Zealand Police. If you have been resident overseas during the last five years, you will also need to provide the Board with a Police Clearance Certificate (such as FBI Criminal Conviction Information/Fingerprint Information in the USA) or an equivalent form detailing any convictions you have had in any country in which you have lived in the past five years. In that case, with your application to the university, you need to provide a copy of the letter(s) by which you have requested such certificates.
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
from the Schedule to the Diploma including:
Attend contact courses, block courses, workshops, tutorials, and laboratories as required.
See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
You must provide evidence that a minimum of 1500 hours practical work has been completed. This is to be provided in the form of an employer’s certificate of performance and is required prior to the examination in 175.852.
There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.
Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.