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Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Selected entry - applications close 1 October
  • One year full-time study
  • Not available for international students

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

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Entry requirements

This is a selected entry programme. Applications close 1 October of the preceding year. To be considered for this programme, all documentation, including referee reports, must be received by 1 October.

To be considered for selection you must:

  1. have been awarded a Master’s degree in Psychology which includes a 120-credit thesis or a Doctoral degree in Psychology.
  2. be in employment (paid or unpaid) in a work place where activities require engagement in psychologically based practice.
  3. have arranged for approved supervision in the field.
  4. meet the requirements set down by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as being a fit and proper person to be registered.

Please note: There are a limited number of places available. Meeting entry requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the programme.

The School of Psychology Graduate Prospectus and web pages contain detailed information regarding this programme.

Documentation required (to be uploaded when applying):

  • A verified academic transcript showing the completion of 240 credits at Postgraduate/Masterate level, including a 120 credit thesis or a Doctoral degree in Psychology (not required if completed at Massey University).  If your 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.
  • The title and abstract of your Master’s thesis
  • A current CV or resume detailing your relevant training and experience
  • A passport size photograph
  • A copy of Criminal Conviction request letters if applicable (refer below)
  • A brief personal statement (500 words or less) which includes your reasons for seeking a career in Psychology. You may also wish to list your perceived strengths as well as the skills you will bring to your studies and training as a Psychologist
  • A supporting statement from whanau/family (optional)
  • The name, occupation and email address of two referees. ( will be automatically contacted to supply a confidential reference. Your references must be received by 1 October.).

To ensure you are well prepared for your application, the questions below have been provided to enable you to collate your responses well in advance of your application.

Application & Supplementary Questions:

  1. Please provide a copy of your NZ Police Vetting request. (NZ Police – https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/pvs-vetting-request-and-consent-form.doc)
  2. If you have lived overseas you will need to provide 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 5 years. In that instance, you need to provide a copy of your request(s) for this information with your application to the programme. (OS Police)
  3. If you are shortlisted for an interview, which location would suit you best? Auckland (Albany) or Palmerston North? Interviews will probably be held in early November.

The School of Psychology requires you 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.

Any information that you consider sensitive and that you would prefer to submit directly to the School, can be emailed to Jo Stevenson at J.Stevenson@massey.ac.nz.

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 submit it independently to the School of Psychology. Please contact Jo Stevenson (J.Stevenson@massey.ac.nz) for advice on how to do that.
  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?


A short-list 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.

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 NZ 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 5 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 students whose qualifying degree was not completed at an English-speaking university, demonstration of English language competence (equivalent to an overall IELTS score of at least 7.5 with no band lower than 7.0) is required.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Planning your programme

Applications will be considered by the selection panel. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and a final selection made. Applicants will be advised of the outcome and successful applicants can then enrol in the relevant courses.

Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Practice structure

Students will pass a total of 120 credits from the programme schedule shown below AND produce evidence that a minimum 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.

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates


All courses are 30 credits each unless otherwise indicated.

175.851 Advanced Professional Issues in Psychological Practice Part I
175.852 Advanced professional Issues in Psychological Practice Part II
175.853 Practicum in Psychological Practice Part I
175.854 Practicum in Psychological Practice Part II

Note: Please do not apply for courses until you have received confirmation advising you have been selected into the programme.

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your courses, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the courses you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some courses there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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