PSYCHOLOGY IN AOTEAR.. \ Studying Psychology

Studying Psychology


There are a number of opportunities to study psychology in New Zealand. The following New Zealand academic institutions offer psychology programmes.

Careers in psychology

There are various career opportunities open to those with post-graduate psychology qualifications in New Zealand. These opportunities are in the public sector, health services, university and other educational institutions and a large number of psychologists are in private practice. Psychologists are also employed in a wide range of workplaces, and many practise privately as independent contractors and consultants.

For comprehensive information about psychology careers see the NZ Govt Careers Services website Careerservices Rapuara

Specialisations in psychology - read more on the Careers in Psychology page

Clinical Psychologists are concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide range of psychological and general health problems affecting adults, children and families. Many clinical psychologists are employed by health authorities working in psychiatric clinics and hospitals, general and rehabilitation hospitals, community health centres, specialist agencies (for example, caring for people with physical or mental disabilities, people with drug and alcohol addictions) and research centres. An increasing number of clinical psychologists also offer private clinical psychological services.

Clinical Neuropsychologists specialise in the assessment and diagnosis of brain impairment and how this affects thinking skills, emotions, behaviour and personality. They are also involved in the rehabilitation and management of the effects of brain impairment and often work with other allied health professionals. Most clinical neuropsychologists are employed in major hospitals, rehabilitation centres, psychiatric services and private practice.

Community Psychologists are mainly concerned with community issues and with creating social change to prevent or improve human problems. Many community psychologists work in community-based agencies developing strong, competent and resilient local neighbourhoods. Some work in areas of social need such as with the homeless and people who are socially, mentally or physically disadvantaged.

Counselling Psychologists provide assessment, counselling and therapy to individuals, couples, families, groups and organisations. They often work in educational or vocational settings, or other health and welfare services and private practice. Their clients are, in general, people trying to cope with everyday stresses and the resulting emotional and social problems.

Educational and Developmental Psychologists provide assessment, intervention and counselling services relevant to the management of developmental and educational issues across the lifespan. Specialisations include early intervention, disability, problems of learning and adjustment in schools, career and family development, lifespan transitions and ageing. The Ministry of Education is a major employer of psychologists in their special education service.

Forensic Psychologists apply psychological knowledge to assessment, intervention and research in the legal and criminal justice system. They provide expert opinion to the courts in such matters as criminal behaviour, child abuse and custody disputes. They work in forensic settings such as prisons and detention centres.

Health Psychology is a rapidly developing field of psychology that involves understanding human behaviour in the context of health and illness. Like other specialty areas of psychology, it is a large field and covers areas such as: how individuals cope with illness and chronic disease, psychological influences on the development of disease states, understanding and improving adjustment in health care settings, patient - practitioner communication, adherence to treatment, determinants of health-related behaviours (diet, exercise etc), and understanding how individuals make sense of and react to health screening, symptoms, and illness.

Organisational Psychologists are concerned with people functioning effectively in relation to their working environments. Their areas of expertise include recruitment and selection, training, appraisal and review, vocational guidance and career development, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, planning technological and organisation change, organisational behaviour, ergonomics, job redesign and marketing.

Sport Psychologists provide psychological assistance to people involved in sport and exercise at all levels that are seeking to function more effectively through enhanced achievement, enjoyment and social interaction. Sport Psychology services focus on performance enhancement, personal development, and wellbeing and adjustment skills. Sport Psychologists work with individual athletes, coaches and teams, and often function as part of a multi-disciplinary sport science and medicine team. Employment opportunities exist in sports institutes, tertiary institutions and private practice.
Scientific categories for Psychologists

Academic Psychologists work in tertiary institutions, are concerned with research and provide the academic training of psychologists. A good record of research and increasingly a PhD qualification are necessary to gain employment in this area.

Research Psychologists use skills in statistics, research design, and in computing and data analysis. They may work in government departments, management institutes, market research, media and public opinion research.

The Society would like to thank the Australian Psychological Society for permission to use the text of their brochure "Careers in Psychology" from which this information has been drawn. Information has also been drawn information from the website of the New Zealand Health Psychology Practitioners Association.