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Masters in Psychology in New Zealand: All You Need to Know

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in psychology in New Zealand is a 1 - 2-year degree offered by 5 universities under various programs. Some of the popular ones are health psychology, educational psychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology etc. 

  • Tuition fees of masters in psychology from New Zealand universities range between 8,394 - 28,034 USD per annum. 
  • Successful graduates working in this sector earn an average of 40,983 USD annually. 
  • Students with a bachelor's degree in similar fields are eligible to apply for a postgraduate program in psychology in New Zealand universities.

Why Study Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

  • Due to its high-quality education, New Zealand is included among the 20 countries for studying abroad
  • All 6 universities offering masters in psychology in New Zealand rank globally between 50 - 266, according to QS Ranking of 2020 for this course.
  • Compared to other countries like the US, the visa application process is faster and takes not more than 30 days.
  • Demand for clinical psychologists is listed on the Immigration New Zealand's long term skill shortage list. The government of this country actively encourages professionals skilled in this industry to work here. 
  • The demand for professionals in this field is projected to grow at an average of 1.3% till 2028. 
  • With the number of referrals to psychologists in New Zealand increasing and employers in rural areas finding it hard to recruit, the demand for graduates in this field is showing no signs of slowing down. 
  • Many universities offer masters in psychology programs for a duration of 1 year. This not just saves overall cost compared to 2 or 3-year programs but allows students to enter the job industry earlier. 
  • Demand for psychologists globally is high, making the degree worth the investment for students. 


Duration1 - 3 year
EligibilityBachelor’s or diploma in similar fields and minimum English language proficiency.
Course Fee8,394 USD - 28,034 USD per annum
Average Salary20,581 USD - 56,144 USD annually.
Job ProfileClinical psychology, Counselling psychology, Forensic psychology, Educational psychology, Organisational psychology, Health psychology, Community psychology, Child and family psychology
Types of Recruiting OrganizationsOffices, hospitals and health care services, schools and universities, prisons, residential and community organizations, and homes
Similar fields of study to considerEducation, sociological studies, counseling, speech-language therapy

Top Universities for Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

Following are the top universities in New Zealand that offer masters in psychology with their QS Ranking of 2020 for this program:

Name of institutionQS Ranking 2020Program Offered & DurationYearly Course Fee (USD)
University of Auckland40Master of Health Psychology; 2 years27,502
University of Otago51 - 100MS in Cognitive Science; 1 year24,225
Victoria University of Wellington51 - 100Master Educational Psychology, 1.3 years28,034
MS in Cross-Cultural Psychology; 1.3 years27,942
MS in Forensic Psychology; 1 year28,034
Massey University201 - 250Master Educational and Development Psychology; MS in Psychology; 2 years26,994
University of Waikato266Master of Applied Psychology: Community Psychology;
2 years

Apart from the above-mentioned universities, University of Canterbury offers Postgraduate Diploma in Child & Family Psychology and Clinical Psychology. The duration of these programs is 2 and 3 years respectively. Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Psychology costs 8,394 USD per annum while Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology has annual fees of 10,591 USD. 

About Masters in Psychology in New Zealand: What to Expect

Masters in psychology is a branch of science that seeks to analyse cognitive, social, behavioral, and mental processes in humans or animals. A rapidly developing field, it is a scientific approach to the complex functioning of the brain and its development. It is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a wide range of psychological disorders. A student seeking masters in this field will be taught to: 

  • Think independently and critically of issues related to psychology
  • Learn about key methodologies, important findings, and major theories related to this subject. 
  • Learn how to distinguish between genuine and implausible suspect claims.

Admission Process for Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

International students who wish to pursue a masters in psychology are required to have a bachelor's degree in same or related fields. To secure admission in a master's program in a popular New Zealand university offering this course, one must take English proficiency exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or PTE

Eligibility for Master of Psychology in New Zealand Admission

The minimum requirement in bachelors, GPA scores and application deadlines for top universities offering masters in psychology in New Zealand is provided below: 

CollegeBachelors RequirementDeadline
University of AucklandBachelor in Arts/ Science with a major in Psychology;
GPA 5.0 or higher in the final year.
Rolling Admission
University of OtagoBachelor's with psychology major or equivalent.January 31
Victoria University of WellingtonBachelor's with a major in Psychology or similar;
Average grade B or above in all UG final courses.
January 12
Massey UniversityBachelor’s in Education/ Psychology/ related discipline;
Grade average of B or more (highest level courses).
October 31
University of CanterburyBachelor's degree, major in Psychology-
University of WaikatoBachelor of Social Sciences (or equivalent) majoring in Psychology;
GPA of over B or better.
Rolling Admission

Note: Similar fields include Education, Education and Psychology, Counselling, Social Work, Speech-Language Therapy, or an approved teacher education degree.

English Proficiency Requirement for International Students

Minimum score required to demonstrate proficiency in English language, if you are from a non-English speaking country, for admission in Masters in psychology in New Zealand is tabulated below: 

UniversityMinimum TOEFL ScoreMinimum IELTS ScoreOther English Proficiency Tests
University of AucklandiBT: 90;Overall 6.5, no bands below 6.0CAE, CPE: 176, no bands below 169;
PTE: 58
University of OtagoiBT: 95; PBT: 5876.5CAE/CPE: 176;
PTE: 64
Victoria University of WellingtoniBT: 90Overall 6.5, no sub-score below 6.0PTE: 58;
CAE: 176
Massey UniversityiBT: 90 overall (min 20 in Writing)6.5, no band less than 6.0PTE: 58;
CAE: 180
University of CanterburyiBT: 90
PBT: 575
6.5, (6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking)CAE/CPE: 176;
PTE: 58
University of WaikatoiBT: 906.5 (no band less than 6.0)PTE: 58

Visa Process for International Students

The New Zealand student visa application takes about 25 - 30 days to process. 

Following are the documents required for student visa application:

  • Evidence of identity
  • Health Insurance
  • Evidence of adequate funds needed during the stay
  • Health Certificate
  • Character Certificate
  • Offer letter from the university approved by Qualifications Authority of New Zealand
  • English Proficiency Test score
  • A return air ticket of the native country
  • Proof that your stay in New Zealand is genuine
  • Travel Insurance
  • Proof of leaving when the course ends

Note that your visa application may be canceled or rejected by the authorities if you can't prove sufficient funds needed for all your expenses, have any previous criminal records, do not have enough proficiency in the required language, or have misleading data in any documents. 

Post Study Work Visa

If a student wishes to work after completion of their course, they can opt for either one of the following visas: 

  1. Post-study work visa (open): permits students to work with any employer post-graduation for a period of 1 month.
  2. Post-study visa (employee assisted): with this visa, one may work for up to 2 years if the job is relevant. 

Cost of Studying Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

The cost of studying abroad can be divided into 3 categories - pre-arrival, college tuition, and living expenses. The total yearly cost incurred might vary depending on the current exchange rate of your country. Wondering how costly it is to study a Master of Psychology in New Zealand? Check out the details below. 

Pre-arrival Charges

Pre-arrival costs include one time charges such as New Zealand student visa fee, flight ticket, application fee, and exam fees. 

ExpenseCost Estimate (in USD)
Application fee15 - 30 (varies with the university)
Flight fare (one-way)1850
Visa Fee97

Post Arrival Living Cost or Recurring Charges

The total living cost in New Zealand is influenced by numerous factors such as the city, rental charges, and travel. The average cost is estimated to be about 23,330 USD per year. This, however, is not inclusive of tuition charges. Students are allowed upto 20 hours of work per week during which they can earn an additional 655 USD. 

Type of expenseCost in USD/ year
Apartment rent9600 - 22680
Travel1440 - 3000
Food cost and grocery2400
Gas and electricity1230
Learning materials288
Tuition Fees

Scholarships for Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

Tuition fees coupled with other expenses can be quite an investment, especially for students from countries where the value of a currency is much lower. Despite the high cost of education, New Zealand offers various scholarship programs to help national and international students aid their schooling financially. Your living and tuition expenses can be fully or partially covered if you qualify for these funding programs. Academic records play an important role in determining who qualifies for each.

Below is a list of scholarships for Master of Psychology in New Zealand: 

ScholarshipEligibilityAmount Awarded
University of Otago International Master’s Research ScholarshipGood academic records seeking their 1st Master's program at the University of Otago; Students with grade A or A+ are often selected.8834 USD/annum; Tuition fee waiver (1 year) on the domestic rate.
University of Auckland International Student Excellence ScholarshipMinimum GPE of 6.00 points on scale of 0 -9; New full-fee paying students undertaking a PGDip/ masters Up to 5996 USD
Otago Coursework Master’s ScholarshipProgram includes research report/ dissertation post commencement of the study; Academic performance.5890 USD
JN Tata Endowment ScholarshipUG degree from Indian University; At least 60% in the last academic exam.130 - 1308 USD

Scope after Masters in Psychology in New Zealand

The average salary for a person working in the counseling and mental health department in New Zealand is approximately 40,983 USD and typically ranges between 20,581 USD to 56,144 USD annually. 

The data on an average salary of professionals working in the field of psychology has been taken from the following levels of experience - entry-level (5.6%), early career (52.8%), mid-career (23.6%), and experienced (18.0%). Note that factors like city, gender, and experience also contribute to the pay scale. 

Following are the available jobs in New Zealand for psychology graduates: 

Job descriptionAverage Annual Salary (in USD)
Clinical Psychology42736
Patient Counseling42260
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning39839
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy47729
Educational psychologist39240
Forensic Psychologist45227
Alcohol and drug addiction counselor32456
Social worker31397

As New Zealand is home to some of the most prestigious universities offering masters in psychology with a high-quality education, it is definitely worth making this investment. Almost all sectors hire counseling consultants which make the demand for professionals in the field quite high. A master's degree in this field prepares one to work in high paying jobs in a variety of industries in New Zealand and other countries. 


Ques. What can you do with a master's in psychology in New Zealand?

Ans. One can work in various industries with designations such as Clinical psychology, Counselling psychology, Forensic psychology, Educational psychology, Organisational psychology, Health psychology, Community psychology, Child and family psychology.

Ques. What is the cost of studying masters in psychology in New Zealand?

Ans. The cost of studying masters in psychology in New Zealand 8394 - 28,034 USD annually.

Ques. What is the eligibility for admission to a master's in psychology in New Zealand?

Ans. Students with a bachelor's or diploma in similar fields are eligible to apply for a Master of Psychology in New Zealand. International students are also required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting IELTS, TOEFL or PTE test scores. 

Ques. Which university is best for studying masters in psychology in New Zealand?

Ans. Some of the best universities for masters in psychology in New Zealand are the University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington 

Ques. Should I get a masters in psychology from New Zealand?

Ans. The average salary for professionals with a master's degree in psychology is 27% more than those with a bachelor’s in the same field. So the investment is definitely worth it.

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