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University of Otago
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Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Psychology

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree

Next start date

Expected

Summary

The MA by thesis

The thesis option normally requires at least one year of full-time study and entails completion of a thesis. The thesis is a major piece of supervised research of up to 40,000 words on a topic of current interest.

The primary aim of the MA by thesis programme is to develop in a candidate skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement an extended piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.

Why study Psychology?

The Department of Psychology at Otago has a highly-regarded teaching programme and is internationally renowned for the strength of its research.

The research conducted in the Department of Psychology addresses problems in areas as diverse as sleep disorders, industrial relations, phobias, drug rehabilitation, aircraft safety, hyperactivity in children, how nonhuman animals think, as well as how the brain works.

Learn about human behaviour

Start a challenging career

Develop research skills in the social and behavioural sciences

Improve career flexibility with Psychology in your degree

Psychology is a very popular course. In it, you will learn:

how the brain stores memories and processes information

why drugs, head injuries and hormones influence behaviour

how parents’ behaviour influences their children’s development

how our abilities change from childhood to old age

how emotions affect our reasoning

how prejudice and stereotypes arise

what underlies disorders such as schizophrenia and dementia

Careers opportunities

In addition to specialising in Psychology, a degree in Psychology is useful for a wide range of other disciplines as well. Students take Psychology as part of degrees in Law, Marketing, Neuroscience, English, Physical Education, Management, Applied Science, Philosophy, Education, or Health Sciences.

There are many careers in Psychology in New Zealand and overseas, including positions as scientists in universities, government agencies, organisations, and industry. Otago graduates are studying pilot error in aviation, learning deficits in children, the causes of rugby injuries, the biological basis of memory, and the effectiveness of alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

Otago also offers training in Clinical Psychology for those wanting to work in health-related services. Clinical Psychologists work in hospitals, private practice, and in the Department of Corrections. Many of our Clinical Psychology graduates work for a time overseas – particularly in the UK or Australia.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

Applicants seeking admission to a programme of study comprising of papers and a thesis (240 points combined) must either

  • be a graduate with an average grade of at least B+ for the appropriate 300-level papers, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • University of Otago Language Centre ‘English for Otago’, English for Postgraduate Academic Purposes (EPAP) - Grade C or higher
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a B Grade
  • English NZ's Accredited Pathway Assessment - English NZ’s Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).

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