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University of Canterbury
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Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Child and Family Psychology)

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


The postgraduate Child and Family Psychology programme is unique within New Zealand and taught by academic and clinical staff from the University of Canterbury’s School of Health Sciences with other teaching staff as appropriate.

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology was designed to meet market demand for registered psychologists specifically trained to work with children, adolescents and families.

Our programme places a strong emphasis on consideration of strengths and resiliencies as well as challenges and difficulties, all within the context of the child's environment. We focus on children’s mental health and emotional well-being as well as their learning. We also aim to reflect the social and political context of children in Aotearoa (New Zealand) with an appropriate bicultural emphasis. We also include areas such as parenting, adult mental health and relationships in recognition that children and adolescents do not exist in isolation but are part of family and wider community systems.

The content of the programme aims to be:

  • Intellectually rigorous
  • Based on recent international and national theory, research and trends
  • Evidence- based
  • Reflective of children’s ecology and contexts
  • Focused on the strengths, resiliencies and protective mechanisms of children and families
  • Informed by the social and political context of children in Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Graduates will have grounding in the theory and skills required for work with children, and their families in all the contexts within which they present for help and support. These contexts include health, education, welfare, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Further study

This qualification is an ideal pathway into more advanced study. UC offers a number of scientific master's programmes as well as a Doctor of Philosophy.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, possible into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline.

Entry criteria

Students will need a Bachelor of Science, or any bachelor's degree with approved undergraduate science courses. The precise prerequisites vary for each major subject, but are normally at least a B- Grade Point Average in 300-level courses.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application deadline: At least 6 months before the planned start date.

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