Psychology major: Bachelor of Health Science

Stacey Stuart
Student Profile – Stacey Stuart

As a child psychologist with the Ministry of Education, Stacey Stuart uses the skills gained at AUT in her work every day. Read more of Stacey’s story.

Psychology is a broad and exciting discipline encompassing a range of scientific and theoretical approaches to studying and understanding behaviour. If you study psychology you explore how people interact with the environment, and with others, and how personal, biological, social and environmental factors influence behaviour.

Through AUT's psychology degree you will develop a broad understanding of psychological research and theory, and understand the ethical and legal issues in health practice and research. You will learn research skills, develop critical thinking skills, be able to conduct, report and present research, and learn to integrate and present information from diverse perspectives.

AUT psychology graduates are very competitive in the employment market because of their unique combination of sophisticated understanding of scientific research and analysis and key interpersonal and interviewing skills.

Bachelor of Health Science: degree outline

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online

Mid-year enrolments for the BHSc Psychology, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma Health Science are now possible.

Please contact:
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences - Programme Advisor
Debra Spinetto
Phone: +64 9 921 9735


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this psychology qualification, please refer to the Academic Calendar

Year 1

You learn about human development across the lifespan, human body systems, health and environment and how to promote health. In Semester 2, you study a broad overview of psychology and its research, theory and application, and further develop your interpersonal skills.

Core papers
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
HEAL506 Knowledge, Inquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment OR MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment

Compulsory Psychology papers

PSYC501 Introduction to Psychology A - available for a Certificate of Proficiency Application
PSYC502 Introduction to Psychology B - available for a Certificate of Proficiency Application
PSYC503 Introductory Research Methods - available for a Certificate of Proficiency Application

And one approved elective paper

Year 2

This year focuses on core content in more depth. Depending on your specific pathway you will do some or all the psychology papers in abnormal psychology, brain and behaviour, cognitive psychology, personality, psychological assessment and social psychology.

Core Paper
HEAL610 Methods of Research and Enquiry

Compulsory Psychology papers
PSYC601 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC602 Social Psychology - available for a Certificate of Proficiency Application
PSYC603 Psychological Assessment
PSYC604 Personality OR PSYC680 Individuals and Identities
PSYC605 Brain and Behaviour
PSYC681 Cognitive Psychology

And one approved elective paper.

Year 3

You will learn to think ethically and critically in the context of professional psychology practice. You should choose psychology papers relevant to your future career prospects. You will develop advanced research skills and learn to apply these in the field of your choice: health psychology, biopsychology, experimental and applied behaviour analysis, approaches to psychological intervention, social psychology and positive psychology.

Core Paper
HLAW701 Health Law and Policy

And four Psychology elective papers (see Programme Leader for details)

HEAL708 Professional Practice and Ethics or approved elective,
and two other elective papers approved by the Programme Leader.


Minor options

Psychology students are encouraged to include a minor in their programme of study (see Academic Calendar for a full list of minors). Minors particularly suited to psychology include Analytics, Applied Mathematics, Business Management, Computer Science, Criminology, Health Promotion, Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, and Māori Development.

Te Ara Hauora Māori papers

Students who wish to seek careers with a Māori development perspective should select the following 4 papers as electives or as an alternative course of study.
MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment (instead of HEAL507 Health and Environment)
MAOH701 Māori Health Promotion
MAOH702 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health
HEAL710 Utilising Supervision in Practice

We will support Te Ara Hauora Māori students form relationships with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

Conjoint programme

A conjoint programme of study enables you to study two degrees at the same time and complete the two in less time than if you did them separately.

  • You need to maintain a minimum grade average of B to continue in a conjoint programme. 
  • Graduates trained in the understanding of human psychology, as well as the skills of business and marketing, will be superbly equipped to pursue a range of careers, for example: advertising; employee efficiency; recruitment and training; management; and sales. 
  • You can study the Bachelor of Business & Bachelor of Health Science in Psychology conjoint degree

Double major

  • The Psychology major can also be completed as a double major with Health Promotion in the Bachelor of Health Science within a 3-year period.  
  • This pathway allows you to complete a major in both psychology and health promotion (including 45 points at level 7 in each major).  
  • Psychology and health promotion are complimentary disciplines that consider and utilise a broad range of approaches to address and prevent a range of health and social issues.

Career opportunities

  • Psychological knowledge can be applied to any government, health and social services role, such as immigration, policy analysis, housing, rehabilitation, probation, and community development. 
  • Psychological knowledge is also valued in customer service, human resources, and management development programmes. 
  • Psychology graduates also have key research, questionnaire design and analysis skills that are valued in marketing, social research and policy analysis and development.

Registration as a professional psychologist involves further postgraduate study. AUT offers a pathway to registration as a counselling psychologist.

Graduates and students of health science

Other courses you may be interested in

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.42pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.