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400-level Psychology papers

Coordinating Staff

Coordinator of Studies

Dr Damian Scarf


Administrator Client Services

Colette Rivera
Email: psy.postgrad@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 7645

400-Level and Beyond

If you missed the meeting explaining your options after completing your degree in Psychology you can see a podcast where Professor David O'Hare and Dr Dione Healey outline these in detail. Read the rest of this page for further information about 400-level papers.

You can also see further information at:

Postgraduate Study
Clinical Psychology

400-level Psychology Overview

Prerequisites

Entry into PSYC 400 normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in your best four PSYC 300 papers (can include PSYC 311, 313-328), and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods or another approved paper. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence - this includes a pass in an advanced research methods paper.

NB: The workload requirements at 400-level are too high to enrol in other papers concurrently.

Enrolment Options

There are three options for enrolment in PSYC 400. Students either enrol for an Honours degree, for a Postgraduate Diploma course, or for the first year of a two-year Masters degree.

400-level and beyond

Honours Degree (BA[Hons]; BSc[Hons]). You must have completed your undergraduate degree, majoring in Psychology with at least a B+ average in your best four PSYC 300 papers (PSYC 311, 313-328).

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDipSci, PGDipArts). This course is entirely equivalent to PSYC 400 Honours. It may be taken part-time and completed over two or more years.

Masters Degree (MA, MSc). You must have completed your undergraduate degree, majoring in Psychology with at least a B+ average in your best four PSYC 300 papers (can include PSYC 311, 313-328), and passed PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods or another approved paper. This is a two-year Masters programme. In the first year, students complete eight papers plus a thesis preliminary (PSYC 495), and in the second, a research thesis. You need to select a supervisor in your application on eVision, so before applying, you should contact a supervisor about supervision within their research area and confirm a place in their lab.

Which course you should enrol in

Which course it is best to enrol for depends on individual circumstances. There is no need to decide finally until the beginning of the first semester. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of these enrolment options are:

  • The Honours degree and Postgraduate Diploma courses allow direct entry into a PhD or to a Masters degree by thesis only.

  • An Honors degree is completed over the course of a year.

  • The Postgraduate Diploma may be completed part-time over 2 or more years.

  • A Masters degree by papers and thesis requires a two-year commitment. A student who leaves after one year would not normally have any degree or diploma.

  • The thesis component of a two-year Masters degree cannot be upgraded to a PhD.

Courses and Papers

Clinical Psychology Training Programme

Students who have been provisionally admitted to the Clinical Psychology Training Programme are required to take PSYC 401-406, each of which is a one-semester, 10 point paper. PSYC 401-406 are for clinical students ONLY.

In addition, probationary clinical psychology trainees are required to take PSYC 428 and 435.

Papers available for Non-Clinical Students

Honours, PGDip, Masters

Honours, Postgraduate Diploma, and two-year Master’s degree students who are not in the Clinical Programme can choose any eight of the available papers from PSYC 421-439, each of which is a one-semester, 10 point paper. An approved 400-level paper from another department may be substituted for one paper.

The following papers are available to all students enrolled in BA/BSc Hons; PGDipArts/PGDipSci or MA/MSc.

Students enrolled in MA/MSc are also required to take:

All other students are also required to take:

Arranging a supervisor

  • Browse staff research profiles. This information can be found in the Course Information Booklet, the Dissertation Manual and on our website.
  • Contact potential supervisors. At this stage it is an expression of interest, and to arrange a meeting to discuss possible opportunities in that supervisor’s lab.

Contact Hours

Except for PSYC 490 and 495, each paper involves approximately three contact hours per teaching week made up of lectures, seminars, and practical work as assigned by the instructor. In addition, at least five hours per week should be spent on independent reading and study. Contact hours for the dissertation (PSYC 490) may vary from one stage of the project to another. It is advisable for students to arrange a suitable meeting schedule with their supervisors in order to maintain regular and adequate supervision. Bear in mind that PSYC 490 and PSYC 495 are each worth 40 points.

Internal assessment

Fifty percent of the final grade in each paper (except PSYC 490 and PSYC 495) is based on internal assessment including essays, tests, project work, and laboratory reports, as assigned by the instructor at the beginning of the paper (unless otherwise advised).

Dissertation (PSYC 490)

You are urged to discuss your project with a staff member as soon as possible, preferably at the end of the previous academic year. A Dissertation Manual is available from the Psychology 400 Administrative Assistant or you can download a pdf here. The due date for the dissertation is stated in the manual.

Download the 2019 Disseration Manual PDF (2.9MB)

Seminars

Departmental and inter-departmental seminars are held regularly throughout the year. You are encouraged to attend these to broaden your knowledge, and some, in particular will be relevant to the dissertation. Details of all seminars are posted on the Department noticeboard but it is recommended you register with the Seminars List to ensure you receive all notifications.

Register here: http://lists.otago.ac.nz/listinfo/psyseminars

How to apply for your postgraduate programme

All applications are completed online using eVision