Programme list > Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Doctor of Clinical Psychology


Become a registered clinical psychologist

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a competitive-entry professional programme that will train you to become a registered clinical psychologist.

  • Level

  • Doctorate, NZQF Level 10
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū, Wellington
  • Credits

  • 360
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • Other

  • Not available for international students

Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a professional qualification that prepares you to integrate practice and research in your career as a clinical psychologist.

Places on this programme are highly sought-after and there is a competitive entry process.

Clinical psychology is an applied branch of psychology. It uses psychological techniques to help people solve a wide variety of mental, physical, behavioural and relationship problems.

What does the programme cover?

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a full-time programme. You’ll take courses, do practica placements, complete an internship of supervised full-time practical work for at least one academic year and a doctoral dissertation (thesis).

Develop practical skills

You’ll get practical skills through practica placements. There are typically three placements in a variety of health service agencies, such as:

  • child and family
  • community mental health
  • drug and alcohol
  • rehabilitation
  • secondary care
  • forensic
  • Massey Student Health and Counselling
  • Psychological Service/Department of Corrections
  • Massey psychology clinics.

Get a diverse perspective

Massey is committed to the principles embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. You’ll be well trained from a variety of perspectives and be sensitive to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds and across their lifespan.

Our staff have a range of experience and interests. They approach clinical work from a variety of empirical and theoretical frameworks.

The scientist-practitioner model

Clinical training at Massey is based on the scientist-practitioner model. This emphasises the need for clinical psychologists to have a strong research background, as well as clinical skills. You’ll formulate an approach to understanding human behaviour that has a strong theoretical base.

Internationally recognised and market-leading in New Zealand

Massey graduates more researchers and clinical psychologists than any other university in New Zealand.

We’re connected to a wide range of community and statutory organisations. Our unique and applied psychology research and training is recognised nationally and internationally. This expertise enhances the reputation of your degree and ensures your knowledge is relevant to today’s society.

Careers and further study


Our clinical psychology graduates typically work in their community in:

  • health
  • education
  • social services
  • justice
  • private practice.

Explore your psychology options

If you want to be a registered psychologist, you can explore your qualification options in our psychology pathways tool.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Doctor of Clinical Psychology you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor with honours or master’s in psychology with the award of first class or second class division I honours, or equivalent
  • have passed the following courses (or their equivalent) in your qualifying degree:
    • 175.738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design
    • 175.781 Understanding Mental Distress
    • 175.782 Clinical Psychology Assessment
    • 175.783 Clinical Psychology Interventions
  • have sufficient personal qualities, ethical standards and professional potential to satisfy the Doctoral Research Committee you have the capacity to successfully undertake the programme, and to satisfy the requirements for eligibility to practice as a Registered Psychologist in accordance with the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act of 2003 (or as amended)
  • supply all documentation as listed below
  • be offered a place in the programme following a selection interview.

Please note that there are more applicants than places, and candidates who meet the above conditions also need to be offered a place following a selection interview.

Applications close 1 September of the preceding year. No late applications will be accepted.

You must ensure that all documentation is supplied well in advance of the closing date. If you are applying close to the deadline you will need to ensure your referees are advised, as their report must be received by the closing date.

English language requirements:

Academic IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 - this must be achieved in one sitting; or a minimum TOEFL iBT of 90 overall (minimum of 20 in writing). These tests are valid for two years. The Institute of Education requires a higher score.

Other requirements

Documents you need to supply

You will need to provide:

  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • a current curriculum vitae or resume detailing your relevant training and experience
  • a passport-sized photograph
  • brief personal statement (up to 500 words) which includes your reasons for seeking a career in clinical psychology. You may also wish to list perceived strengths as well as skills you will bring to your studies and training as a clinical psychologist
  • supporting statements from whānau/family (optional)
  • name, occupation and email details of two referees.  Referees will be automatically contacted to supply a confidential reference in relation to this programme.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Thesis – 240 credits

Requires completion of Part One Provisional Registration and Part Two Full Registration including a thesis.

Participate in required activities including presentation of a proposal at a confirmation event, defending a thesis in an oral examination, and demonstrating the competencies required of a professional Clinical Psychologist at a practical oral examination.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Courses for this programme

Compulsory courses

175920 Clinical Psychology Practicum A 15
175921 Clinical Psychology Practicum B 15
175922 Clinical Psychology Internship 60
175935 Skills in Clinical Assessment 15
175936 Skills in Clinical Interventions 15
175991 Thesis Part A 90
175992 Thesis Part B 90
175993 Thesis Part C 60

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Doctor of Clinical Psychology is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second. It consists of courses and a thesis, totalling at least 360 credits:

  • Part One: Provisional Registration
  • Part Two: Full Registration

This includes:

  • the courses listed in the Schedule for the qualification (check the regulations for more information)
  • a thesis
  • participation in compulsory activities including:
    • presentation of a proposal at a confirmation event
    • defending a thesis in an oral examination
    • demonstrating the competencies required of a professional Clinical Psychologist at a practical oral examination.

You will need to do practica placements and an internship of supervised full-time practical work for at least one academic year.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

More information

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Doctoral fees

You can start your doctoral study at anytime throughout the academic year.

Normally you will pay full tuition fees from the start of each calendar year, with the exception of the first and final year of your study, which may be a partial year, depending on your start date.

Fees are not charged once you submit your thesis for examination.

A good fit if you:

  • want to become a registered clinical psychologist
  • have completed an honours or master’s degree with at least second class honours division 1.

Accreditations and rankings

QS ranking psychology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for psychology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.



What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships