Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology

The Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology (formerly known as Applied Psychology/APSY) is one of the oldest and most recognised applied psychology degrees in New Zealand.

Most of our students are recent psychology graduates, and business graduates with a psychology degree from New Zealand, and other parts of the world, but some are seasoned professionals with a psychology background who want to upskill. Some are HR professionals with a psychology background who want to enhance their education. Acceptance into the programme is competitive and the workload is intensive, but we take great pride in our collaborative, supportive, and inclusive culture.

Programme details

Application is open to graduates who have completed

  • Bachelor's degrees in psychology totalling 165 points, and who have a grade average of B or higher for their PSYC300-level courses, OR
  • a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, totalling 120 points, and who have a grade average of B or higher for their PSYC300-level courses.

The prerequisites for all postgraduate study in Psychology include

  • PSYC 344 Intermediate Research Methods and Statistics
  • Completion of PSYC 336 Industrial and Organisational Psychology would be an advantage.

Entry is limited to 15 students a year. Selection is primarily based on academic records (grade-point-average of 300-level psychology courses).  and, occasionally, on other supporting documents. When deciding between students with the same GPA, we consider other supporting documents such as the cover letter to assess alignment between the applicants’ career aspirations and what we offer in the MSc IO Psychology programme.

How to apply

Applications should include:

  • Submit an Application to Enrol in myUC
  • Cover letter explaining why you think the MSc IO Psychology is for you, and what your post-degree aspirations are
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certified copy of your university transcript if you are not a UC student or graduate
  • If you are studying elsewhere during the year in which the application is made, please attach a letter consenting to your course marks being released to UC.

Application Deadline

The closing date for applications is 30 November in the year preceding entry.

Successful applicants will be notified in December. One or two applicants may also be placed on a reserve list, and will be notified of this and also notified if a place on the programme becomes available.

More information

  • Available scholarships can be found through Scholarships at UC
  • International students should apply for entry to the University of Canterbury through Enrol at UC

The Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology is a two-year programme that offers a suite of specialised papers, including Stress, Health and Wellbeing, Leadership and Motivation, Performance Management, and Training and Development, to name a few.

The first year (Part I) consists of courses totalling 120 points (four courses per semester), and the second year (Part II) requires the completion of a 90-point dissertation and two papers totalling 30 points.

Course Options

  • APSY612 - Performance Management and Appraisal
  • APSY613 - Training and Development
  • APSY614 - Leadership and Motivation in Organisations
  • APSY617 - Industrial and Organisational Psychology Measurement Issues
  • APSY618 - Organisational Change: Directions for I/O Psychology Practice
  • APSY619 - Psychology of Stress, Health, and Wellbeing at Work
  • APSY620 - Contemporary Issues in Industrial and Organisational Psychology
  • APSY621 - Recruitment and Selection
  • APSY660 - Dissertation
  • PSYC460 - Advanced Research Methods and Statistics

Class of Honours

The Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational psychology is awarded with First or Second Class (Division I or II) honours, or a pass. The class of honours is determined by grades achieved across the component APSY courses and the Dissertation.

Industrial and Organisational Psychology has some overlap with Human Resource Management topics and degrees but offers further insight into the psychosocial underpinnings of people’s attitudes and behaviours in the workplace. Our graduates are well-trained to design and conduct assessments, from selection tools to engagement surveys, and to implement and evaluate workplace interventions, from wellbeing initiatives to organisational change.

Methodological rigour and sound grasp of the psychological principles that guide workplace dynamics are the differentiating factors that ensure most of our graduates secure a job immediately after completing their degree.

Recent graduates have found employment in a variety of private and public sector organisations, including world-leading companies, and enjoy great career prospects in New Zealand and overseas. Our graduates have secured training and development, recruitment consultancy, health and safety, business and organisational development, and research consultancy positions across a range of industries. Some have been appointed to positions as professional psychologists in the Ministry of Defence and in management consulting firms. Others have obtained PhD qualifications and pursued academic careers.

Several alumni operate as sole consultants or in small partnerships. This is a growing career trend after a few years of experience and is a developing feature of industrial and organisational psychology.


There is an APSY Alumni group on LinkedIn for people who have completed the Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology and/or the Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial and Organisational Psychology at UC. The purpose is to help keep members in contact, and for programme staff to stay up to date with professional trajectories.

For any Industrial & Organisational Psychology enquiries, please email