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Master of Applied Psychology (Behaviour Analysis)

Course Description


This specialist programme enables students to develop their knowledge and competencies, including the following:
A sound understanding of the underlying concepts and principles associated with Behaviour Analysis, and of the applications of these concepts and principles

A knowledge of the research skills required for Behaviour Analysis, including the ability to read, interpret and appraise published behavioural research critically, and the ability to conduct fundamental and, where appropriate, applied research in Behaviour Analysis

An understanding of functional analyses of problem behaviour and of how to develop an appropriate programme for behaviour change in their area of speciality

More generally, analytic and library research skills, as well as skills in presenting proposals and reports in both written and oral format
By completing a MAppPsy(BA) students gain the background required for further training in the practical applications of behaviour analysis. The Behaviour Analysis courses in this programme provide a course sequence approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board ®, Inc. (BACB) (www.bacb.com) as meeting the academic requirements to sit the examination to become a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst, and contribute to a BACB® approved course sequence for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). Students can also progress on to further postgraduate study to complete the full BACB® approved.

Depending on your specialty, you may work in a range of settings (including research institutions, private practice, schools, special education settings, universities, health services, business and industry, governmental agencies and zoos), and with a range of populations (including families, people with psychological problems, children with challenging behaviours, individuals with special needs, teachers, people and their pets, agricultural species and any others seeking positive behaviour change).

Students who specialised in the application of Behaviour Analysis to human behaviour are working in the community, in mental health, and in educational settings and with a wide range of individuals.

However, it doesn’t matter what type of psychology you choose to practice, or whether you end up in a field orientated to people or animals. What is important is that you gain an understanding of how and why organisms behave (i.e., what maintains and/or influences behaviour) whether it be private or public.

Many students intending careers involving application of behaviour analysis (for example, those who intend to work with families, children or with people with an intellectual disability) gain practical experience alongside their undergraduate and graduate studies.
This can be voluntary work or paid work as a support worker. In addition, sometimes experience can be gained though working for parents or trusts who employ students specialising in applied behaviour analysis to work with their children, helping to implement programmes for them.

The MAppPsy(BA) programme includes training in the skills required to work practically applying behaviour analytic principles to behaviour change.

Entry Requirements

Requires a major in Psychology at undergraduate level, average grade of at least B+ (i.e. 70% in New Zealand grading system) in Psychology undergraduate papers, a pass in PSYC307 Research Methods (or equivalent paper), and a pass in PYSC314 Behaviour Analysis (or an equivalent paper).Students who have already completed a four-year Bachelor degree (for example, a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours degree), majoring in Psychology, and have achieved at least a B+ (70%) average over their papers in that four-year degree, may be accepted for the MAppPsy(BA) and may be eligible for entry at Year 2.

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