School of Psychology - Leading psychological science, scholarship and practice

Welcome from the Head of School

A message of welcome from the Head of School: Professor William Hayward.

Will Hayward

Welcome to the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland.

Psychology is often defined as the science of mind and behaviour, but at Auckland we push those boundaries as far as we can. We believe that the science of understanding people requires us to adopt a multidisciplinary approach, and so we look at psychological issues from as many perspectives as possible.

As you wander around our School you might find one of us forming conceptual models of personal identity and sexuality, while in the next office someone is using computer modelling to understand the development of human languages and cultural practices over time. We have brain scientists seeking to understand the nature of learning and memory, and social psychologists applying rigorous scientific methodologies to questions of love, emotion, and inter-group conflict. Some of us study non-human animals to understand the nature of learning and others conduct research on that most human of abilities, speech and language. We have a strong focus on investigating fundamental scientific issues, but we also have a number of professional programs that train Clinical Psychologists, Organizational Psychologists, Behavior Analysts, and Speech Scientists. This is not an exhaustive list; to get a fuller picture of our expertise and diversity, take a look at the research interests of our academic staff.

We aim for the very highest standards in the work that we do, and we’re proud that we are recognized for the quality of our research and teaching programs. We rank highly in national and international measures of research and teaching performance. Our academic staff publish in some of the world’s top journals, have senior roles in scientific societies and academic journals, and advise governments in psychological practice. We engage in collaborative research with colleagues at some of the world’s best universities, and contribute extensively to global research networks.

We aim to involve students in as much of these research projects as possible. Academic staff are keen to bring students into their research programs in many different ways, some formal (e.g., conducting an Honours or Master’s thesis) and some less formal (e.g., volunteering in a laboratory). If you hear about some research you find interesting, feel free to talk to the staff and students who are doing it and see if there are ways that you can get involved. And knock on my door any time – I’d be happy to chat to you about the opportunities that are available.

This is a great place to start your career in Psychology, or just learn a little more about what makes us tick. Feel free join us.

William Hayward

Head of School