PSYCH 765 : Special Topic: Pacific Psychologies


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores how Pacific knowledges and worldviews shape and are shaped by Pacific communities to make meaning of and respond to a broad range of topics relevant to psychology.

Course Overview

This course aims to deepen understandings of Pacific psychologies by exploring  how Pacific knowledges and worldviews shape and are shaped by Pacific communities to make meaning of and respond to a broad range of topics relevant to psychology. To do so, this course draws upon theoretical and practical elements to explore the past, present, and future of the Pacific psychological space. By taking an open, immersive, and inter-trans-disciplinary approach in this course, you are introduced to a decolonising framework where you are encouraged to critically engage, reflect, and consider how different experiences shape yours and others' experiences. 

Course Requirements

To complete this course students must enrol in PSYCH 765 A and B, or PSYCH 765

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of Pacific Psychologies and its inter-trans-disciplinary nature (Capability 1)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of Pacific knowledges (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Critcally discuss ethics and reflexivity, practices, and relationships central to Pacific knowledge making (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches to Pacific research (Capability 1 and 3)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of Pacific Data Sovereignty and its application in Pacific research and beyond (Capability 1 and 4)
  6. Be able to facilitate and engage in discussions central to the enhancement of Pacific psychologies (Capability 4)
  7. Critically consider the implications of Pacific research and its practical applications (Capability 2, 3 and 6)
  8. Critically evaluate research designed to benefit Pacific communities (Capability 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  9. Reflect upon your positionality when discerning or creating knowledge (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of Pacific research through the development of a robust and coherent research proposal that applys Pacific focused methodologies, epistemologies, initiatives, theories and models (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Engagement 10% Individual Coursework
Seminar 20% Group Coursework
Reflection Essays 30% Individual Coursework
Research Proposal 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Reflection Essays
Research Proposal
The course is  100% internally assessed. 


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

There is no specific Tuākana programme relevant to this course, however the values that inform the delivery of this course are similar to that of a Tuākana learning environment.

Special Requirements

Participation in this course is assessed. 

Participation in this course is assessed as a practical component. It is expected that you will actively contribute to discussions and engage all class activities.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course per week, you can expect 2 hours of class, spending 2 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and spending 4-6 hours working on assignments. This may vary depending on the timing of group seminar presentations and other course work.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities (weekly classes), to ensure you are able to draw on class materials, discussions, and/or content for your assessments. 

Some learning materials may be available online and/or as recordings. 

The course may include live online events where relevant. Such events will be discussed with the class in advance. 

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Essential readings will be provided via Canvas, however these are a starting point and you will be required to do further research and reading in your own time.

Health & Safety

Health and wellbeing always comes first
During the semester you may experience a challenging time or see your friends and/or whānau experiencing a challenging time. There is lots of help out there. For more information, see the university postgraduate student information webpage which has links to various support services:

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We continue to make improvements to the course based on student feedback. Selected anonymous feedback from students in 2022 in response to what they found most helpful for their learning:

  • "Safe space to share our thoughts"
  • "Collaborative and collective learning approach using a Pacific pedagogy that allowed for a supportive and culturally relevant environment during class"
  • "Student led seminars were an awesome way of engaging with material"
  • "The assignment structure was unique and practical"

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 12:31 p.m.