Post graduate studies in New Zealand are similar to those that you would see in Australia and other similar countries. They all fall under the British educational system of higher education, and they are recognized as equivalent to getting a Master’s or Doctorate degree in the United Kingdom. Many of the universities in New Zealand are driven by research, which makes them some of the best out there.
As you likely know, postgraduate education is only available for those who have completed at least a Bachelor’s level degree at an accredited institution. These studies are much more focused than the ones you will find at the undergraduate level, and the classes are usually much, much more intense as well.
There are many different options that you have when you are looking to obtain a postgraduate degree in New Zealand. Let’s take a look at all of your options.
Professional Master’s Degree
These degrees enable students who earned a liberal arts degree or some other type of nonspecific or non-specialized degree to take classes that will allow them to work in another field of study. For example, if you went to school for sports medicine or biology and decided that you wanted to become a physiotherapist, you could get a professional Master’s degree to obtain the proper training in order to do so. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in a social science, mathematics, or any other field could get a professional master’s degree in education and be able to teach the subject(s) that they trained in. It takes approximately 2 years to complete your coursework for you to earn a Master’s level degree.
Traditional Master’s Degree
These degrees, as you would expect, are traditional degrees that help you to expand your knowledge in a particular area of work. They are usually research based, and result in you obtaining a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree. They are meant to either give you the capacity to go on past your Master’s to receive a doctorate, or you can stop there and get a job in a research field or another field related to the subject that you did your coursework in. It takes approximately 2 years to complete your coursework for you to earn a Master’s level degree.
Graduate certificates take approximately one year of extra coursework after completing your Bachelor’s degree. These degrees have a few roles. First, you can take them instead of going for a professional graduate degree. They take less time and will get you out into the workplace much more quickly than you would have if you’d gotten a professional degree. Another reason is because it’s an easy way to transition between fields. If you earned your undergraduate level degree in sociology, then decided that you wanted to study communications instead, you could go for a graduate certificate in communication studies so that you could take the required coursework before working on a full Master’s program in it.
These degrees are the highest level of education, no matter where in the world that you take them. These can include a number of different titles, including Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), law degrees (J.D.s, etc), and dental degrees (DClinDen). When you earn a doctorate degree, you are considered to have the highest level of expertise that you can in the field that you studied. Most people who hold a doctorate will work in medicine, research, or education. It can take 3 to 6 years to complete your doctoral education, depending on where you go and what field of study that you are in.
If you are considering going for your graduate degree in New Zealand, there are many places that you can look for more information. The Find a Master’s website can help you out, or you can look at the individual websites of the eight different universities that are located throughout New Zealand, which we explore more in our Universities and Higher Education section.