25th Apr 2023
Afia Azmi

Find Your Perfect Masters Program in New Zealand

New Zealand is fast becoming a hub for post-graduate studies. From the majestic landscape of the South Island to the bustling streets of Auckland, the country provides ample opportunity and resources for those seeking higher education in the form of Master's degrees. But it's not just about squeezing in those assignments and late nights at the library. It's also about discovering hidden gems that come with choosing a Masters Course in New Zealand – like all those extra activities you can pursue when you have time off from all that coursework!

So if you're looking to unlock the secrets behind this magical place, you've come to the right place. We'll explore why New Zealand is becoming increasingly popular for our post-graduate friends, what unique opportunities are available to students who choose to study here, and what kind of support systems are on offer. Let's get started!

What to Consider When Choosing an New Zealand Masters Program

When it comes to postgraduate studies, there are a few things you'll need to consider before deciding on a Masters program.

The first step is to check whether the program and qualification you're interested in is offered in New Zealand.

The next thing to consider is whether the courses meet your expectations and serve your purpose. Most Masters's courses will emphasize certain areas, so make sure that you understand what topics are covered in each course and how they contribute towards your end goal.

When making your decision, you should also consider the duration of the program, the cost and any educational options available such as part-time or online courses. This can help determine which option best fits with your lifestyle and budget.

Popular Subjects for a New Zealand Masters Programs

The most popular Master's programs in New Zealand include business, engineering, education, healthcare, and many more, making it a highly competitive field. Many universities offer specialized programs to give students an edge in the job market.

Some of the most popular Masters in New Zealand programs are -

Master's in Business Administration - An MBA degree emphasizes strategic planning, finance, marketing, and economics, providing Masters in New Zealand graduates with skills to lead organizations and make sound business decisions.

Master of Applied Science (MASc) - MASc is a graduate-level degree program that focuses on research in a particular engineering field, designed to prepare students for a career in research and development and to provide a foundation for advanced study.

Master of Architecture (MArch) - MArch program is ideal for those pursuing a career in architectural design, planning, and management, offering an in-depth understanding of the design process and the challenges of the modern building industry.

Master of Laws (LLM) - The LLM program of Masters in New Zealand focuses on specific areas of law, providing in-depth knowledge and practical experience to equip graduates for a career in the legal profession.

With so much choice available, there's sure to be something here that could make study in New Zealand a viable option for you.

Course Structure

Knowing how the course is structured lets you ensure it's the right fit for you.

Types of courses

In New Zealand, Masters courses can be research-based or coursework-based. Research-based courses involve working on an individual research project over several months, typically under the supervision of an academic mentor. On the other hand, coursework-based courses involve completing a certain number of units which can focus on a range of topics.

The type of course you choose will depend on your interests and career goals. For example, a research-based Masters can help prepare you for higher level qualifications such as a PhD or a top job in academia, while a coursework-based program may be better suited to those looking for career advancement in their current field.

In addition to the core coursework, Masters in New Zealand also offer elective courses that allow students to focus on their areas of interest or develop complementary interests.

Masters in New Zealand also typically include an internship component, allowing students to gain practical, real-world experience.


Masters degrees in New Zealand usually take one to two years full time study, or two to three years part time study to complete. You may also have the option of fast tracking or taking a longer period depending on the program and your personal circumstances.

The academic year in New Zealand begins in February. The academic year is divided into two semesters - February to June and July to November.

The good news is that many universities offer flexible arrangements that allow students to combine distance learning with face-to-face sessions so they can work and study at the same time if needed.

How to apply?

So, you've decided to pursue a Masters in New Zealand—but how do you even begin the application process? Fortunately, it's not as hard as it seems.

  1. Start with the program itself. You'll need to find the program of your choice, which you can do through researching on the internet or in informational brochures provided by universities in New Zealand.

  2. Consider your qualifications and eligibility. Do you have the necessary English language requirements? Do you meet their academic requirements for admission?

  3. Choose your personal academic referees and get your references together. Ask professors or past supervisors to be your referees and get two academic references completed for your application.

  4. Put together all relevant documents that show evidence of your past studying/research experience and specialty (for example: graduation certificates, reference letters, CV).

  5. Submit these documents with an application form (usually available from the university’s website) and pay any fees required for a processing an application.

  6. Finally, once accepted into the program of choice,you might need to plan a trip to New Zealand for pre-arrival orientation and visa processing if needed (dependent on nationality).

Tuition FeesNZD 20,000 - NZD 50,000 per year
AccommodationNZD 1,500 - NZD 2,500 per month
Health InsuranceNZD 300 - NZD 600 per year
Books and MaterialsNAZ 1,000 per year

Scholarships and Funding

There are a few scholarship and other financial aid options that can help you cover your tuition.


Scholarhips are given usually from government-funded organizations or private bodies, and the awards are usually for tuition fees or research funding. Some scholarhsips are New Zealand Development Scholarship, the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship, and the University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship. 

Tuition Fee Discounts

Many universities offer discounts on your tuition if you apply before the deadline and/or commit to enrolling for more than one semester.

Student Loans

You can also try applying for student loans from banks or specialized student loan programs from government organizations like StudyLink in New Zealand. The loan application process is quick and simple, and you'll get an answer within days of applying.


Grants are available through universities and various charities and organizations. They are designed to help cover the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Employer sponsorships

Some employers may offer subsidies to employees pursuing a Master's degree in a related field in New Zealand. This can provide financial support and may also lead to career advancement opportunities.


Many universities in New Zealand offer assistantships to fund Master's students. These include research and teaching assistantships, usually awarded based on academic merit.

Bachelor's DegreeA minimum of 50-60% in undergraduate studies is necessary. 
English Proficiency TestIELTS: 6.5, TOEFL: 90+ 
GRE and GMAT Optional for Some Universities.
Work ExperienceSome universities may require proof of a certain level of work experience.
Student VisaNew Zealand issues a student visa that allows students to learn in New Zealand for up to three years.


Top Universities for Masters in New Zealand
UniversityTop Programs
University of Auckland
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Health Sciences (MHSc)
  • Master of Computer Science (MCS)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
Victoria University of Wellington
  • Master of Applied Finance (MAF)
  • Master of Information Management (MIM)
  • Master of International Trade (MIT)
  • Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)
University of Canterbury
  • Master of Environmental Science and Policy (MEnvSc)
  • Master of Applied Data Science (MADS)
  • Master of Engineering (ME)
  • Master of Computer Science (MCS)
Massey University
  • Master of Veterinary Science (MVetSc)
  • Master of Agribusiness (MAgribusiness)
  • Master of Applied Social Work (MASW)
  • Master of Aviation (MAv)
University of Waikato
  • Master of Applied Psychology (MAP)
  • Master of Cyber Security (MCS)
  • Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcct)
  • Master of Management Studies (MMS)

Post-study Visa Options

  1. Post-study work visa (open) - The visa allows graduates to stay up to 12 months in New Zealand to search for a relevant job, aiding their transition from studying to working and filling skills shortages for employers.

  2. Post-study work visa (employer-assisted) - This visa allows graduates to stay in New Zealand for 2-3 years to work for a specific employer in a job relevant to their qualifications. 

  3. Skilled Migrant Category - The Skilled Migrant Category is a post-masters visa option in New Zealand for highly skilled migrants. It is a points-based system that requires a job offer, a minimum number of points, and meeting English language and character requirements.

Job Options Post Master’s in New Zealand:

Graduates' career prospects are determined by their programme of study and the industry's demand for specialized abilities.

Some of the prominent graduates can find work include -

  1. Information Technology (IT)
  2. Business and financial services
  3. Engineering and construction
  4. Healthcare and social assistance
  5. Science and research

Insights From Former Students on Studying a Masters in New Zealand

Studying a Masters in New Zealand can be daunting, so it's always helpful to get first-hand accounts of what to expect. We spoke with a few former students of Masters courses in New Zealand and here's what they had to say about the experience -

Flexible Scheduling

Many students mentioned that the flexible scheduling was one of the best parts of their masters course. You can choose your own pace, spread out your classes over different semesters, or even create part-time schedules. You don't have to be tied down to the traditional 9-5 schedule; you can work around your commitments and still complete your degree at the same time.

Small Class Sizes

The small class sizes mean that you get more attention from your instructors and there is more opportunity for collaboration amongst classmates. This creates an ideal learning environment where you can ask questions, get feedback, and really engage with the material.

Networking Opportunities

There are plenty of conferences and events to attend, both within and outside of academia, which has been invaluable for making connections that might otherwise be difficult to make on their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1) Can I work in New Zealand while studying in a Masters's program?

A student visa allows you to work up to 20 hours per week and more during school holidays in New Zealand. There are no restrictions on working hours for those studying for a master's or Ph.D. degree at a tertiary institution in the country.

Q.2) What course would be suitable for visa approval to New Zealand?

Choose a course that demonstrates the skills needed in the New Zealand economy, such as business, IT, engineering, or hospitality. The NZQA's levels system grades courses from Level 1 to Level 8 based on difficulty, so select a suitable course for visa approval.

Q.3) Will your credits from your Master's in NZ be transferred to your home country?

Credit transfer depends on the university and home country regulations, with universities having their own rules for transferring credits, and home country laws playing a role in determining credit sharing.

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