Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Earth Science)

Apply now! ▸

Pathway to masters

A postgraduate diploma is the stepping stone to a research-based degree such as a master’s or PhD

Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology parent structure

What is it like?

Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Earth Science) gives you the opportunity to join the pathway to in-depth research at a masters level. The programme consists of 90 credits of taught programmes and 30 credits of research.

The programme gives you the opportunity to show your analytical thinking and high-level research capability. If you complete the programme at a satisfactory level (GPA of B or more – see entry requirements for more information) you may be able to proceed to the Master of Science (Earth Science). If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the masters programme.

Explore the world around you

Field work could find you on a volcano top in Vanuatu, exploring ancient volcanoes on Chatham Island or assessing real-time hazards from an erupting volcano. You might find yourself exploring the back country of the Wanganui Basin or its marine terraces, sampling rivers and aquifers to determine groundwater recharge/discharge, or investigating erosion and land use employing both field and remote sensing techniques.

You will also gain transferable skills that will be useful in many different careers. These include observation skills, advanced ability in data collection, analysis and interpretation, problem-solving and lateral thinking skills, self-motivation and resilience, teamwork as well as developing high-level written and verbal communication skills.

Let our expertise become yours

Massey University Earth science staff are actively researching and are members of internationally-relevant related groups. Many also have extensive industry experience, through either employment or consultancy. They bring this expertise to your teaching.

Examine the environmental impact

Massey’s expertise in environmental geochemistry includes remediation of contaminated sites, phytomining, mine site and land reclamation.

You can learn from – and build on – our expertise in the societal impacts of Earth events, such as volcanic activity. These include social, economic, infrastructure and the impact on local communities including iwi.

Specialised equipment

We have a range of specialised equipment which is available to you for your research and study. This includes:

  • A microprobe for spatial geochemical analysis of geological materials. Able to focus down to two microns, it allows measurement of changes in composition across crystals (which record pre-eruption processes in magmas)
  • Laser particle size analyser for measuring grain-size distributions of materials such as tephra
  • FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-red) microscope. This measures water and CO2 contents in volcanic materials (related to eruption dynamics), but has also been used for analysing compositional differences in horse bones and carbon nanoparticles
  • Pyroclastic Flow simulator
  • Hyperspectral analyser for remote sensing soil,rock and plant materials (an example of use includes detecting mineralised ground by remote sensing)
  • FLYSPEC analyser for measuring SO2 in volcanic eruption plumes
  • XRD analyser for determining mineralogical compositions of a wide range of materials, especially clay minerals
  • TGA/DSC (Thermogravimetric Analyser/Differential Scanning Calorimeter) for uses such as thermal behaviour in volcanic glasses to characterise biochar
  • OEM (Optical Emission Analyser) for geochemical analysis with particular application to environmental geochemistry

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Earth Science) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Students may have the opportunity of proceeding to a master’s programme on completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, dependent upon achievement and in consultation with the relevant programme coordinator or Head of Institute/School.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate science degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • Are interested in postgraduate Earth science study, but do not have a research background, or
  • Would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme

Careers

Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises.The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Internationally-transferable skills

The unique combination of topics within the Massey Master of Science (Earth Science) will equip you with nationally and internationally transferable skills applicable to a wide range of challenges relevant to Earth science.

Jobs related to this degree include hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, environmental assessment and remediation, soil and land use assessment, volcanic hazards and applications utilising remote sensing and GIS skills.

Typical employers include:

  • The energy sector (oil and gas)
  • The mining industry
  • Environmental and engineering consultancies
  • Local authorities

Alternatively, the MSc in Earth science is an excellent preparation for proceeding to either a higher degree (PhD) or specialist degrees in related fields (e.g. geophysics and engineering geology).

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report Moving on up: What young people earn after their tertiary education found that in New Zealand:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s Earth science staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised experts, for example:

Dr Karoly Nemeth

Dr Nemeth’s areas of expertise include sedimentology, physical volcanology, magma-water interaction research, and volcanic hazard studies. His research is centered on understanding monogenetic volcanism and volcanic field evolution. His work has a global impact, and he has been involved in projects in New Zealand, Idaho (USA), Argentina, Chile, Libya, Saudi Arabia, SW Pacific, Japan and Korea.

He is the Commission co-leader, IAVCEI Commission on Volcanic Geoheritage and Protected Volcanic Landscapes, Co-leader of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth Interior's Commission on Monogenetic Volcanism, and Editor of the IAVCEI News. He is the New Zealand National Correspondence Person for the International Association of Sedimentologists.He is Editorial Board member of leading volcanology journals such as Bulletin of Volcanology and Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research and series editor of the Advances in Volcanology (Springer) book series.

He has many awards for his work including the Bandat Horst Foundation Award from the Geological Institute of Hungary, Szadeczky-Kardos Elemer Award, Budapest and Massey University Team Research Medal and his work is widely published and cited.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey