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A postgraduate diploma is the stepping stone to a research-based qualification such as a master’s degree.
Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology parent structure.
Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Microbiology) gives you the opportunity to join the pathway to in-depth research at a master's 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 you may be able to proceed to the Master of Science (Microbiology). If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the master's programme.
Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including those that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants. Understanding microbiology improves safety and success of food and beverage production and fermentation.
Microbiology helps prevent infectious diseases through development of novel antibiotics and vaccines, but also through use of “good” microbes in prebiotics or probiotics, or microbial community transplantation between patients. Comparing diversity and composition of gut microbial community between people may help understand and treat diseases that are typically not considered related to microbes, such as inflammation, allergy, neurological disorders, diabetes and even cancer.
Environmental impact of microbiology is reflected in alternative ways to produce fuel, or by increased ability to mitigate the greenhouse gas emission by the microbes in the cattle rumen.
You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as environment/ecology, food and biotechnology.
You will learn from world-leading specialists in microbiology and related areas like biochemistry, biotechnology, immunology and epidemiology.
At Massey we use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, and animal model tools to investigate the molecular biology of diseases. Our biomedical interests are diverse. We research mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, infectious microbial diseases and cancer.
Research areas active in our labs include genetic testing, display technologies, vaccine development, production of biopharmaceuticals and nanomaterials from biological systems and the bioengineering of environmentally friendly materials and processes.
Facilities available to you include our Microscopy and Imaging Centre, Genomics and DNA sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (Mass Spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.
During your study you will gain a contemporary, relevant view of microbiology, which is inline with topical research and developments in the area. You will be exposed to the latest discoveries and research.
There is a well-established community of scientists and students involved in a broad range of microbiological and microbiology-inspired research at Massey. We work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Microbiology) replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
If you are interested in pursuing research, microbiology is a key discipline of biological sciences. Microbiology research skills are particularly suited for work in the research or teaching institutions in the fields of biomedicine, bioprotection, biotechnology, epidemiology, veterinary and plant pathology.
There are also roles in the legal or business sectors, for instance assisting with the commercialisation of science, drafting of patents and technology transfer agreements.
Dairy, food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are key employers, however there are numerous other opportunities in cosmetics, breweries, food and oil industries, horticulture, and agriculture. Government and private sectors provide opportunities for bioprotection, regulatory, sample testing or diagnostic laboratory positions.
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.
A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.
Massey’s biochemistry staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised discipline specialists, for example:
Dr Rakonjac is a molecular biologist, biochemist, biotechnologist and microbiologist specialising in the biology of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages or phages) and their biotechnology applications in medicine and agriculture.
She is the co-inventor of new tools for phage display technology and the gene for the Serum Opacity Factor of Streptococcus pyogenes and its use in detection of important human serum health indicators: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL or "good cholesterol") and fibronectin. Dr Rakonjac is widely published in academic journals and other resources such as reference books and encyclopediae.
Current projects include: i) development of new biological nanorods for applications in high-sensitivity home-use diagnostics and as vaccine carriers; ii) antibacterials directed against pathogens that cause food poisoning and urinary tract infections; iii) rumen microbial ecology, including mitigation of greenhouse gases (extensive collaboration with AgResearch).
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