Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science)


Advance your career in health

This is a professional qualification for medical laboratory technicians interested in career and scientific advancement within the Diagnostic Laboratory, the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) or other health-related areas.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Duration

  • 2 years part-time. Not available for full-time study.

If you are a practising medical laboratory technician and you are looking to advance your career in science and technology, then this qualification could be for you.

Follow your interests

Much of the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is fully prescribed. You will be able to choose an advanced clinical science elective after you have completed the preliminary 15 credit clinical science courses. Each has a small research project and you’ll be able to choose from these options:

  • clinical biochemistry & immunology
  • diagnostic medical microbiology
  • clinical laboratory haematology
  • transfusion science
  • molecular diagnostics.

Undertake applied research

Your final semester will involve an evidence-based practice course that alos includes a workplace research project.

Medical laboratory science in New Zealand

Medical laboratory scientists have an important but often unrecognised role in the New Zealand health system. Analysing samples submitted by other health professionals, their work is integral in the diagnosis of around 70% of all patient ailments. They provide the laboratory support necessary for the provision of safe blood and blood components for transfusion and undertake the laboratory workup required for donor/recipient matching of tissues for transplantation in New Zealand. 

Medical laboratory scientists and technicians belong to the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science the professional body that provides ongoing education for practising scientists and technicians.

Practise of the profession is governed by regulations embodied in the Health Professions Competence Assurance Act (2003). Those practising the medical laboratory science profession must be registered with the New Zealand Medical Sciences Council and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate.

Careers and further study


Medical laboratory scientists and technicians are the main occupational groups that make up the profession of medical laboratory science in New Zealand.  They are employed by:

  • hospital and community diagnostic laboratories
  • the New Zealand Blood Service
  • research and specialist testing laboratories. 

These roles are varied and highly technical. Your career will expand with the knowledge gained from this qualification and experience gained from employment in this sector.

All practitioners must undertake peer assessment to demonstrate their competence to practise the profession.    

A career in medical laboratory science provides workplace diversity and there are promotional opportunities that can arise with experience and higher education.      

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Bio Medical Science or equivalent
  • hold a current Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) for employment in the Scope of Practice of ‘Medical Laboratory Technician’
  • have been practicing as a Medical Laboratory Technician in an ISO15189 accredited New Zealand Diagnostic Medical Laboratory for at least one year
  • have written employer support allowing the candidate the necessary laboratory resources and time for the completion of the PGDipHlthSc(MLSc).

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

Endorsement option

  • Courses from one Endorsement – 120 credits

No endorsement option

  • Courses from the Schedule – 120 credits

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

120 credits
168713 Evidence-Based Practice 30
202701 Clinical Laboratory Haematology 15
202702 Transfusion Science 15
202703 Diagnostic Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology 15
202704 Diagnostic Medical Microbiology 15
202705 Advanced Clinical Sciences 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is only available as a part-time programme. 

You must complete six compulsory courses: 

Four 15 credit clinical sciences courses*. These should be taken before progression to the final course 202.705 Advanced Clinical Sciences: 

  • 202.703 Diagnostic Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology –  Semester 1
  • 202.704 Diagnostic Medical Microbiology –  Semester 1
  • 202.701 Clinical Laboratory Haematology –  Semester 2
  • 202.702 Transfusion Science –  Semester 2

Two 30 credit courses:

  • 202.705 Advanced Clinical Sciences – Semester 1  (Majoring options include: Clinical Laboratory Haematology, Transfusion Science, Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology, Medical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics)
  • 168.713 Evidence Based Practise –  offered each year in both Semester 1 and Semester 2.

*Note: Not all courses are offered in each year and so you should first check course availability with the Specialisation Leader - Mr Chris Kendrick

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • have a relevant New Zealand Bachelor of Science degree (or overseas equivalent)
  • are employed in a New Zealand diagnostic pathology laboratory
  • are interested in upgrading your qualifications.

Accreditations and rankings

Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is accredited by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

QS Ranking - Biological Sciences

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 400 universities in the world for biological sciences.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships