New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Postgraduate Diploma in International Development

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Understand how global forces shape the world

Hone the skills you need to help overcome poverty and enhance human wellbeing.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Development studies at Massey is ranked in the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings.

You’ll extend your abilities to analyse international development issues, collect relevant data, and write persuasively about development issues. Your Postgraduate Diploma in International Development is also a pathway to advanced research at master’s level.

Learn from experts in the field

Massey University was, in 1989, the first university in New Zealand to offer postgraduate qualifications in development studies. We’ve built on that reputation by developing world-class courses in international development.

Our professors and lecturers are scholars and active researchers, but are also people with experience in development policy and practice in diverse contexts including the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

A good fit if you:

  • Want advanced knowledge and skills in international development
  • Value cultural awareness, sensitivity and empathy
  • Take ideas about ethics, engagement and citizenship seriously
Vilayvanh Phonepraseuth
PGDip International Development; Master of Philosophy (Development Studies)
Operations Analyst, World Bank

“My degree has opened my eyes to what development studies really is…”

When looking for a development studies course, Massey’s programmes were the first to come up on Google, and after talking with friends who had been to New Zealand I knew I didn’t need to look much further.

Studying in New Zealand was an amazing experience. The staff were really friendly and approachable, and I studied with a great cohort of students from all over the world. My interactions with everyone broadened my understanding about development and the differences between the issues in Asia and other countries.

My study gave me the opportunity to follow what I am passionate about and apply my learning and research to Laos. During my second year I travelled back home to collect data for my research project. I explored the potential of existing resettlement and livelihoods restoration programmes to address the livelihood sustainability of resettled communities associated with the Hydropower Development Project. I wanted to know how people feel about the project and how it affects their lives.

Now that I have finished my studies, I am back in Laos working with the World Bank Vientiane Office. My role is to help coordinate the work with our government counterparts and monitor projects’ implementation progress. While there is no “one size fits all” best practice approach to development studies, my degree has opened my eyes to what development studies really is. I used to have a very limited and narrow idea of development, and now I’ve learned to think bigger. I’ve read more and experienced more, I’ve gained the knowledge and understanding that in order to succeed you need to be open - open to new ideas, open to what’s happening in the world around and open to flexibility


You’ll get the skills and experience to begin your career in a wide range of government, NGO, multilateral and private sector spheres including organisations such as Red Cross, World Vision, the New Zealand Aid Programme, United Nations Development Program and Caritas. Graduate careers include positions such as:

  • Adviser in tourism, health, education or agriculture
  • Advocacy officer
  • Community affairs officer
  • Development officer
  • Diplomat
  • Human rights advisor
  • Policy analyst

Lecturer profile

Regina Scheyvens

Professor, School of People, Environment and Planning / Co-Director, Pacific Research and Policy Centre

Somehow I’ve landed my dream job: teaching a wonderful mix of Kiwi and international students who are all passionate about making the world a better place. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work with our postgraduate students. They come to us with interesting and diverse backgrounds - from building renewable energy systems on a remote Pacific island to improving education delivery in Cambodia or being a midwife in outback Australia there is so much of value that we can springboard off in class discussions. This creates a rich and stimulating learning environment.

We understand that many of our students are, by nature of their work, based overseas and we provide for them with excellent online learning materials that are available 24/7 - so it doesn’t matter which timezone they are in! 

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey