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Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Biological Sciences)

Overview

Pathway to a master’s

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

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Other

  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Biological Sciences) 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.

World-class facilities

Our world-class facilities include:

  • the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre
  • the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited)
  • controlled environment plant growth facilities
  • unique and extensive university orchards
  • state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment. 

Massey has a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers. It also has a microscopy centre offering confocal and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services.

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory. They are on the university’s Manawatū campus. This service centre is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. We also have a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment including DIGE imaging, and access to mass spectrometers.

Careers and further study

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.

Earn more

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.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission

Required

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Biological Sciences) you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree with a Biological Sciences major, or close equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses, or
  • a bachelor’s degree followed by a graduate diploma specialising in biological sciences, or equivalent, with a minimum B- average in the 300-level courses, or
  • a bachelor's degree followed by a graduate certificate specialising in biological sciences comprising at least 45 credits at 300-level from the majoring courses for biological sciences, or equivalent, with a minimum grade average of B- in the 300-level courses, or
  • a postgraduate certificate comprising 60 credits of Biological Sciences courses.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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

Courses for this specialisation

Subject courses

120713 Advanced Topics in Plant Biology 30
120714 Botanical Evolution 15
120715 Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Genetics 30
122703 Gene Expression 30
122704 Molecular Cell Biology 30
122713 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry 15
158740 Location Systems: Spatial Databases, Tools and Applications 15
158741 Location Data: Mapping, Analysis and Visualisation 15
161704 Bayesian Statistics 15
161709 Topic in Statistical Theory 15
161725 Statistical Quality Control 15
161729 Topics in Applied Statistics 15
161731 Biostatistics for Researchers 15
161743 Statistical Reliability and Survival Analysis 15
161744 Statistical Genetics 15
161762 Multivariate Analysis for Big Data 15
161770 Statistical Consulting 15
161777 Practical Data Mining 15
162704 Current Topics in Microbiology 30
162760 Research Methods and Communication in the Biosciences 30
162761 Research Methods and Written Communication in Biosciences 15
162762 Grant Writing and Oral Communication in Biosciences 15
194703 Neurophysiology and Neuroendocrinology 30
194704 Reproductive Physiology 30
194705 Digestive Physiology 30
194707 Perinatal Physiology 30
194709 Conservation Endocrinology and Reproductive Biology 30
194731 Animal Welfare Science 30
194732 Advanced Cell Physiology 30
196712 Aquatic Ecology 30
196713 Ecology 30
196726 Plant Ecology 30
199714 Animal Behaviour 30
199717 Entomology 30
199719 Topics in Biodiversity 15
203762 Genetic Analysis 30
232701 Conservation Biology 30
232703 Wildlife Management 30
232704 Wildlife Disease 30
232705 Captive Breeding and Management 30
247712 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

Completing an endorsement is compulsory. A Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Biological Sciences) endorsement requires 120 credits.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all 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

For postgraduate qualifications where they are completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, or Distinction or Merit.

Look for information on ‘Student Progression’ in the:

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • would like a broad-based science postgraduate qualification that doesn’t constrain you to one particular subject
  • are interested in postgraduate sciences study, but do not have a research background
  • would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

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

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

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 be 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

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