Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences – GradDipInfSc

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences will give you the software design and development skills needed to make you a sought-after employee, both in New Zealand, and internationally.

Type of qualification

Graduate diploma

Level of study

Graduate study

Graduate qualifications normally involve study in a different area to your first undergraduate qualification. Some are stepping stones to postgraduate-level study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year full-time (120 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Study a Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences – GradDipInfSc

The Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences (GradDipInfSc) is intended mainly for graduates in an unrelated area who are seeking to retrain or upskill in the information sciences.  Many of the students are studying via distance (online study) because they are working full time.

Massey is one of the few universities in New Zealand where your information sciences qualification covers all five disciplines of computer science, data science, information technology, information systems and software engineering.  Many graduates have found it really useful to complete the Graduate Diploma “with no endorsement”.  This means that you can select the courses you are most interested in from across the range of subjects.  You are strongly encouraged to select “no endorsement”.

You’ll learn a broad spectrum of skills from business management through to software development.  So you’ll emerge from your studies at Massey with a well-rounded understanding of the whole industry. You’ll gain the applied skills that you’ll need to become an excellent ICT professional.

In demand

IT employers are constantly seeking skilled staff.  High demand areas include software development, software testing, business analysis, network security, project management and data/database.

What will I learn?

You will gain skills in:

  • the analysis, design and deployment of complex information technologies
  • software design and development
  • the use of professional software tools, and the administrative and organisational aspects of IT
  • how to work in a team in the IT environment
  • topics such as computer security, internet features, user interface design and more.

Further study

Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma (and a suitable GPA) enables you to move on to advanced study in the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Sciences (one year of 120 credits in taught courses) or the Master of Information Sciences (180 credits including 120 credits of taught courses and a major professional project.)

A GradDipInfSc is a good fit if you:

  • have an undergraduate degree
  • have some mathematical and logic ability
  • are interested in a career in the ICT industry.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences you will have been awarded or qualified for a university degree or equivalent qualification.

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

English language requirements

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

This qualification is classified as NZQF Level 7 and requires the same English language standard as most undergraduate bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this qualification within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this qualification.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this qualification thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

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

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.


Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

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 qualification 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 qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

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

Structure of the Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences

This is a guide. You are advised to check the regulations for the latest course information.

The GradDipInfSc requires 120 credits. This usually consists of eight courses where five of the courses are at 300-level and three of the courses are at 200-level. 

This qualification is awarded without a specialisation.

The GradDipInfSc can be completed in one year as a full-time student or over several years as a part-time student. Part-time study is recommended as it gives you time to acquire the pre-requisites and is a good idea if you are working. Most courses are available via distance (online study).


The GradDipInfSc requires you to enrol in 200-level and 300-level courses. You need to make sure you have the correct pre-requisites for the courses you are interested in. Due to the fact that you already have a degree, some of the pre-requisites can be waived. Some general guidelines are:

  • any course in the Information Systems schedule – pre-requisites can be waived
  • any 200-level course in the Information Technology schedule – pre-requisites can be waived
  • some 300-level courses in the Information Technology schedule – pre-requisites can be waived
  • any 200-level or 300-level course in Computer Science or Data Science – the pre-requisites are NOT waived due to the need for programming knowledge.

If you are aiming for a career in software development and you have no programming background you will need to take some computer science courses. In order to enrol in 200-level Computer Science courses you need to complete 159101 and 159102. These courses are NOT part of your Graduate Diploma (because they are 100-level).

You are strongly advised to discuss your study plans prior to course selection. Contact us through the Get advice button on this page.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Courses from the Schedule – 120 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • No more than 45 credits at 200 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Subject courses (Choose 120 credits from)

Computer Science and Software Engineering courses

Course code: 159201 Algorithms and Data Structures 15 credits

An introduction to the analysis and implementation of algorithms and data structures including linear data structures, trees, graphs, hash tables, searching algorithms, sorting algorithms, optimization problems and complexity analysis. The course includes a significant practical component covering the implementation and application of important data structures and algorithms.

Prerequisites: 159102 Restrictions: 159271

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Course code: 159234 Object-Oriented Programming 15 credits

An introduction to the principles of object-oriented programming. It covers both object-oriented programming techniques and their application to program design including classes, objects and objects lifecycle, abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism and generic programming, as well as some advanced programming features. The course includes a significant practical component involving designing and implementing object-oriented programs in Java.

Prerequisites: 159102

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Course code: 159236 Embedded Programming 15 credits

A study of embedded programming using low-level programming languages. The course covers the hardware architecture of an embedded system and the techniques needed to write programs for simple peripherals such as switches, LEDs, timers and accelerometers.

Prerequisites: 159102 Restrictions: 159233, 159270

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Course code: 159251 Software Engineering Design and Construction 15 credits

A study of techniques, methods and tools used to design and construct high-quality software systems.

Prerequisites: 159234

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Course code: 159272 Programming Language Paradigms 15 credits

An introduction to different programming paradigms with a focus on the functional paradigm – lists, recursion, lazy-evaluation, higher-order functions, currying and lambda expressions. The course includes a significant practical component designing and implementing functional solutions to problems using both pure and multi-paradigm languages.

Prerequisites: 159102 Restrictions: 159202

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Course code: 159302 Artificial Intelligence 15 credits

An advanced study of the principles and techniques used in developing Artificial Intelligence applications. The course includes the implementation and application of a range of AI methods including state-space representation and search, knowledge representation, constraint satisfaction, game playing, logic systems and machine learning.

Prerequisites: 159201 or 159234 Restrictions: 159372

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Course code: 159336 Mobile Application Development 15 credits

The course covers many practical aspects of designing, creating, testing and publishing mobile applications. Students will develop mobile applications using a real software development toolkit and have the option of publishing their applications to an app marketplace.

Prerequisites: 159234 or 159235

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Course code: 159341 Programming Languages, Algorithms and Concurrency 15 credits

Advanced study in models of computation, programming languages and algorithms with a specific focus on concurrent programming. The course includes models of computation, programming language paradigms, programming language design, algorithm analysis, processes, threads, synchronisation and parallel programming.

Prerequisites: 159201 or 159202 Restrictions: 159331

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Course code: 159342 Operating Systems and Networks 15 credits

A detailed study of operating systems and network communication protocols. The course covers the technologies that underpin modern computer systems including the architecture of operating systems and their structures and methods along with computer network design, protocols and associated technologies.

Prerequisites: 159201 or 159234 Restrictions: 159334, 159335, 159354, 159355

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Course code: 159352 Advanced Web Development 15 credits

A study of the programming and scripting languages, frameworks and tools used to develop web and distributed applications with a consideration of the security issues involved in these technologies.

Prerequisites: 159201 or 159234 Restrictions: 159339

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Data Science courses

Course code: 158337 Database Development 15 credits

A study of enterprise data models, including how data storage and retrieval methods have changed over time. Modern techniques for handling relational and non-relational data and their implications in transactional and analytical processing are evaluated. Students will gain practical skills in designing, creating and querying databases using database management systems.

Prerequisites: One of 1582xx or 1592xx Restrictions: 158247

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Course code: 161250 Data Analysis 15 credits

Biology, psychology, and other sciences require statistical methods for analysing and visualising data. This course is designed to be accessible to students from any discipline, first building a deeper understanding of fundamental statistical concepts, then teaching a range of practical approaches for exploring statistical relationships, testing hypotheses, evaluating models, and presenting conclusions.

Prerequisites: 1611xx or 297101 Restrictions: 161220

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Course code: 161251 Regression Modelling 15 credits

Common data analysis and regression techniques for application in science, business and social science. Topics include simple and multiple regression; linear models with categorical explanatory variables; model diagnostics; inference for linear models; polynomial regression; models for time dependence; methods for variable selection; non-linear and weighted regression.

Prerequisites: 1611xx or 297101 Restrictions: 161221

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Course code: 161323 Multivariate Analysis 15 credits

This course teaches methods to understand patterns and structures inherent in data sets containing many variables. The fundamentals of data visualisation, clustering, and dimension reduction with examples taken from a range of applications.

Prerequisites: One of 161222, 161220, 161221, 161250, 161251, 233214 Restrictions: 161762

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Course code: 161324 Data Mining 15 credits

A practical approach to data mining with large volumes of complex data; prepare, cleanse and visualise data; supervised and unsupervised modelling; ensemble and bundling techniques; use of leading software tools.

Prerequisites: One of 161122, 297101, 161220, 161221, 161250 or 161251 Restrictions: 161223 and 161777

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Course code: 297201 Data Wrangling and Machine Learning 15 credits

An introduction to the data science workflow involving the acquisition, processing, transformation and integration of data from disparate sources having inherently different data structures, from which actionable insights can be extracted. Entry-level machine learning and statistical techniques for analysing and extracting knowledge from data will be covered. Particular emphasis will be placed on attaining competency in using a high-level programming language for conducting data-driven problem solving and appreciating the necessary agility such tools afford.

Prerequisites: 297101 or 161122 or (one of 159101, 159100 and one of 1611xx, 160101, 160102) Restrictions: 158222

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Course code: 297301 Applied Machine Learning and Big Data Processing 15 credits

An in-depth exploration of methods for developing intuition and insights about data that enables effective problem formulation and its solution through data-driven methods. A broad range of advanced machine learning and data mining algorithms will be used to build predictive models from real-world contexts. A particular emphasis will be on developing data-products, rapid prototyping and effectively communicating their value through visual storytelling and interpretable summaries. Practical skills for processing large datasets will be taught.

Prerequisites: 158222 or 297201 Restrictions: 158333

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Games Programming courses

Course code: 159235 Programming for Computer Graphics 15 credits

An introduction to the programming principles, methods and techniques of computer graphics. The course covers general graphics methods and techniques, graphics transformations, drawing algorithms, 3D rendering and animation. These are implemented using basic approaches as well as modern shader-based pipelines.

Prerequisites: 159102 Restrictions: 159360

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Course code: 159261 Games Programming 15 credits

An exploration of a range of essential topics for implementing computer games including fundamental computer graphics, games software architecture and game physics systems. The course contains a significant practical computer lab component where students are guided through the games development process.

Prerequisites: 159101

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Course code: 159361 Advanced Games Programming 15 credits

This course continues the study of games programming by exploring the development of computer games using a modern game engine. The development of games and specific game systems within a modern architecture are covered with a significant practical component.

Prerequisites: 159235, 159261

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Information Technology courses

Course code: 158225 Systems Analysis and Modelling 15 credits

A study of methods used to capture, analyse and model system requirements. Students will acquire practical skills through case study work utilising techniques and software tools used by industry.

Prerequisites: 157150 or 157151 or 115107 or 1581xx or 1591xx Restrictions: 158254

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Course code: 158235 Networks, Security and Privacy 15 credits

A study of the basic principles of digital communications, Internet technologies, communications software, local area network design, client-server system design, middleware and available wide-area network services from the viewpoint of a software engineer/designer developing networked information systems.

Prerequisites: 1581xx or 1591xx or 157150 or 157151 or 115107

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Course code: 158244 Software Quality Assurance and Testing 15 credits

A discussion of testing concepts and techniques that can be applied to all software projects. This course explores a selection of topics relevant to the design and implementation of test plans in software including web-based applications. The course also looks at activity design to ensure that the project conforms to stakeholder expectations. This course will be of assistance to students who would like to become a Certified Tester through International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISQTB) foundation level exams.

Prerequisites: One of 1571xx or 1581xx or 1591xx

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Course code: 158258 Web Development 15 credits

An introduction to web-based application development. Students will gain practical experience in the use of modern techniques relevant to the design and development of web-based systems.

Prerequisites: 1581xx or 1591xx Restrictions: 158256

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Course code: 158326 Software Construction 15 credits

An advanced study of methods used to model, design, build and test robust software artefacts. The course provides an in-depth study of multiple techniques to support software design and implementation. It takes a practical approach using current methods and tools.

Prerequisites: 158256 or 158258 or 159234 or 159270

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Course code: 158335 The Internet of Things and Cloud Computing 15 credits

This course involves participants in solving problems whose solutions require active, sensing and connected “things” augmented with Cloud Computing capabilities. Students will design and implement things that participate in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing environments.

Prerequisites: 158235 and (158212, 158256 or 158258)

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Course code: 158345 Professionalism in the Information Sciences 15 credits

This course provides an advanced study of social and professional issues in the information sciences. It will involve the exploration, through appropriate resources, of issues relevant to practitioners, including ethics, legal issues, communication, teamwork and professional contexts.

Prerequisites: 1572xx or 1582xx or 1592xx

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Course code: 158359 User Experience Design 15 credits

The course will move from conceptual analysis to the design, prototyping and implementation and evaluation of user interfaces. It will emphasise development processes that result in interfaces that provide a superior user experience. Examples of real-life interfaces, from sources such as desktop, multimedia, web, novel, and mobile technologies will be used. There will be a significant practical work component.

Prerequisites: 1572xx or 1582xx or 1592xx

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Information Systems courses

Course code: 157216 Management, Analytics and Decision Making 15 credits

Introduction to techniques and issues involved in using data to support organisational decision making.

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Course code: 157240 Social Media Networks for Business 15 credits

An examination of current issues in the rapidly developing area of social media. A socio-technical approach is adopted to examine how social media networks are being used in business processes.

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Course code: 157241 Technology Trends for Organisations 15 credits

A comprehensive study of major technology trends and organisational contexts within which information systems are developed and used from user, manager, organisational and societal perspectives.

Prerequisites: 157150 or 157151 or 115107 or 1581xx or 1591xx Restrictions: 157242

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Course code: 157340 Organisational Knowledge Management 15 credits

An examination of the role of information systems in creating business value in a knowledge economy.

Prerequisites: 1142xx or 1522xx or 1572xx or 1582xx or 1592xx

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Course code: 157350 Technology Governance and Risk Management 15 credits

Designing and managing technology-based solutions for realising organisational strategy.

Restrictions: 57301, 157373, 157341

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Course code: 157394 Managing Technology Projects and Programmes 15 credits

Agile project management and design thinking as methodologies for implementing technology projects and programmes.

Prerequisites: 1142xx or 1522xx or 1572xx or 1582xx or 1592xx

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Fees and scholarships

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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

There is huge demand for people with information sciences skills.

Information Sciences graduates continue to find employment even during global recessions when graduates in other fields struggled.

Today there are more employment opportunities in information communication technology (ICT) than any other sector in New Zealand. The same often applies internationally. 

Don’t take it from us - take a look at the SEEK website – large numbers of ICT jobs in New Zealand are advertised at any time on this website.

Careers for information sciences graduates

  • software developer
  • analyst-programmer
  • systems analyst
  • business analyst
  • software tester
  • user requirements engineer
  • database developer or administrator
  • networks and systems administrator
  • project manager
  • web developer.

Related study options