Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety – GradDipOHS

With a Massey Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, you can improve the working lives of New Zealanders, while boosting your career.

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

2 years part-time. Not available for full-time study.
Up to 8 years part-time

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: This qualification includes a compulsory in-person workshop taught over several days on our Wellington campus

Study a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety – GradDipOHS

Transfer your learning to your workplace

Occupational health and safety (OHS) has become an integral part of business in New Zealand. With a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) you can help improve the effects of the working environment on the health and wellbeing of workers.

We spend a third of our lives at work, so workplaces contribute significantly to our health. Injuries and ill-health are two problems all workers potentially face. If you want a career that helps to reduce that burden on individuals and the nation, then this is the qualification for you.

This is a professional qualification designed to provide advanced education in the fields of safety management, occupational health, environmental control, loss control, and occupational hygiene.

You will learn how to create healthy workplaces, including improving the inter-relationship of people at work, the work they do, and their working environment.

Choose from a range of courses

At Massey, you can choose from a wide range of courses that reflect the multidisciplinary nature of OHS. You’ll learn about hazards and risks in the workplace, how to assess and manage those risks and create healthy workplaces.

This graduate diploma is particularly useful if you currently work in these roles:

  • health and safety coordinator/manager
  • occupational health nurse
  • human resource management
  • industrial relations specialist
  • production manager
  • industrial chemist
  • industrial engineers
  • OHS consultant.

Study when it suits you

Our distance learning option lets you study when and where is most convenient for you. You can fit study around your work and family commitments.

Further study

You could go on to study the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety) or the Master of Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety).

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 Occupational Health and Safety you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and
  • have completed at least two years of relevant professional experience or equivalent.

You will provide verified copies of all 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.

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.

Meeting requirements for industry membership

If you would like to seek graduate membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (United Kingdom) you must including the following courses in your study:

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 qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

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 or Merit.

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 Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

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 Occupational Health and Safety

The Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is only available for part-time study due to the sequencing of the courses.

Several courses have contact workshops, which means you must come onto campus.

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

  • Core courses – 90 credits
  • 200-level course from the Schedule – 15 credits
  • 300-level course from the Schedule – 15 credits

Include at least 75 credits at 300 level.

If you wish to meet IOSH (UK) requirements you must include course 114240 from the 200-level schedule list.

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.

Compulsory courses (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 114240 Organisational Behaviour 15 credits

A theoretical and practical examination of the behaviour of people in the work environment. Students develop a basic understanding of individual behaviour and team dynamics, exploring issues of motivation, communication, leadership, decision making, power and organisational change.

View full course details
Course code: 128300 Ergonomics/Human Factors: Work, Performance, Health and Design 15 credits

An introduction to Ergonomics/Human factors (E/HF) - an inter-disciplinary holistic practice-based approach to integrate work, leisure and people in occupational, organisational, leisure (including sport, equipment, products, design and rehabilitation) environments to optimize matching of human-user-system health, performance, comfort and effectiveness: covering fundamental ergonomics principles, micro-macro-ergonomics, E/HF analytical methods, physical, psychological and social capacity and limitations of individuals and groups/teams in organizational socio-technical work and leisure environments.

View full course details
Course code: 214316 Bio-Physical Effects of Noise and Vibration 15 credits

Sources, propagation, measurement units and effects of noise and vibration on human health. Measurement and assessment of these factors in the community. Instrumentation, procedures, collection of data and interpretation; legislation, standards and guidelines; and requirements for legal action.

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Course code: 251271 Occupational Health and Safety I 15 credits

An introduction to Occupational Health and Safety and its application to workplaces in New Zealand. The course will explore the complex relationship between health and safety, factors in the working environment affecting health and safety and systems intended to regulate and manage the working environment.

View full course details
Course code: 251272 Occupational Health and Safety II 15 credits

A detailed study of hazards commonly found in the work environment.

View full course details
Course code: 251370 Health and Safety Auditing 15 credits

This course examines issues relating to measuring safety performance in organisations and in health and safety auditing in particular. Emphasis is placed on the use of the commonly utilised management systems audit promoted by the ACC, the Accredited Employer Programme (AEP) audit system. The course also examines other audit frameworks, and critically examines the role of auditing in safety performance evaluation.

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Course code: 251372 Occupational Hygiene 15 credits

A study of the principles of occupational hygiene and their application to the workplace in New Zealand. Topics include the recognition, evaluation and control of health hazards in the work environment; noise measurement and control; relevant legislation and standards; dust, vapour and gas measurement techniques; ventilation and case studies.

Prerequisites: 251271 and 251272 or 114271 and 114272

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Course code: 251374 Project in Occupational Health and Safety 15 credits

An applied research course in which the student conducts an extended, systematic enquiry into a particular topic in occupational safety and health.

Prerequisites: 251271 and 251272 or 114271 and 114272

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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.

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

The Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety can lead to or enhance many careers. Our graduates are working as:

  • health and safety managers
  • staff of WorkSafe New Zealand and ACC
  • occupational health and safety consultants
  • occupational health nurses
  • medical practitioners involved in occupational medicine
  • environmental health, air pollution and noise control specialists
  • occupational hygienists
  • designing engineers
  • human resource managers and advisors.

What our students say

“The combination of my work experience and a health and safety qualification has enabled me to really engage with people across the hierarchy of organisations I have been associated with. It has benefited me in terms of career development and acceptance in workplaces.”
Greg Dearsly

Graduate Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health

Accreditations and rankings

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

Our Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health & Safety) are the only NZ tertiary qualifications accredited by IOSH, a global professional body based in the UK. Completing this qualification meets the academic requirement for Graduate Membership to IOSH. Membership leads to registration as an OHS practitioner.

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