Master of Quality Systems – MQS

Join Massey’s Master of Quality Systems, the only graduate-level qualification in quality management in Australasia.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 9

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year 6 months full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Auckland campus

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 Master of Quality Systems – MQS

The Master of Quality Systems is unique in New Zealand. It is the only graduate-level tertiary academic qualification in quality management throughout New Zealand and Australia. It will give you a career advantage in seeking positions related to quality management.

What will you learn?

This programme focuses on developing critical awareness of and expertise in the following areas:

  • quality management and its component aspects (inspection, quality control, assurance and continual improvement).
  • contemporary quality thinking and methods including iso systems, statistical thinking, systems thinking, business excellence, lean and six sigma improvement.
  • the application of management theory to quality systems
  • ability to conduct self-directed research in an aspect of quality management theory or practise
  • research methods
  • management of people undertaking quality projects and the people-related aspects of quality programme implementation.

Topics you will study include quality systems design, lean management, six sigma statistical analysis, value chain management and quality improvement. You will learn how to undertake in-depth research, followed by your own in-depth research (thesis) on an area of interest to you.

Lecturer expertise

You will benefit from your lecturers’ real-world experience and continual involvement in research and academic debate around key quality issues. Award-winning, they are widely published in key international journals, and have experience in senior roles across many industries. 

Contemporary, relevant learning

The Master of Quality Systems gives you a comprehensive understanding of a quality-systems oriented organisation. You will learn the tools and techniques used within the context of management and leadership of modern organisational systems. You’ll gain an in-depth insight into the most recent thinking and related approaches in this area.

A MQS is a good fit if you:

  • are in a quality or business improvement role and would like to move into a more senior role
  • wish to progress your knowledge of quality systems theory and practice
  • are an aspiring researcher, consultant or trainer in quality or business improvement areas.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

Master of Quality Systems 

To enter the Master of Quality Systems you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum B grade average over the 300-level majoring courses plus two years’ relevant professional experience, or
  • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum B grade average over the 300-level majoring courses plus five years’ relevant professional experience, or
  • a relevant Postgraduate Diploma or equivalent with a minimum B grade average plus two years’ relevant professional experience, or
  • a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum A- grade average over the 300-level majoring courses plus two years’ relevant professional experience, or
  • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum A- grade average over the 300-level majoring courses plus five years’ relevant professional experience.

If you have a relevant Postgraduate Diploma or bachelor’s degree with an A- average and professional experience as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification. The programme of study must include 240758 unless already passed.

English language requirements

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

Documents you will need to supply to support your application

  • copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
  • a copy of your current curriculum vitae (including education and employment for at least the last five years).

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 Distinction or Merit. 

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.

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 qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 Master of Quality Systems

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

The Master of Quality Systems is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

To progress to Part Two of the Master of Quality Systems you must achieve at least a B- grade average for the Part One courses with at least a B grade for the research methods course, 240758.

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

180 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 105 credits
  • Part One course selected from the Schedule – 15 credits
  • Part Two research report – 60 credits

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

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.

Schedule A

Part One (Choose 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 105 credits from)
Choose 105 credits from
Course code: 240756 Value Chain Management 15 credits

Value chains are explored through a supply chain operations management lens. Value chain networks are examined in the context of supply chain collaboration and coordination. The purpose is to provide students with the core principles of value creation and management, and to introduce them to supply chain analytical approaches to facilitate business decision making.

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Course code: 240758 Research Methods and Skills 30 credits

The scientific method will be explored through discussion of alternative research methodologies and the capabilities required to conduct academic research. The course has two interrelated goals; to develop postgraduate study skills and to prepare to undertake a quality or supply chain management research project. Students will develop the skills to synthesise literature, design research processes and structure a research report. During the course students will decide to focus on either a practical application or a more theoretical research project.

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Course code: 287735 Quality Improvement 15 credits

Concepts of and the major approaches to quality improvement. The full range of quality improvement methodologies, tools and techniques as well as team-based problem-solving methods.

Restrictions: 143785

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Course code: 287741 Quality System Development and Management 15 credits

All organisations are required to effectively manage the quality of their goods and services, and that of the processes and systems that produce or deliver them. This course introduces the key principles of quality systems and their control and management. This includes core definitions, key theories, relevant standards, documentation requirements, and associated tools, methods and principles for managing and controlling quality.

Restrictions: 287730

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Course code: 287745 Lean Six Sigma 30 credits

This course examines continuous organisational systems improvement using the philosophies, tools and techniques of lean six sigma. It covers core essential concepts such as value and waste; process variation; and performance measurement. The block courses utilise a range of practical games and activities that simulate: measurement studies and analysis; process and problem definition; and production or service delivery system improvement.

Restrictions: 287731

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Elective courses (Choose 15 credits from)
Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 141724 Food Quality Safety and Innovation 15 credits

This course will cover risk assessment and management techniques that can be applied to any sector of the food industry, important in the development of a new food product to ensure the development of safe foods of high quality and appropriate cost. The legal and commercial justification for ingredients, preservation, processing, packaging and distribution technologies will be taught.

Prerequisites: 280201

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Course code: 152771 Management in Organisations 15 credits

The application of modern management in business organisations.

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Course code: 158739 Data Mastery: Scripting, Databases and Data Privacy 15 credits

An introduction to the field of analytics, including the process of identifying an analytics problem in context, identifying sources and acquiring data, preparing data for analysis to address the problem. Emphasis is placed on developing programming skills relevant for data processing and data retrieval from databases. Special attention is given to privacy, security and ethical considerations surrounding data, and to communication of results.

Restrictions: 161750

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Course code: 161725 Statistical Quality Control 15 credits

Revision of statistical process control procedures, evaluation of control chart performance and statistical design of charts, control of high quality process, multivariate process control, new process capability indices, statistical intervals. Industrial experimentation topics, evolutionary operation, analysis of means (ANOM) etc. Revision of acceptance sampling, continuous and special purpose sampling plans. Use of statistical packages.

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Course code: 240753 Supply Chain Analytics 15 credits

Determining information required for management of the supply chain. Includes a systems dynamics view of production management, process improvement methodologies, supply chain measurements and analysis.

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Course code: 240759 Integrated Logistics 15 credits

Logistics is a foundation block within any successful business. Unless an organisation can manage and coordinate in an integrated manner the movement of materials, information and cash through its business, and those of partner organisations, it is unlikely to outperform its competitors.

Restrictions: 240752

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Course code: 287740 Innovation Management 15 credits

An advanced course of study of innovation management practices applied to product innovation, including new product strategy, portfolio management, organisational management and performance measurement and knowledge management. Investigation of current literature and industry practice, applied to companies of different sizes and types.

Prerequisites: 228311 or 228312 Restrictions: 287703

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Part Two (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 240887 Research Report 60 credits

An empirical supply chain management research investigation. During this course students will develop intellectual independence by conducting supply chain research. Supervision will be provided to guide students, however, the responsibility for framing and conducting the investigation will be the student’s alone. Students will develop the skills to articulate, analyse and evaluate their research findings.

Prerequisites: 240758 (B)

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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

Every organisation has a ‘quality manager’, someone who is responsible for one or more areas like:

  • inspection
  • quality control
  • quality assurance
  • quality management
  • continuous improvement.

You could be employed in a huge range of industries and professions, including manufacturing, services, health care, local government, construction and the defence force.

Many graduates of the MQS quickly move into senior positions in the same or different organisations. Some have gone on to advanced study such as PhD.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Accreditations and rankings

New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation

This qualification is endorsed by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation (NZBEF).

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New Zealand Organisation for Quality (NZOQ)

This qualification is endorsed by the New Zealand Organisation for Quality (NZOQ).

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UK Chartered Quality Institute (CQI)

This qualification is endorsed by the UK Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).

Learn more

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