Medical Laboratory Science – Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science

This is a professional qualification for medical laboratory technicians interested in career and scientific advancement within the Diagnostic Laboratory, the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS), or other health-related areas.

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

Specialise in Medical Laboratory Science for your Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science at Massey

If you are a practising medical laboratory technician and you are looking to advance your career in science and technology, then this qualification could be for you.

Follow your interests

Much of the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is fully prescribed. You will be able to choose an advanced clinical science elective after you have completed the preliminary 15 credit clinical science courses. Each has a small research project and you’ll be able to choose from these options:

  • clinical biochemistry & immunology
  • diagnostic medical microbiology
  • clinical laboratory haematology
  • transfusion science
  • molecular diagnostics.

Undertake applied research

The qualification includes an evidence-based practice course.

Medical laboratory science in New Zealand

Medical laboratory scientists have an important but often unrecognised role in the New Zealand health system. Analysing samples submitted by other health professionals, their work is integral in the diagnosis of around 70% of all patient ailments. They also provide the laboratory support necessary for the provision of safe blood and blood components for transfusion and undertake the laboratory workup required for donor/recipient matching of tissues for transplantation in New Zealand. 

Medical laboratory scientists and technicians belong to the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science the professional body that provides ongoing education for practicing scientists and technicians.

Practice of the profession is governed by regulations embodied in the Health Professions Competence Assurance Act (2003). Those practicing the medical laboratory science profession must be registered with the New Zealand Medical Sciences Council and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Medical Laboratory Science is a good fit if you:

  • have a relevant New Zealand Bachelor of Science degree (or overseas equivalent)
  • are employed in a New Zealand diagnostic pathology laboratory
  • are interested in upgrading your qualifications.

Planning information

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is only available for part-time study. 

You must complete six compulsory courses: 

Four 15 credit clinical sciences courses*. These should be taken before progression to the final course 202705 Advanced Clinical Sciences: 

  • 202703 Diagnostic Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology –  Semester 1
  • 202704 Diagnostic Medical Microbiology –  Semester 1
  • 202701 Clinical Laboratory Haematology –  Semester 2
  • 202702 Transfusion Science –  Semester 2

Two 30 credit courses:

  • 202705 Advanced Clinical Sciences – Semester 1  (Majoring options include: Clinical Laboratory Haematology, Transfusion Science, Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology, Medical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics)
  • 168713 Evidence Based Practise –  offered each year in both Semester 1 and Semester 2.

*Note: Not all courses are offered in each year and so you should first check course availability via the ‘Get advice’ button.

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.

Courses you can enrol in

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
Course code: 168713 Evidence-Based Practice 30 credits

Evidence based practice (EBP) is an approach to problem solving and service provision based on the integration of “best evidence” with expert opinion and client/consumer perspectives. Students will develop EBP skills needed to critically evaluate information available from research findings, professional consensus statements and other sources of information, as well as communicating the results.

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Course code: 202701 Clinical Laboratory Haematology 15 credits

Introduction to the homeostatic mechanisms of blood cell production and regulation and the control mechanisms that maintain haemostasis in humans. The role of the haematologist and the laboratory in the diagnosis of diseases such as anaemia, haemophilia, thrombosis, leukaemia and other blood cell neoplasms.

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Course code: 202702 Transfusion Science 15 credits

An introduction to the principles of transfusion and transplantation practice. The collection and storage of blood and the manufacture of human blood products for transfusion. The major human blood groups and blood group alloantibodies. Blood borne viruses including the hepatitis viruses and the Major Histocompatibility Complex in the context of donor/recipient matching of organs for transplantation.

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Course code: 202703 Diagnostic Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology 15 credits

The biochemistry of human tissue with particular emphasis on disease detection. The practical course will include analytical methods and specialised laboratory techniques applied to clinical biochemistry, immunology and serology.

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Course code: 202704 Diagnostic Medical Microbiology 15 credits

Bacterial and fungal pathogens of humans in terms of the organisms, their habitats, modes of transmission, disease patterns, laboratory diagnosis and relationship with the human microbiome. Sterilization and disinfection. Antimicrobial agents, resistance to antimicrobial agents and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

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Course code: 202705 Advanced Clinical Sciences 30 credits

The clinical sciences are studied at an advanced level in one of the specialty areas of: Diagnostic Clinical Biochemistry & Immunology, Diagnostic Microbiology, Clinical Laboratory Haematology, Transfusion Science and Molecular Diagnostics. The role of the Medical Laboratory Scientist in the generation of clinical laboratory results used in the diagnosis and the treatment of disease/disorders and the maintenance of standards of quality and laboratory safety.

Prerequisites: 202701, 202702, 202703, 202704

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Bio Medical Science or equivalent
  • hold a current Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) for employment in the Scope of Practice of ‘Medical Laboratory Technician’
  • have been practicing as a Medical Laboratory Technician in an ISO15189 accredited New Zealand Diagnostic Medical Laboratory for at least one year
  • have written employer support allowing the candidate the necessary laboratory resources and time for the completion of the PGDipHlthSc(MLSc).

English language requirements

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

English language skills

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

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

Medical laboratory scientists and technicians are the main occupational groups that make up the profession of medical laboratory science in New Zealand. They are employed by:

  • hospital and community diagnostic laboratories
  • the New Zealand Blood Service
  • research and specialist testing laboratories. 

These roles are varied and highly technical. Your career will expand with the knowledge gained from this qualification and experience gained from employment in this sector.

All practitioners must undertake peer assessment to demonstrate their competence to practise the profession.    

A career in medical laboratory science provides workplace diversity and there are promotional opportunities that can arise with experience and higher education.      

Accreditations and rankings

Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is accredited by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

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QS Ranking - Biological Sciences

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 450 universities in the world for biological sciences.

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