Type of qualification
Level of 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.
Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.
Time to complete
Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Study a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing – PGDipNurs
Most students like you undertaking postgraduate study in nursing are in full-time practice and study part-time.
Several postgraduate courses in nursing are delivered via ‘distance learning’ and/or ‘block mode’. These can include compulsory face-to-face teaching in on-campus contact workshops, web-based teaching, relevant readings and other study material. It means the courses are available if you are in employment and located at a distance from the university.
Learn from the best in your field
You’ll learn from academics and professional clinicians who are experienced registered nurses. Their expertise in practice and research drives the development of relevant, up-to-date course content, teaching, and assessment of your work.
You’ll be supported all the way
There is always plenty of help at hand. Along with contact with your lecturers, learning consultants in the Centre for Teaching and Learning are available to support your study and academic writing skills. Each library has a subject librarian who supports you on campus or at a distance.
Find out more about nursing at Massey
See the Study nursing page for more information.
You can progress to a Master of Nursing as preparation for advanced practice roles and/or Nurse Practitioner registration.
A PGDipNurs is a good fit if you:
- successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- wish to develop and advance your professional practice
- seek to enhance your contribution to people’s health and wellbeing.
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing you will:
- have been awarded or qualified for a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification, and
- have New Zealand Nursing Council registration or equivalent.
You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
Admission criteria for course 168750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum:
Note that in order to be admitted to the Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum course, which is part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing, you will have:
- completed course 168733 Physiology and Pathophysiology, and
- achieved at least a B grade in courses 168728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making and 168734 Clinical Pharmacology, and
- the Nursing Council requires you to have completed three years’ equivalent full time practice in the area of practice being prescribed in.
You may need to upload a revised CV ensuring your practice areas are fully detailed, before you will be approved into this course.
English language requirements
To study this qualification 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:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Get advice button on this page.
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
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing for Nurse Prescriber training
After you have finished the Postgraduate Diploma you must apply to the Nursing Council, pay the fee and submit all portfolios, etc before you can become a Nurse Prescriber.
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.
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 a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
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.
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 be 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing
The School of Nursing recommends that you study the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing part-time. If you want to study full-time, it is recommended that you contact the School to discuss your options.
Some postgraduate courses in nursing are delivered via ‘distance or block mode’ with compulsory or recommended face-to-face teaching in on-campus contact workshops, web-based teaching, relevant readings and other study material. This is designed to make the courses available if you are in employment and located at a distance from the university.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing is awarded without a specialisation (endorsement).
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing for Nurse Prescriber training
The courses for this pathway are:
- 168733 Physiology and Pathophysiology
- 168728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making
- 168734 Clinical Pharmacology
- 168750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum
Before you enrol in 168750 you will have passed the other three courses and have achieved at least a B grade in both of 168728 and 168734. You will also have completed three years’ equivalent full time practice in the area of practice being prescribed in, in accordance with the requirements of the Nursing Council.
Courses and specialisations
- 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.
- Core course(s) from Schedule A – At least 30 credits
- Elective courses from Schedule C – Up to 90 credits
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: Core courses (Choose at least 30 credits from)
Course code: 168711 Health Research Design and Method credits 30
Philosophical, ethical and methodological issues in relation to health research are examined. Selected quantitative and qualitative methods are explored in depth, in preparation for developing a research proposal for a thesis, or research project.View full course details
Course code: 168713 Evidence-Based Practice credits 30
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.View full course details
Course code: 168733 Physiology and Pathophysiology credits 30
Translational and clinically relevant physiological and pathophysiological concepts as they apply to nursing practice are examined. Selected signs/symptoms are considered in terms of physiological processes at biochemical, cellular and functional levels. The emphasis is on normal physiological processes and their possible subsequent development to pathophysiological phenomena.View full course details
Schedule B: Core Subject (No New Enrolments)
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.
Schedule C: Elective courses
Course code: 152742 Health Systems Management credits 30
The health care systems of New Zealand and selected nations are compared and critically analysed from a management perspective.View full course details
Course code: 152746 Contemporary Issues in Health Service Management credits 30
Issues relevant to the efficient and effective delivery of health services are identified and examined.View full course details
Course code: 168702 Issues in Nursing credits 30
Topics relevant to study and/or research into selected aspects of Nursing are investigated.View full course details
Course code: 168703 Managing Long Term Conditions credits 30
The multidimensional aspects of managing long term conditions within contemporary society, including self-management and models of chronic care, are examined and applied to improve health service delivery, and optimise health and independence.View full course details
Course code: 168709 Contemporary Clinical Teaching credits 30
An examination of a range of theoretical perspectives and sociopolitical factors underlying approaches to clinical teaching and learning. Alternative approaches to the design and delivery of practice-based education are explored.View full course details
Course code: 168712 Pain Management credits 30
The multidimensional aspects of pain management including physiological and psychological components are examined. This knowledge is applied to refine nursing interventions in order to manage the pain experienced by people with acute or chronic ill-health conditions and those receiving palliative care.View full course details
Course code: 168714 Advanced Assessment and Therapeutic Intervention in Mental Health credits 30
Health assessment across the age continuum including physical assessment, assessment of mental status and the selection and application of diagnostic tools for clinical decision-making. A range of therapeutic modalities for working with people in crisis and those living with enduring mental illness is introduced (includes 25 hours lab/practicum).View full course details
Course code: 168717 Applied Ethics for Professional Practice credits 30
Critique of a range of philosophical approaches and practical ethical decision-making frameworks, focussed on practice application across diverse nursing roles. Particular attention is brought to nurses’ role as moral agents in ‘everyday’ practice. Significant themes include social justice; links between biculturalism, cultural safety and ethics; and the ethical implications of the socio-political context of contemporary healthcare.View full course details
Course code: 168719 Clinical Specialty: Older Persons' Health credits 30
Selected modules related to providing a health service to older people are offered. The specialist knowledge base and skills for working in a variety of older persons' health settings will be critically examined and their application in particular practice contexts explored.View full course details
Course code: 168720 Clinical Specialty: Mental Health credits 30
A range of therapeutic modalities including family therapy and cognitive therapy are examined and their application in particular practice contexts explored. Optional modules are offered in selected areas of advanced speciality practice, e.g. youth and adolescent services, alcohol and drug services, Māori or Pacific Island services, and the knowledge base and skills for practice in each setting are examined.View full course details
Course code: 168721 Māori Centred Practice credits 30
Strategies for the development of a Māori-centred approach to nursing practice will be examined. Partnership frameworks will be developed based on Māori aspirations and strengths with the aim to achieve positive health outcomes for Māori.View full course details
Course code: 168722 Wound Management credits 30
The multidimensional aspects of wound management including physiological, pathophysiological and psychological components are examined and applied in the clinical practice setting.View full course details
Course code: 168724 Primary Health Care Nursing credits 30
A critical examination of primary health care nursing practice in the New Zealand context. The course addresses the notion of aligning nursing practice with community need as understood through the lens of the social determinants of health.View full course details
Course code: 168728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making credits 30
Development of advanced nursing practice knowledge and skills and comprehensive holistic health assessment and clinical decision-making.View full course details
Course code: 168731 Leadership in Nursing credits 30
Leadership in professional practice is explored within the broader context of health care. The course critically examines the political, legislative, economic, ethical and cultural issues influencing nursing leadership and the provision of health services within particular scopes of practice.View full course details
Course code: 168734 Clinical Pharmacology credits 30
Pharmacology topics relevant to advanced nursing practice are critically examined. These include pharmaceutics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and a range of pharmacotherapeutic topics.View full course details
Course code: 168750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum credits 30
A supervised placement in an approved setting in which assessment, clinical decision-making and prescribing is undertaken in accordance with the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for registered nurse prescribing practice.View full course details
Course code: 168796 Health and Well-being of Children and Young People credits 30
A course designed to equip nurses with knowledge and skills to address the inequities in health that children and young people face on an individual level, nationally and internationally, and to understand the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for future generations.View full course details
Course code: 252701 Sleep and Circadian Science for Health Practitioners credits 30
An examination of sleep and circadian science in relation to health and healthcare, including healthy sleep, sleep disorders and sleep in those with medical conditions.View full course details
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.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
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.
- Student loans (StudyLink)
- Fees Free
- Student portal
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 Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (PGDipNurs) prepares nurses like you for advanced practice and to develop towards senior nursing roles or becoming a registered nurse practitioner.
What our students say
“I chose to pursue my postgraduate studies at Massey because it offered distance learning. It meant I was able to balance my study life around work and family. Having that option to study via distance and part-time has definitely helped me to be successful in my studies.”
I hail from the Kingdom of Tonga Ma’uafanga and Kolofalahola, Vavau. Also the beautiful Island of Samoa-Luatanu'u
“I chose Massey University because of the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme accredited funding through Health Workforce New Zealand and the versatility of attending three different campuses for papers and therefore meeting nurses from all over the country.”
Accreditations and rankings
QS Ranking - Nursing
Massey nursing is ranked in the world's top 150 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
ShanghaiRanking - nursing
Massey University is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world and second in New Zealand in the subject area of nursing by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.
Related study options
Bachelor of Nursing – BN
Make a difference in someone’s life every day. Nursing offers diverse employment positions, and many options for professional development and postgraduate study.
Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) – MClinPrac
Are you passionate about helping people? Massey’s Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) is a vocationally focused qualification that is a postgraduate pathway to becoming a registered nurse.
Master of Nursing – MN
Massey’s Master of Nursing prepares you for a range of clinical leadership roles in specialty areas. Develop your advanced knowledge and skills in your chosen field through a mix of theoretical and clinical courses.
Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing – PGCertNurs
Take the next step in your nursing career. Massey’s Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing provides registered nurses with the knowledge needed to develop their professional practice within a clinical specialty.
Useful planning information
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions. Learn more on careers.govt.nz