Study in New Zealand

In fact, the isolated location of the New Zealand islands and the prevailing temperate to subtropical climate have produced a unique flora and fauna. Examples of this are the flightless kiwi bird or the gigantic kauri trees that can grow up to fifty meters high.

The mentality of around 4.4 million kiwis, as the residents of New Zealand call themselves, is just as unique as nature. They are known for their helpfulness, friendliness and always appear relaxed. This is also noticeable in the cities of the country: Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Hamilton and even the capital Wellington are characterized by their relaxed attitude to life and a multicultural, young atmosphere that is second to none. Studying in New Zealand makes it possible to experience this unique atmosphere up close.

University landscape in New Zealand

According to necessaryhome, New Zealand is one of the most livable countries on earth. It regularly lands at the top of the global wealth indices. This is not only due to the scenic beauty and the relaxed mentality of the Kiwis: New Zealand is known for having one of the best education systems in the world.

In fact, all eight universities in the country are listed in the renowned QS World Top 500 University Rankings. Reasons for this are the internationally recognized research work, the great practical relevance of the study programs and the close supervision of the students.

There is a wide range of subjects to study in New Zealand. Study programs in the fields of biotechnology, agricultural sciences, environmental sciences and engineering enjoy a high international reputation. Unlike in Germany, New Zealand universities do not offer all degree programs nationwide. They each have their own research and teaching focus, for example on medicine, law or engineering.

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics

In addition to the traditional universities, New Zealand has 18 state Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs). These colleges offer both professional and academic degree programs. The focus is on technical courses such as engineering or computer science.

Many Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics also offer other degrees, for example in the fields of design, nursing or social sciences. The study programs are strongly geared towards later professional practice and often include internships or practical phases. The lecturers also usually have experience in the private sector.


The three Wānanga in New Zealand are also unique. These are colleges whose study programs are based on the language, culture and knowledge of the Māori. The courses on offer range from courses in business administration to bachelor’s degrees in environmental studies. From Māori Performing Arts to Masters and Ph.D. programs in the fields of Indigenous Studies or Māori Studies.

Private universities in New Zealand

If you want to study in New Zealand, you can do so at around 700 private institutions that offer a wide variety of study programs. In addition to certificates and diplomas, students can also acquire academic degrees here during their studies abroad. When choosing a private university, it is important to ensure that the degrees are internationally recognized and that the study programs are officially accredited.

Study system in New Zealand

The study in New Zealand or the New Zealand study system is strongly based on the Anglo-Saxon model. It is characterized above all by its high flexibility and permeability and is similar to studying in Australia in certain aspects.

Undergraduate Studies in New Zealand

In the undergraduate area, students in New Zealand initially acquire a professional bachelor’s degree within three years. This is followed by the opportunity to acquire an honors degree within a further year. Good to very good academic performance is a prerequisite for admission to the Bachelor of Honors. It lasts one year and serves to specialize in the bachelor’s degree.

(Post-) Graduate Studies in New Zealand

The Bachelor of Honors can be followed by a one-year master’s degree in New Zealand. The focus there is usually on research.

On the other hand, it is possible to start a one to two-year master’s program with a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the subject, these programs are structured differently:

Master by Coursework

It mainly consists of attending courses and seminars. The students receive their degree in eighteen, sometimes even twelve, months.

Master by Research Advanced Master

The master’s degree usually takes two years. It prepares students for doctoral studies. Accordingly, the focus is on writing a largely independently conducted research paper.

In addition, New Zealand also offers Masters programs that are divided into a year of coursework and a year of research.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The highest degree awarded by universities in New Zealand is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). It takes at least three years, during which the students work on a comprehensive research project and then write a doctoral thesis.

Other New Zealand degrees

In addition to the internationally recognized Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degrees, New Zealand universities offer other specific degrees.

In the undergraduate area, for example, it is possible to acquire a New Zealand certificate or a New Zealand diploma within one to two academic years. Although these degrees are considered professional qualifications in New Zealand, they are not an internationally recognized university degree.

In the graduate area there is the possibility of acquiring a graduate diploma or a postgraduate diploma within one year. Here the students deepen their knowledge from the undergraduate area and specialize. These diplomas are also not recognized as recognized degrees in Germany. However, they certainly represent an additional qualification on the labor market.

Study in New Zealand