Education system of New Zealand

Education System

University education was established in New Zealand in 1870. There are eight state-funded universities in New Zealand, all of them internationally respected for their academic and research performance. In addition to a centrally co-ordinated system of quality assurance audits at both institution and programme level, each Institution undertakes internal quality checks. All recognized qualifications are approved by New Zealand Qualifications Authority and can be viewed on: . All New Zealand Universities offer a broad range of subjects in Arts, Commerce and Science. Each has developed its own specialist subject such as Medicine, Engineering, Veterinary Science, Computer Studies, Agriculture, Environmental Studies, etc.
There are universities and several exceptionally reputed institutes of technology, polytechnics & private institutes in New Zealand. Bachelors, Master’s and Doctoral degrees are offered by all New Zealand universities. A range of undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas are also available, along with honours programmes (usually requiring an additional year of study).

  • Bachelor’s Degree:Students complete a prescribed number of units or courses for their degree. In each subject there are usually first-year (stage 1 or 100-level), second-year (stage 2 or 200 level) and third-year (stage 3 or 300-level) courses. In some courses, field trips provide opportunities for on-site study of natural phenomena or social processes. Personal reading and research supplement these learning contacts. Students are expected to develop independent study skills with a minimum of professional supervision. Students must successfully complete the requirements for one stage before beginning work on the next. Students can do an additional “honours”year upon completion of their degree programme. Honours is generally the first year of graduate work in the student’s field of study.
  • Graduate Diploma: IS a one-year, full-time programme for graduates. It does not always require its students to have prior learning or experience in the subject matter of the diploma.
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  • Postgraduate Diploma: A one-year, full-time programme, designed for graduates, this builds on the subject matter in the academic field of the previous degree. A post graduate diploma usually requires one year of full-time study after the bachelor’s degree and builds on the subject matter in the academic field of the bachelor’s degree. Some graduates may be required to study towards a Graduate Diploma as a first step to confirm their academic level before proceeding to postgraduate studies.
  • Master’s Degree: The Master’s degree is open to those who have completed a Bachelor’s degree. The program is usually of 1-2 years full-time study. The work required normally builds upon the prior knowledge gained in the major part of the Bachelor’s degree, and most or all of it is in that discipline. Most Master’s degree includes a thesis component, and in some cases, particularly those that are taken after a four-year Bachelor’s (Honours) course, the degree may be thesis-only. However, increasing Master’s degrees by papers plus research are becoming available.
  • Doctorate: The main Doctorate offered by New Zealand universities in the PhD or Doctor of Philosophy. A student is required to prepare under supervision, a substantial thesis that represents original research into an approved topic normally carried out over a minimum of two to three full-time years. Candidates prepare a thesis on the conduct and results of their research. Admission to PhD study requires a first or good second class Honours Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree at first or good second class Honours standard, or Comparable qualifications. Acceptance is also subject to the availability of staff for supervision and appropriate facilities.

If you have any questions about the British education system, or need to know where your own qualifications fit in, please contact our student advisor for free advice and assistance.

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