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Overview

Pathway to a master’s

A postgraduate diploma is the stepping stone to a research-based qualification such as a master’s degree.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Other

  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Soil Science) gives you the opportunity to join the pathway to in-depth research at a master's level. The programme consists of 90 credits of taught programmes and 30 credits of research.

The programme gives you the opportunity to show your analytical thinking and high-level research capability.

As an aspiring soil scientist you will deal with the productive capacity of the land and how its management impacts on the environment. At Massey we have a reputation for producing high calibre graduates. They go on to work in the international agricultural research scene.

Make our expertise your own

You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled, internationally-recognised and active researchers in these fields. They have a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Whatever focus you’d like to have in your postgraduate study and research, there is likely to be an expert at Massey who can help you dig deeper into your area of interest.

Some examples of areas you could focus your research on include:

  • sustainable nutrient management
  • soil resource mapping and interpretation
  • soil conservation
  • irrigation, drainage, water footprinting
  • water quantity and quality
  • greenhouse gas mitigation
  • nutrient cycling in crop and pasture systems.

Careers and further study

Careers

Soil scientists play a key role in understanding the Earth’s land and water resources.

Graduates of Massey’s soil science programmes go on to enjoy careers in regional councils and many agriculture and forestry industries. They also help with challenging tasks such as land reclamation after mining.

You will be valued by employers for your critical thinking, complex problem solving and observation skills.

Possible career paths include:

  • an agronomist for a major fertiliser company
  • an environmental or resource management officer for a regional council or agricultural industry body
  • a specialist in soil mapping and interpretation
  • precision agriculture
  • nutrient management
  • the environmental protection of waterways.

An understanding of a soil’s production potential is valued by agricultural service industries whether you become a soil conservationist, crop consultant, research technician, or a marketing manager for an agricultural firm.

Sought-after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that, in New Zealand, earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.

Further study

If you complete the programme at a satisfactory level you may be able to proceed to the Master of Science (Soil Science). If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the master's programme.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission

Required

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Soil Science) you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree with a Soil Science major, or close equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses, or
  • a bachelor’s degree followed by a graduate diploma specialising in soil science, or equivalent, with a minimum B- average in the 300-level courses, or
  • a bachelor's degree followed by a graduate certificate specialising in soil science comprising at least 45 credits at 300-level from the majoring courses for soil science, or equivalent, with a minimum grade average of B- in the 300-level courses, or
  • a postgraduate certificate comprising 60 credits of soil science courses.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme 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:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Subject courses

119710 Nutrient Management in Grazed Pasture Systems 30
119711 Nutrient Management in Arable Systems 15
189752 Advanced Soil Fertility 30
189753 Soil and Land Evaluation 30
189755 Soil and Water Pollution 30
189757 Advanced Soil Conservation 15
189758 Advanced Soil Water Management 15
233701 Advanced Pedology 30
233705 Volcanology and Tephrochronology 30
233706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems 30
233707 Environmental Remote Sensing 30
233708 Geochemistry 30
233721 Global Climate Change 15
233722 Advanced Quaternary Geology 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

Completing an endorsement is compulsory. A Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Soil Science) endorsement requires 120 credits.

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

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

For postgraduate qualifications where they are completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, or Distinction or Merit.

Look for information on ‘Student Progression’ in the:

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • have an undergraduate science degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • are interested in postgraduate soil science study, but do not have a research background
  • would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Agriculture and Forestry

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.


ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science

Massey University is ranked No.1 in New Zealand for agricultural science by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.


Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

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 programme 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 programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships