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Postgraduate Diploma in Construction (Construction Law)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • All courses are delivered in block mode.

Pathway to master's

The Postgraduate Diploma in Construction (Construction Law) is the stepping stone to a research-based degree such as a master’s.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Construction parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Construction gives you the opportunity to join the pathway to in-depth research at a master's level.

The programme gives you the opportunity to show your analytical thinking and high-level research capability. If you complete the programme at a satisfactory level you may be able to proceed to the Master of Construction. If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the master's programme.

Massey is the only university in New Zealand that offers specialisations in construction law degree is unique.

Gain specialised knowledge

During the Postgraduate Diploma in Construction (Construction Law) you will gain specialist knowledge in areas of construction law, construction contracts, construction contract administration and alternative dispute resolution including statutory adjudication.

Unique focus

Three other unique features include the offering of statutory adjudication as a whole course, the focus on drafting construction contracts in modern plain legal language, and the international comparative element that complements country-specific issues.

A global perspective

You will gain a global perspective of the broad areas of construction law and dispute resolution typically found in commonwealth jurisdictions. Although you will primarily gain specific skills in New Zealand-related construction law issues, your study also covers some aspects from jurisdictions such as Australia, UK, Singapore, and Malaysia, especially in relation to construction contracts and adjudication. The multi-national comparative element helps develop critiquing skills and helps you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of differing contractual and statutory provisions. You are often given the opportunity to select the jurisdictions of choice when doing the comparative element.

Understand contemporary issues

During your study you will learn about contemporary issues related to construction law, construction contracts, construction contract administration and construction dispute resolution with a focus on statutory adjudication.

Your study will cover a background to construction project management, construction procurement and tendering methods, principles of construction law including professional liability, drafting construction contracts in modern plain legal language, interpreting construction contracts, construction contract administration, construction dispute resolution with a focus on statutory adjudication.

Practical real-world application

The course is structured on the firm belief that modern plain language is the better way forward.

Research-led learning from industry experts

You will learn from senior faculty members and industry experts. Our lecturers and supervisors come from a range of relevant backgrounds such as construction management, engineering, architecture, quantity surveying, construction law, and dispute resolution.

Some of them have been involved in proposing and commenting on legislation affecting the construction industry and have written standard terms of construction contracts endorsed and published internationally. One of such contracts was the first construction contract in the world to attain the ‘Clear English Standard’ accreditation from the Plain Language Commission UK.

International participants and the wide mix of expertise allows you to have meaningful exchange and interaction at postgraduate level.

International students

If you wish to complete this degree while living in another country you can. Our extensive distance learning systems and support networks have led to a number of our students working internationally and successfully completing the degree.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study can be hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload requiring the need to attend lectures, read widely, do open book assignments, undertake research in a related area of your own choice, and sitting for examinations might sound daunting - but with careful planning it need not be any more difficult than your own pressurised work environment. The lecturers and supervisors can help you in your planning.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate construction degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • Are interested in postgraduate construction study, but do not have a research background
  • Would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme
  • Are a construction professional who wishes to enhance skills in construction law-related topics
  • Are a lawyer interested in specialising in construction law
  • Are a qualified professional working in the construction industry who wishes to develop skills in construction law
  • Are a construction dispute resolver who wants to ensure you have a high level of technical skill


There is great demand for those with specialist skills such as those that can be obtained by doing the Massey University Master of Construction with a construction law specialisation.

Current and past students have been working with multinational companies, banks, insurance companies, government agencies, companies in the oil and gas sector, government agencies involved with housing, transport and infrastructure, and academic institutions around the world.

This degree is useful as professional development for those already in construction law, or for those in related careers who need more in-depth knowledge.

It can also help you move into dispute resolution careers such as arbitrators, mediators, and adjudicators, those working with housing and property developers or as a consultant.

You may choose to further up-skill in specialist areas to enhance your performance along your chosen career paths. Others choose to attain specialist skills in order to diversify.

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.

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