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Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Geography)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Some distance courses contain compulsory contact workshops.

Pathway to master's

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

Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology parent structure.

What is it like?

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

Globally renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise.

Massey’s geography lecturers have an extensive range of experience and expertise. The ratio of staff to students is high. Your lecturers will be your mentors, working alongside you to fully engage you in the practical and theoretical aspects of advanced physical geography study, to prepare you for life in the workplace in a specialist sense or preparing you for research at a higher level.

Gain expertise in an area of your choice

The physical geography team at Massey research and have expertise in fluvial processes, coastal processes, slope processes, palynology, biogeography, palaeoecology and river solutions.  During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project like:

  • Monitoring active landslides in glaciated valleys
  • Age estimation of ancient glaciated rockslides
  • Refining understanding of marine terrace development
  • Reconstructing the evolution of estuaries and coastal environments
  • Statistical analyses of earthquake-induced landslides
  • 3D soil mapping
  • Pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstructions
  • Applications of automated palynology systems
  • Mapping floodplain geomorphology
  • Flood series extension

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering.  The Postgraduate Diploma in Science’s workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate geography degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • Enjoy and are committed to fieldwork and practical investigations
  • Are interested in postgraduate geography study, but do not have a research background, or
  • Would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme


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.

World-leading lecturers

Massey’s geography staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with geography specialists such as:

Dr Alastair Clement

Dr Alastair Clement is a coastal geomorphologist with a broad interest in Quaternary environmental change. His research focuses on understanding the geomorphic evolution of clastic coastal depositional environments such as estuaries and incised-valleys, coastal plains, and dunefields in response to fluctuations in relative sea-level, changing climatic conditions, and the impact of tectonics. This involves reconstructing how coastal environments changed during the late Quaternary, using coring techniques to unlock sediment archives, and geophysical techniques such as chirp sonar and ground-penetrating radar to ‘image’ the sub-surface. These data are bought together in a GIS to produce 2D and 3D maps and models of the evolution of coastal environments.

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