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Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Zoology)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

A stepping stone

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 and Technology (Zoology) 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 (Zoology). If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the master's programme.

Take advantage of our expertise

You will be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise in animal-related disciplines. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from zoology, veterinary science, ecology, wildlife health and conservation biology, to agriculture, physiology, animal science, environmental management and social sciences.

You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in these fields, with 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.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers. Massey has strong links with industry, used to help our students find relevant and topical research projects. These projects are often focused on end-user results – you will work with organisations like the Department of Conservation and regional councils to solve real problems that our communities and environment are facing today.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology’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 science degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • Are interested in postgraduate zoology 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 zoology staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised zoology specialists, for example:

Dr Isabel Castro

Born in Colombia, Dr Castro completed her MSc degree in the US. Since then she has lived and worked on the Galapagos Islands for the Charles Darwin Research Station, in England, and since 1990 in New Zealand.

Her research focus is on behavioural ecology, conservation, and parasite research.

This has included ground-breaking discoveries such as uncovering new senses that allow kiwi to carry out their nocturnal life and discovering that kiwi have a flexible mating system that includes group breeding and extrapair copulation. The group has also found new species of parasites, some which are endemic to our native species.

Her team has recently started some research on Powelliphanta snails, and is continuing to study the foraging, breeding and social behaviour of kiwi, and how rats and other introduced mammals interact with kiwi. Their research into introduced species behaviour and ecology is not only helping understand the effect of these invasive species on native birds and what would happen when/if they are removed from the system, but also revealing some novel and unusual behaviours.

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