How postgraduate study works

If you’ve completed an undergraduate degree, Victoria University of Wellington offers several ways to further your studies in your chosen field.

How it works

You’ll need to have already completed a degree.

We have a range of postgraduate study options, depending on what you’re studying and your previous qualifications. Browse the available options.

After your Bachelor’s degree

There are a number of ways to work towards a Master’s degree in New Zealand—we have several one-year postgraduate diplomas that are qualifications in their own right, but also count as the first year of your Master’s degree.

Graduate diploma

If you want to study towards a Master’s in a subject other than your undergraduate major, you can complete a one-year bridging course, called a graduate diploma.

Once you’ve completed a graduate diploma, you can move on to postgraduate diploma or Master’s degree study.

Postgraduate diplomas

A postgraduate diploma:

  • is usually one year of full-time study
  • is normally completed by coursework only, but may sometimes include a research project
  • may be required as the first year of enrolment for a two-year Master’s degree programme.

Master’s degrees

A Master’s degree at Victoria can be:

  • one year of full-time coursework, taken after you’ve completed a Bachelor with Honours or postgraduate diploma
  • two years of full-time study
  • classwork-led (‘by coursework’) or research-based (‘by thesis’).

PhDs and doctoral degrees

Victoria is the number one research institution in New Zealand—there’s no better place to gain your PhDs or other doctoral degrees.

A doctoral degree is normally carried out over a minimum of three full-time years. You’ll prepare a substantial thesis that represents original research into an approved topic.

To do a PhD at Victoria, you’ll need:

  • a First Class Honours or Second Class Honours First Division Bachelor’s degree
  • a Master’s degree with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours First Division standard, or
  • the equivalent grades from your home country.
If you’re accepted into a PhD programme at Victoria as an international student, you’ll only pay domestic tuition fees.

Other postgraduate qualifications

Victoria offers two other postgraduate qualifications, but entry is usually restricted to students who have completed their undergraduate studies at a New Zealand university:

  • Postgraduate certificates are designed to increase your knowledge and skills at postgraduate level as a pathway to other postgraduate study options
  • Bachelor with Honours degrees are stand-alone, research-led degrees. Admission is based on strong academic performance in your undergraduate studies.

What it costs

Postgraduate studies for international students cost between $25,000 and $33,000 per year. Use the fees and cost calculator to calculate your course fees, student levies and how much you’ll need to live in Wellington while you’re studying.

PhD students are charged domestic fees.


See full details on how to apply for postgraduate study—graduate diploma’s, Postgraduate diplomas and Master’s level programmes.

Apply for PhD study directly with the Faculty of Graduate Research.