“Graduate study” is called “Postgraduate study” in New Zealand.
Postgraduate study in New Zealand generally leads to one of four qualifications:
A postgraduate diploma usually requires one year of full-time study after a bachelor’s degree and builds on the subject matter in the academic field of the bachelor’s degree. Some graduates may be required to study towards a Graduate Diploma as a first step to confirm their academic level before proceeding to post-graduate studies.
An Honours degree requires one year of full-time study after a bachelor’s degree, building upon the knowledge gained in the bachelor’s degree. Honours degrees usually combine coursework and research. Entry into honours degrees may be restricted based on merit.
A Master’s degree usually requires two years of full-time study after a bachelor’s degree (or one year of study if the student has completed a postgraduate diploma or honours year in the same field). The master’s degree normally builds upon the knowledge gained in the bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees traditionally consist of a thesis based on the results of original research, but increasingly, master’s degrees by coursework, or a mix of coursework and research, are becoming available.
Admission to PhD study requires a first class or good second class honours degree, a master’s degree, or comparable qualifications.
The doctoral (PhD) degree normally takes three years of full-time study and research. The degree is awarded on the basis of a thesis requiring original research and an oral examination. Sometimes the PhD candidate may also be required to take a written examination.
If you are carrying out research for a US doctorate or you are a post-doctoral scholar, you may not need to enrol in a specific course of study. Be sure to confirm your status with the University that you are attending if you are not specifically enrolled. University policy on this varies from institution to institution.
The following website has more information about posgraduate study in New Zealand: