How to apply for Masters in New Zealand?
Updated on Mar 7, 2017 - 11:39 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das #New Zealand
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With over 20,000 international students studying in New Zealand, it is steadily emerging as the new hub of international education, especially among students from the Asia Pacific region.

“New Zealand institutions provide excellent learning opportunities and student care in a safe and welcoming environment. Our education system encourages inventive thinking and teaching techniques that reach far beyond traditional rote learning,” says Ziena Jalil, Regional Director South and South East Asia, Education NZ.

While the country offers a wide variety of choices for Masters studies, many students are still unaware about how to apply for Masters in New Zealand and what makes them eligible to study in one of its top universities.


Here we have explained the entire process of applying for a Masters programme in New Zealand right from the time you need to research to finally submitting your application form.


Choose the subject of study: The first step preparing for Masters in New Zealand is choosing the subject you want to pursue. Traditionally, most students go for the course in which they already have a Bachelor’s degree. While that is usually the way to navigate through the available programmes in the country, you should also consider the programmes the universities in the country are excelling in. One way to do it is by finding the programmes which are attracting the most number of foreign students to the country.


While international students are known to prefer programme across all fields, many choose courses like from management and commerce. Engineering and technology, agriculture and environmental studies along with health, hospitality and design are popular among students too.


Here are some of the sought after courses in New Zealand:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Information Sciences (Software Engineering)

  • National Diploma in Engineering

  • Masters of Business Administration

  • Graduate Diploma in Management

Research for universities: Once you have decided on your course, you should research for the universities you can apply. Make sure you keep your programme interest in consideration while searching for the university. New Zealand has eight state-funded universities, all of which are listed in the world’s top 500 QS World University rankings.

Start researching for your options at least 10 months prior to your enrollment. Narrow down to universities which best fit your demand from the programme. Generally, the intake in New Zealand is in February. So, it is helpful if you start the researching process by May or June of the previous year.


Here are the top universities in New Zealand:



University of Auckland


University of Otago


University of Canterbury


Victoria University of Wellington


Massey University


University of Waikato


Auckland University of Technology


Lincoln University


Check deadlines:


Once you have shortlisted the universities you want to apply, you can check their individual deadlines so that you can prepare your application package accordingly.  Just like Australia, the semesters in New Zealand start in February. So, the application period is between September and November.


Here are the deadlines for the top universities in New Zealand:



University of Auckland

Semester 1 and 2 - December

Semester 2- July

University of Otago

Semester 1 - December

Semester 2 – End of May or first week of June

University of Canterbury

Semester 1 - February

Semester 2- July

Victoria University of Wellington

October- November

Massey University

Semester 1-December

University of Waikato

March intake- December

July intake - July

Auckland University of Technology

Semester 1- Mid December

Lincoln University

September intake- June

January Intake - November


In terms of education, a three-year Bachelor’s degree is enough to make one eligible for Masters in New Zealand.  However, there are always department wise requirements that you have to fulfill.


Application package for Masters in New Zealand:

  • Statement Of Purpose: Universities in New Zealand require the aspirant to submit a Statement of Purpose that reflects her life goals as well her decision to join the institution. Some universities might also require more than one personal statement. A personal statement or statement of purpose has to be written by the candidate herself.

  • Letters of Recommendation:  Most universities in New Zealand would require you to submit at least two to three recommendation letters. Letters of recommendations are statements that reflect your potential from the point of view of a third person. It can be written by your professors or by a senior who has worked with you in your previous organization.

  • Resume: Some universities in New Zealand might also require you to submit a CV along with the application form. A Resume contains information like date of birth, academic qualifications and achievements. If the applicant was working prior to applying, the CV should also reflect the candidate’s work experience with relevant proof.

  • Academic Transcripts: Academic scorecards are the most important element in any application package. Transcripts reflect your performance throughout your academic life as well as let the admission panel to get an insight into your knowledge in the subject you want to pursue masters in.

Required exams:


GRE: Though not too popular, GRE is required for admission to Masters courses in some of the universities in New Zealand. Aspirants who are interested in pursuing a master's degree, specialised master's course, MBA or doctoral degree can sit for the GRE Test.


GMAT: While New Zealand, just like Australia puts more emphasis on work experience, GMAT is still accepted for admission to management courses in its business schools. Business schools use GMAT as a criterion for admission into a wide range of management programs like Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.


TOEFL: TOEFL is required by most universities in New Zealand as an English language proficiency proof. TOEFL is an English proficiency for students from non-native English speaking country students. TOEFL is conducted more than 50 times a year at 4,500 test centres in 165 countries worldwide.


IELTSLike TOEFL, IELTS is also an English proficiency test for students from non- native English speaking countries. IELTS test measures a candidate’s English language command on 4 different parameters- Listening, reading, writing and speaking.


Other requirements:

  • Work experience certificates, if applicable

  • Photo copies of your passport

  • Certificates for extra-curricular activities mentioned in the application form.

Stay tuned to for more stories on study opportunities in New Zealand




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Questions related to New Zealand

Showing 1 out of 1 Questions

Does GRE ,TOFEL &IELTS are mandatory for postgraduate courses or any one of the above?

Apoorva Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019

Hello dear student,

As it seems like you want to take admission in New Zealand. so dear student it depends in which university you want to take admission in , so different universities asks for the different exam .They all have  their own criteria to take students for MS in their university. So maximum universities asks for GRE marks while few asks for the other test scores.  GRE though not too popular, GRE is required for admission to masters courses in some of the universities in New Zealand.  GMAT: While NZ, just like Australia puts more emphasis on work experience, GMAT is still accepted for admission to management courses in its business schools.

i hope it was helpful.

Best wishes

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