New Zealand is different from India, hence International students are often confused with the education system in New Zealand. As per NZQF (New Zealand Qualification Framework), a different level of qualification has different specified guidelines and rules for a student to pursue them. Hence it is quite reasonable for a student to get confused. 

Let us understand the levels and what qualifications are applicable at each stage so that we get a better insight. 

  • Level 5: First Year, Certificate and Diploma 
  • Level 6: Second Year, Certificate and Diploma 
  • Level 7: Bachelor’s Degree, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma 
  • Level 8: Bachelors Honors Degrees, Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma 
  • Level 9: Master’s Degree
  • Level 10: Doctoral Degree

As an international student, majorly the starting point of opting for a degree is Level 7 and above, so let’s understand in detail the qualification from Level 7, the purpose of the study, and its entry requirements. 

Level 7

Bachelor’s Degree: 

360 credits are what a student is required to earn from a 3-years Bachelor’s degree and few courses are exceptional which require 480 credits for a 4-years Bachelor’s, such as engineering, health sciences, and law. 

Purpose of the study: 

The student opting for Bachelors degree gains logical and structured procedural knowledge of a particular recognized major subject. The study method followed throughout the course includes self-reliant learning and work, and problem-solving skills. The bachelor’s degree covers at least 1 progressive and successive major subject which forms a base for a post-graduation study. 

Minimum Entry Requirements:

  • Successful completion of SSC and HSC from a recognized board with a minimum of 60% in HSC.
  • IELTS 6.0 overall band and no band less than 5.5, PTE 50 with no band score lower than 42, and TOEFL 60 overall with 18 in writing 

Graduate Certificate:

60 credits are what a student is required to complete this course and duration of this course is usually 4 to 6 months, hence it should be opted along with a higher degree to become eligible for securing the visa.

Purpose of study:

The above course is mainly designed as a transit qualification which makes you eligible for a postgraduate study particularly for the students who want to develop their skills in a new discipline or who intend to broaden their knowledge in a particular stream. 

Entry Requirements:

  • Mostly it is open for all the graduates from any stream, but ideally, a student should be able to demonstrate some practical experience in the same domain 
  • IELTS 6.0 overall band and no band less than 5.5, PTE 50 with no band score lower than 42, and TOEFL 60 overall with 18 in writing

Level 8:

Bachelor’s Honors Degree:

480 credits are required for 4 years of honors and 120 credits for 1-year honors course.

Purpose of Study:

A level 8 Bachelor’s Honors Degree is usually a degree in itself which is for 4 years, or 1 year Bachelor of honor is usually for the students who have shown average progress during their 3-years Bachelors course so that they can be eligible to pursue their higher studies in the same domain 

Entry Requirements:

  • Successful completion of Bachelor’s course with average score throughout the course and should be relevant to the honors study 
  • IELTS 6.5 overall band with no band less than 6, PTE 58 overall with no band less than 50, TOEFL 79 overall score with 21 in writing 

Postgraduate Certificate:

60 to 120 credits are required to complete the course depending on the duration of the course which varies between 6 months to 9 months 

Purpose of Study:

A level 8 Postgraduate Certificate is ideally opted to intensify and extend a student’s knowledge and skill of a particular domain

Entry Requirements:

  • Successful completion of Bachelor’s/ Graduate Diploma/ Graduate Certificate associated with subject which the student wishes to pursue or relevant work experience in the same domain
  • IELTS 6.5 overall band with no band less than 6, PTE 58 overall with no band less than 50, TOEFL 79 overall score with 21 in writing

Postgraduate Diploma:

120 credits are required to complete the course which lasts for 1 year.

Purpose of Study:

A level 8 Postgraduate Diploma is specifically designed to increase the understanding of the subject matter studied during a Bachelor’s/Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate. The course lays proper foundation for the student and prepares them for self-sufficient research work 

Entry Requirements:

  • Successful completion of Bachelor’s/ Graduate Diploma/ Graduate Certificate associated with subject which the student wishes to pursue or relevant work experience in the same domain
  • IELTS 6.5 overall band with no band less than 6, PTE 58 overall with no band less than 50, TOEFL 79 overall score with 21 in writing

Level 9:

Master’s Degree:

240 credits are required to complete a Master’s degree. However the credits might vary based on prior education, for eg. if the student has completed Bachelor’s with honors, the credits required will be 120 

Purpose of Study:

A level 9 Master’s degree is either through Master’s or Research-based Master’s or a combination of both. Though Master’s is focused degree to avail the expertise on the subject line studied during undergraduate study, the course work comprises project-based learning, which gives hands-on experience in the field which the student wants to excel. The research-based Master’s is based on multiple thesis and surveys. Research-based Master’s degree is the base for students who further want to opt for Ph.D. or Doctoral Degrees.

Entry Requirements:

  • Successful completion of Bachelor’s in the relevant field from a recognized university or Graduate Diploma or Postgraduate Diploma in case of the student who is changing stream after Bachelors, with relevant work experience will be added advantage.
  • IELTS 6.5 overall band with no band less than 6, PTE 58 overall with no band less than 50, TOEFL 79 overall score with 21 in writing

Level 10:

Ph.D./Doctoral Degree:

360 credits are required to complete the Ph.D./Doctoral Degree 

Purpose of Study:

Level 10 Ph.D. or Doctoral Degree is a core research-based program. During Ph.D. the progress and developments are mentored by recognized experts in the field of study allowing a student relevant access to the research assets. Doctoral Degree is usually self-supporting research-based study where a student is expected to carry out research with minimal expert guidance.

Entry Requirements:

  • Researched based Masters or extensive research work with multiple published articles including international published papers
  • IELTS 6.5 overall band with no band less than 6, PTE 58 overall with no band less than 50, TOEFL 79 overall score with 21 in writing

Vaidehi Purohit

Sr. Counselor & Trainer – Australia/New Zealand

Imperial Overseas Educational Consultants

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