Admission Requirements to Study in New Zealand

Whether for a full degree or just a few weeks – anyone who wants to study in New Zealand must meet certain admission requirements. Thanks to the clearly structured New Zealand study system , international applicants know very quickly which degree they need for the respective study program. However, the exact admission requirements vary, depending on the length and type of program .

Meeting the admission requirements is the first step in starting the application process for studying at a New Zealand university. International students apply directly to universities in New Zealand to study. The general higher education entrance qualification usually enables the first entry into the tertiary education sector of New Zealand. This consists of Universities , Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs). At the ITPs or PTEs, as well as for certain courses or shorter programs, the technical diploma can also be sufficient for admission. Applicants without a high school diploma stand by Crediting of work experience or preparatory courses also offers opportunities for studying in neighboring Australia .

In addition to a few individual requirements, sufficient knowledge of English is essential for admission to New Zealand . After a successful application, prospective students receive the Confirmation of Placement / Offer of Place , which they submit with the visa application.

Requirements according to type of study

Just like in Germany, the New Zealand degrees build on one another , so that one degree allows graduates to advance to the next higher level. However, depending on the type of study, the other requirements for admission to a full or shorter study program in New Zealand differ.


For a three-year Bachelor’s degree in New Zealand , applicants need a high school diploma and sufficient language skills to be able to follow the lessons without any problems. A high school diploma is often sufficient for a bachelor’s degree at ITPs. In some cases, professional experience or training is also accepted here. Some New Zealand higher education programs have additional admission requirements, such as certain advanced high school courses, a portfolio, a letter of reference or a face-to-face interview. Medical degree programs often require a first aid course.

Students with a good to very good grade point average are admitted to the higher degree Bachelor of Honors .


Applicants for a two-year master’s degree in New Zealand should have a first degree in addition to very good English language skills . The Master by coursework requires a bachelor’s degree. The higher degree Bachelor of Honors , a one-year research-based postgraduate course after the Bachelor, is required by students for the Master by thesis .

A master’s by coursework and thesis requires a bachelor’s degree in a similar field of research. This also applies to the Master of Laws (LLM), which requires an academic degree in law. This includes, for example, the first state examination completed with at least satisfactory. If the GPA is too low, applicants with the New Zealand Postgraduate Certificate in Law will still be eligible for admission.

The universities often require good to very good grades in the bachelor ‘s degree for admission to the master’s program . This applies, for example, to the MBA . For this, applicants submit a transcript of records . In some cases, MBA applicants have to achieve a good or satisfactory result in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

In addition to these requirements, a curriculum vitae, letter of motivation or reference letter from a lecturer may be required for admission to the Masters program in New Zealand . New Zealand universities often expect two to five years of work experience for admission to the MBA program. Since this criterion varies from person to person, the universities decide at their own discretion whether applicants meet the admission requirements.


The University of New Zealand only accepts applicants for a doctorate who have a master’s degree with a research component and corresponding language skills in English . In some cases, doctoral programs begin after the Bachelor of Honors , so that the later dissertation builds on the research work of the Master.

Another requirement for admission to a doctorate is at least two years of research . For a job-related doctorate, the university expects around five years of professional experience.

Similar to the MBA program , New Zealand universities make more individual decisions about admission to a doctorate. In addition to the topic of the doctorate, the capacities of the university play an important role, i.e. the availability of supervisors and the necessary facilities.

At some New Zealand universities, applicants for a doctorate must take the DELNA (Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment) exam for admission.

Shorter study programs up to a year

A shorter study visit is the more cost-effective alternative to a full degree in New Zealand. In this way, international students still benefit from the high-quality educational institutions on site. The New Zealand universities offer a wide range of courses so that studies at the home university are optimally supplemented or expanded .

Many students choose to spend a semester or two abroad in New Zealand . Applicants should be in their second semester at least . In addition, sufficient language skills in English are a prerequisite for admission. The same applies to the application for the summer session . A bachelor’s degree is required for one semester during the master’s program.

In order to take a course for study preparation or further education , applicants only need a high school diploma and sufficient language skills.

In New Zealand, the Certificate and Diploma postgraduate courses lead to degrees that complement a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or qualify for entry into a career. In Germany, these are not recognized as academic degrees, but they offer high-quality and practical training that is highly valued locally. In some cases, professional experience can count for admission to a postgraduate course instead of an academic degree.

Admission to the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma is possible after completing a Bachelor’s degree or with a Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma . The prerequisite is that the degrees build on each other in terms of content.

Admission Requirements to Study in New Zealand

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