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Making Masters Of The Professionals

24 May 2002

Hot on the heels of the government's new Tertiary Education Strategy, UNITEC has announced three new masters degrees it believes are needed for New Zealand's knowledge economy.

The institute of technology has received NZQA approval for the new qualifications - a Master of Design, Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture - which build on UNITEC's applied research approach.

The Graduate School Dean, Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, says the new programmes are a good fit with the government's knowledge-growth strategies. "They are absolutely in line with what the government wants. A knowledge economy requires the population to be constantly upskilling, but the traditional university system makes it difficult for people in the workforce."

Professor Rowarth believes a lack of suitable postgraduate qualifications is preventing many professionals from doing further study. "There really aren't that many opportunities for the professions to upskill specifically for their jobs."

Unlike many masters programmes, these new qualifications are aimed squarely at working professionals, with the emphasis on practice-based design issues in an academic framework.

The timetables are designed for working practitioners, with extended weekend block courses and evening workshops.

Professor Rowarth says the structure and the project-based approach makes the degrees unique. "These programmes are quite revolutionary. Practitioners can look for a solution to a problem in an academic environment, try the solution in their workplace - and if it doesn't work, take it back and try again."

The Master of Design, Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture will be available at UNITEC's Auckland campus from next year.


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