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New Degree to benefit students, the economy and exports

New Degree to benefit students, the economy and export education

17 December 2012

The introduction of a shorter Master’s Degree, which will enable universities to better meet the needs of New Zealand’s labour market and help boost export education, is strongly supported by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara.


In future, high achieving students will be able to complete a Master’s Degree in 12 to 18 months instead of two years. It will comprise 180 credits, following completion of a three year Bachelor’s Degree.


The new degree will enable students to complete their studies more efficiently says Professor Roy Crawford, the Chair of University New Zealand’s Committee on University Academic Programmes.
“I expect it will be popular with graduates looking to enhance knowledge and skills to boost their career and employment prospects.”


Professor Crawford says that the new degree reflects international best practice and a commitment to quality, and will align New Zealand’s Master’s Degrees with those offered in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.

“New Zealand must be internationally competitive to meet the expectations of domestic students and to attract more international students to study here. We need to offer qualifications of comparable entry requirements and duration to those of our international competitors. We envisage that this change will have a very positive impact on increasing the numbers of students who choose New Zealand as their study destination for postgraduate degrees.”


“The Government is aiming to boost the value of export education over the next 15 years. The new Master’s Degree will contribute towards achieving this goal.”


Universities New Zealand made recommendations to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to introduce the new degree, following consultation with the universities.


The structure of a Master’s Degree will remain the same with the current options retained. These are: wholly or primarily by thesis; by coursework and thesis; or by coursework only.

The two-year Master’s will also continue to be offered.


The new degrees will be offered from 2013 and several of the new Master’s programmes have already been approved by Universities New Zealand.

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