A faster path to success: One-year diploma courses in New Zealand for international students

one-year diploma
Get a head start to your career by pursuing a one-year diploma in New Zealand. Source: Timothy A. Clary/AFP

Don’t want to spend four years in college? Then these one-year diplomas in New Zealand are perfect for you. 

Famous for its national rugby team, indigenous Maori culture and picturesque landscape, New Zealand may be far from the rest of the world geographically but not from our minds.

Graduates love how their NZ degree is world-class but affordable. Students admire the impossibly blue skies as much as the friendliness of their lecturers.

If a year is what you’ve got, then New Zealand has the short courses that’ll set you up for the life and career you want and need.

These are categorised under Levels 5, 6 and 7 as per the New Zealand Qualifications Framework system. 

These diploma courses are offered across 10 broad study areas of arts, science, engineering, healthcare, business — and many more.

one-year diploma in New Zealand

Complete your diploma in one year in this beautiful country. Source: Paul Ellis/AFP

The benefits of one-year diplomas in New Zealand

If you are thinking twice about pursuing one-year diplomas in New Zealand, here are some benefits to choosing this course:

  • It is shorter than other courses — this means you don’t have to pay for rent, food and transport for at least two more years like a bachelor’s degree.
  • You can master all the skills and knowledge required to get a job in your work area. Note that we said “get a job,” but not to “become experts” as that would require deeper, more academic learning.
  • The qualification earned can gain you credits if you choose to progress to a bachelor’s degree
  • For certain subjects, this qualification may lead to a high-paying job.

How to get accepted to one-year diplomas in New Zealand

Interested? Be sure you meet the eligibility criteria for these courses. Students will have to show proof of:

  • Passing high school with a score of at least 60%
  • English proficiency score for either IELTS, TOEFL or PTE
  • Must be at least 18 years old to apply for a diploma course in New Zealand
one-year diplomas in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the students while campaigning at Victoria University in Wellington on October 13, 2020, ahead of the country’s general election on October 17. Source: Marty Melville/AFP

The best one-year diplomas in New Zealand

1. Diploma in Journalism 

Do you have a flair for writing, being the first to bring the news to people, and speaking truth to power? Then journalism is the route for you. 

A diploma in journalism will dvelop skills in news sourcing, writing, publishing and even technical skills in photography and videography.

In New Zealand, once you complete a diploma in journalism, you will gain entry to year two of a bachelor of communications. 

Prefer to work? You can land various roles, including broadcast journalist, editorial assistant, newspaper journalist, press sub-editor, writer and many more. 

Here are some one-year diplomas in New Zealand focused on “the collection, preparation, and distribution of news and related commentary and feature materials through such print and electronic media”:

2. Diploma in Business

A diploma in business covers areas such as marketing, finance, administration, economics and accountancy. 

You’ll also learn about innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership, among others.

Knowledge and skills in these areas can set you up for some common roles in this field, including human resources, management consultant, social media manager, marketing executive and financial analyst.

It may even get you the credits to get the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ) Accounting Technician (AT) designation.

Here are one-year diplomas in New Zealand to consider:

one-year diploma

A diploma in film production can lead to many different roles within the industry. Source: Rodger Bosch/AFP

3. Diploma in Film Making and TV Production

Do you dream of directing documentaries, music videos, short films and movies?

Become a master behind the camera with a diploma in filmmaking and tv production. This diploma will teach you the technical, production, creative and business skills needed to work in the film industry. 

Not only will you be equipped with the knowledge of film production, but you will also be able to put theory to practice as you cover areas such as cinematography, directing and editing. 

Check out these universities in New Zealand offering a diploma in filmmaking and tv production:

one-year diploma in New Zealand

Fast-track your career as an engineer with a one-year diploma in New Zealand. Source: Scott Olson/ GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images/AFP

4. Diploma in Engineering

A diploma in engineering will focus more on the practical than theoretical. It’s more suited for those who want to jump straight into work.

You can choose from various sub-disciplines, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and more.

Most diplomas will let you use tools and equipment in a lab or workshop setting — preparing you for entry-level positions.

Say you choose a diploma in mechanical engineering. By the time you graduate, you’ll qualify for positions such as mechanical engineering technician or technologist.

Below are excellent options to check out:

one-year diploma

Teaching is a popular course among students in New Zealand as there is currently a high demand for teachers. Source: Clement Mahodeau/AFP

5. Diploma in Teaching 

If you are ready to take on a career that requires you to be energetic and caring, work with children and create a positive difference for them, then this is one of the best one-year diplomas in New Zealand for you.

Modules often cover how to create lesson plans, learning outcomes, evaluate student progress, manage classrooms, use edtech and cater to learners with special needs.

As the demand for teachers in New Zealand is high, you will not need to worry about securing employment once you graduate. 

Once you graduate, you can apply to register as a teacher in New Zealand and begin your career. 

If you are ready to take on that responsibility, here are some universities in New Zealand that offer a diploma in teaching:

Frequently asked questions about one-year diplomas in New Zealand

1. How do I get a diploma in New Zealand?

To qualify for a diploma course, you must first be 18 years old and have completed your high school education and must have passed with a minimum of 60%. 

Those applying for a diploma must submit proof of any one English language proficiency test or either IELTS, TOEFL or PTE.

2. How much are one-year diplomas in New Zealand?

One-year diplomas in New Zealand costs lower than any other courses. The tuition fees differ from one institution to another but their average price is around  2,500 to $4,500 New Zealand dollars

3. Can I study in New Zealand without IELTS?

As an international student in New Zealand, you don’t have to worry about completing your IELTS as it is not a necessary requirement when pursuing higher education in the country.

However, international students will need to provide proof of their English language proficiency.

This can be done with alternatives to IELTS, such as completing high school with English as the medium of instruction or submitting scores of other language proficiency tests such as TOEFL, PTE, ESOL, CAE and many more.  

4. Can I get PR in New Zealand after my diploma?

Unfortunately, the application process for a PR in New Zealand can be quite a long and tricky process. 

International students may be eligible for a post-study work visa if their chosen course is on the Qualifications Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa list. 

Those eligible will be granted this visa which allows them to work in the country for three years after completing your programme.

Once the three years are completed, you can then apply for a PR. 

5. Can international students work part-time in New Zealand?

If you are looking for another reason to study in New Zealand, here it is. 

According to Immigration in New Zealand, international students are able to work part-time while completing their programme as long as they have a work-permitting student visa. 

This visa will allow students to work up to 20 hours a week during semesters and 40 hours per week during semester breaks and holidays.