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Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Genetics)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Pathway to master’s

A postgraduate diploma is the stepping stone to a research-based qualification such as a master’s degree.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology (Genetics) gives you the opportunity to join the pathway to in-depth research at a master's level. The programme consists of 90 credits of taught programmes and 30 credits of research.

The programme gives you the opportunity to show your analytical thinking and high-level research capability. If you complete the programme at a satisfactory level you may be able to proceed to the Master of Science (Genetics). If so, credits you have gained through this qualification may be credited to the master's programme.

World-class facilities

You will have access to world-class facilities including the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited). You will also be able to utilise Massey’s broad range of expertise in the sciences, working with other departments and experts as you need to for your research.

Wide range of specialities

Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in genetics, ranging from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.

Flexibility and industry links

At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study, including both the Manawatu and the Auckland campuses, as well as other research institutes such as AgResearch, Scion, and Plant & Food Research. This flexibility provides a great deal of project choice, as well as providing important industry linkages that enhance job prospects.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

A critical part of the genetics postgraduate experience at Massey is being part of the vibrant, well-established community of fundamental scientists and students. We have a large active student group - the Fundamental Science Students Association (FUSSTA) - where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. This qualification will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate science degree, or are near completion (one or two courses to go)
  • Are interested in postgraduate genetics study, but do not have a research background, or
  • Would like to undertake a predominantly taught postgraduate programme


Most genetics postgraduates gain employment as scientists in research institutes and universities both in New Zealand and overseas, in a wide variety of fields. Others have become forensic scientists, genetic counsellors, teachers, sales representatives, laboratory technicians, managers, journalists, ministry advisors, and health and safety advisors.

Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.

World-leading lecturers

Massey’s genetics staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised genetics and related discipline specialists, for example:

Dr Evelyn Sattlegger, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology

Dr Sattlegger’s interest is in the molecular mechanisms underlying normal biological functions, how/why malfunction may lead to diseases or disorders, and how they could be prevented or treated.  Her research group employs a large variety of techniques across molecular and cell biology, genetics and biochemistry. Before commencing at Massey in 2005, Dr Sattlegger was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship as part of the Research Associateship Program (USA) to conduct studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA, in the Laboratory of Nutrient Control of Gene Expression, headed by Dr Alan Hinnebusch. Dr Sattlegger’s research has been funded by various funding agencies as well as industry based in New Zealand and around the world, and she is amongst the top publishers in her research field.

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