Programme list > Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing


Take the next step in your nursing career

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (PGDipNurs) will advance your practice and prepare you for further development towards senior nursing roles.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Credits

  • 120
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • Other

  • Courses have compulsory contact workshops.
    Available via Distance learning.

Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

Most students like you undertaking postgraduate study in nursing are in full-time practice and study part-time.

Several postgraduate courses in nursing are delivered via ‘distance learning’ and/or ‘block mode’.  These can include compulsory face-to-face teaching in on-campus contact workshops, web-based teaching, relevant readings and other study material. It means the courses are available if you are in employment and located at a distance from the university.

Learn from the best in your field

You’ll learn from academics and professional clinicians who are experienced registered nurses. Their expertise in practice and research drives the development of relevant, up-to-date course content, teaching, and assessment of your work.

You’ll be supported all the way

There is always plenty of help at hand. Along with contact with your lecturers, learning consultants in the Centre for Teaching and Learning are available to support your study and academic writing skills. Each library has a subject librarian who supports you on campus or at a distance.

Careers and further study


The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (PGDipNurs) prepares nurses like you for advanced practice and to develop towards senior nursing roles or becoming a registered nurse practitioner.

Further study

You can progress to a Master of Nursing as preparation for advanced practice roles and/or Nurse Practitioner registration.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Postgradute Diploma in Nursing you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification, and
  • have New Zealand Nursing Council registration or equivalent.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Admission criteria for course 168.750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum:

Note that in order to be admitted to the Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum course, which is part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing, you will have:

  • completed course 168.733 Physiology and Pathophysiology, and
  • achieved at least a B grade in courses 168.728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making and 168.734 Clinical Pharmacology, and
  • the Nursing Council requires you to have completed three years’ equivalent full time practice in the area of practice being prescribed in.

You may need to upload a revised CV ensuring your practice areas are fully detailed, before you will be approved into this course.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Core course(s) from Schedule A – At least 30 credits
  • Elective courses from Schedule C – Up to 90 credits

Courses for this programme

Schedule A: Core courses

At least 30 credits from
168711 Health Research Design and Method 30
168713 Evidence-Based Practice 30
168733 Physiology and Pathophysiology 30

Schedule B: Core Subject (No New Enrolments)

Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.

Schedule C: Elective courses

152742 Health Systems Management 30
152746 Contemporary Issues in Health Service Management 30
168702 Issues in Nursing 30
168703 Managing Long Term Conditions 30
168709 Contemporary Clinical Teaching 30
168712 Pain Management 30
168714 Advanced Assessment and Therapeutic Intervention in Mental Health 30
168717 Applied Ethics for Professional Practice 30
168719 Clinical Specialty: Older Persons' Health 30
168720 Clinical Specialty: Mental Health 30
168721 Māori Centred Practice 30
168722 Wound Management 30
168724 Primary Health Care Nursing 30
168728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making 30
168731 Leadership in Nursing 30
168734 Clinical Pharmacology 30
168750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum 30
168796 Health and Well-being of Children and Young People 30
252701 Sleep and Circadian Science for Health Practitioners 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The School of Nursing recommends that you study the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing part-time. If you want to study full-time, it is recommended that you contact the School to discuss your options.

Some postgraduate courses in nursing are delivered via ‘distance or block mode’ with compulsory or recommended face-to-face teaching in on-campus contact workshops, web-based teaching, relevant readings and other study material. This is designed to make the courses available if you are in employment and located at a distance from the university.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing is awarded without an endorsement.

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing for Nurse Prescriber training

The courses for this pathway are:

  • 168.733 Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • 168.728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making
  • 168.734 Clinical Pharmacology
  • 168.750 Registered Nurse Prescribing Practicum

Before you enrol in 168.750 you will have passed the other three courses and have achieved at least a B grade in both of 168.728 and 168.734. You will also have completed three years’ equivalent full time practice in the area of practice being prescribed in, in accordance with the requirements of the Nursing Council.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Professional requirements

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing for Nurse Prescriber training

After you have finished the Postgraduate Diploma you must apply to the Nursing Council, pay the fee and submit all portfolios, etc before you can become a Nurse Prescriber.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • wish to develop and advance your professional practice
  • seek to enhance your contribution to people’s health and wellbeing.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking Nursing

Massey nursing is ranked in the world's top 150 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

ShanghaiRanking - nursing

Massey University is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world and second in New Zealand in the subject area of nursing by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships