Qualification group

Graduate certificates and diplomas


Most graduate qualifications can be taken by students with a bachelor's degree with a major in an unrelated area. They allow you to change subject focus, either within your first degree area or in a completely different area. This can enhance the value of your undergraduate degree or be a first step to a new career or further study.

Some graduate qualifications, for example the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), are professional qualifications that prepare you for a specific career.

Graduate studies typically involve taking advanced undergraduate courses (from 100 to 300-level).

Some graduate certificates can be completed in six months of full-time study. Graduate diplomas can typically be completed in one year of full-time study.

Entry requirements

Entry for graduate certificates and diplomas requires previous studies in a three-year bachelor’s degree, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements to gain entry if English is your additional language.

Some graduate certificates and diplomas have additional requirements. Check the details on the qualification to make sure you meet these.

Find out how to apply for graduate qualifications.

Qualification options

The following graduate qualifications are offered at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury:


Graduate certificates require 60 points of study and can typically be completed in six months of full-time study or part-time over two years. Credit may often be transferred a graduate diploma.

Graduate diplomas require 120 points of study and can normally be completed in one year of full-time study or part-time over up to four years; some programmes allow for a longer period of part-time study.

While programmes vary between disciplines, the graduate programmes are generally comprised of both undergraduate and dedicated graduate level courses. 

Further study

Successful completion of a graduate certificate will allow you to continue on to graduate diploma study.

Transition from graduate diplomas to other postgraduate degrees varies considerably between schools and departments. If you think you might be interested in postgraduate study after your diploma, talk to your school or department Postgraduate Coordinator to understand your options.

Jessica Clarke

Jessica Clarke

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Shaurat Gill

Shauhrat Gill

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