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Master's degrees

20 September 2023

Getting a master’s degree is evidence of high academic attainment, specialist understanding and advanced critical evaluation, research, interpretation, and communication skills. UC offers three types of master's degrees - research, coursework, or a combination of these. Check out the qualification options, entry requirements, and more.


Gaining a master’s degree is evidence of high academic attainment, specialist understanding and advanced critical evaluation, research, interpretation, and communication skills.

UC offers three types of master's degrees:

  • research (thesis) master's
  • taught (coursework) master's
  • a combination of both.

A research master’s degree advances your knowledge in the area of your previous studies, and enables you to conduct a significant piece of independent research (with supervision).

A taught master’s degree provides a structured programme of taught courses at an advanced level. In some cases, a taught master’s can allow you to undertake study in a different professional area from that of your first degree. Many offer applied learning opportunities, such as an independent project or industry placement.

A number of UC’s master’s degrees allow for a combination of both courses and research.

UC's Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the most industry-engaged MBA in New Zealand, open to anyone from any study background to build or upskill their business leadership expertise.

We also offer a pathway through the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration for those without previous university studies.

See also our Business Taught Master's programmes.

Admission to a master's degree is based on your previous studies in a relevant 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.

The primary basis for selection is on your Grade Point Average in your undergraduate degree and your ability to complete postgraduate study, however consideration may also be given to other factors, such as relevant work experience. A good indication of your readiness for postgraduate-level study is the achievement of B grades or better in your final-year undergraduate courses.

Admission to master’s degrees can be competitive, and some departments and schools may have additional requirements. Refer to the specific master’s programme you are interested in for detailed entry requirements.

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

Find out how to apply for postgraduate qualifications.


Finding a research supervisor

If you are intending to conduct research in your degree, you should investigate potential supervisors before applying for postgraduate study at UC – see the UC Research Profile for a searchable database.

Your supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all administrative and administrative requirements are met. They will also assess your suitability as a master’s candidate based on your academic performance (often requiring supporting evidence), the matching between your research interests and theirs, and their availability and funding.

A number of master’s degrees allow for a combination of individual research and coursework. Master's degrees at UC take between one and two years to complete (longer if part-time), depending on your earlier qualifications and the particular degree.

Part-time study because of employment, family, health, or other reasons may be possible, but is not automatic.

It is possible to transfer to a PhD (or other doctoral degree) from a master’s degree. You will need to demonstrate that your thesis research is progressing well and that your thesis would benefit from an extended period of research. You will also need the support of your school or department to apply for a transfer. See transferring from a master’s to a PhD for more information.

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