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New Zealand Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

New Zealand Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs New Zealand, known for its breathtaking landscapes, is also a beacon of quality education, attracting students from across the globe. For many international students, the dream of pursuing higher education can seem distant due to the varying qualifications and grading systems in their home countries.

However, New Zealand’s education system offers a glimmer of hope, especially for those holding HND (Higher National Diploma) certificates, second class, and third class degrees. In this blog post, we will explore the universities and schools in New Zealand that accept these qualifications for master’s degree programs, shedding light on the admission criteria and providing a guide for prospective students.

What Are The Criteria For Admission For Master’s Degree In New Zealand Universities and Schools  

The admission criteria for Master’s degree programs in New Zealand vary by institution and program of study. However, there are general requirements that applicants with HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees need to meet to be considered for admission. Here is a comprehensive list of these criteria:

  • Academic Requirements: Applicants must possess a Higher National Diploma (HND), second class, or third class undergraduate degree from a recognized institution. Some universities may require a postgraduate diploma or honors degree for entry into specific Master’s programs, especially for those with third class degrees.
  • Evidence of English Proficiency: Since English is the medium of instruction in New Zealand, non-native speakers are required to demonstrate their proficiency. Common tests accepted include IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE Academic, with minimum score requirements varying between universities and programs.
  • Work Experience: Certain programs, particularly those related to business or management, may require applicants to have relevant work experience. This can range from 2 to 5 years, depending on the program’s competitiveness and level.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two to three letters of recommendation may be required, typically from academics or professionals who can vouch for the applicant’s suitability for graduate study.
  • Statement of Purpose: A well-written statement of purpose that outlines the applicant’s academic interests, professional goals, and reasons for choosing the specific program and institution.

Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee admission, as many programs are highly competitive. Applicants are encouraged to carefully prepare their application materials and consider reaching out to the admissions offices of their chosen universities for any specific guidance or advice.

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New Zealand Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

Identifying universities in New Zealand that are open to applicants with diverse academic backgrounds, including those with HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees, is crucial for prospective students looking to pursue their master’s degrees. The following universities are known for their inclusive admission policies, offering opportunities for a wide range of students to further their education.

1) University of Auckland

This prestigious university, known for its comprehensive range of programs, provides avenues for HND holders and those with lower-class degrees to transition into certain master’s programs, subject to specific departmental requirements and the completion of any prerequisite courses.

2) Victoria University of Wellington

At Victoria, the focus on diverse and inclusive education allows applicants with HND certificates and second or third class degrees to find suitable master’s programs, especially in fields like the arts, education, and social sciences. Prospective students may need to engage in additional preparatory coursework.

3) University of Canterbury

Offering a variety of pathways for postgraduate studies, the University of Canterbury accepts applications from students with varied academic backgrounds. Each department assesses applicants on a case-by-case basis, considering additional factors such as work experience and personal statements.

4) Massey University 

Known for its flexibility and support for international students, Massey University accommodates applicants with HNDs and lower classification degrees into many of its master’s programs. Some programs may require supplementary courses to bridge any academic gaps.

5) Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

AUT has a welcoming approach toward applicants with practical qualifications such as HNDs and those from lower-tier undergraduate backgrounds. The university offers tailored advice on program suitability and potential preparatory modules.

6) University of Otago

With a strong emphasis on research and academic excellence, the University of Otago provides opportunities for students with diverse educational qualifications to pursue master’s degrees, particularly in areas related to science, humanities, and commerce.

Each of these universities evaluates candidates on an individual basis, taking into account the totality of their academic and professional experiences. Applicants are encouraged to contact the admissions departments directly to discuss their qualifications and the potential need for additional preparatory work to meet program requirements fully.

New Zealand Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

While universities are the primary institutions for higher education in New Zealand, the terminology sometimes encompasses a broader range of tertiary education providers, including institutes of technology and polytechnics, which might also offer postgraduate programs. Here, we focus on these institutions that welcome students with HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees for master’s degree programs:

1) Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)

Known for its Zero Fees Scheme, SIT provides an attractive option for postgraduate studies, particularly for those with vocational qualifications such as HNDs. The institute evaluates applicants with diverse academic backgrounds, offering several programs that could be a match for those looking to upscale their qualifications.

2) Unitec Institute of Technology

Unitec has a reputation for its practical and industry-focused programs, making it a good choice for HND holders looking to further their education in a more applied setting. Programs in business, computing, and engineering are particularly welcoming to students with varied academic backgrounds.

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 3) Otago Polytechnic

Offering a range of postgraduate qualifications, Otago Polytechnic prides itself on a learning-by-doing approach, ideal for HND holders and graduates with lower university classifications. Their master’s degree programs in fields such as Applied Management and Professional Practice encourage applications from those with professional experience and diverse academic qualifications.

4) Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec)

WelTec offers a supportive learning environment for students from various academic pathways. Their approach to postgraduate studies includes recognizing prior learning and work experience, which can be particularly beneficial for applicants with HND certificates or lower degree classifications seeking to gain a master’s degree in areas like information technology and project management.

5) Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)

Wintec provides several pathways for postgraduate studies, emphasizing innovation and practical skills. Their inclusive admission policies allow students with HNDs and those who graduated with second class or third class degrees to find a program that suits their ambitions and career goals.

These institutions represent just a portion of New Zealand’s commitment to accessible education, recognizing the value of diverse qualifications and experiences. Prospective students are encouraged to explore these options and contact the institutions directly to discuss their specific circumstances and how they might best prepare for entry into a master’s degree program.


Does New Zealand accept HND?

Yes, New Zealand does accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) from students who wish to pursue further study in the country. There are a number of universities in New Zealand that offer master’s degree programs that accept HNDs. Some examples include the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and Massey University.

What is the minimum GPA for Masters in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, the minimum GPA for admission into a master’s degree program varies depending on the university and program. However, most universities require a minimum GPA of 3.0 or 3.5 out of 4.0 for admission. Additionally, some programs may have higher minimum GPA requirements, such as 4.0 or above.

Who is eligible for Masters in New Zealand?

To be eligible for a master’s degree in New Zealand, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0. Additionally, you must have sufficient English language proficiency and meet any other specific requirements set by the university or program you’re applying to. You will also need to provide proof of funds to cover your tuition and living expenses, as well as evidence of good character.

Does University of Calgary accept HND for Masters degree?

The University of Calgary does accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) from students who wish to pursue a master’s degree. However, the HND must be in a relevant field of study, and you must have at least a 3.0 GPA. Additionally, you must meet the minimum English language proficiency requirements set by the university. 

Does University of Aberdeen accept HND for masters?

Yes, the University of Aberdeen does accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) for admission into their master’s degree programs. In order to be considered for admission, you must have a HND in a relevant subject area with a minimum grade of Merit. Additionally, you must also meet the university’s English language requirements and provide a personal statement and references. 


New Zealand is a great destination for those seeking to pursue a master’s degree. With over 20 universities offering a wide range of programs, there is something for everyone. Many of these universities accept HNDs, second class, and third class degrees for admission into their master’s degree programs.

Additionally, New Zealand’s education system is highly regarded for its quality and affordability. Students from all over the world can enjoy the country’s beautiful scenery, friendly people, and excellent quality of life while studying for their master’s degree. So if you’re looking for a unique and rewarding experience, New Zealand is the place to be.

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