January is the new September | SEARCH JAN 2022 STARTS January is the new September | SEARCH JAN 2022 STARTS
Nottingham Trent University Featured Masters Courses
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
University of Bristol Featured Masters Courses

Masters Fees and Funding in New Zealand

New Zealand’s sporting achievements and blockbuster film industry have put it on the world map, but so too have the global reputations of its universities. In fact, over 50,000 international students study abroad in New Zealand – a pretty impressive total for an island country with eight universities!

Here you can read about the cost of studying a Masters in New Zealand, including specific details of postgraduate fees and funding for domestic and international students.

If you’re looking for more general information about studying in New Zealand, including advice on universities, degree structure and student visas, check out our detailed guide. Or, if you’ve already decided that a Masters in New Zealand is for you, why not take a look at the degrees listed on FindAMasters.com?

Masters fees for New Zealand students

The cost of higher education in New Zealand isn’t controlled by the government. Instead each university sets fees for its own degree programmes. These vary, but, as a New Zealand citizen, you’ll usually be charged a lot less than an international student.

For domestic students, a Masters in New Zealand will generally cost between NZD $6,500 and NZD $19,150 (USD $4,640-13,900). Within this broad range, the cost of specific programmes will depend partly on how expensive they are to teach.

Arts and Humanities degrees are likely to be on the lower end of the scale, while more resource-intensive subjects (such as Science and Engineering courses) will be on the higher end. Particularly expensive subjects such as professional degree programmes and MBA courses may cost a lot more, with fees as high as NZD $38,000 (USD $27,100).

These fees are per year; remember that most Masters degrees in New Zealand require two years of study.

You may have heard about the New Zealand government’s policy of providing a year of free tuition for students. However, this is only available for recent school leavers, so it can’t be used to study a Masters (for the time being).

You can keep up to date with the latest developments at the New Zealand government’s dedicated tuition fee policy website.

Masters fees for international students in New Zealand

The bad news for international students in New Zealand is that you’ll normally be charged Masters fees at a higher rate. The good news is that there are various sources of funding for students studying abroad in New Zealand. This means you may not end up paying the full costs of your programme.

As a rough guide, you can expect to pay between NZD $26,000 and NZD $37,000 (USD $18,550-26,400) per year as an international student in New Zealand. Your full cost for a typical two-year Masters degree will therefore be between NZD $52,000 and NZD $74,000 (USD $37,100-52,800).

Programmes in Arts and Humanities subjects will be towards the lower end of this price range; those in Science and Engineering subjects will be nearer the top.

Fees for international research students in New Zealand

It’s worth bearing in mind that, while fees for taught postgraduate programmes are higher for international students in New Zealand, this doesn’t apply to some research degrees. The cost of a PhD, for example, is the same is it is for domestic applicants. You can read more about postgraduate research in New Zealand at FindAPhD.com.

Masters funding for New Zealand students

There are two main funding options available to you as a domestic Masters student in New Zealand.

The first is the New Zealand government's student loans system, which includes provision for citizens studying postgraduate degrees.

Alternatively, you can search for a funded scholarship or similar grant. These are usually offered by individual universities, as well as other groups with an interest in funding New Zealand’s postgraduate education.

Postgraduate student loans in New Zealand

Postgraduate Masters degrees are covered by the New Zealand government’s national student loans system. These allow you to borrow money to cover your tuition fees as well as other costs involved in studying a degree.

You will be eligible to apply for a student loan in New Zealand provided you have either:

  • New Zealand citizenship
  • The right to reside in New Zealand for at least three years, in addition to three years' existing residence in the country

You will also need to be under 55 and enrolled on a full-time course (or a part-time course that qualifies as limited full-time study).

You can borrow to cover three different expenses as a Masters student in New Zealand:

  • Your tuition fees – These will usually be covered in full, with the appropriate amount paid directly to your university.
  • Other course fees – These could include additional costs and expenses related to your degree (such as the price of equipment and resources). You can borrow up to NZD $1,000 (USD $715) a year for these.
  • Living costs – You can borrow up to NZD $242.53 (USD $173.06) a week to support yourself as a Masters student in New Zealand. This can help you pay the cost of accommodation or other maintenance expenses.

The total amount you can borrow as a Masters student in New Zealand is capped by a lifetime limit, equivalent to the value of around seven or eight years of full-time study. This will include any amount you’ve already borrowed for your undergraduate degree, but should still be sufficient for you to take out another loan for a two-year Masters degree.

Student loans in New Zealand are administered by StudyLink, on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development. You can read more information about eligibility criteria, repayments and application procedures on the StudyLink website.

University scholarships in New Zealand

If you aren’t eligible for a student loan (or would prefer not to take on debt for your Masters degree) you may be able to secure funding from a university in New Zealand. Most offer their own scholarships to certain postgraduate students, selected according to financial need or individual merit.

With only eight universities to choose from (plus polytechnics and institutes of technology) searching for scholarships from institutions in New Zealand is relatively easy. Still, you can speed the process up by finding a New Zealand Masters degree and then getting in touch – all the course listings here at FindAMasters.com include contact details.

Postgraduate grants in New Zealand

In addition to government loans and university scholarships, Masters funding in New Zealand is also available from other, third-party, organisations.

These support postgraduate training in specific areas, or provide assistance to individuals from specific backgrounds (including indigenous Maori or Pasifika students). You can view a list of awards for different purposes on the Universities New Zealand website.

Some of this funding is targeted at PhD students, working on certain research topics, but other awards are available for taught postgraduate degrees. And, of course, you can always go back for the PhD funding after you’ve finished your Masters!

Masters funding for international students in New Zealand

International postgraduates aren’t eligible for student loans from the New Zealand government, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find funding for your Masters.

In fact, there are a wide range of scholarships designed specifically to support and encourage postgraduate study abroad in New Zealand. These are offered by the New Zealand government, individual universities and other organisations.

International scholarships from the New Zealand government

The New Zealand government is keen to support specific groups of overseas students studying at its universities and offers scholarships for this process.

The main one is the New Zealand Scholarship, run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This scholarship is available to students from selected Pacific, Asian, African, Caribbean and Latin American countries (find out if your country is eligible).

Successful applicants for the New Zealand Scholarship will receive the following benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Weekly living allowance of NZD $491 (USD $350)
  • Establishing allowance of NZD $3,000 (USD $2,140) to help you get set up in New Zealand
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights to and from your country (This allows for flights at the start and end of the scholarship, and up to two trips during)

You can apply online for a New Zealand Scholarship.

If you’re from an eligible Commonwealth country, you can apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship, which offers the same benefits as the above scheme. The application process is slightly different for Commonwealth funding – you’ll need to contact the nominating agency (PDF) in your country and ask for a paper application form to fill in.

General scholarships for postgraduate study in New Zealand

A wide range of other scholarships are available for Masters students in New Zealand. Many are listed on the Universities New Zealand website (note that not all of these awards will be available to international students and some may be reserved for PhD-level work).

University scholarships for international postgraduates in New Zealand

It’s not just the government that has an interest in funding international students in New Zealand. The country’s universities are also keen to recruit the best overseas students to study abroad on their Masters programmes.

You can search a range of these on the official New Zealand education website (remember to filter awards by your country of origin). Alternatively, you can view specific Masters degrees in New Zealand right here on FindAMasters.com. All of the courses we list provide contact details and many also include information about funding opportunities.

Search for a Masters in New Zealand

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse and compare Masters degrees in New Zealand on FindAMasters.com

Last updated - 02/11/2021

This article is the property of FindAMasters.com and may not be reproduced without permission.

Click here to search our database of Masters courses