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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 40,000 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. Whatever your circumstances and subject area, this page has everything you need to get started budgeting for postgraduate study in the land of ski-slopes, wine, rugby and, yes, The Lord of the Rings.

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, average fees for a Masters in New Zealand are between NZ$5,000 and NZ$10,000. 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 closer to NZ$5,000-6,500 per year, whilst more resource-intensive subjects (such as science and engineering courses) will often be over NZ$7,500. Particularly expensive subjects such as professional degree programmes and MBA courses may cost a lot more, with fees between NZ$15,000 and NZ$20,000.

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

Masters fees at specific New Zealand universities

Detailed data for Masters fees in New Zealand is maintained by Universities New Zealand, the representative body for the country’s higher education system. This information is updated every year and provides a helpful resource if you’re looking for information on the cost of a specific postgraduate programme in New Zealand.

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 NZ$20,000 and NZ$30,000 per year as an international student in New Zealand. Your full cost for a typical two-year Masters degree will therefore be between NZ$40,000 and NZ$60,000.

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.

International Masters fees at specific New Zealand universities

The information above is based on data provided by Study Options, the official portal for British students studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand. You can keep an eye on their updated fees data here.

You can also use the information provided by Universities New Zealand to check international Masters fees for specific institutions and subject areas.

Fees for international research students in New Zealand

It’s worth bearing in mind that, whilst 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 in order 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:

  • New Zealand citizenship; or
  • The right to reside in New Zealand for at least three years, in addition to three year’s 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 NZ$1,000 a year for these.
  • Living costs - You can borrow up to NZ$176.86 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 their 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 an 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 development 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 a range of scholarships for this process. They include:

  • The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – available to international postgraduates (including Masters students) from developing Commonwealth countries who will return home for at least two years following their degree. Priority subject areas for funding vary based on the applicant’s home country. Applications should be made directly to local nominating agencies.
  • New Zealand Development Scholarships – offered to students from developing countries who will return home for at least two years following their degree. Eligibility criteria and application procedures vary for individual countries.
  • New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards – are provided in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). They are available specifically to postgraduates, with subject areas, eligibility criteria and application procedures based on nationality.

All of the above scholarships are offered as part of the New Zealand Aid Programme. If you can’t see a funding opportunity for your country, you can try checking the Programme’s main list of eligible regions, here.

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). Students from the UK and Ireland can also use the Study Options website to stay up to date with appropriate funding opportunities.

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 Masters funding in New Zealand

It’s not possible to list all of the Masters funding available in New Zealand on one page, but, thankfully, we don’t have to. Our dedicated funding website, PostgraduateFunding.com, lets you search for all kinds of Masters funding, from travel grants and conference allowances, to grants and bursaries.

Why not take a look at funding opportunitiesfor students in New Zealand? Alternatively, you can create your own customised search and find postgraduate funding… anywhere!

FindAMasters scholarships in New Zealand

Last, but not least, don’t forget to apply for one of our own FindAMasters scholarships. This year we’ve got one £5,000 scholarship and four £500 scholarships available for new students on Masters programmes at any university listed on FindAMasters.com.

To get started, first find your ideal Masters in New Zealand, then register for our scholarships. We’ll be in touch when it’s time to begin your application!

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