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The New Zealand
Qualications Framework
November 2013
Contents
Section 1. The New Zealand Qualications Framework 2
Purpose of the NZQF 2
Searching the NZQF 3
Ongoing development of the NZQF 3
Section 2. Quality assurance arrangements 4
Section 3. NZQF Qualications Framework design features 5
Qualication denition 5
Qualication types and levels 5
Outcome statements 6
Credit value 6
Subject area classications 6
Status 7
Section 4. Maintaining a qualication listed on the NZQF 8
Section 5. Qualication denitions and levels descriptors 9
Certicate level 1 9
Certicate level 2 9
Certicate level 3 10
Certicate level 4 10
Certicate level 5 10
Diploma level 5 11
Certicate level 6 11
Diploma level 6 12
Diploma level 7 12
Bachelors Degree 12
Graduate Certicate 13
Graduate Diploma 14
Bachelor Honours Degree 14
Postgraduate Certicate 15
Postgraduate Diploma 16
Masters Degree 16
Doctoral Degree 18
Table 1: Summary of qualication denitions levels 110 20
Table 2: NZQF Level Descriptors 21
2
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 1: The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 1. The New Zealand
Qualications Framework
TE TAURA HERE TOHU MTAURANGA O AOTEAROA
The New Zealand Qualications Framework (NZQF)
1
is established under
section 248 of the Education Act 1989. It was rst brought in as a single
unied framework on 1 July 2010 under the former section 253 (1) (c) of
the Act and was fully introduced into the Act in the August 2011 legislative
amendment (the new section 248).
Purpose of the NZQF
The NZQF is a framework based on outcomes, described in terms of knowledge, skills and
their application.
The New Zealand Qualications Authority (NZQA) administers the NZQF, which is the
denitive source for accurate information about all quality assured qualications, covering
senior secondary school and tertiary education qualications, and including all qualications
open to international students. The NZQF provides information about what knowledge
and experience, holders of qualications can be expected to have, and about what further
education and/or employment opportunities the qualication leads to.
The NZQF is designed to optimise the recognition of educational achievement and its
contribution to New Zealands economic, social and cultural success.
Specically, the NZQF:
conveys the skills, knowledge and attributes a graduate has gained through completing a
qualication
requires the development of integrated and coherent qualications
enables and supports the provision of high-quality education pathways
enhances condence in the quality and international comparability of New Zealand
qualications
contributes to Mori success in education by recognising and advancing mtauranga
Mori
represents value for money, is sustainable and robust.
This policy document outlines the general features for designing, developing and listing and
maintaining a qualication on the NZQF. Other relevant documents include the Guidelines
for approval of qualications at level 1 to 6 on the NZQF and NZQF Qualication Listing and
Operational Rules 2012. These documents are available on the NZQA website at http://
www.nzqa.govt.nz.

1 The NZQF replaced the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualications and the
qualications listed on the National Qualications Framework.
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
3
SECTION 1: The New Zealand Qualications Framework
Searching the NZQF
The NZQF contains a comprehensive list of all quality assured qualications in New Zealand
and can be searched online for accurate and current information at www.nzqa.govt.nz/nzqf.
The following information is available on all qualications listed on the NZQF:
the title, type and level of the qualication
the credit value of the qualication
strategic purpose
the outcome statement (graduate prole, education and employment pathways and/or
contribution to the community)
the subject area of the qualication
whether the status of the qualication is current, expiring or discontinued
qualication review date
details on the qualication developer and the awarding body.
NZQF users can compare different qualications and see which providers are offering them.
This assists learners when making decisions on which qualications to undertake, when, and
where.
The NZQF clearly states a qualications level of complexity and the kinds of skills a learner
could expect to gain by completing that qualication. There is also information on pathways
between lower and higher level qualications in the same subject.
Ongoing development of the NZQF
Over time, new and reviewed qualications at levels 16 listed on the NZQF will have New
Zealand in the title of the qualication. The use of the term National or a provider name in
a qualications title is being phased out as qualications are reviewed. National will be used
to distinguish secondary school qualications at levels 13, namely, National Certicates of
Educational Achievement.
4
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 2: Quality assurance arrangements
SECTION 2. Quality assurance
arrangements
There are two quality assurance bodies responsible for approving qualications in
New Zealand.
Applicants must seek approval for their qualications from the relevant quality
assurance body.
All qualications must be consistent with the listing details set out in the Rules.
Non-university tertiary education organisations
NZQA is responsible for quality assuring all non-university tertiary education organisations,
and approves qualications developed by these organisations.
An evaluative approach to quality assurance will be used by NZQA to assess applications
for approval and listing a qualication on the NZQF. Decisions to approve a qualication for
listing on the NZQF conrm that the qualication meets dened criteria.
The evaluative approach provides a transparent and robust process for making these
decisions. The evaluative approach seeks answers to high-level questions about the need for
the qualication in New Zealand, the design of the qualication and the match to stakeholder
needs, the adequacy of the qualication for meeting its strategic purpose, graduate proles
and outcomes, and its readiness for publishing. It guides the evaluation of both the big picture
purpose of the qualication and the more specic requirements of the dened criteria.
Universities
The New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee (also known as Universities New Zealand)
is responsible for quality assuring all universities, and approves qualications developed by
these universities.
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
5
SECTION 3: NZQF Qualications Framework design features
SECTION 3. NZQF Qualications
Framework design features
All qualications listed on the NZQF:
are subject to quality assurance as outlined in Section 2
have the qualication title and details publicly available
are dened by a qualication type and level
are allocated a credit value
have a subject area classication
have a status to indicate whether the qualication is current, expiring or discontinued.
Qualication denition
A qualication recognises the achievement of a set of learning outcomes for a particular
purpose through formal certication.
Qualication types and levels
All quality assured qualications listed on the NZQF t into a qualication type. Each
qualication type is dened by an agreed set of criteria which includes the level at which the
qualication is listed and the number of credits required at each level. The denitions for
qualication types are provided in Table 1 (Section 5).
The NZQF has ten levels. The level descriptors are provided in Table 2 (Section 5). Levels
are based on complexity, with level one the least complex and level ten the most complex.
All qualications on the NZQF are assigned one of the ten levels. It is possible for
qualications to include credit achieved at levels above and below the overall level at which
the qualication is listed.
Level descriptors and qualication types on the NZQF
LEVEL QUALIFICATION TYPES
10 Doctoral Degree
9 Masters Degree
8 Postgraduate Diplomas and Certicates,
Bachelor Honours Degree
7 Bachelors Degree,
Graduate Diplomas and Certicates
6
Diplomas
5
4
Certicates
3
2
1
6
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 3: NZQF Qualications Framework design features
Outcome statements
All qualications listed on the NZQF contain outcome statements which describe the
knowledge, skills and attributes of a graduate. The outcome statement is used by prospective
employers and other tertiary education organisations, and for comparing qualications.
Different learners will achieve the outcomes in different ways, so outcome statements
indicate the minimum achievement expected from a qualication.
Each outcome statement must include information on:
Graduate proles that identify the expected learning outcomes of a qualication. This is
captured in notions of what a learner will know and understand, and be able to do when
they, achieve the qualication.
Education pathways that identify other qualications that a graduate could enrol into
after completing this qualication. Where qualications are standalone, and do not prepare
graduates for further study, the outcome statement should make this clear.
Employment pathways or contributions to the community that identify the areas in which
a graduate may be qualied to work, or the contribution they may make to their community.
Credit value
All qualications on the NZQF have a credit value. The credit value relates to the amount of
learning in the qualication.
In determining the amount of learning in a qualication, a qualication developer estimates
how long it would typically take a person to achieve the stated outcomes in the context
specied and to demonstrate that achievement through assessment. This determines the
credit value for a qualication. One credit is equal to ten notional learning hours.
Notional learning hours include:
direct contact time with teachers and trainers (directed learning)
time spent in studying, doing assignments, and undertaking practical tasks (self-directed
or on-task learning)
time spent in assessment.
A qualication developer must be able to explain any signicant variance in credit values in
relation to similar qualications.
Subject area classications
All qualications on the NZQF are assigned a six-digit code from the New Zealand Standard
Classication of Education (NZSCED) classication system. The NZSCED classies a
qualication into a subject area, which can be used when searching for qualications in an
area of interest.
Information about the NZSCED classication system is available from the Ministry of
Education website at www.minedu.govt.nz.
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
7
SECTION 3: NZQF Qualications Framework design features
Status
All qualications listed on the NZQF must display and maintain clear information on the
status using the following denitions:
Current
Qualications that are current are those which are listed on the NZQF and can be offered
by tertiary education organisations.
Expiring
Qualications which are expiring are those which are either being replaced with a new
qualication or the decision has been made for them to be closed. This will normally be as a
result of a review.
The qualication may continue to be available to existing individuals while they complete
their programme, but no new learners would be able to enrol. Current candidates will need
to complete the qualication before the expiry date.
Discontinued
Qualications designated as discontinued will no longer be available or awarded.
8
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 4: Maintaining a qualication listed on the NZQF
SECTION 4. Maintaining a qualication
listed on the NZQF
Qualications listed on the NZQF must be regularly reviewed to ensure each qualication
remains useful and relevant and continues to meet the needs of the learners, industry and
stakeholders it was initially developed for.
NZQA, as part of its guardianship of the NZQF, is responsible for qualications listed on the
NZQF and, in this role, reserves the right to amend the status of qualications on the NZQF
or replace the listed qualication developer.
Examples of situations where this could apply include:
the outcome of a review (where possible this would be done following consultation
with the relevant qualication developers and providers)
where a qualication developer is not meeting its responsibilities as a qualication
developer.
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
9
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
SECTION 5. Qualication denitions
and levels descriptors
The following denitions of each qualication type apply to all qualications listed on the NZQF.
Table 1 (page 20) presents a summary of the denitions and Table 2 (page 21) presents the
levels descriptors for the ten NZQF levels.
Certicate level 1
Purpose
A certicate at level 1 qualies individuals with basic knowledge and skills for work, further
learning and/or community involvement.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 1 certicate is able to:
demonstrate basic general and/or foundation knowledge
apply basic skills required to carry out simple tasks
apply basic solutions to simple problems
apply literacy and numeracy skills for participation in everyday life
work in a highly structured context
demonstrate some responsibility for own learning
interact with others.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 1 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 1 or
above.
Certicate level 2
Purpose
A certicate at level 2 qualies individuals with introductory knowledge and skills for a
eld(s)/areas of work or study.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 2 certicate is able to:
demonstrate basic factual and/or operational knowledge of a eld of work or study
apply known solutions to familiar problems
apply standard processes relevant to the eld of work or study
apply literacy and numeracy skills relevant to the role in the eld of work or study
work under general supervision
demonstrate some responsibility for own learning and performance
collaborate with others.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 2 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 2 or
above.
10
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
Certicate level 3
Purpose
A certicate at level 3 qualies individuals with knowledge and skills for a specic role(s)
within elds/areas of work and/or preparation for further study.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 3 certicate is able to:
demonstrate some operational and theoretical knowledge in a eld of work or study
select from and apply a range of known solutions to familiar problems
apply a range of standard processes relevant to the eld of work or study
apply a range of communication skills relevant to the role in the eld of work or study
apply literacy and numeracy skills relevant to the role in the eld of work or study
work under limited supervision
demonstrate major responsibility for own learning and performance
adapt own behaviour when interacting with others
contribute to group performance.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 3 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 3 or above.
Certicate level 4
Purpose
A certicate at level 4 qualies individuals to work or study in broad or specialised eld(s)/areas.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 4 certicate is able to:
demonstrate broad operational and theoretical knowledge in a eld of work or study
select and apply solutions to familiar and sometimes unfamiliar problems
select and apply a range of standard and non-standard processes relevant to the eld
of work or study
apply a range of communication skills relevant to the eld of work or study
demonstrate the self-management of learning and performance under broad guidance
demonstrate some responsibility for performance of others.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 4 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 4 or above.
Certicate level 5
Purpose
A certicate at level 5 qualies individuals with theoretical and/or technical knowledge and
skills within an aspect(s) of a specic eld of work or study.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 5 certicate is able to:
demonstrate broad operational or technical and theoretical knowledge within an
aspect(s) of a specic eld of work or study
select and apply a range of solutions to familiar and sometimes unfamiliar problems
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
11
select and apply a range of standard and non-standard processes relevant to the eld of
work or study
demonstrate complete self-management of learning and performance within dened
contexts
demonstrate some responsibility for the management of learning and performance of others.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 5 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 5 or above.
Diploma level 5
Purpose
A diploma at level 5 qualies individuals with theoretical and/or technical knowledge and skills
within a specic eld of work or study.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 5 diploma is able to:
demonstrate broad operational or technical and theoretical knowledge within a specic
eld of work or study
select and apply a range of solutions to familiar and sometimes unfamiliar problems
select and apply a range of standard and non-standard processes relevant to the eld of
work or study
demonstrate complete self-management of learning and performance within dened
contexts
demonstrate some responsibility for the management of learning and performance of
others.
Credit requirements
This diploma is listed at level 5. It must contain a minimum of 120 credits from level 4 or
above including at least 72 credits at level 5 or above.
Certicate level 6
Purpose
A certicate at level 6 qualies individuals with theoretical and/or technical knowledge and
skills within an aspect(s) of a specialised/strategic context.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 6 certicate is able to:
demonstrate specialised technical or theoretical knowledge with depth within an
aspect(s) of a eld of work or study
analyse and generate solutions to familiar and unfamiliar problems
select and apply a range of standard and non-standard processes relevant to the eld of
work or study
demonstrate complete self-management of learning and performance within dynamic
contexts
demonstrate responsibility for leadership within dynamic contexts.
Credit requirements
This certicate is listed at level 6 and must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 6 or above.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
12
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
Diploma level 6
Purpose
A diploma at level 6 qualies individuals with theoretical and/or technical knowledge and skills
in specialised/strategic contexts.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 6 diploma is able to:
demonstrate specialised technical or theoretical knowledge with depth in a eld of
work or study
analyse and generate solutions to familiar and unfamiliar problems
select and apply a range of standard and non-standard processes relevant to the eld
of work or study
demonstrate complete self-management of learning and performance within dynamic
contexts
demonstrate responsibility for leadership within dynamic contexts.
Credit requirements
This diploma is listed at level 6. It must contain a minimum of 120 credits from level 5 or
above including at least 72 credits at level 6 or above.
Diploma level 7
Purpose
A diploma at level 7 qualies individuals with specialised and technical knowledge and skills
within a professional context.
Outcomes
A graduate of a level 7 diploma is able to:
demonstrate specialised technical or theoretical knowledge with depth in one or more
elds of work or study
analyse and generate solutions to unfamiliar and sometimes complex problems
select, adapt and apply a range of processes relevant to the eld of work or study
demonstrate advanced generic skills and/or specialist knowledge and skills in a
professional context or eld of study.
Credit requirements
This diploma is listed at level 7. It must contain a minimum of 120 credits from level 5 or
above including at least 72 credits at level 7 or above.
Bachelors Degree
Purpose
A Bachelors Degree provides individuals with a systematic and coherent introduction to
a body of knowledge of a recognised major subject
2
(or subjects, in the case of a double
degree or a double major) as well as to problem-solving and associated basic techniques of
self-directed work and learning.

2 A major is dened by Universities New Zealand as a substantial component of a degree (usually at least one-third and often
consisting of one subject only) selected by the individual, in accordance with the regulations, as the principal area of study for the
degree. In addition, a major normally includes outcomes at the highest level of the degree.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
13
A Bachelors Degree involves at least one sequential study programme in which content
is progressively developed such that it might form a basis for postgraduate study and/or
professional practice.
Bachelors Degrees are taught mainly by people engaged in research
3
, see s253B of the
Education Act 1989.
Entry
A programme of study leading to a Bachelors Degree builds on prior study, work or
experience, and is open to those who have met the specied entrance requirements,
normally at level 3 on the NZQF.
Outcomes
A graduate of a Bachelors Degree is able to:
demonstrate intellectual independence, critical thinking and analytic rigour
engage in self-directed learning
demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the ideas, principles, concepts, chief
research methods and problem-solving techniques of a recognised major subject
demonstrate the skills needed to acquire, understand and assess information from a
range of sources
demonstrate communication and collaborative skills.
Credit requirements
A Bachelors Degree requires a minimum of 360 credits from levels 5 to 7. Some Bachelors
Degrees, notably in professional elds such as engineering, the health sciences and law,
encompass additional credits and may require a longer period of study. For example, an
eight-semester (four-year) degree would normally be equivalent to 480 credits.
Of the credits required for a Bachelors Degree, a minimum of 72 credits must be at level 7
or higher. The degree should specify a spread of credit across levels, so that the qualication
demonstrates progression, reects the requirements of the degree denition and achieves
the associated learning outcomes in a way that is appropriate to the subject area.
Relationship with other qualications
A person who holds a Bachelors Degree might be eligible to enrol in a Postgraduate
qualication.
Graduate Certicate
Purpose
A Graduate Certicate is designed primarily as a vehicle for degree graduates to pursue
further study at an advanced undergraduate level.
The Graduate Certicate is typically designed as a bridging qualication to postgraduate
study for individuals developing educational, professional or vocational knowledge in a
new discipline, profession or subject area and/or as a broadening or deepening of skills or
knowledge already gained in an undergraduate qualication.

3 Research is an intellectually controlled investigation that leads to advances in knowledge through the discovery and codication
of new information or the development of further understanding about existing information, and practice (Approval and
Accreditation of Courses leading to Degrees and Related Qualications, 2003 or CUAP Functions and Procedures 20092010).
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
14
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
Entry
Entry is open to degree graduates. However, subject to the regulations of the award,
those who have been able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or educational
experience of an appropriate kind may be granted admission.
Outcomes
In addition to the Bachelors Degree outcomes, a person with a Graduate Certicate is able
to demonstrate some outcomes of a Bachelors Degree in a new area of study
Credit requirements
The Graduate Certicate requires a minimum of 60 credits, with a minimum of 40 at level 7
or above.
Relationship with other qualications
A Graduate Certicate may provide the basis for postgraduate study.
Graduate Diploma
Purpose
A Graduate Diploma allows degree graduates to pursue a signicant body of study at an
advanced undergraduate level.
The Diploma is typically designed as a bridging qualication to postgraduate study as well as
broadening knowledge and skills in a familiar subject or discipline, or developing knowledge in
a new area.
Entry
Entry is open to degree graduates. However, subject to the regulations of the award,
those who have been able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or educational
experience of an appropriate kind may be granted admission.
Outcomes
In addition to the Bachelors Degree outcomes, a person with a Graduate Diploma is able to
demonstrate outcomes of a Bachelors Degree in a new area of study.
Credit requirements
A Graduate Diploma requires a minimum of 120 credits, of which 72 credits must be at level
7 or above.
Relationship with other qualications
A Graduate Diploma may provide the basis for postgraduate study.
Bachelor Honours Degree
Purpose
A Bachelor Honours Degree recognises distinguished study at level 8. It may either be a
degree in itself, or a discrete postgraduate degree following a Bachelors Degree.
The award of honours recognises outstanding achievement, meritorious achievement or a
pass; these may be termed rst class honours, second class honours: rst or second divisions,
and third class honours.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
15
Entry
Entry to honours study is normally based on achievement of above average performance in
the credits within the Bachelors Degree that are relevant to the proposed honours study.
Outcomes
A graduate of a Bachelor Honours Degree is able to:
engage in self-directed learning and advanced study
demonstrate intellectual independence, analytic rigour, and the ability to understand
and evaluate new knowledge and ideas
demonstrate the ability to identify topics for original research, plan and conduct
research, analyse results, and communicate the ndings to the satisfaction of subject
experts.
Credit requirements
A Bachelor Honours Degree may be either a 480-credit degree, or a discrete 120-credit
degree following a Bachelors Degree.
The degree has a minimum of 120 credits at level 8, with a research component that
represents at least 30 credits at that level.
Relationship with other qualications
Achieved to an appropriate standard, a Bachelor Honours Degree should prepare graduates
for admission to further postgraduate study.
NOTE:
Where the Honours Degree is a 480-credit (or more) programme, it must provide an exit point at the end of the
study that meets the requirements for a Bachelors Degree.
Some Bachelor Honours Degrees (for example Bachelor of Laws with Honours), approved prior to 1 January 2006,
have a minimum of 60 credits at level 8. These qualications will be grand-parented under previous rules.
Research in the context of a Bachelor Honours Degree develops an individuals ability to design and undertake a
project under supervision, and to report on this in an appropriate way. It sharpens the individuals analytical and
communication skills and provides a supported introduction to planning, conducting and reporting on the type of
independent research that may be undertaken at higher levels.
Postgraduate Certicate
Purpose
The Postgraduate Certicate is designed to extend and deepen an individuals knowledge and
skills.
The Postgraduate Certicate involves credits from a specied subject and cognate areas. It
recognises continuing professional development or academic achievement in advance of a
Bachelors degree in the same area as the individuals original degree or Graduate Certicate
or Diploma.
Entry
Postgraduate Certicates require either a Bachelors Degree or Graduate Certicate or
Diploma in a cognate subject, or relevant skills and knowledge acquired through appropriate
work or professional experience.
Outcomes
A graduate of a Postgraduate Certicate is able to show evidence of advanced knowledge
about a specialist eld of enquiry or professional practice.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
16
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
Credit requirements
The Postgraduate Certicate requires a minimum of 60 credits at level 8.
Relationship with other qualications
A Postgraduate Certicate provides the basis for further postgraduate study.
Postgraduate Diploma
Purpose
A Postgraduate Diploma is designed to extend and deepen an individuals knowledge
and skills by building on attainment in the principal subject(s) of the qualifying degree,
graduate diploma or graduate certicate. A Postgraduate Diploma prepares an individual for
independent research and scholarship in the principal subject of the diploma.
A Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded with distinction.
Entry
An individual for the Postgraduate Diploma in a specied subject or, where appropriate, a
related area will normally have completed all requirements of the relevant Bachelors Degree
or Graduate Certicate or Diploma, or is deemed to have acquired the relevant skills and
knowledge through appropriate work or professional experience, at an additional level.
Outcomes
A graduate of a Postgraduate Diploma is able to:
show evidence of advanced knowledge about a specialist eld of enquiry or
professional practice
engage in rigorous intellectual analysis, criticism and problem-solving.
Credit requirements
The Postgraduate Diploma requires a minimum of 120 credits from levels 7 and above, with
a minimum of 72 credits from level 8.
Relationship with other qualications
A person who holds a Postgraduate Diploma may be eligible to enrol in a Masters Degree.
Masters Degree
Purpose
A Masters Degree qualies individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a
range of contexts for research, a pathway for further learning, professional practice and/or
scholarship.
Masters Degrees usually build on a Bachelors Degree, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor
Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma. They may also build on extensive professional
experience of an appropriate kind.
Their outcomes are demonstrably in advance of undergraduate study, and require individuals
to engage in research and/or advanced scholarship.
Masters Degrees are constituted in one discipline or coherent programme of study. They
may be undertaken by taught courses or research, or by a combination of both.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
17
Credit requirements
The Masters Degree is at least 240 credits except where:
it builds on a Bachelors Degree with Honours or an equivalent qualication, or
signicant relevant professional experience, in which cases it can be fewer than 240 but
no fewer than 120 credits
it builds on a three-year Bachelors Degree or an equivalent qualication, in which cases
it can be fewer than 240 but no fewer than 180 credits.
The Masters Degree must comprise a minimum of 40 credits at level 9 with the remainder
at level 8.
Entry
Providers of programmes leading to Masters qualications are responsible for establishing
entry requirements. The minimum entry qualication for a Masters Degree is a Bachelors
Degree or equivalent (to a Bachelors Degree listed at level 7 on the NZQF).
A programme of study leading to the Masters Degree is open to those who have met the
entrance requirements, including specied levels of attainment, in the programme admission
regulations.
The minimum entry qualication for a Masters Degree of fewer than 240 credits but no
fewer than 120 credits is either a Bachelor Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma or
an undergraduate degree followed by relevant professional experience.
Admission as an individual to a Masters Degree is based on the evaluation of documentary
evidence (including the academic record) of the individual applicants ability to undertake
postgraduate study in a specialist eld of enquiry or professional practice.
Structure
Masters Degrees are structured in three principal ways:
Entry to a Masters Degree by thesis is normally based on a Bachelor Honours Degree
or a Postgraduate Diploma in the same eld of study. The degree includes 120 credits,
of which at least 90 credits (at level 9) consist of a research project presented in the
form of a thesis, dissertation, substantial research paper or scholarly creative work.
Entry to a Masters Degree by coursework and thesis is normally based on an
undergraduate degree in the same eld of study. The degree includes 240 credits, of
which at least 90 credits at level 9 are in the form of a thesis, dissertation, substantial
research paper or scholarly creative work, and of which up to 150 credits are from
coursework.
Entry to a Masters Degree by coursework is normally based on an undergraduate
degree achieved at a specied level of attainment. The degree is at least 120 to
240 credits and is achieved through coursework consisting of courses, project work
and research in varying combinations. It may build on undergraduate study in the
same academic eld, or it may build on the more generic graduate attributes of
an undergraduate degree in other elds, or in some cases on relevant professional
experience. Masters Degrees that build on generic attributes and/or experience (often
called conversion Masters) are usually in professional elds and are recognised as
appropriate professional preparation by the profession or industry concerned.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
18
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
Outcomes
A graduate of a Masters Degree is able to:
show evidence of advanced knowledge about a specialist eld of enquiry or
professional practice
demonstrate mastery of sophisticated theoretical subject matter
evaluate critically the ndings and discussions in the literature
research, analyse and argue from evidence
work independently and apply knowledge to new situations
engage in rigorous intellectual analysis, criticism and problem-solving.
If a Masters Degree includes a component of supervised research of not fewer than 90
credits at level 9, the graduate is also able to:
demonstrate a high order of skill in the planning, execution and completion of a piece
of original research or creative scholarly work
apply such skills learned during the study programme to new situations.
The research should be completed to internationally recognised standards and demonstrate
that the graduate has a capacity for independent thinking.
Relationship with other qualications
A person who holds a Masters Degree achieved to an appropriate standard, that includes a
research component, may be considered for admission to a programme of advanced study
and/or original research leading to a Doctoral Degree.
Doctoral Degree
A Doctoral Degree is a research degree whereby the individual becomes an increasingly
independent scholar who makes a substantial and original contribution to knowledge.
It is normally the culmination of study which begins at the bachelor level and reaches a
stage beyond the masters. For the PhD/DPhil and the named doctorate (e.g. DMus), the
development takes place under the guidance of recognised experts in the eld of study and
under circumstances that allow the individual access to appropriate research resources.
The contribution to knowledge is judged by independent experts applying contemporary
international standards of the discipline. The hallmark will be the individuals capacity
for substantial independent research or scholarly creative activity as attested by his/her
educational institution and/or as demonstrated by submitted work.
The major component of all doctorates is original research. The body of work that leads to
the award of a doctorate will be one or more of the following:
a thesis (the PhD/DPhil)
creative work in the visual or performing arts (the PhD/DPhil)
a thesis or equivalent creative work in combination with coursework (the named
doctorate)
a creative work in the visual or performing arts (the named doctorate) with a thesis
(the named doctorate)
published work.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
19
Credit requirements
A Doctoral Degree requires at least 360 credits and is listed at level 10.
The following types of Doctoral Degree are recognised.
Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD/DPhil)
A thesis constitutes the entire body of work on which the award of the qualication will be
judged. Coursework may also be prescribed for the individual, but this will only contribute
to the preparation for research and acceptance into the doctoral programme. Where
appropriate, individuals may present a creative work as part of the thesis requirement.
Doctorate in a specied eld or discipline the named doctorate (e.g. EdD or the DMus)
For a doctorate in a specied eld, coursework may contribute to the assessed programme
of study, but research or the scholarly creative activity and the associated thesis must occupy
at least two full-time academic years and contribute not less than two-thirds of the overall
credit for the degree.
The coursework, which is to be at a standard in advance of that expected for a masters
paper, must be part of a coherent programme with the research work, and should normally
cover no more than one full-time academic year.
An individual for a named doctorate must gain a passing grade in both the coursework and
the thesis or its creative work equivalent.
Higher Doctorate (e.g. the DSc or the DLitt)
Higher Doctorates are awarded for independent work of special excellence, as judged by
leading international experts, which is completed before a person makes an application to
enrol for the degree. Individuals will normally be expected to have completed at least ten
years of independent work and to have published extensively.
Publication will normally be in scholarly books and/or in reputable international journals.
Individuals in the visual or performing arts will have made equally outstanding contributions in
their creative work.
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
20
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
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n
c
l
u
d
i
n
g

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

7
2

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

7

o
r

a
b
o
v
e
A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

3
6
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

f
r
o
m

l
e
v
e
l
s

5

t
o

7
,

i
n
c
l
u
d
i
n
g

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

7
2

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

7

A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

6
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s
,

i
n
c
l
u
d
i
n
g

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

4
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

7

o
r

a
b
o
v
e
A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

1
2
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s
,

i
n
c
l
u
d
i
n
g

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

7
2

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

7

o
r

a
b
o
v
e
A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

1
2
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

8
,

w
i
t
h

a

r
e
s
e
a
r
c
h

c
o
m
p
o
n
e
n
t

t
h
a
t

r
e
p
r
e
s
e
n
t
s

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

3
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

t
h
a
t

l
e
v
e
l
A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

6
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

8
A

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

1
2
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

f
r
o
m

l
e
v
e
l
s

7

a
n
d

a
b
o
v
e
,

i
n
c
l
u
d
i
n
g

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

7
2

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

8
A

M
a
s
t
e
r

s

D
e
g
r
e
e

b
y

t
h
e
s
i
s

i
s

i
n
c
l
u
d
e
s

1
2
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s
,

o
f

w
h
i
c
h

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

9
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

(
a
t

l
e
v
e
l

9
)

c
o
n
s
i
s
t

o
f

a

r
e
s
e
a
r
c
h

p
r
o
j
e
c
t
.

A

M
a
s
t
e
r

s

D
e
g
r
e
e

b
y

c
o
u
r
s
e
w
o
r
k

a
n
d

t
h
e
s
i
s

i
n
c
l
u
d
e
s

2
4
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s
,

o
f

w
h
i
c
h

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

9
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

9

a
r
e

i
n

t
h
e

f
o
r
m

o
f

a

t
h
e
s
i
s
,

d
i
s
s
e
r
t
a
t
i
o
n
,

s
u
b
s
t
a
n
t
i
a
l

r
e
s
e
a
r
c
h

p
a
p
e
r

o
r

s
c
h
o
l
a
r
l
y

c
r
e
a
t
i
v
e

w
o
r
k
,

a
n
d

o
f

w
h
i
c
h

u
p

t
o

1
5
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
r
e

f
r
o
m

c
o
u
r
s
e
w
o
r
k
.

A

M
a
s
t
e
r

s

D
e
g
r
e
e

b
y

c
o
u
r
s
e
w
o
r
k

i
s

a
t

l
e
a
s
t

1
2
0

t
o

2
4
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s
.

T
h
e

M
a
s
t
e
r
s

D
e
g
r
e
e

m
u
s
t

c
o
m
p
r
i
s
e

a

m
i
n
i
m
u
m

o
f

4
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

9

w
i
t
h

t
h
e

r
e
m
a
i
n
d
e
r

a
t

l
e
v
e
l

8

A
t

l
e
a
s
t

3
6
0

c
r
e
d
i
t
s

SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors
The New Zealand Qualications Framework
21
T
a
b
l
e

2
:

N
Z
Q
F

L
e
v
e
l

D
e
s
c
r
i
p
t
o
r
s
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
L
e
v
e
l

1
L
e
v
e
l

2
L
e
v
e
l

3
L
e
v
e
l

4
L
e
v
e
l

5
L
e
v
e
l

6
L
e
v
e
l

7
L
e
v
e
l

8
L
e
v
e
l

9
L
e
v
e
l

1
0
K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
B
a
s
i
c

g
e
n
e
r
a
l

a
n
d
/
o
r

f
o
u
n
d
a
t
i
o
n

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
B
a
s
i
c

f
a
c
t
u
a
l

a
n
d
/
o
r

o
p
e
r
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

o
f

a

e
l
d

o
f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y
S
o
m
e

o
p
e
r
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

a
n
d

t
h
e
o
r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

i
n

a

e
l
d

o
f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y
B
r
o
a
d

o
p
e
r
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

a
n
d

t
h
e
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r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

i
n

a

e
l
d

o
f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y
B
r
o
a
d

o
p
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r
a
t
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o
n
a
l

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r

t
e
c
h
n
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c
a
l

a
n
d

t
h
e
o
r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

w
i
t
h
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n

a

s
p
e
c
i

e
l
d

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f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y

S
p
e
c
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a
l
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s
e
d

t
e
c
h
n
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c
a
l

o
r

t
h
e
o
r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

w
i
t
h

d
e
p
t
h

i
n

a

e
l
d

o
f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y

S
p
e
c
i
a
l
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s
e
d

t
e
c
h
n
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c
a
l

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r

t
h
e
o
r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

w
i
t
h

d
e
p
t
h

i
n

o
n
e

o
r

m
o
r
e

e
l
d
s

o
f

w
o
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k

o
r

s
t
u
d
y
A
d
v
a
n
c
e
d

t
e
c
h
n
i
c
a
l

a
n
d
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o
r

t
h
e
o
r
e
t
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c
a
l

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

i
n

a

d
i
s
c
i
p
l
i
n
e

o
r

p
r
a
c
t
i
c
e
,

i
n
v
o
l
v
i
n
g

a

c
r
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t
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c
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l

u
n
d
e
r
s
t
a
n
d
i
n
g

o
f

t
h
e

u
n
d
e
r
p
i
n
n
i
n
g

k
e
y

p
r
i
n
c
i
p
l
e
s

H
i
g
h
l
y

s
p
e
c
i
a
l
i
s
e
d

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
,

s
o
m
e

o
f

w
h
i
c
h

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s

a
t

t
h
e

f
o
r
e
f
r
o
n
t

o
f

k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
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a
n
d

a

c
r
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t
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c
a
l

a
w
a
r
e
n
e
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s

o
f

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s
s
u
e
s

i
n

a

e
l
d

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f

s
t
u
d
y

o
r

p
r
a
c
t
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c
e

K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e

a
t

t
h
e

m
o
s
t

a
d
v
a
n
c
e
d

f
r
o
n
t
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r

o
f

a

e
l
d

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f

s
t
u
d
y

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r

p
r
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f
e
s
s
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n
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l

p
r
a
c
t
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c
e
S
k
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l
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s
A
p
p
l
y

b
a
s
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c

s
o
l
u
t
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n
s

t
o

s
i
m
p
l
e

p
r
o
b
l
e
m
s

A
p
p
l
y

k
n
o
w
n

s
o
l
u
t
i
o
n
s

t
o

f
a
m
i
l
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a
r

p
r
o
b
l
e
m
s
S
e
l
e
c
t

a
n
d

a
p
p
l
y

f
r
o
m

a

r
a
n
g
e

o
f

k
n
o
w
n

s
o
l
u
t
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o
n
s

t
o

f
a
m
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l
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a
r

p
r
o
b
l
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m
s
S
e
l
e
c
t

a
n
d

a
p
p
l
y

s
o
l
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t
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s

t
o

f
a
m
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a
r

a
n
d

s
o
m
e
t
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m
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u
n
f
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m
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p
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b
l
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m
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t

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a
p
p
l
y

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A
n
a
l
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e

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n
d

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A
n
a
l
y
s
e
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e

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m
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c
o
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p
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p
r
o
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A
n
a
l
y
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e
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e

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D
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C
r
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A
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S
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d

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d

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p
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o

t
h
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e
l
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o
f

w
o
r
k

o
r

s
t
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S
e
l
e
c
t
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a
d
a
p
t

a
n
d

a
p
p
l
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a

r
a
n
g
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f

p
r
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c
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s
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r
e
l
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v
a
n
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t
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t
h
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e
l
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f

w
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k

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r

s
t
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E
v
a
l
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a
t
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a
n
d

a
p
p
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a

r
a
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g
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o
f

p
r
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c
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s
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r
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l
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t
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t
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e
l
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f

w
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s
t
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d
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M
a
s
t
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r
y

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t
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l
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s
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p
r
a
c
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c
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t
o

a
n

a
d
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a
n
c
e
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l
e
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A
p
p
l
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c
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[
o
f

k
n
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w
l
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d
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a
n
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s
k
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l
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s
]
H
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g
h
l
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s
t
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c
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G
e
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s
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p
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v
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L
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m
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t
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s
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p
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m
a
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l
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a
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k
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g
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h
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d
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n
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m
m
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t

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t
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p
r
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a
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t
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d
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t

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R
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r
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p
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l
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R
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r
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p
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r
n
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a
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p
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r
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c
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R
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m
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p
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b
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f
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n

l
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a
r
n
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n
g

a
n
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p
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r
f
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m
a
n
c
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m
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p
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b
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l
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f
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r

p
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r
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t
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p
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b
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l
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t
y

f
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r

t
h
e

m
a
n
a
g
e
m
e
n
t

o
f

l
e
a
r
n
i
n
g

a
n
d

p
e
r
f
o
r
m
a
n
c
e

o
f

o
t
h
e
r
s
R
e
s
p
o
n
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y

f
o
r

l
e
a
d
e
r
s
h
i
p

w
i
t
h
i
n

d
y
n
a
m
i
c

c
o
n
t
e
x
t
s
S
o
m
e

r
e
s
p
o
n
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y

f
o
r

i
n
t
e
g
r
i
t
y

o
f

p
r
o
f
e
s
s
i
o
n

o
r

d
i
s
c
i
p
l
i
n
e
S
o
m
e

r
e
s
p
o
n
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y

f
o
r

l
e
a
d
e
r
s
h
i
p

w
i
t
h
i
n

t
h
e

p
r
o
f
e
s
s
i
o
n

o
r

d
i
s
c
i
p
l
i
n
e
I
n
t
e
r
a
c
t
i
n
g

w
i
t
h

o
t
h
e
r
s
C
o
l
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
n
g

w
i
t
h

o
t
h
e
r
s
A
d
a
p
t
i
n
g

o
w
n

b
e
h
a
v
i
o
u
r

w
h
e
n

i
n
t
e
r
a
c
t
i
n
g

w
i
t
h

o
t
h
e
r
s
C
o
n
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
n
g

t
o

g
r
o
u
p

p
e
r
f
o
r
m
a
n
c
e
SECTION 5: Qualication denitions and levels descriptors