New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5).xml New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5)

A-Z study guide
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DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 3 years

Programme code



February, July





Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

20 January for February start; 23 June for July start


Christchurch - Madras Street

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$6,650 - $7,500



Course related costs

Advised on enrolment

About this programme

Meet the needs of an ever-expanding commercial science sector with STEM skills that you'll use every day in the workplace.

This programme will equip you with skills required by the ever-expanding commercial science sector, which encompasses increasingly automated food production, manufacturing and environmental management businesses.

Course content is made up of a mix of practical skills that you'll use every day, and theory relating directly to the modern STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) workplace.

The New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science covers science, information literacy, quality management and essential soft skills such as teamwork, communication and ethics. It includes seven compulsory courses plus the opportunity to tailor your programme of study to your own interests with an elective from business, computing or the applied sciences.

You'll also learn about business imperatives and associated data interpretation and manipulation. The programme's IT component will take you well beyond the basics and into the fundamentals of manufacturing process monitoring and control.

Career opportunities

Employment growth in high-tech manufacturing sectors such as dairy processing and biotechnology is forecast to increase substantially in the coming years. This qualification will give you this skills to work in environments that combine high production rates with expensive and complex equipment and which are subject to intensive quality monitoring, or in other science and technology sectors, including regulatory industries.

Study pathways

This national qualification leads to the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 6) and can lead to a diploma or degree in a wide range of science-related disciplines. It also forms a basis for management courses (for example, through the New Zealand Institute of Management) and provides a solid foundation for further tertiary study in science or engineering.

Recommended school subjects

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physical education
  • Mathematics
  • English-rich subjects

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 2, which must include 30 credits in science (including chemistry) and 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits

    New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) Ara Applied Science or Medical Imaging Pathways that include CSCP404 Applied Maths

    New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4) or equivalent

    If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the requirements for admission are accepted into the programme in the order their applications are received.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form.

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.