Postgraduate study

A range of postgraduate qualifications are offered by the School of Government, including certificates, diplomas, Master’s and PhD programmes.

Subjects offered

There are five subjects taught by the School of Government: Public Policy, Public Management, e-Government, Public Administration, and Restorative Justice.


Graduate Certificate in Commerce

The Graduate Certificate, equivalent to one trimester of full-time study, is a flexible qualification designed for commerce graduates who want to move into a new area of specialisation, and for graduates in other areas, such as art and science, who want to gain a commerce qualification.

From 2021, a world-first Postgraduate Certificate in Public Management (PGCPM) will be offered, co-designed with the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative and Skills New Zealand.

Graduate Diploma in Commerce

The Graduate Diploma is a flexible qualification designed for commerce graduates who want to move into a new area of specialisation, and for graduates in other areas, such as arts and science, who want to gain a commerce qualification.

It is equivalent to two trimesters of full-time study, although it may take longer depending on the sequencing of the courses or the specialisation chosen.

Graduate Diploma in Arts

The Graduate Diploma in Arts is a qualification enabling students to specialise at an advanced level in areas not included in their BA. It may be used as a transitional qualification providing a pathway from a BA to the BA(Hons) degree in a specific area.

The Diploma is a one-year full-time or up to four-year part-time programme of study.

Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practice

The Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice Practice will not be offered in 2022 and 2023.

The Certificate is a professional qualification in restorative justice that you can study while you work. Recognised by a range of training and accreditation bodies, it is the only qualification in New Zealand that covers restorative justice practice across the criminal justice, education, health, social welfare and human resources sectors.

The Certificate is a four trimester programme that can only be studied part time.

Master of Commerce (MCom) / Master of Arts (MA) programme

The School of Government has two Master’s by thesis degrees in Public Policy: a Master of Commerce (MCom) and a Master of Arts (MA). Students may select between the MCom and MA programmes on the basis of their prior study.

The MCom or MA can be undertaken as a one-year full-time Master’s by thesis programme, and it should be completed within a maximum of 12 months. Part-time students can take the programme over two years. The thesis is a 120-point thesis, equivalent to four full-year papers.

Other postgraduate qualifications

Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce

The Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce will let you get ahead in your career and build your expertise by gaining advanced knowledge in a specialised area of business.

Postgraduate Certificate in Commerce

The Postgraduate Certificate in Commerce will help you boost your career by filling gaps in your business knowledge or upskilling in a particular subject area.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme

The PhD thesis is a major piece of original and independent research that provides an opportunity to make a significant contribution to a particular discipline, which is then evaluated against international standards.

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) is the best place to start if you are interested in doctoral study at Victoria University of Wellington. The Faculty website provides application forms, details of available funding, application dates and answers to a host of questions. Together, the FGR and the School of Government will provide continuous support to PhD students throughout their studies at the University.