Massey University Distance Learning

At Massey University we refer to programmes and courses. A programme is your overall qualification (for example, degree, diploma and certificate) whereas courses are the individual modules that you take to complete your chosen programme. For example, the “Bachelor of Business” is a programme whereas “115.101 Statistics for Business” is a course that is part of the Bachelor of Business programme.

Each programme has its own structure which is explained in the Programmes and courses web pages. When you select your individual courses you need to ensure that you are on track to fulfil all of your programme requirements to be able to graduate.

This guide provides you with an overview of the things you need to take into consideration which include:

Step 1: Ensure you are aware of university requirements

Step 2: Research the programme requirements and create a study plan

Each programme has its own structure and requirements. A study plan can help you map out your courses and help you identify:

  • How many credits you need to earn and how these credits need to be distributed. For example, most undergraduate degrees are made up of 360 credits, whereas certificates can range from 60-120 credits.
  • Any compulsory courses. These are courses that you must take in order to achieve your qualification.
  • The requirements of majors, endorsements or minors (if your programme has them). This may include the number of courses and specific courses that you need to include.
  • Courses that must be passed before other courses. These are known as prerequisites. In general students study 100-level courses in their first year of study and then move on to 200-level courses. This is because a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level courses as prerequisites. The fourth number in a course number represents the level of the course. For example, for course 219.306 the fourth number is a 3, so it is a 300-level course.
  • Courses that must be taken at the same time as other courses, unless you have already passed them. These are known as corequisites courses.
  • Restrictions, which are when some courses, similar in content, are restricted against each other. With these courses you can not credit both courses to a qualification but may study either one course or the other. 

For more information including what prerequisites like “Permission of Head of Department” mean see prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions.

For requirements for all our programmes see the Programmes and courses web pages

Step 3: Review your study workload

Study at university requires a significant time investment. Students often comment that balancing their everyday commitments with study requirements can be quite challenging. So it is important to carefully consider how many courses you should take, especially when beginning your study. 

  • You should be realistic about the number of courses you can take in a semester and consider all your existing commitments. You will need to spend approximately 10 to 12.5 hours each week for a 15 credit single semester course, or about 5 to 6.25 hours per week for a 15 credit double semester course.
  • If you are new to university study or returning after a long gap, try one or two courses to start with. Once you are confident and have good study routines in place, you might find you can take on a heavier workload.
  • If you are working full time (or have a young family that you look after full time), we recommend that you take no more than 30 credits (two courses) in a semester.

Workload Planning Tool

To help you work out how you could fit study into your regular routine you can use our Workload Planning Tool. It is an interactive tool which displays a list of every day activities and asks you to estimate how much time you spend on each activity each week. It also asks you how many courses you want to take and will provide you with some helpful feedback on your results.

Step 4: Identify and review the specific requirements for each course

As well as the overall programme requirements, you will also need to ensure you understand the requirements for each individual course that you want to enrol in. In particular, it is very important you understand:

  • If the course has an online component and specific technology requirements.
  • If you need to attend an on-campus contact workshop. Some of these on-campus contact workshops are compulsory and you will need to ensure that you can travel to the venue on the dates and times specified.

All of this information can be found within the course description information on the Programme and courses web pages

Step 5: Consider your options for recognition of prior learning

Massey University recognises prior learning achieved within both formal and informal settings. Credit may be awarded for:

  • completed tertiary qualifications,
  • incomplete tertiary qualifications, and
  • informal learning.

For more information see recognition of prior learning or contact us.

Step 6: Ensure you are aware of the costs

It is important to consider all the costs involved in the study process. When studying at a distance as well as the tuition fees you should also take into consideration other costs involved in attending on-campus contact workshops, postage for assignments and so on. See the Fees web pages for information about fees and possible funding sources.

Step 7: Ask one of our advisers for assistance

We would like to help you make the right decisions when choosing and planning your study with us. We have people who can give you study advice to create an individual pathway for your programme.

Step 8: Check out the due dates for adding courses, semester dates and exam periods

Make sure you know the due dates for adding courses so you don’t miss out. You should also check out the semester dates and examination periods.

Fees information

In New Zealand, you are expected to contribute to the total cost of your study in the form of a ‘tuition fee’. The remainder of the cost of providing your education is funded by government subsidy, research grants, the commercialisation of research and commercial activities.

You will also be expected to pay some administration costs which are called ‘non-tuition fees’.

To get a true indication how much it will cost you to study at a tertiary institution, you need to consider the fees for your course, other study costs such as study materials, equipment or field trips where applicable, and factor in additional costs such as textbooks, accommodation and transport.

All University fees are payable immediately upon the University issuing a Confirmation of Enrolment and before the start of study, or earlier if required by the University and specified in an Offer of Place.

The information on these pages is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown on this page are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax. You should also read the University’s Disclaimer Notice before relying on any information on these pages.

How does it work?

Technology has allowed us to bring the classroom to you. You’re in the driver’s seat, with full control of what, how and when to study.

Get the best of a traditional university with the convenience technology brings when you choose to study by distance. Attend classes, submit your assignments, access resources and the support you need to navigate your studies with just a few clicks of the mouse!

Watch presentations and interact with lecturers and peers online

Attend workshops and block courses on campus

Submit assessments online

Access your administration and study guide books

Get help with online planning, writing and maths tools

Find books and more with our 24/7 distance library service

Get academic support and join our extramural society

Use our assignment pre-reading services