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New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5)

Level 5

Start your career as a laboratory technician with the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5).

Students learning in one of the Science Labs on our Palmerston North Campus
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

19 Feb 2018 - 30 Nov 2018
23 Jul 2018 - 28 Jun 2019

Domestic Fees:*
$5,893.50Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

As a graduate of this diploma, you will be able to work with supervision in entry-level positions in science and technology-related fields including manufacturing and regulatory industries, field work, research and development.

Once qualified, you have the opportunity to become involved in laboratory work and routine operation in a variety of settings.

Here's a little 20 second snapshot of the class of 2017 testing salt in sea water:


Science is all about solving problems. In the following video clip New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5) students are given undetermined amounts of bovine protein, which they need to ascertain. Check out the centrifugal action.


 Career & Study Outcomes

Science laboratory and field work in:

  • Manufacturing industries
  • Regulatory industries
  • Research and development
  • Or staircase to further study
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Science Technicians.

 Course Information

  • Professional Skills in Science 2
  • Practical Skills
  • Quality Assurance
  • Chemistry for Applied Science
  • Bioscience in Industry 2
  • Industrial Biomolecules
  • Business Statistical Analysis
  • Chemical Basis of Biology and Separation Science

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • National Diploma in Science

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

  • Fonterra
  • Ag Research
  • NZ Pharmaceuticals
  • Gribbles

 Learning Facilities

Fully resourced science labs including laboratory equipment and materials for biology, microbiology, chemistry and molecular biology and PC laboratories.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2 with 90 Credits at Level 2 or above.  This includes 30 Level 2 credits from Science, Biology or Chemistry, 10 Level 1 Literacy Credits and 10 Level 1 Numeracy Credits.

Entry criteria may also be met by:


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

Academic entry criteria
At least two academic subjects with a score of 60% or more, and background in at least two science subjects.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply. This includes at least two academic subjects and at least two science subjects with scores over 60%.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science Level 5 comprises 120 credits.

To optimise chances of success, full attendance is strongly recommended. The availability of a particular elective course is subject to an appropriate number of students enrolling in that course and not all electives may be offered in any given intake.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science Level 5 of approximately $90.00:

  • Covered foot wear
  • Hair net or hair ties
  • Scientific calculator
  • Stationery (pens, pencils, ruler, paper etc)


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.