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New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 6)

New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 6)

Level 6

Qualify as a laboratory technician with the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 6).

A photoraph of students learning in one of the Science Labs on our Palmerston North Campus
Quick info

Level: 6

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

21 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

Domestic Fees: *
$6263.00Scholarship info

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 independently as a laboratory technician in science and technology-related fields including manufacturing and regulatory industries, field work, research and development.

Once qualified, you have the opportunity to work with some of New Zealand's leading scientists in a wide range of scientific disciplines including biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, microbiology and molecular biology.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Industrial laboratory technician
  • Research technician
  • Quality assurance technician

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

This programme comprises 120 credits.

Bioscience in Industry 2 (15 Credits)
Learn to acquire the practical skills and theoretical knowledge in life sciences required to practise safety in a laboratory or industry setting. The course will cover:

  • Microbial degradation and bioremediation
  • Sampling, isolation, identification and enumeration of food-borne pathogens
  • HACCP plans and Food Safety Programmes
  • Water microbiology sampling 

Quality Assurance (15 Credits)
Learn to take a process-based approach to environmental quality and its assessment. The course will cover:

  • Bi-cultural perspectives on environmental quality and degradation
  • Water chemistry sampling and analysis for nutrients and major components
  • The environment and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Interplay between nutrient status, micro-organisms and chemistry in aquatic systems
  • Aquifer structure and water quality
  • Water quality measure (industrial, natural and polluted waters – BOD, COD and water hardness)

Biostatistics 2 (15 Credits)
Learn to implement and maintain a statistically-based product sampling programme, interpret the results, and make recommendations. The course will cover:

  • Professional statistics software
  • Transform continuous data using statistical methods
  • Data analysis using ANOVA
  • Data analysis using regression and correlation
  • Data display
  • Control charting
  • Biostatistical data interpretation

Advanced Culture Techniques (15 Credits)
Learn to prepare and perform advanced laboratory techniques and investigate epidemiology. The course will cover:

  • Cultural perspectives on the use of biological tissues
  • Virus enumeration
  • Pathogen detection
  • Tissue culture
  • Epidemiology
  • Koch's postulates
  • Specialised media

Work Placement (30 Credits)
Go on supervised work experience in an applied science organisation. The course will cover:

  • 240 work integrated learning/work experience
  • Lectures – classroom/PC lab
  • Discussions
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Group work
  • Independent study
  • Workbooks
  • Practical Labs
Laboratory Instrumental Analytical Techniques (15 Credits)
Learn to analyse chemical elements and compounds employing commonly used instrumental and analytical methods. The course will cover:
  • Flame atomic absorption methods of analysis, FAAS, and UV/Visible spectroscopy
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • UV/Visible and fluroesecence spectroscopy
  • Gas chromatography, instrumentation and GC analysis
  • Ion exchange, column and size exclusion chromatography

Applied Science Investigation (15 Credits)

  • Characteristics of the applied science literature
  • Research design
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Cultural, ethical and legal requirements
  • Use of specialised and generic software
  • Research presentation

 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. PC laboratories.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

Potential students should have completed the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 5) or an equivalent Level 5 Science qualification.


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 appicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5. 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.

 Advice & Guidance

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 have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

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 (not via the online application form).

Blended delivery
This programme is offered on a blended delivery approach, a unique combination of online and face-to-face learning. Students are advised to get a PC or a laptop and an internet connection. Please consult the programme leader about the PC or laptop specifications.

Previous Related Programme

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

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science Level 6 of approximately $190.00:


  • Covered footwear: $15+
  • Hair net or hair ties, if you have long hair: $10


  • Scientific calculator: $34 - $130
  • Stationery (pens, pencils, ruler, paper etc): $30

Text book

  • (To be advised)


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.