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Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology

Close Date: Accepted throughout the year, but preferably before 30 November.
International Close Date: 20 January for February start, 20 June for July start

Expand on your science knowledge and skills for a career as a laboratory technician.

Our one year programme, which has been designed in collaboration with New Zealand employers, provides you with specific knowledge, practical skills and relevant analytical techniques for work as a laboratory technician. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to interpret results.

You'll also gain an understanding of laboratory quality management practice and reporting skills suitable for international quality standards, and have the skills to work independently and within groups. Personal skills such as punctuality, team work and time management will be developed.

You'll have the opportunity to enrich and broaden your knowledge with electives in areas such as microbiology, analytical and environmental chemistry, food microbiology and molecular biology. The programme also includes a research project and work placement element to ensure you're work-ready when you graduate.

In order to make sure you complete a programme of study that best suits your needs, please consult with the programme leader when selecting your courses.

Part-time up to 3 years.

In India, Melissa Tresa was used to a highly theoretical approach to learning. Keen to gain practical science skills, she came to New Zealand and enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology at Ara.

“I chose New Zealand because it has a reputation for high quality education,” Melissa says. “And I chose Ara because it specialises in applied learning, plus it offered a Level 7 programme.”

Melissa enjoyed the programme’s practical science sessions, which she says gave her skills for real laboratory environments. “The course prepares you well for employment,” she says. “If you want a career in lab technology, this is the best option.”

Planning and undertaking her research project was another highlight for Melissa, along with a work placement at Meadowfresh in Christchurch where she did a 260-hour internship as a laboratory technician.

Since graduating, Melissa has secured full-time employment at Oceania Dairy - work that her Ara programme has prepared her well for.

Melissa Tresa

Fees for 2024

Domestic Fee
$7,627 - $8,486 per year
Indicative Student Services Fee
$350 per year
Valid To
December 31, 2024

A Bachelor's degree in science relevant to this qualification gained within the last five years or recent relevant experience.

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.

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 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?
  • The English Language requirements for this programme are higher than the minimum set by NZQA, therefore; applicants who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance may be required to provide evidence of English Language skills.

Overall IELTS 6.0 Academic

  • 6.5 Listening
  • 6.0 Reading
  • 6.0 Writing
  • 6.5 Speaking

Funding assistance

If you face unexpected financial hardship during your studies, we have several funds that you can apply for. These are designed to enable you to continue your current course of study. We also have a wide range of scholarships and awards that can provide financial assistance.

Find out more

Career opportunities

With hands-on laboratory and industry experience, you will position yourself ahead of your peers for employment which can lead to positions of responsibility within a range of fields including health, animal, food, manufacturing, research and environmental laboratories.

Study pathways

Certificate in Quality Systems Level 6; membership of NZOQ (New Zealand Organisation for Quality); in-service courses from IANZ (International Accreditation of New Zealand); Registered Medical Laboratory Technician (New Zealand Medical Laboratory Science Board).

Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology

FULL-TIME - 1 Year (Part-time options available)

Expand on your science knowledge and skills for a career as a laboratory technician.

Type Graduate Certificate / Diploma
Code CH3700
Application close date Accepted throughout the year, but preferably before 30 November.
May be available for Study Visa? Yes
International application close date 20 January for February start, 20 June for July start
Credits 120
Level 7
Additional Equipment/Fees $500 approx for textbooks per year, travel to work placements
Available Part time Yes
May be eligible for Fees Free? Yes
Reference CH3700-STRU

Fees for 2024

Domestic Fee
$7,627 - $8,486 per year
Indicative Student Services Fee
$350 per year
Valid To
December 31, 2024

You don’t need to supply evidence of your Covid-19 vaccination status to apply for this programme. However, most placement providers will require evidence from you that you are fully vaccinated before allowing you to complete a placement at their organisation. Placements are an integral part of this programme and you’ll need to complete these to be able to successfully achieve your qualification.

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With an internationally-recognised Ara qualification, the world is your oyster. Our graduates can be found working and making a difference across the globe…


Credit Recognition

If you have prior relevant experience or previous related study credits, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

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Area of Interest

Key Information for Students

Need some help picking the right course for you?

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