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Programme overview

Are you looking for a postgraduate programme that allows you to choose options and electives from across faculties, tailoring your pathway to your career aspirations? The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Practice will see you to undertake work-relevant research and projects as part of your studies, updating and extending your professional knowledge and contributing to your organisation, community or profession.


  • A flexible programme that can be tailored to subjects and issues relevant to your career.
  • Advance your practice and contribute to your profession by completing work-relevant research and projects as part of your studies.
  • Develop your specialist knowledge and skills in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment.
  • Specialise in Social Practice, Clinical Research or Health Science or define your own pathway.
  • Further your studies by progressing to the Master of Applied Practice.
  • Taught by highly experienced lecturers with roles in community and national organisations.
  • Transdisciplinary: suitable for professionals from sectors including social work, community development, government, healthcare, education and more.
  • Informed by the ‘Kaupapa Maori’ philosophy, which places community engagement and understanding at the heart of research.
  • Flexibility: choose full- or part-time study to fit in with your life and work.  
  • Study at our Waitakere and/or Mt Albert campuses depending on your chosen courses.

About our Applied Practice qualifications

At Unitec, we value your experience and are interested in helping you develop your practice and profession. If you are a practitioner who is interested undertaking a work-based project and/or research there is very likely to be an Applied Practice postgraduate programme for you.

Please note: These programmes are designed for practitioners in work as we do not provide work placements. If you choose to study full-time (e.g. if you are an international student) your study will likely relate to your current practice. You will have an opportunity to discuss this during your application interview.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. Achieved one of the below:

  • A recognised Bachelor’s degree in the same or similar discipline, with an average grade of B- or higher in all Level 7 courses
  • A professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised as being equivalent to the above
  • Demonstrate an ability to succeed in the programme by providing evidence of successful outcomes you’ve achieved in a work environment relevant to Social Practice

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).
3. If English is your second language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Applied Practice in Context (CISC8000) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to critically examine and contextualise practice and develop a critical understanding of how indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness, society, ethics, environment and law inform practice.
Research and Community-Informed Practice (CISC8001) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop the student to be able to critically examine and evaluate a body of literature in relation to a practice/work-based issue to arrive at a relevant and informed research question(s) and to contextualise and understand the relevance of this question to practice and the wider community
Leadership in Practice (CISC8004) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop students ability to critically examine and apply a range of leadership principles and practice.
Research Question (CISC8002) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Enable a student to engage industry and community relevant to discipline and then begin to create feasible and well-defined research questions as well as determine the most appropriate research method or range of methods to address these research questions.
Professional Practice (CISC8003) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to develop and apply a critical perspective on professionalisation and professional practice, within political, social, institutional, legal and ethical structures and systems.
Aotearoa-New Zealand Social Policy (CISC8005) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Situates Aotearoa- New Zealand social policy in historical and current contexts and applies contemporary solutions to professional practice.
Contemporary Issues in Community Engagement (CISC8006) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The develop the student to be able to critically compare and analyse contemporary theories and their practical applications in community engagement practice.
Human Rights and Social Justice (CISC8007) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Enable the student to critically examine, analyse and discuss, social, cultural and legal concepts of social justice and human rights in Aotearoa-New Zealand and in a global context. To develop a students ability to critique a human-rights-based approach to professional practice in relation to social justice in New Zealand.
Evidence-Based Healthcare in New Zealand (CISC8008) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Introduces health epidemiology in New Zealand, with particular reference to measures of disease, impact of interventions, screening and M?ori health.
Practical Biostatistics (CISC8009) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Introduces biostatistics to students from non-statistical backgrounds to advance an understanding of how statistics can be used in applied research for hypothesis testing and exploring data relationships.
Systematic Reviews (CISC8010) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to explore and develop an evaluative and critical approach to research and knowledge generation through systematic review and meta-analysis, which could be used by professionals advancing knowledge
Clinical Research Design (CISC8011) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Provides the knowledge and skills required to conduct clinical trials ethically and safely, giving consideration to the scientific and cultural appropriateness of different clinical trial designs to optimise the contribution to advanced practice.
Negotiated Study (CISC8015) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Enables a student to negotiate an applied project within the workplace.
Negotiated Study (Extended) (CISC8030) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)Enables a student to negotiate an applied project within the workplace.
Review of Learning (HUBC8000) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop in the student/practitioner the ability to conduct a rigourous professional review through reflective practice that is consistent with the capabilities of an advanced practitioner: specifically the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to evaluate informal and non-formal professional learning against the requirements of postgraduate study within the Applied Practice programmes.





The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

The statistical results below are a summary for:

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: A relevant degree with average grade requirements or a relevant professional qualification and proof of work relevant to the programme of study plus English language requirements. Special admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


1 Year

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  $5,385$5,385
Government tuition subsidy: $6,053$6,053

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earningsN/A
Earnings rangeN/A - N/A
In employmentN/A
In further studyN/A
On a benefitN/A

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.