New Zealand is a low-profile but outstanding academic destination for international students. Although New Zealand may not be as popular as its fellow developed nations, it hosts several globally recognized universities with excellent degree programs.

Some advantages of studying in New Zealand include safety due to low crime rates, English as the primary medium of instruction, high chances of gaining Permanent Residence status for those planning to immigrate into the country, and high quality of education. Most degrees earned in the country are also recognized in Australia, the UK, and many European countries. Therefore, an undergraduate degree from a reputable university in New Zealand can be a ticket for a postgraduate degree to a prestigious university abroad.

Moreover, the country’s natural beauty is popular among filmmakers, helping boost its economy in the past few decades. The influx of tourists, the high regard for New Zealand products, and even the aging population all contribute to the booming career opportunities in the country. These factors explain why Business, Healthcare, Engineering, IT or Computer Science, and Hospitality programs rank among the best programs to study in New Zealand. In this article, we will be looking at the best subjects to study in New Zealand!

What are the Top Universities in New Zealand?

Some of the best universities in New Zealand are the University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington. These institutions are known for their diverse range of programs in undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as unique and high quality education for both domestic and international students. It’s worth noting that these universities also has distinct strengths and specializations, making it crucial for you to research and find the best fit for your academic interests. Besides universities, check out our Open Courses Page to explore popular courses, such as Business and Computer Science and set your study abroad plans to action!

Top Subjects to Study in New Zealand

1. Business Management

As a developed country, New Zealand has a pretty stable economy where business graduates can conveniently land profitable jobs or start their own businesses. The nation is also rich in natural resources and raw materials that can be manufactured into products that have high chances of being patronized by consumers in other countries.

Most undergraduate business programs in New Zealand take three years to complete. Meanwhile, Master’s degree programs can range from one to two years to complete, and students may select between research and taught programs. Some graduate business programs also provide students flexible learning options as they can take classroom or online classes.

Based on the QS World Rankings, the University of Auckland Business School ranks as the best provider of business-related programs in New Zealand, such as Accounting & Finance and Business & Management. In addition, both programs also rank high globally.

2. Healthcare

The New Zealand government has recently begun hiring an increasing number of healthcare professionals from other countries due to its aging society and a shortage in the domestic labor force. Whether in medicine, nursing, or health rehabilitation, a healthcare career is constantly in high demand in New Zealand, making the field one of the best subjects to study in the country.

The quality of education healthcare students get from New Zealand universities is also top-notch. Some of the best higher education institutions for a medical degree include the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and Massey University.

New Zealand also ranks high globally in national healthcare services. It shows that medical and other hospital practices in the country are among the best worldwide. Therefore, medical graduates can gain good career prospects and experience there. In addition, because of the world-class quality of education medical professionals have, they have higher chances of landing a job in other countries, including Australia and the UK, using their New Zealand qualifications.

3. Engineering

New Zealand is famous for its manufacturing industry, producing high-quality products that are in high demand globally. Some well-known products include Manuka honey, dairy products, and more. That is why courses such as manufacturing engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering are popular.

Meanwhile, civil engineering, in particular, is very popular these days because the New Zealand government allocates a considerable budget for infrastructure to further boost the quality of life for its citizens. Civil engineering degree holders can find reputable jobs in both public organizations and private companies.

Global university rankings also recognize New Zealand universities’ engineering programs among the top 100 worldwide. Therefore, an engineering degree from New Zealand is an excellent qualification for a career not only in the country but also abroad. So if you are interested in pursuing such a degree, you may check out top universities offering excellent engineering programs, including the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury.

4. Information Technology / Computer Science

Information technology is also a top program to study in New Zealand as its industry also does not lag behind other developed nations. Graduates with degrees in Information Technology, Computer Science, or Software Engineering can certainly find numerous career opportunities in the country, including data security, data analysis, and program or software development.

With the growing business industry in the country, IT or computer science specialists can take up a double degree in business to secure a career as a business analyst or data scientist. These professions are so promising that graduates with relevant degrees can get stable jobs from some of the biggest companies in New Zealand. They can also land good-paying jobs in the government.

The University of Auckland, being the top-ranking higher education institution in the country, offers excellent degree programs relevant to IT and Computer Science. Meanwhile, the University of Waikato in Hamilton also excels in the same field with its internationally renowned professors and advanced teaching facilities and equipment.

5. Hospitality

As discussed, New Zealand’s popularity among globally acclaimed filmmakers helps draw tourists into the country. It is due to the exhibition of the country’s natural beauty in many box-office hit films. As a result, a future career in the tourism industry has become attractive to many incoming university students.

A degree in hospitality is among the best programs in New Zealand as it provides flexibility among graduates to land a job in hotel management or travel and tours planning. They can benefit from meeting foreign tourists by either working at some of the biggest hotels or introducing the local area’s beauty and culture to people from other regions and countries. They can further boost their qualifications by getting a double degree in business for an executive position or IT for advanced research and technology relevant to hospitality.

New Zealand is also recognized globally as one of the best countries to go to for a degree in hospitality management. Regardless of where you want to study in the country, it is easy to find a university that offers relevant programs. Some of the famous universities for hospitality management in New Zealand are the Auckland University of Technology and the University of Waikato.


We hope that this article on the Best Subjects to Study in New Zealand was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more information about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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