Time limits and rules to complete your postgraduate programme

All postgraduate programmes specify a maximum number of semesters, quarters, or years in which you have to complete your programme. These time limits are specified either in individual programme regulations or in the general regulations for postgraduate qualifications.

You will need to complete your programme within these time limits or have a suspension or extension of time approved. Extensions/suspensions may be approved if you are unable to complete because of exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

Unless otherwise specified in the regulations for a particular programme the standard time limits given below apply.

Standard time limits

Programme Time limit
Postgraduate certificates

1 semester / 0.5 years full-time

4 semesters / 2 years part-time 

Postgraduate diplomas

2 semesters / 1 year full-time

8 semesters / 4 years part-time

Postgraduate diploma (if entering with credit from a completed postgraduate certificate)

1 semester / 0.5 years full-time

4 semesters / 2 years part-time

Bachelors honours postgraduate degrees  

2 semesters / 1 year full-time

4 semesters / 2 years
part-time

Taught masters 120 points  

2 semesters / 1 year full-time

8 semesters / 4 years part-time

8 quarters / 2 years

Taught masters 180 points  

3 semesters / 1.5 years full-time

12 semesters / 6 years part-time

12 quarters / 3 years

Taught masters 240 points  

4 semesters / 2 years full-time

12 semesters / 6 years part-time

16 quarters / 4 years

Taught masters 300 points  

5 semesters / 2.5 years full-time

12 semesters / 6 years part-time

Taught masters 360 points  

5 semesters / 2.5 years full-time

12 semesters / 6 years part-time

Research masters 120 points  

2 semesters / 1 year full-time

4 semesters / 2 years part-time

Research masters 180 points

3 semester / 1.5 years full-time

6 semesters / 3 years part-time

Research masters 240 points  

4 semesters / 2 years full-time

8 semesters / 4 years
part-time

Research masters 300 points   n/a
Research masters 360 points   n/a

Note: A programme is a research masters if it includes a thesis or research portfolio of at least 90 points, otherwise it is a taught masters.

Key points - masters degrees

  • Students enrolled entirely full-time in a masters degree must enrol consecutively in each semester until finished.
  • Students enrolled at least partially part-time can have up to four semesters of non-enrolment, but this must be prior to any enrolment in a thesis or dissertation, and they must still complete within the programme time limits.
  • Enrolment in a thesis or research portfolio must be consecutive.
  • In exceptional circumstances a student can be granted a suspension from enrolment, and the period of suspension won’t count towards the time limits for the degree. The period of suspension will not normally exceed one year for students enrolled in a thesis or research portfolio, or two consecutive semesters for students enrolled in other courses. For advice, contact your Faculty Student Centre.

Key points - bachelors honours postgraduate degrees

  • Enrolment is normally continuous.
  • In exceptional circumstances a student can be granted a suspension from enrolment, and the period of suspension won’t count towards the time limits for the degree. The period of suspension will not normally exceed two consecutive semesters. For advice, contact your Faculty Student Centre.

Other requirements
Full regulations can be found in the University of Auckland Calendar.