Course Overview

** Some Course Details May Change **
As part of our move into Te Pūkenga we’re excited to be part of a large-scale review of courses. This is ongoing, and means that some course details including fees, and entry requirements may change. In the meantime please go ahead and apply as normal and we are always available to answer any questions you might have.

Study marine biology in New Zealand's beautiful Bay of Plenty. Our students join us from all over the world to be a part of the fantastic field trips and to be with like-minded people learning about our stunning marine and freshwater environments, and the role they play in a healthy ecosystem. You'll learn about the fascinating range of plants, invertebrates, mammals, birds and fish that live above and below the water.

If you continue on to the Level 6 diploma, you'll gain more advanced skills and knowledge, with a focus on research, and environmental and ecological reporting and monitoring. You’ll also be able to choose from a range of elective papers with an aquaculture, biosecurity, ecological, diving, or marine tourism focus. If you choose the coral reef ecology and monitoring option you may even travel as far as Papua New Guinea to study the reefs.

By the time you graduate you’ll have gained a variety of practical and risk management skills, and if you want to gain a degree, these diplomas are your ticket into the third year of either Te Pukenga’s Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management) or a Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Biodiversity) with the University of Waikato.

Upon successfully completing the requirements you'll receive the award of:

  • New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management (Marine) (Level 5)

If you select the diving pathway as an option you may also receive the award of:

  • National Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3)
Locations To be confirmed
Next intake To be confirmed View more details
Study options

1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)

Total credits 120
StudyLink assistance Available
Indicative Fees $7,989 for domestic students View full fees information
Eligibility View entry criteria

To see the information for international students change your location using the button at the top right of the screen.

Career opportunities

This course is designed as entry to the Level 6 diploma.  By completing the Level 6 diploma, you could gain employment in a number of exciting areas, including:

  • freshwater or marine monitoring
  • biosecurity
  • iwi liaison
  • fisheries enforcement officers/observers on fishing vessels
  • biosecurity officers
  • diving - PADI instructors
  • specialised research projects
  • environmental reporting
  • own business enterprises
  • roles within regional councils (education, dune care), NZ Customs, MPI, aquariums, or aquaculture industry.

Topics you'll cover

The papers you'll study within this diploma include:

Plus choose one of the following:

Exciting news – if, once you’ve finished this course you continue on to our NZ Dip Environmental Management Level 6, you’ll now have the option to study Tropical Ecology and Monitoring which includes a field trip to the Galapagos Island or Namibia! Find out more.

Course Fees

Indicative Fees * $7,989 for domestic students

There will be an additional fee if you also enrol in the New Zealand Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3).

* Important fee information, and hints and tips

Help with fees

Are you Eligible for Free Fees?

There are several ways to take advantage of free study at Toi Ohomai. Find out how on our Fees Free FAQ page.

Student Loans and Allowances

This course meets the requirements for student allowance and student loan applications through StudyLink.

  • A student loan helps to pay for your course fees (the compulsory fees), study materials e.g. books, equipment, and living costs. You'll have to pay this money back.
  • A student allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you're studying. You don't have to pay the money back.

Find out more and apply at


Scholarships are one way you might be able to get some financial help. Any scholarships specifically related to this course are shown below, otherwise check out the full list of scholarships promoted by Toi Ohomai.

Course Entry Information

Entry criteria

If you are a domestic applicant under the age of 20, you must have:

  • a minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or equivalent (suggested subjects are English, Mathematics and Biology/Sciences)

If you do not meet the academic requirements you may be given special admission if Toi Ohomai staff are satisfied you are capable of successfully completing the requirements.

Special admission may also apply for applicants over 20 years.

NB: If you choose to follow the diving pathway through the diplomas you'll need to enrol in the National Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3) or equivalent, which gives you PADI Open Water, Advanced and Rescue Diver qualifications. The National Certificate in Diving (Foundation Skills) (Level 3) is offered at Toi Ohomai at the same time as the diploma and we'll talk this through with you when you apply.

Information Session

You’ll be invited to an information meeting. This is your opportunity to find out more about the course content and to make sure you're on the most appropriate course for your career aspirations and current level of experience.

Standard Entry Criteria

Admission, entry, selection, and enrolment into programmes will be in accordance with the Academic Regulations and/or, where approved, specific programme regulations.

Other Considerations

You must have the ability to complete the physical requirements of the course.

If you select the diving option then you must provide a certified doctor's certificate within two weeks of the course start date stating you are fit to dive.

English language requirements

Level 5 certificate or diploma IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language Level 4 with the Academic Endorsement or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined by NZQA.

Return to course overview

Course Locations and Intake Information

Intakes to be confirmed Ask to be notified when the next intake becomes available

Study options

  • 1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)

Important dates

View calendar of start dates and events

Get a summary of this page

Further Study Options

Courses Offered at Toi Ohomai