Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6)

Want to spend your days soaking up New Zealand’s great outdoors and getting paid for it? This environmental qualification takes you from the classroom to the mountaintops – so strap on your tramping boots!

You’ll examine the challenges facing New Zealand’s clean, green image and what needs to be done to protect our world-famous habitats and landscapes.

Courses include botany, biology, geology, waste water and recycling management, outdoor leadership, coastal management, resource legislation, personal risk management and biosecurity.

Programme info for International StudentsField work in remote reserves and national parks turn the theory into practice – with trips to Fiordland, Coromandel and the Central Plateau.

Keep your eyes peeled for plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. You’ll also gain practical skills in chain sawing and all-terrain vehicle driving and walk away with qualifications in first aid, maritime radio and weed spraying applications.

Our tutors are friendly and knowledgeable and the practical activities help foster strong student friendships which turn into important contacts when graduates head out into the industry.

If you enjoy getting away from it all, being in the middle of nowhere, and are passionate about conserving the environment, this is the place for you.

Graduates can also complete the third year of the University of Waikato's Bachelor of Science right here at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology here in Tauranga.

Read more about the field trips our students have taken over the last few years.

Content Details

Year One

Biology and ecology of our native plants.

Vertebrate and Invertebrate Biology
Biology, ecology and classification of New Zealand vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) and invertebrates (from streams, estuary and bush).

Zero Waste Management
Principles and impact on the environment and recycling.

Waste Water Management
Treatment and testing and its impact on the environment.

Conservation Issues and Perspectives
Maori and local conservation issues and perspectives.

Biological Surveying, Outdoor Risk Management and Leadership
Managing risk, leading a group and conducting a range of introductory survey and data collection methods, including the use of GPS and Telemetry equipment.

Through field trips you'll gain the necessary skills in outdoor people management to achieve successful biological surveys in the field.

Practical Skills
First aid for emergency situations, operating and use of a chainsaw, Growsafe® spray safety and application, driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and theory to operate a maritime restricted radio.

Year Two

Ecological Restoration
Ecological processes and indigenous biota for management purposes. Principles of population change for indigenous species, their ecology and what makes New Zealand biota unique. Potential and principles for restoration of habitats.

Coastal Management
Key legislation, planning documents and organisations important in the management of New Zealand’s environmental resources, and options and methods available for resolving conflict regarding the use of these resources.

Biological Surveying
Biology, ecology of flora and fauna. Conducting and organising terrestrial surveys.

Environmental Reporting/Research Project
Initiating, planning, organising and producing a report on approved topic and presenting the results to an audience.

Freshwater Ecology and Monitoring
Sampling techniques for freshwater systems and future protocols for monitoring change.

Biological Statistics
Designing questionnaires and sampling using statistics and survey techniques.

Working environments for biosecurity activities, global biosecurity awareness and the threats imposed on New Zealand and border management in New Zealand.

Geology of New Zealand
Origin, internal structure and geophysics of the earth and the formation and classification of New Zealand rocks, minerals and soils.


Two full-time years of academic study; each year is 29-34 weeks with classes scheduled for approximately 24 hours per week. You will also be required to undertake self-directed study beyond scheduled class time. There will be some blocks of time when you will be away on field trips, ranging from overnight to two weeks.

7 Feb 2017Full-timeTauranga (Windermere Campus)Two years

Indicative Fees

Fees are set for each year of study

2017 domestic students $6,199.00 Year One

2017 domestic students $6,076.00 Year Two

2017 international students $19,950.00 per year

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

On successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6)
  • Comprehensive First Aid Certificate
  • Maritime Restricted Operator’s Certificate
  • Growsafe® Introductory Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Conservation officer
  • Resource management adviser/consultant
  • Environmental consultant/technician
  • Research assistant
  • Environmental educator
  • Research officer
  • Quarantine/biosecurity officer
  • Bio-surveyor
  • Biodiversity ranger/officer
  • Plant or animal pest officer
  • Waste management auditor

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

Bachelor of Science (BSc) with a major in Biological Sciences

Entry Criteria

To gain entry into this programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum of 42 credits towards NCEA Level 3 including: 14 credits at Level 3 in each of two approved subjects and 14 credits at Level 3 in no more than two domains or two approved subjects (generally these are in the Science, Maths and English areas)
  • Be physically fit and capable of coping with tramps lasting up to ten days in the New Zealand bush

If you are over 20 years of age the academic requirement may be waived provided you show evidence of your ability to undertake the programme with a reasonable chance of success, such as participation in class activities and completion of assessments. The Programme Coordinator may also allow you entry into the programme if you have graduated from an approved National Certificate at Level 3 or above.

The institution will consider students for special admission who do not satisfy the standard academic entry requirements of a programme but who in the opinion of the Programme Co-ordinator are capable of achieving the programme outcomes.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, take a look at our New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4).


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 6 certificate or diploma IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L4 with the Academic Endorsement or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.