New Zealand Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage (Level 5)



Programme Objectives

The Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage provides the required skills and knowledge. It also provides a pathway for further study, in particular to the Level 6 New Zealand Diploma in Remedial Massage (which will become available in 2018) and the NZCM Level  7 Degree programme. The Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage is a 36-week programme that gives you the understanding, skills and attributes of a successful wellness and relaxation massage therapist – human function, health and wellness, massage skills, and professional practice.

Integration of learning takes place through the year-long Professional Practice course that is designed to provide a workplace experience where all learning comes together. Knowledge and understanding is taught through problem-framing and problem-solving activities such as in-class peer group work.

The Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage will provide many career opportunities including: self-employment, working alongside other professionals in a multi-health practice (e.g. physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy or medical centres). Other opportunities include ski-fields, gymnasiums, cruise ships, tourism, spas, resorts, hotels, on-site corporate, rest homes and rehabilitation centres.

Key Components

Key components of the Diploma include: Normal anatomy and physiological functioning of each of the human body systems and how they underpin massage therapy practice. Neuromusculoskeletal anatomy and relevant surface anatomy to provide theoretical and practical foundation for wellness and relaxation, remedial and sports massage therapy practice. Client assessment, session planning, evaluation and management including goal management, evidence base for choice of intervention, safety considerations, ethical and professional and cultural requirements.

Breadth of Practice

The above knowledge and skills are applied to at least two of the following specialised client groups – relaxation and wellness massage for pregnancy, infants, elderly, chronic and  terminal illness, sports massage (pre-event, post-event, maintenance) and  disability (mobility, cognitive, audial, visual). In addition to the wellness and relaxation therapies noted above at least two other wellness therapies from the following list must be covered – chair massage, hot stones, reflexology, eastern therapies, Thai massage; shiatsu; holistic pulsing; polarity; reflexology; movement integration; aromatherapy; positional release; nutrition for general health and wellness.

Wellness and Massage Therapy Practicums

Students will have an opportunity to earn credits through a selection of Practicums. These practicums are based upon wellness and relaxation massage learning experiences and intended to reinforce in-class practical tuition. Practicums are assessed through methodologies such as:

  • Practical Massage Practicums
  • Client Information Collection
  • Case Studies
  • Student Clinic
  • Community Placements

Practical Opportunities

NZCM students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of practical opportunities to enhance their experience base. The ability to use friends and family to practice in-class learning is essential, and many practicums require home-based study and massage. NZCM practicums are designed to prepare students for work in real world environments such as Spas and Massage Therapy Clinics. All practicums refer to standard industry practices and processes.

Key Facts

  • NZQA Level  5
  • 12 Month Full Time Programme
  • Study in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch
  • 100 hours student clinic experience
  • Approved for student loans for domestic students and allowances for full time domestic students.

Start / Finish Dates

  • Start 24th July 2017 – Finish date 22nd June 2018.

Fees Schedule Disclaimer: These fees were correct as at 21 December 2016.

Tuition Fees Incl GST $6800 Course Related Costs Incl GST 

Apparel $92 Clinic Linen Hire $160 Massage Starter Kit $30

Inclass Resources and Course Manual Cost $150 PC, Wireless and Internet $80 ID Card $12


Recommended Course Items Textbooks $594

Recommended Total $1118

Entry Criteria

  • Be 18 years of age or over.
  • 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 with 14 credits in two of the following subjects: Chemistry, Science, Biology, Health Studies, Physical Education or equivalent.
  • Literacy requirements: NCEA 8 credits at Level 2 or higher, with at least 4 credits in reading and 4 credits in writing or equivalent.
  • Additionally, International Students and those whose first language is not English
  • Competence in English language: those whose first language is not English are required to score at least IELTS 6.0 (Academic) in all aspects of the test or NZQA approved equivalent. All applicants will be interviewed to ensure their suitability for the programme. The NZCM Code of Ethics must be read, considered, agreed to and signed.