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

Understand the broader spectrum of wellbeing

Programme Objectives

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.

Graduates of this qualification are open to a number of possible career paths such as self-employment, or working alongside other professionals in a multi-health practice (e.g. physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy or medical centres) or rest homes and rehabilitation centres for the purpose of relaxation.

This programme can even provide amazing travelling opportunities to work on cruise ships, spas, resorts, hotels, ski-fields, gymnasiums, on-site corporates and much more. 

Programme Overview

Health and wellness involves physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational and social health. Our goal is to produce knowledgeable, skilled, and adaptable massage therapists who recognise their role within the wider healthcare community, and contribute to improving health outcomes.

This programme helps you to become an effective operator and can provide a pathway for further study onto the Diploma in Clinical Massage Therapy.

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
  • Musculoskeletal anatomy and relevant surface anatomy to provide a theoretical and practical foundation for wellness and relaxation 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
  • Wellness and relaxation therapy interventions, including: relaxation massage techniques; wellness techniques; muscle- specific massage techniques; healthcare programming for stress and wellness interventions; and client education
  • Underpinning knowledge: history of massage; body mechanics and practitioner self-care practices; principles of massage; evidence-based effects of massage therapy (including indications and contraindications); stress and wellness theory; stress management;scope of practice; ethical considerations; professionalism; professionalization; multicultural practice; Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Massage Therapy Practicals

Our work placements are designed to prepare students for work in real world environments such as Spas and Massage Therapy Clinics. 

Our students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of practical opportunities to enhance their experience base. The ability to practice in-class learning is essential, and many work placements require home-based study.

All work placements involve standard industry practices and processes. Students will have an opportunity to practice through a selection of work placements. These work placements are based upon wellness and relaxation massage learning experiences and intended to reinforce in-class practical tuition. Work placements are assessed through methodologies such as:

  • In-class practicals
  • Client Information Collection
  • Case Study / Integration
  • Student Clinic Hours
  • Community Placements

Students are encouraged to practice on a wide range of clients to consolidate learnings.

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Key facts

  • Students engage in 100 hours of Student Clinic experience

Career Opportunities

Massage Therapist

Course Costs

For Domestic Students: 

  • Tuition fees: $7,156 
  • Student loans and allowances are available through Studylink.

For International Students:

  • Tuition fees: $19,000
  • Resource fee: $950

Qualifications Awarded

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

2020 Intakes

Auckland Campus
24 February
20 July

Wellington Campus
24 February
20 July  

Christchurch Campus
10 February
23 March
20 July  

We accept enrolments throughout the year, so if you would like to start outside these dates get in touch with us anytime! 


This programme is offered at our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Campuses.


42 weeks including 6 weeks of holiday.

Entry Requirements

  • Be over 18 years of age, and have:
  • 80 NCEA credits with at least 60 Level 2 credits and Literacy and Numeracy at NCEA Level 1 or equivalent; or  
  • The NZCM Certificate in Study and Career Preparation for Massage (Level 4); or 
  • Relevant and equivalent level study or work experience
  • Good level of physical and mental fitness
  • International or domestic students whose first language is not English must score IELTS overall brand score (Academic) of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.0; or NZQA recognized equivalent 

Additional selection requirements apply and are provided at the pre-enrolment interview. 

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