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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. Once completing the Diploma, you can then go onto the Bachelor of Health Studies - Neuromuscular 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

2018 Course Costs

For Domestic Students: 

  • Tuition fees: $6,900 
  • Compulsory related costs: $500 
  • Application fee: $75
  • Recommended course items: $1,118 
  • Student loans and allowances are available through Studylink.

For International Students:

  • Tuition fees: $17,000
  • Resource fee: $1,500
  • Application fee: $75

Qualifications Awarded

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

2019 Intakes

  • 11 February 
  • 29 April 
  • 22 July 
  • 14 October 


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 a:
  • Good level of physical and mental fitness
  • 42 credits at NCEA Level 3, with 14 credits in two of the following subjects: Chemistry, Science, Biology, Health Studies, Physical Education
  • Literacy requirements - 8 credits at Level 2 (or higher)
  • 4 credits in reading and 4 credits in writing
  • 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.
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