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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.

Our graduates can venture on to various career paths such as 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.

Graduates can also work on cruise ships, spas, resorts, hotels, ski-fields, gymnasiums and on-site corporates. 

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 last year of Bachelor of Health Studies - Neuromuscular Therapy.

Key Components

  • 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

  • Tuition fees: $19,000.00
  • Course fee: $950.00

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   


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 band 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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