Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice


Throughout New Zealand via our assessment of prior learning centre, Capable NZ. Learn more > 

10 months full-time; 18-20 months part-time

This programme is delivered by a facilitator /academic mentor working with individuals. Learning is self-paced and as communication can be face-to-face or via email, phone or Skype, learners can access the programme from anywhere within New Zealand

Monthly intakes
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • CapableNZ
    1 January 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 February 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 March 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 June 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 August 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 April 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 May 2021

Delivered via Capable NZ

Are you ready to advance your career through a graduate qualification? Are you an experienced professional facing interesting challenges in your workplace?

Professional practice is all about you, and your work context.

At Capable NZ, we base our philosophy on using the real-life experiences from your professional life as rich learning material. Our Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice allows you to identify a challenge or goal in your work environment over a one-year programme. You can then research and define this issue, develop an approach for resolving it, and implement processes to achieve your desired outcomes.

Or you may have identified a practice challenge. This might involve developing new training or a workplace tool, developing curriculum, producing guidelines for change processes or fostering innovation in some way.

This qualification is perfect for advancing your professional career, while also addressing a significant work challenge. What’s more, you can apply a Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice to virtually any discipline or sector. For example, sustainability, or workplace health and safety. 

During this learning experience, you will explore cross-disciplinary boundaries and enjoy greater scope, flexibility and application than traditional prescribed programmes. Learning is self-paced and occurs within the workplace, or your field of practice. Facilitators and academic/professional mentors will support you throughout the whole process.

This qualification can be gained alongside full-time employment due to the flexible work-based learning (WBL) focus of the programme. Because the programme may be closely aligned with your organisation’s goals, it is often strongly supported by employers as a professional development opportunity. 

Is this for me?

A Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice requires approximately one year to complete, and is ideal for employees, volunteers, or the self-employed who have an undergraduate qualification and/or relevant professional experience.

A Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice:

  • is ideal for those in paid or unpaid work, or self-employed
  • allows you to build a degree around your world. What skills/expertise do you need? What would help you to achieve your career or business aspirations? Do you need support in a particular area of your professional practice?
  • helps you to explore cross-disciplinary boundaries and enjoy greater scope, flexibility and application than traditional pre-prescribed postgraduate programmes
  • provides self-paced learning, and facilitators/academic/professional mentors will support you throughout the whole process
Programme outcomes

Our Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice supports you to become an efficient self-directed learner. You’ll be capable of managing and critically evaluating your learning, and undertaking work-based projects that meet your needs and those of others. Upon successful completion, you will be able to: 

1.  Design and conduct an inquiry significant to the learner and their workplace, by:

  • identifying sources of knowledge and evidence and using them appropriately
  • identifying and applying information and ideas which result in the creation of knowledge relevant to self and workplace.

2.  Engage in reflection on practice which leads to insights likely to make a lasting impact upon personal and professional understanding.

3.  Undertake exploration proposing or leading to effective and appropriate action likely to impact upon the practice of self and/or others.

4.  Consider information and ideas independently and evaluate and articulate a position that can justify a basis for improvements in practice.

5.  Communicate effectively and persuasively in writing and orally in an appropriate format to appeal to a particular target audience.

6.  Work and learn autonomously and with others in a range of contexts, with a developing awareness in how this may develop the practices and /or beliefs of other. 

Entry requirements
  • You must hold a bachelor's degree OR equivalent AND/OR equivalent professional or educational experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you meet the entry requirements.
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.  

Programme structure

The work-based learning approach centres round the relationship between you, your employer/sponsor or your field of practice, and Capable NZ. The programme is divided into three main phases. 


Name of paper


Course 1

Review of Learning


Course 2

Learning Agreement


Course 3




Programme Total


How is the programme delivered?

Learning and teaching activities within each course may include:

  • facilitation and mentoring through distance processes
  • one-to-one meetings and review-of-progress workshops (depending on location)
  • online support and course resources through the Polytechnic’s Learning Management System platform (Moodle) and other learning technologies
  • online and video link assessment methodologies. 
How to apply

1. If you want to find out a little more about this programme, send us an enquiry and we'll be in touch! 

2. If you know that you just want to apply, click on the light blue APPLY button in the top right section of this page and complete our online application form. 

Student loans/allowances

Domestic students are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on other eligibility criteria. Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit the Studylink website.

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