Studying Criminology in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a criminology degree at a New Zealand university

New Zealand universities' criminology degrees are designed to provide a well-rounded understanding of the complexities of crime and justice while allowing for criminal profiling, victimology, or restorative justice specialisation.

Studying a criminology degree in New Zealand as an international student offers a comprehensive exploration of the causes and consequences of crime, criminal behaviour, and the criminal justice system. Typically, a bachelor's degree in criminology spans three years and encompasses a variety of modules, including criminal law, criminal justice policy, forensic psychology, sociology of crime, and research methods. The curriculum

Upon completing a criminology degree in New Zealand, international students may find employment in law enforcement agencies, government departments, correctional institutions, non-profit organizations, and research institutes. Typical roles include criminal investigator, policy analyst, probation officer, crime prevention specialist, or victim advocate. The analytical and research skills developed during the program enable graduates to contribute to understanding and preventing crime, making them valuable assets in fields dedicated to maintaining and improving societal safety and well-being.

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Types of Criminology Degrees in New Zealand

New Zealand universities offer various types of criminology degrees, such as diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Some institutions and universities also offer certificate programs to teach foundational knowledge.

Bachelor’s in Criminology

A bachelor’s in criminology is an undergraduate degree that allows you to explore issues that affect punishment and criminal justice. The coursework also covers crime, popular culture, violence, and drugs. You will also examine critical justice policies and practices and how criminological concepts can be used in real-life scenarios locally and internationally. 

This course is perfect for you if you are passionate about justice and can make sound judgements. After studying criminology in New Zealand, you can apply to highly-demanding career areas, such as the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Customs, the Department of Corrections, and Local Authorities.

Master’s in Criminology

A master’s in criminology is a postgraduate degree focusing on the communities affected by the criminal justice system and other communities. The degree program covers how ethnicities, class, gender, and age interact with the criminal field, with a particular focus on children and youth crime. After graduating with a postgraduate criminology degree in New Zealand, you can work in areas like the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, Department of Corrections, and Local Authorities. 


Here are some top scholarships offered by New Zealand universities for criminology studies,

Name of the Scholarship

Offered by

Awarded Value

University of Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarship

University of Melbourne

100% tuition fee waiver

Welcome Back International Scholarship

Murdoch University

20% of fees

UC International Course Merit Scholarship

University of Canterbury

25% of tuition fees

Jobs and Careers

Criminology graduates evaluate types of crime and factors affecting criminal behaviour, such as psychological influences, poverty, and more. They gain vital research, analysis, and communication skills that can be used in roles like probation officers, community workers, and project coordinators. Someone willing to work as a criminologist must require a PhD in criminology. Some renowned organisations in New Zealand where criminal graduates can work are the New Zealand Customs Service, the Ministry of Justice, and the New Zealand Police. 


The salary of criminology graduates in New Zealand varies depending on the skills and experience they gain in the work. The salary of criminology graduates in New Zealand varies depending on the job and experience level. At an entry-level position, one can earn around $60,000 annually. One can earn between $50,000 to $80,000 annually as a probation officer. On the other hand, a criminologist with a PhD degree can earn up to $120,000 per annum. These salaries may vary based on factors such as location, job responsibilities, and years of experience.

Top Universities for Criminology Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best criminology courses in New Zealand, find details of the top-ranking Criminology and Criminal Justice universities in the EduRank Guide 2024 below:



Acceptance rate


Victoria University of Wellington



University of Auckland



University of Otago



University of Canterbury



Massey University



University of Waikato



Auckland University of Technology


Study Criminology in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for a criminology degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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What is the typical duration of a criminology course in New Zealand?

The course duration varies as per the degree program. The course duration for an undergraduate course is three years. while a postgraduate degree is two years.

What types of criminology courses are available in New Zealand?

Criminology courses are available in undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and research. You can take the criminology course in various specialisations, such as law enforcement, criminal justice, cyber law, and criminal ethology. 

What are the career prospects for criminology graduates in New Zealand?

Criminology graduates gain vital research, analysis, and communication skills that can be used in roles like probation officers, community workers, and project coordinators. Other demanding career options include correctional officer, youth worker, and private investigator. 

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