Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning Degrees in New Zealand

Last Updated: 8 November 2023 Computer Science NZ Course Guide

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) are closely related fields, but they have some distinctions in terms of educational degrees.

Choosing between AI and ML degrees depends on your interests and career goals. If you are more interested in the broader spectrum of AI, including its philosophical, ethical, and multidisciplinary aspects, an AI degree might be suitable. If you're more inclined towards the technical aspects of teaching machines to learn and make predictions based on data, then a degree in Machine Learning might be a better fit.

Learn more below and if you have any more questions or need help deciding which degree to choose, contact SI-New Zealand today.

Overview of AI Degrees

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a field that encompasses various subfields, including machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, computer vision, and more. Degrees in AI often cover a wide range of topics, including ethics, philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology, alongside technical aspects such as machine learning and data science.

What should I study to become an AI engineer?

If you want an artificial intelligence degree in New Zealand after 12th grade, start with a solid foundation in computer science and a strong grip on programming languages, such as Python. Also, try to understand and learn basic algorithms, followed by ML and Data Science principles. You can also go for certification courses and programs specialising in AI and ML. 

Artificial Intelligence curriculum

Studying AI in New Zealand will give students advanced skills and techniques to excel in the job market. A Bachelor's in Artificial Intelligence topics include adaptive problem solving, natural language processing and data streams, matrix factorisation, computer vision automatic programming, and more. 

Entry requirements

In New Zealand, students can opt for certification courses, such as Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. in AI. However, the criteria and requirements for each course degree are different. Therefore, you should consult an SI-New Zealand consultant to guide you with in-depth information on program outcomes and career prospects, eligibility, and post-study work opportunities

In addition, international students must meet English language entry requirements like -


The fee structure for an artificial degree depends on the degree or program applied for. Here is an estimated AI fee structure in New Zealand. 

Degree Program Level

Average fees (annually)

Undergraduate degrees


Masters in Artificial Intelligence


Doctoral degrees


Job opportunities and expected salary

Earning an AI degree can open many career opportunities. Students can land into top research companies and organisations like Microsoft, McKinsey, and Amazon. There is so much room to learn and grow for students opting for AI in New Zealand.

Job Profiles

Average Salary in New Zealand (annually)

Artificial Intelligence Architect


Mathematical Modeller


Operations researcher


Systems Analyst


Database Programmer


Business Intelligence Developer


Overview of Machine Learning Degrees

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is a subset of AI that enables machines to learn from data without being explicitly programmed.
Degrees in Machine Learning usually focus more on statistics, data analysis, algorithms, and programming languages. They often delve deep into neural networks, predictive modeling, and data processing techniques.

Machine Learning curriculum 

The machine-learning curriculum is smartly structured to strengthen your foundation. It comprises subjects and courses, such as Introduction to ML, Deep Learning, Medical Data Informatics, and Unsupervised Learning, to explore the technical, social, and philosophical aspects of ML, followed by a capstone practical project on the topic of your choice. The course level depends on the degree you select for enrollment. 

Entry requirements

New Zealand offers various degree programs in machine learning, like Bachelor’s, Masters, and Research programs. Certification programs are also available to build skills and knowledge on the subject. However, the entry requirements for each degree are different.  In addition, international students must meet English language entry requirements like -

Job opportunities and expected salary

A Machine Learning career can get you into top tech companies and organisations. As of 2023, it is considered the best job option, with 344% growth and an average base salary of $146,085 annually. 

For example - a machine learning data scientist or engineer must acquire skills in data modelling, system design, programming, etc. The average salary for an entry-level machine learning engineer is $4,992,300 annually. An experienced can get up to $7,654,860 annually. Some top jobs in ML New Zealand 2024 are -

Job Profiles

Average Salary in New Zealand (annually)

Data Scientist


National Language Processing Scientist


Human-Centered Machine Learning Designer


Computer Vision Engineer


Business Intelligence Analyst


Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence

Machine Learning

It was introduced in 1956 by John McCarthy, who also hosted the first AI conference.

ML was first introduced in 1952 by IBM computer scientist Arthur Samuel, a pioneer in AI and computer games. 

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. 

ML means machine learning, which means acquiring knowledge or skills. 

AI is a broader family comprising ML and Deep Learning. 

ML is a subset of AI.

The main objective is to increase the chance of success and not accuracy. 

The aim is to improve accuracy.

It works as a computer program that does smart work.

The task systems machines take the data and learn from the data. 

Examples - Siri, Customer Service via Chatbots, Machine Translation, etc. 

Examples- Google search algorithms, Facebook automatic friend suggestions, etc. 

Study an AI or ML Degree in New Zealand

If you are unsure which degrees to study, contact SI-New Zealand to make an informed decision based on your unique circumstances. 

Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning FAQ

What are AI and machine learning examples?

AI and machine learning are increasing rapidly daily. From Instagram filters to Chat GPT, these technologies have taken the world by storm. Some of the most widespread examples of AI and ML are - virtual assistants Sir and Alexa, Chat Bots, and Image Recognition used by security systems.

How ML and AI are related?

Artificial Intelligence is a broad concept of enabling a machine or system to sense, react, and adapt like a human. On the other hand, ML is a subset or an application of artificial intelligence that allows machines to extract knowledge from data and learn from it. 

How is AI and ML impacting various industries worldwide?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionising production processes across multiple industries. These technologies amplify productivity, flexibility, and efficiency through deep learning, algorithms, and automation. 

What are the career opportunities in AI and ML for international students in New Zealand?

New Zealand plays a significant role in the AI Global Community. The developments practised in NZ could increase NZ GDP by up to $54 billion by 2035. With that growth, the popular career opportunities in AI and ML for international students are AI Specialists, Operations Researchers, Robotics Engineer, etc. 

Do universities in NZ offer any specific AI and ML programs?

New Zealand universities offer various artificial intelligence and machine learning courses. Some of the most demanding programs are Master in Data Science, B.Sc in artificial intelligence, and M.Sc in artificial intelligence. 

Are any scholarships or financial aid available for AI and ML students in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers various scholarships and financial aid for international students studying computer science. These scholarships include full academic scholarships, short-term training scholarships, etc. 

What are some successful AI and ML projects or institutions in New Zealand?

New Zealand’s tech sector is the fastest growing in the country. Xero, Soul Machines, Xtracta, etc., are some of the successful AI and ML projects and start-ups in New Zealand. University of Waikato’s application “WEKA” is the first open-source machine library downloaded over 10 million times. 


  • University of Auckland
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Waikato
  • Victoria University of Wellington

"SI-New Zealand ช่วยฉันในการสมัครเรียนสาขาบริหารธุรกิจในนิวซีแลนด์ และฉันรู้ไม่จะขอบคุณพวกเขาอย่างไรดี พวกเขาช่วยเหลือฉันในแต่ละขั้นตอน ทำให้ฉันได้มีตัวเลือกในคอร์สเรียนและเลือกมหาวิทยาลัย ช่วยลดความเครียด ของฉันไปได้เยอะ."

Isabella Ramos Business and Management

Isabella Ramos