New environmental diplomas reflect community needs

28 November 2017

New environmental diplomas reflect community needs

Two revised NorthTec qualifications will prove even better at meeting the region’s conservation needs, says a leading environmental management tutor.

From next year, NorthTec will offer both a Level 5 and Level 6 New Zealand Diploma in Environmental Management. The new qualifications replace the previous programmes delivered, and have come about due to NZQA-led changes to ensure all tertiary qualifications in New Zealand are standardised.

However, Dr Dai Morgan says the designing of the new diplomas has enabled the already popular environmental management programmes to be further enhanced, with new papers added.

The Level 5 diploma has a new paper which focuses on introducing students to biological monitoring techniques. Learning basic scientific and environmental survey methods gives students a great preparation for the workplace. In addition, plant and animal biology are now studied as two separate papers, giving students more valuable time to study each subject.

The Level 6 diploma now includes a new paper on research methods, teaching students the best ways to formulate hypotheses and design field-based experiments and research projects. They will also learn how best to analyse and present data.

As before, the two one-year programmes can be studied separately, or combined with a third year of study to earn students a Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management). This is a Unitec degree which is delivered at NorthTec by NorthTec tutors.

Dr Morgan said many NorthTec students from the programme already go on to work at the Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council and other local groups concerned with environmental management. The new qualifications will further enhance their chances of gaining employment in their chosen field, as they reflect the needs of these organisations, which frequently carry out monitoring and research projects.

Dr Morgan said: “Our stakeholders say they like our students because they can hit the ground running. They are not scared about getting out into the bush, and they know what they’re looking at. We also place our Level 6 students with industry for parts of their papers, which helps them to network and prepare for employment.”

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