NZ Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6)

Qualification Update

Please note that the Diploma in Naturopathy is being replaced by a new qualification in 2018.

About Naturopathy

Naturopathy is not a therapy but a philosophy of health, combining vitalistic principles with biological sciences. All civilisations have used natural means to assist the body’s natural healing processes. Naturopathic medicine today draws on these ancient understandings and integrates it with modern day scientific knowledge. The scope of practice of naturopaths includes a range of healing modalities such as nutrition, acute homeopathy, herbal medicine, flower essences, body work and stress management techniques.

The central approach is always to address the underlying causes of disease and to treat the person – not their symptoms. The focus is to facilitate and promote the body’s self-healing mechanisms, restoring harmony in the mind, body and spirit.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."- Thomas A. Edison

Programme Outline

This qualification provides core knowledge and skills for clinical practice as a professional Naturopath. The scope of practice of Naturopaths includes a large range of healing modalities. Subjects studied in the diploma include:

  • Medical sciences
  • Clinical practice
  • Nutritional sciences
  • Iridology
  • Relaxing massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Zone therapy
  • Flower essences
  • Tissue salts
  • Herbs
  • Homeobotanicals
  • Homeopathy
  • First aid - this is not included in your fees. It is the responsibility of the student to undertake a First Aid course to complete the Diploma in Naturopathy.

At the successful completion of year one, students will have a firm understanding of the principles and philosophies of naturopathy, and will gain a Certificate in Relaxation Massage. Upon final graduation of year three students can register with the New Zealand Society of Naturopaths and Naturopaths of New Zealand as naturopathic practitioners.

Please note:

  1. The first year of this course, in particular, includes undertaking a number of courses in massage. If you are not interested in training in massage, you may like to consider the Diploma in Nutritional Science as an alternative programme of study.
  2. This qualification includes the study of the following vibrational medicine modalities - flower essences, homeobotanical therapy and homeopathy. If you are concerned that the study of these may conflict with your belief systems, please contact us to discuss this further prior to enroling.

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Programme Delivery

This diploma is offered as a blended programme of study. The majority of your learning will be based from home, using printed and online materials. You will be sent a set of printed study notes, while assessments will be a combination of online quizzes, practical assessment at workshops and written assessments. Written assessments are downloaded as a Microsoft Word document, completed and submitted via the online campus. As well as offering electronic versions of the study notes, the online campus contains a number of learning tools, such as videos, quizzes, flashcards and forums, through which you can explore the subject matter both individually and with your classmates.

Outcome Statement

Graduates are able to work independently as a Clinical Naturopath. Students will qualify for the Certificate in Relaxation Massage (Level 4) after the completion of their year one studies and the Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6) after the completion of their year three studies. Students will also receive a certificate of achievement after the completion of their Year One studies.

Career Pathways

  • Private clinical practice
  • Integrative practice with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists or other complementary therapists
  • Natural health product company representatives and product consultants
  • Working along side midwives in pre conceptual, pregnancy and post natal health care
  • Teaching workshops and community education
  • Working with businesses on staff wellness programmes
  • Owning and managing health, whole food and organic stores
  • Working as an advisor or consultant to health stores, herbal dispensaries or pharmacies
  • Growing medicinal herbs and manufacturing herbal products.

It should be noted that the majority of the career pathways listed above involve self employment. Graduates will generally need to be prepared to start a professional practice/business on completing their study.

Duration of Study

This diploma is three years full time (approximately 30-40 hours per week) or six years part time (approximately 15-20 hours per week). Please note that part time students are able to undertake study at a faster rate than the normal part time timetable. Where assessments are submitted early, these are marked early so that the student can move forward with their learning. This works well for students who have existing work and home commitments that do not allow them to comfortably commit to full time study, but who do not want to take the full part time study duration to achieve their goals.

Compulsory Workshops

Workshops are a compulsory and essential part of training, offering students the opportunity to expand and develop their skills, network with fellow students and benefit from the knowledge of our tutors. The workshops are very interactive with lots of practical skills both taught and assessed.

You are required to attend three workshops in New Plymouth; one workshop per year of study for full time students; or one workshop per two years of study for part time students. The year one and year two workshops are one week in duration. The year three workshop is two weeks. The second week of this supports the development of clinical skills through supervised clinical practice and case discussions, as well as covering additional modalities such as external therapeutic applications, natural fertility, relaxation and stress management techniques and guest speakers.

Students will be booked into the workshop once their programme of study begins, with attendance normally in the second module of each academic year. Before enrolling, please consider the travel and accommodation costs of attending the workshops, as these are not covered by course fees. Consider also if you are able to get leave from work and home commitments to attend these. Students applying for their final year of study must be able to attend their allocated workshop in order to be accepted onto the program of study.

You are also required to sit your practical examination at the College; therefore you must be prepared to come to the College for each year of study and for your practical examination.


At the end of year three students undertake final theory and practical examinations. Where course assessments have practical components these will be assessed during workshops.

Entry Criteria

Applicants must have completed and passed Year 11 or equivalent secondary school education, must be at least aged 18, and able to read, speak and comprehend English language (for international non-English speaking applicants a level 6.5 IELTS). Where English is a second language, applicants will be asked to provide evidence of the above English proficiency. To be eligible to study at NCNZ and receive government subsidised tuition you must be:

  • A citizen of New Zealand (including students from the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue who have New Zealand citizenship)
  • Or a resident or permanent resident of New Zealand
  • Or a citizen or permanent resident of Australia residing in New Zealand.

NCNZ is not able to enrol international students who do not meet the above criteria.

Students must have completed year one of the Diploma in Naturopathy to gain entry into year two, and year two to gain entry into year three.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Where transfer of credit for previous study is being applied for, an Recognition of Prior Learning Form (RPL) must be submitted on the same day as the enrolment form, along with supporting documentation. See the  Recognition of Prior Learning section for full RPL criteria and details on on how to undertake an application.


Individual study plans are available for returning students.


Tuition Fees
$2,895 per year
Materials Fee - Year 1 and 2 $250 
Materials and Examination Fee - Year 3 $350
Administration Fee
First Aid Course
Prices vary with the provider chosen. Must be NZQA approved

Text Books and Equipment

Please note that the following list is for students enrolling into the first year of the Diploma in Naturopathy from this date forward. If you are an existing student please contact us for details on your next year's book list.

Text books - Year 1 Equipment
Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage, with DVD’s (Fritz, 5th Edition) Sphygmomanometer
The Trail Guide to the Body (Biel, 5th Edition)
The Trail Guide to the Body - Workshook (Biel) Massage Table
Human Anatomy and Physiology (Marieb & Hoehn, 9th Edition)
Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Haas & Levin, 21st Century Edition)
Understanding Pathophysiology (Craft, Gordon & Tiziani, 2nd Edition)
The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook (Green, 2000) -
Materia Medica of Western Herbs (Fisher, 2009) -
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Murray & Pizzorno, 3rd Edition)
Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Battaglia, 2nd Edition)
Text books - Year 2 Equipment
Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (Wilson, 1st Edition)


Clinical Naturopathic Medicine (Hechtman, Revised Edition)

Magnifying glass

Materia Medica and Repertory for Homeobotanical Therapy (Bekker & Humphreys, 1st Edition)
Herbs and Natural Supplements (Braun, 4th Edition two book set) -
Understanding Pathophysiology (Craft, Gordon & Tiziani, 2nd Edition) -
Iridology Flashbook (Miller, 2008) -
Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy (Bone & Mills, 2013) -
The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods (Murray & Pizzorno, 2006) -
Text books - Year 3 Equipment
Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory (Boericke, 9th Edition) -
Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis (Weatherby & Ferguson, 2002) -
A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs (Bone, 2003) -
The Ultimate Herbal Compendium (Bone, 2007) -

Course Curriculum

Year 1 - Module 1

Introduction to Naturopathy

Human Structure and Function II

Introduction to Cells and Tissues

Factors Influencing Nutrition

Introduction to the Integumentary System

Introduction to the Musculo-Skeletal System

Vibrational Medicine

Introduction to the Constituents of Blood

Introduction to the Cardiovascular System

Biochemic Tissue Salts

Introduction to the Lymphatic System

Introduction to Defence Mechanisms and Immunity

Developing Client Records for Massage 

Principles of Human Chemistry

Relaxation Massage - Part A, Theory

Relaxation Massage - Part B, Practical

Year 1 - Module 2
Introduction to the Nervous System

Flower Essence Therapy

Special Senses of the Human Body

Introduction to the Endocrine System

Introduction to the Respiratory System


Introduction to the Digestive System

Introduction to the Processes of Metabolism

Introduction to the Urinary System

Massage in Practice - Part A

Massage in Practice - Part B

Zone Therapy

Relaxation Massage - Part C, Case Studies

Practical Massage Case Studies

Year 1 - Module 3

Herbal Medicine I: Introduction to Herbs

Legislation, regulations, codes of conduct and ethical behaviour for professional practice

Introduction to Aromatherapy


Introduction to the Reproductive System

Digestion and Metabolism of Nutrients

Pathophysiology I

To complete year one and to gain the Certificate in Relaxation Massage you are required to hold a current First Aid Certificate. You may be required to complete a comprehensive two day First Aid course or refresher training as appropriate. The cost of any training is the responsibility of the student. A copy of your valid First Aid Certificate must be sent into the College.

Year 2 - Module 4

Developing Client Case Taking – Written

Developing Client Case Taking – Practical

The Digestive System

Bones, Muscles and Skeletal Tissues

Special Health Requirements and Life Stages

Introduction to Homeobotanical Therapy

The Lymphatic System

Herbal Medicine II: Materia Medica 1

Year 2 - Module 5

Developing Communication Skills

Theoretical Approaches to Nutrition

Stress Management and Relaxation

The Nervous System


Culture and Health

Herbal Medicine III: Materia Medica 2

Clinical Assessment for Complementary Therapies

Year 2 - Module 6

The Urinary System



Pathophysiology II

Herbal Medicine IV: Materia Medica 3

Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness to Individual, Groups, and Communities

Year 3 - Module 7

The Cardiovascular System

The Reproductive System

Herbal Therapeutics I

Human Immune Response and Resistance to Disease

Developing Counselling Skills

Fluid, Electrolyte and Acid Base Balance

Analysis of using relevant diagnostic testing in complementary therapies

Therapeutic Treatment of Disease

Case Studies 1 - 10

Year 3 - Module 8

The Respiratory System

Application of relevant diagnostic tests in taking a client case

Demonstrate practical application of diagnostic testing in complementary therapies

Pathophysiology III


The Endocrine System

Herbal Therapeutics II


Case Studies 11 - 20

Theory Examination

Year 3 - Module 9

Business Development

Developing Research Skills

Herb Drug and Supplement Interactions

Developing Clinical Practice Skills

Infant Case Study

Child Case Study

Adolescent Case Study

Adult Male or Female (not pregnant or breastfeeding) Case Study

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Woman Case Study

Older Person Case Study

Additional Case Study Any Age Group 1

Additional Case Study Any Age Group 2

Case Studies 21 - 30

Practical Examination

To gain the Diploma in Naturopathy you are required to hold a current First Aid Certificate. You may be required to complete a comprehensive two day First Aid course or refresher training as appropriate. The cost of any training is the responsibility of the student. A copy of your valid First Aid Certificate must be sent into the College.

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