NZ Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6)
Please note that the Diploma in Naturopathy is being replaced by a new qualification in 2017. See the main Qualifications page for further information.
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
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
- Relaxing massage
- Zone therapy
- Flower essences
- Tissue salts
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Click here to access key information on Careers NZ about this qualification.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
For applications for Year One of the qualification there are two intakes per year commencing in January and May, however numbers are limited. The closing date for enrolment applications is six weeks prior to each intake start date. For Year Two and Three students enrolments are accepted five times per year for terms in January, March, May, June and September. However, numbers are limited and once the College has reached the maximum number of enrolled students we are allocated to teach each year enrolments will be closed.
||$2,895 per year|
|Materials Fee - Year 1 and 2||$250|
|Materials and Examination Fee - Year 3||$350|
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)||
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)||-|
|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
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
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
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
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
The Endocrine System
Herbal Therapeutics II
Case Studies 11 - 20
|Year 3 - Module 9|
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
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.