Otago Polytechnic

Massage therapy is a diverse area which includes wellness and relaxation massage, stress management, sports massage and therapuetic massage.

All the different forms of massage involve the study of anatomy and physiology and the development of specific techniques to target particular areas of the body. Sports and therapeutic massage therapists help clients recover from pain, rehabilitate from injury or improve sporting performance. 

Our programmes

Our programmes are highly regarded within the South Island massage industry and we enjoy an excellent relationship with Massage New Zealand (MNZ)as an NZQA accredited training provider. MNZ is the only massage therapy specific membership body in New Zealand. Our qualifications are taught through a blend of online learning, practical block courses held approximately every three weeks on campus, and clinical experience in the Polytechnic’s Massage Therapy Clinic under the supervision of experienced massage therapists.  

We offer two qualifications:

1. Certificate in Stress Management and Spa Therapies (Level 5) 

Prepare for a career within the spa industry. Develop excellent massage technique and an understanding of anatomy and physiology, and investigate the models and techniques of holistic stress management that complement the practice of massage.     

Career opportunities

  • Self-employment
  • Wellness and Relaxation Massage Therapist
  • Stress Management Educator.  

Further study options

This Certificate is the equivalent of the first year of the Diploma below. 

Find out more about this qualification here. 

2. Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (Level 6) 

Prepare to work as a remedial massage therapist helping clients recover from pain, rehabilitate from injuries or improve sporting performance. Develop skills and knowledge in advanced anatomy and physiology, pathology, assessment techniques, advanced soft-tissue methods, business skills and professional practice. 

Career opportunities 

  • Remedia Massage Therapist 
  • Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with Massage New Zealand as Registered Massage Therapists and often work alongside doctors, physios and other healthcare providers.

Find out more about this qualification here.

Further study options

It is possible to achieve advanced standing and you may wish to progress into the second year of our highly regarded Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellness).

Relationship with Massage New Zealand (MNZ)

Otago Polytechnic enjoys a strong relationship with Massage New Zealand, the only massage specific membership body in New Zealand for professional Massage Therapists. Their purpose is to promote massage therapy and the ongoing development of the massage industry in New Zealand through educating the public about the benefits of massage therapy for health and wellness.  

Massage New Zealand