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New Zealand: Subject Guides

Best universities for engineering in New Zealand

If you have been looking into studying for a degree in engineering you may want to consider New Zealand. We explain why and which universities in the country are highly rated for the subject.

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Maybe you haven’t considered studying engineering in New Zealand. Perhaps it seems too remote or you feel you don’t know enough about the universities there. Such apprehension is normal, but we’re here to tell you that overlooking this educational hotspot would be a mistake. New Zealand boasts some world-renowned universities and a highly rated higher education system. We give you the rundown of the best universities for engineering degrees in New Zealand. 


To give you a comprehensive assessment of the engineering degree landscape in New Zealand, we have used the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 (THE) and the QS World University Rankings 2021 (QS). 


University of Auckland 


We start on the North Island of New Zealand in the harbour city of Auckland. Here you’ll find the University of Auckland which occupies the auspicious position of being the top-rated university for engineering New Zealand as per the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 and the QS World University Rankings 2021. The university is also considered to be a top 150 global university of engineering as per the QS rankings. 


The university has a global reputation as a leader and innovative player in the higher education sector, having been rated in the top 10 by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. These rankings measure the performance of universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and include environmental, health and social justice elements. 


The university was established in 1883 and has a student population of over 40,000. Further, international students have a significant presence as part of the student community with over 8,500 students coming from overseas. The School of Engineering at the university is made up of five departments and offers 10 areas of specialisations at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including:



 Find out more about other universities in New Zealand where you can study engineering.


University of Canterbury 


A recipient of a five-star QS rating, the University of Canterbury holds the distinction of being the second oldest institution of higher learning in New Zealand. Based in the city of Christchurch on the South Island, the university welcomed 18,220 students in 2020, with 3,644 students graduating, including 153 PhD candidates. Almost a quarter of all students at the university are international. The College of Engineering is the largest college at the institution with 27.8 per cent of students studying a degree in the subject. 


The University of Canterbury is also highly rated internationally for its engineering programmes. The QS World University Rankings 2021 places the university second in the country for engineering and in the top 300 worldwide. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 rate the university at number three in New Zealand for engineering.


Take some time to explore the top student cities in New Zealand


Auckland University of Technology


We’re back in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, for another of the top engineering universities. The Auckland University of Technology has a reputation for innovation and the quality of its graduates, with over 95 per cent finding work within nine months of completing their qualification. The university is considered to be one of the best young universities on the planet by Times Higher Education and is ranked in the top 50 under 50. 


Auckland University of Technology offers over 250 courses and programmes, that includes engineering, from diploma level through to PhD. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 has the university in the second spot for the subject and as a top 300 institution globally. Some of the areas of engineering that you can study include electrical, architectural, maritime and software engineering. 


If you’re still not sold on the Auckland University of Technology, the fact that it is considered the number one university in New Zealand for international outlook by THE may just help sway your opinion. 


Find out more about some of the other top fields you can study in New Zealand


University of Waikato


60 years old and already an enviable research profile, the University of Waikato continues to catch the eye of potential students. With three campuses, two in Hamilton and one in Tauranga, the university hosts 8,300 students from over 80 countries, of which 2,500 are international students. Further, it has received recognition from QS which places the university in the top 100 globally for research impact. 


When it comes to engineering the University of Waikato also enjoys a favourable reputation. It is rated 4th in New Zealand by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. The university offers a comprehensive range of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) courses that includes:


  • Chemical and biological engineering 
  • Materials and process engineering
  • Civil engineering 
  • Mechatronics engineering


This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the universities where you can study engineering in New Zealand and some other institutions deserve an honourable mention:



Now that you’ve got a sense of which universities rate well for engineering degrees in New Zealand, why not have a look at the top institutions in the country? You can also find out more about the top undergraduate and postgraduate courses in New Zealand. If you’re feeling ready to find that perfect course you can also use our course matcher tool