Level 6

Study online to take your pharmacy technician career to the next level

Are you a pharmacy technician looking to make the next move in your career? This qualification will help you get ahead.

Programme highlights

Are you a pharmacy technician looking to make the next move in your career?

This qualification will help you get ahead.

You'll learn the skills to step into a specialist technician role and make a difference within your pharmacy.

In order to undertake this course, you must be a qualified pharmacy technician with a level 5 qualification.

Our flexible learning options means you can study part-time online, anywhere in New Zealand while you remain in employment.

IT requirements: To complete this qualification you will need to have access to a computer and the internet to retrieve course materials, undertake assessments and participate in the courses online activities.

Please note: Although the Government vaccine mandate for health and disability workers ended on 11:59pm 26 September 2022, some employers can still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Placement is a compulsory component of MIT’s healthcare programmes. To go on placement in this sector, students will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to MIT. Students that hold a medical exemption that prevents them from being vaccinated are permitted to work in the healthcare sector, but will have limited placement opportunities in that sector. Students that are not vaccinated, or that do not wish to share their vaccination status with MIT, may not be able to go on placement in the healthcare sector. If you hold a medical exemption, or if you are unable or unwilling to provide proof of vaccination to MIT, your placement opportunities will accordingly be limited and MIT cannot guarantee availability with placement providers.  If this applies to you, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your options.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following entry requirements

  • Applicants must have successfully completed the New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician) (Level 5) or demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills from a previous qualification recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand;


  • In addition, a minimum of one year's experience in a pharmacy technician role is required for entry into programmes leading to this qualification.
  • All students are required to have access to a suitable pharmacy workplace to be employed on entry to the programme, with the expectation that they are able to fulfil the practical requirements of the programme.

English Language Entry Requirements

Have English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English.

Any applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an overall IELTS (Academic) band score of 6.0 (with no score below 5.5) or equivalent.

For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers-partners/qa-system-for-teos/english-international-students/

Special & discretionary admission

Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

You will need to complete seven compulsory courses as well as three specialist courses (120 credits):

Compulsory courses

727.622 Leadership and management for effective teamwork (10 credits)

Lead, coordinate and delegate work within a pharmacy team.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Critique leadership and delegation tasks within pharmacy teams
  • Discuss managing challenging situations within teams
  • Prioritise workload for effective coordination of tasks.

727.620 Effective communication (10 credits)

Establish and apply effective communication and interpersonal skills professionally, with a range of stakeholders, on complex matters, issues and ideas and/or in complex situations.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Apply a range of effective communication skills in complex situations with patients and healthcare professionals
  • Evaluate communication strategies that can be utilised to overcome communication barriers.

727.621 Professional development of pharmacy staff (10 credits)

Mentor, coach and develop pharmacy staff in specified areas of pharmacy practice.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Explore professional development needs and opportunities for pharmacy staff within an area of your employment
  • Design and facilitate a mentoring plan aimed at developing pharmacy staff in a specified area of pharmacy practice.

727. 623 Pharmacy operational management (15 credits)

Critically evaluate and apply a range of operational management practices to support business functions.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Evaluate and reflect on the application of pharmacy operational management strategies
  • Interpret key financial documents necessary to manage a pharmacy and demonstrate understanding of the financial implications
  • Demonstrate the principles of effective business functions.

727.624 Pharmacy law and ethics (10 credits)

Apply ethical decision making, relevant legislation and standards to pharmacy practice.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Discuss how ethical principles are applied in relation to pharmacy practice
  • Apply knowledge of relevant legislation and standards that underpin pharmacy practice
  • Discuss the importance of cultural competence in a pharmacy environment.

727.625 Quality assurance in pharmacy practice (10 credits)

Apply regulatory knowledge of pharmacy audit and compliance as appropriate to maintain pharmacy compliance requirements.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Apply quality assurance procedures and explain how they relate to pharmacy compliance
  • Critique and improve a standard operating procedure within your area of work.

727.626 New Zealand healthcare system (10 credits)

Apply in-depth knowledge of the NZ healthcare system and the interaction between healthcare providers to support the delivery of a range of pharmacy services.


Learner outcomes

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the New Zealand healthcare system and the role of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to pharmacy services
  • Discuss the roles of government agencies in supporting pharmacy services.

Specialist courses

727.631 Patient counselling (15 credits)

In this paper, you will be researching material about different drugs and assessing appropriate requirements for patient counselling. There is a practical component where you undertake counselling sessions.

727.637 Dispensary management (15 credits)

Develop your dispensary management skills. You will research your own resources enabling you to answer several management scenarios. There is a practical component which will be a work-based improvement project.

727.634 Medicines information (15 credits)

Research medicines information resources and undertaking self-learning. There is a practical component where you undertake medicines information queries.

727.639 Education and training support (15 credits)

Develop training sessions and research assessment and competency.  There is a practical component where you will run teaching sessions for staff.

727.630 Community pharmacy services (15 credits)

Focus on areas of dispensing services that require specialist knowledge, monitoring and/or counselling and CPSA, the contract through which pharmacies are funded. There is a practical component that will be developing an inception package around a health initiative in which your pharmacy is either currently providing to the public or looking to implement.

727.632 Health screening and testing (15 credits)

Research background information and current health screening and testing in NZ. There is a practical component that will be around setting up a service in your pharmacy or perhaps critiquing and improving an existing one.

727.633 Medicines reconciliation (15 credits)

Develop your medical history taking and medicines reconciliation skills. There is a practical component where you undertake medicines reconciliation.

727.640 Quality and risk management (15 credits)

You will research quality management systems (QMS) and either report on an existing QMS or develop one for your pharmacy. There is a practical component where you will undertake a risk assessment in your workplace

If you would like more information or would like to talk about study options related directly to the pharmacy specialist technician level 6 diploma please email a course lecturer: Fiona McDonald fiona.mcdonald@manukau.ac.nz or Paula Ferguson paula.ferguson@manukau.ac.nz.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Career opportunities

A range of specialist technician or other specialist pharmacy and healthcare roles, including those in community, hospital, industrial and educational settings. For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.

Find more online study options with Open Polytechnic

Now that we're part of Te Pūkenga, we also have access to a wider range of options from throughout the network. Follow the link in the banner below to explore Open Polytechnic’s online study options.

Information is correct as at 12 February 2024. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.