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Scholarships

Tertiary scholarship schemes

We offer three types of tertiary scholarship schemes for those who are about to begin or are currently studying toward a degree, or have recently graduated. Selection is highly competitive for all our scholarships so NCEA Level 3 Merit and Excellence endorsements are preferred.

Types of scholarships

The three types of scholarships are:

  • Bursary Scholarship Scheme
  • Salary Scholarship Scheme
  • Graduate Incentive Scholarship Scheme (GISS)

Each Service (Navy, Army and Air Force) give their scholarship schemes different names, and administer them in slightly different ways. They each have their own specific employment focuses and approved fields of study, and each scheme offers varying degrees of financial support.

View the NZ Army's new scholarship schemes

Which one is right for you?

The Bursary and Salary Scholarship Schemes are both aimed at school leavers or those in their first, second or third year of study at university. The Graduate Incentive Scholarship Scheme is aimed at those who have recently graduated.

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Bursary Scholarship Scheme

This scholarship is offered by the Navy. You will be a member of the Naval Reserves during your study, and transition to being a full time member after graduation. You will be required to complete one year of full time service for every year of sponsored study.

Bursary Scholarship Schemes

  • Navy Chatham Scheme

What can I study?

You can study a degree in one of the approved specialisations below, at a New Zealand tertiary institution of your choice.

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or Bachelor of Engineering Technology with specialisation in mechanical, mechatronics, aeronautical, electrical and electronic, computer or software engineering. Chemical engineering may also be considered.
  • Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Information Science, or Bachelor of Business Studies with specialisation in computer science, information systems, information technology, computer system engineering, software engineering or cyber.
  • Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business with specialisation in logistics or supply chain management.

What is the value?

Your tertiary fees and associated expenses will be reimbursed at the end of each successful year of study. You will receive an annual living allowance of $8,000, plus paid full time work in university holidays. There is also an annual performance bonus of $2,000 for exceptional academic achievement.

Salary Scholarship Scheme

This scholarship scheme is for specific programmes of study that have been deemed high value to the NZ Defence Force. You will be a fulltime member of the NZ Defence Force throughout your study. Your university fees and associated expenses will be paid, plus you will recieve an annual salary. There are multiple versions of the Salary Scholarship Scheme, and some versions provide free accommodation.

Salary Scholarship Schemes

Navy Tangaroa Scheme

This scholarship is available to Year 13 students who meet university entrance requirements for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or a Bachelor of Engineering Technology at the University of Auckland, Massey University (Albany campus), or Auckland University of Technology. Your university fees and associated expenses will be paid, plus you will receive an annual salary. You will also receive free accommodation at Devonport Naval Base. Prior to commencing your scholarship, you will be required to complete Junior Officer Common Training. After graduation, you will be required to complete one year of service for every year of sponsored study.

Army Medical and Dental Officer Cadet Scheme

This scholarship is available to medical students beginning their third year of study. Your university fees and associated expenses will be paid, plus you will receive an annual salary. During your third to sixth years of medical school, you will undertake a small amount of military training designed to get you used to military life and practices. On completion of your academic studies, you must undergo two years of registration at a civilian hospital. You will be on leave without pay from the NZDF during this period. Upon registration, you will be required to complete one year of service for every year of sponsored study, plus one additional year of service.

Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Scheme

This scholarship is offered to selected Army General List officer cadets at the beginning of their training. You will study a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) majoring in Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, Australia. Whilst at ADFA, you’ll study in a military environment and undertake military training with the Australian Army during university holidays.  Your university fees and associated expenses will be paid, as well as travel costs. You will also receive an annual salary. Back in New Zealand, you will be required to complete one year of service post-graduation for every year of sponsored study.

Am I eligible?

The minimum ADFA Scheme requirements are as follows:

  • NCEA Level 3 English
  • NCEA Level 3 Mathematics
  • 100 NCEA Level 3 Credits with 45 at either Merit or Excellence

Graduate Incentive Scholarship Scheme (GISS)

This scholarship is offered by the Navy, Army and Air Force for various trades, and is available to university graduates holding one of the qualifications below. You can apply during your final year of study. There is no minimum term of employment or return of service for this scholarship.

Find out about the Tū Ako Scholarship

What can I study?

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or Bachelor of Engineering Technology with specialisation in mechanical, mechatronics, electrical and electronic, computer or software engineering. The Navy will also consider chemical engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Information Science, or Bachelor of Business Studies with a specialisation in computer science, information systems, information technology, computer system engineering, software engineering or cyber.
  • Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business and/or a specialisation in logistics or supply chain management.
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

The Tū Ako Scholarship accepts a broad range of degrees beyond those listed above.

What is the value?

In addition to your salary, you will be reimbursed up to $40,000 over your first four years in the Service. This is paid out in increments of up to $10,000 at the end of each successful year of service.

How to apply

Before being considered for a scholarship scheme, candidates are required to submit an application to join the NZDF, and complete our normal recruitment process to determine if they are suitable for a career as an officer. After applying to join the NZDF, you will be assigned a Candidate Engagement Facilitator who will assist you with your scholarship application.

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