Tertiary institutions can begin offering short masters degrees from next year.
The Government announced on Monday it has approved the qualifications, which can be completed in as little as one year, half the time it takes to finish a regular masters degree.
Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce says the shorter degrees will help attract more foreign students.
He says they are already offered in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
Universities say the short masters degrees will be popular with students and several have already been approved to begin next year.