What university study involves

A university programme develops skills like thinking, reasoning, communication and research. You’ll be able to use these skills throughout your career and in many types of mahi.

You can attend university full-time or part-time, and complete many programmes by distance or online learning.

What you do as a university student

As a university ākonga you:

  • manage your own studies
  • go to lectures and tutorials that help you understand the subject
  • gather extra information from textbooks and online sources
  • complete assignments on your own or in a group
  • sit written exams to show what you’ve learned

In some programmes you might do practical work in a lab or in the field, or do a big research project.

What you get from a university programme

Most university students sign up for a three-year Bachelor’s degree like a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc). If you do well, your university may invite you to do another year of study to earn a Bachelor Honours degree.

Once you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree you can do postgraduate study. This could be a Level 8 certificate or diploma, a Level 9 Master’s degree or a Level 10 Doctoral degree (PhD).

If you want to try out university, you can complete a Level 5 or 6 certificate or diploma in one or two years. These may contribute to a Bachelor’s degree if you decide to carry on.

University will make you an expert in your chosen subjects – and will develop thinking and self-management skills that will help you succeed wherever you work. It will also prepare you for leadership roles.

Ten years after graduating, people with Bachelor’s degrees usually earn 67% more than the average income. However, other factors can affect your earnings such as which subjects you study.

What you need to study at university

To enrol at a New Zealand university you usually need University Entrance (UE). Your school record of achievement will say if you have UE.

University Entrance | twizel.school.nz

New Zealand Universities

With a research-led focus, New Zealand's universities are in the top 3% of universities worldwide.

Below you will find website links to New Zealand universities by clicking on the individual university logo. The most up-to-date information about university courses and entry requirements can be found on the website of each university.

Auckland                Aut                Massey                Waikato

Victoria                Lincoln                Canterbury                Otago

New Zealand Polytechnics

Polytechnics are government-owned institutes of technology that take a structured, applied approach with a focus on vocational qualifications and degrees. Further, polytechnics often offer specialised degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and natural science.

If you choose to study at a polytechnic, courses are designed to equip you with the skills needed in specific industries. Polytechnics offer both academic and job-focused courses that range from pre-certificate training to diploma and degree levels. Many polytechnic courses are job-specific and some workplaces require completion of a polytechnic course before you can advance in a job.

Information on each of New Zealand's 20 Polytechnics can be found by clicking the link:

View Polytechnics

Getting ready for university

There’s a lot to think about in the year before you start university – not just what you want to study but where you’ll live and how you’ll pay for it.

This timeline tells you what you need to think about and what order to do things in:

More Information