New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2)

This is a great option if you want to re-engage with study or want to experience studying at a polytechnic. You will develop your study skills (reading, writing, maths, computing) and undertake community work, volunteering and/or practical learning.

About this programme

Get a taste of what tertiary learning is all about and gain essential skills for work!

Whatever your background, you can start somewhere.

This is a great option if you want to re-engage with study or want to get a feel for what polytechnic study is like. Along with developing your study skills (reading, writing, maths, computing), you'll also undertake community work, volunteering and/or practical learning. 

You will investigate a range of different career options and reflect on how these relate to your own interests and skills. You will also be able to put into practice the skills you have learned through practical workshops and off site experiences.

This programme normally takes 17 weeks to complete but we do offer part-time study options too.

Free Fees

Due to a government initiative, we offer free fees to those that do not already hold a Level 2 or higher qualification. If you do hold a Level 2 or higher qualification, some restrictions may apply.

16-24 years old?

If you are aged 16-24 and feel that school didn’t work out for you, you may be able to study this programme via our Youth Guarantee Scheme and pay no fees. This also applies if you are going to be 15 years old at the time that this programme starts and you have an early exemption from school. See more info in the Fees section below.


During your first week, you will take part in a range of orientation activities. You will then study two core compulsory courses during term one (8 weeks) and then two compulsory courses during term two (8 weeks). Each course is worth 15 credits.

Essential Skills (Tuapapa) 

Develop a range of communication and interpersonal skills 

  • Demonstrate communication skills relevant to your community, workplace or educational setting
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills to participate effectively in diverse environments
  • Use essential skills to solve a range of specified problems
Self (Rapu Ora) 

Increase awareness of self and others to identify potential educational and/or employment opportunities

  • Demonstrate an awareness of culture and cultural diversity in self and others
  • Develop personal wellbeing to contribute positively to the community, workplace and/or educational setting
  • Set goals for future focus using an awareness of self
Project (Rapu Mahi)* 

Explore identified goals for participation in employment

  • Gain the research skills needed to investigate employment opportunities
  • Evaluate and reflect on the skills you have learned to help think about your future career goals
Active Learning 1 (Rapu Pukengataka 1)*

Progress towards employment goals

  • Apply awareness of self and others within work and life
  • Apply essential skills in a familiar context
  • Interact effectively with a variety of people

*work placements