New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3)

Start here if you want to improve your study skills and prepare for higher-level learning or employment.

About the programme

Whatever your background, this programme offers you the chance to improve your study skills and prepare for higher-level learning or employment.

You'll study the following courses - Personal and Study Skills, Communication Skills, Work Action and Work Preparation courses.

You will study in a highly supportive and encouraging learning environment. Class sizes are small and our teachers are very approachable. Along with improving your reading, writing, presenting, and computer skills, you will also gain valuable employability skills such as CV and interview preparation, and how to write a cover letter.

You’ll also do some work experience which could be made up of offsite work experience, guest speakers and industry visits, group volunteering or practical workshops on campus.

We also offer this programme with three other focuses: Beauty TherapyHealth, and Engineering.

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.



Course title Credits Teacher directed hours Student managed hours
Compulsory courses      

Personal and Study Skills

  • Develop plans and evaluate opportunities for study and career pathways
  • Learn how to manage and think about your learning progress
  • Participate in group discussions/contribute to a team
  • Learn how to reflect on your role as a team member
15 80 70

Communication Skills

  • Communicate in a variety of styles 
  • Learn how to write for a range of specified purposes
  • Discover how to present information using a range of methods suitable for your audience
15 80 70

Work Preparation

  • Learn about what is required to progress into your chosen career pathway
  • Discover how to communicate the specific skills necessary for engaging in your chosen career pathway
  • Through an authentic work experience setting, gain an understanding of how to act personally and professionally 
15 80 70

Work Action

  • By engaging in authentic work experience opportunities, learn about the required practical skills and knowledge 
  • Learn how to apply job-specific skills and responsibilities within an authentic work experience
  • Analyse and reflect on your authentic work experience
15 80 70

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.