Otago Polytechnic

Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 4) (Business)


Dunedin and Auckland. The Auckland-based programme is for international students only.

One semester full-time (Dunedin); 16 weeks full-time (Auckland)

On campus 

Dunedin: February and July. Auckland: March, June, August and October
Do you want to prepare for future tertiary business study at diploma- or degree-level?

Then this foundation programme, taught at our Dunedin campus or at our Auckland International Campus, is the perfect bridging option and will guarantee you entry into our business diploma or business degree programmes. 

Study in Dunedin, through project-based learning, and you will discover how to produce effective spreadsheets and presentations and learn how to create professional business documents with computing and communication skills for business, while advancing your academic and leadership skills. The qualification will also you to explore your personal learning style and refine your time management skills.

For international students studying in Auckland, you will be introduced to the New Zealand business environment and prepare for future study or work in New Zealand by developing your academic reading, writing, research, and English communication skills. You will also get to experience New Zealand culture by taking part in a range of activities within the business, sporting, social and leisure contexts in New Zealand.

Please note: All business certificate and diploma qualifications are currently being reviewed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This qualification title will change to the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4)* in 2018. Content may be altered as a result of the review but any changes will be introduced and communicated over a transitional period so that there is minimal impact on students. 

*subject to final NZQA approval

Skills required
  • Self-motivation and commitment
  • A good work ethic.
Entry requirements
  • There are no academic entry requirements. However to ensure your ability to succeed at Level 4, selection will be based on your academic and/or work experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. Click here for equivalent academic entry requirements by country. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score less than 5.0.
Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

Further study options

Successful completion of this foundation programme will guarantee you entry into a diploma or degree programme with the College of Enterprise and Development (Business, Tourism, Computing and Information Technology School). Pathway options into the Bachelor of Information Technology are also available.

Programme specific risks

You will have access to health and safety information during this programme.

Your workload

You will be required to undertake approximately 16 hours per week of directed study in the form of lectures and practical work sessions. It is expected that you will contribute equal hours of your own time in self-directed study to allow for successful completion of the Certificate.

You will study: Dunedin


Information Management for Business (Level 4)
Become equipped with the information literacy skills required for higher-level business studies.

Computing Skills for Business (Level 3)
Gain the computing skills required for academic study at diploma- or degree- level.

Academic Communication for Business Course (Level 4)
Develop your academic reading, writing and research skills. Learn to plan and write a variety of business documents.

Leadership for Learning (Level 4)
Learn to recognise and practice key behaviours and strategies in motivation and success for learning.   

Management of Project Work (Level 4)
Develop skills in managing your project work effectively and efficiently.

You will study: Auckland


Communication and Self-management (Level 4)
Gain an introduction to study in a New Zealand context and enhance your English language skills, both on your own and within a team.

Academic Learning and Research Skills (Level 4)
Develop a range of communication skills, academic and digital literacy skills, and research skills to prepare you to study at degree level.

Experiencing New Zealand Business and Culture (Level 4)
Understand and reflect on New Zealand business and culture through a range of practical cultural experiences. 

Qualification structure: Dunedin



Information Management for Business


Computing Skills for Business


Academic Communication for Business


Leadership for Learning


Management of Project Work




Qualification structure: Auckland



Communication and Self-Management


Academic Learning and Research Skills


Experiencing NZ Business and Culture




Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this 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.

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