Otago Polytechnic

Bachelor of Information Technology


Dunedin and Auckland

Three years full-time; part-time options

On campus with a major industry-based project for an external client during year three

Dunedin: February and July
Auckland: January, March, June, August, October
Until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Auckland International Campus
    13 January 2020
    18 May 2020 - 29 May 2020
    9 March 2020 - 20 March 2020
    27 July 2020 - 7 August 2020
  • Auckland International Campus
    23 March 2020
    27 July 2020 - 7 August 2020
    18 May 2020 - 29 May 2020
    5 October 2020 - 16 October 2020
  • Auckland International Campus
    1 June 2020
    2 October 2020 - 19 October 2020
    24 July 2020 - 10 August 2020
    11 December 2020 - 11 January 2021
  • Auckland International Campus
    10 August 2020
    11 December 2020 - 11 January 2021
    2 October 2020 - 19 October 2020
    6 March 2021 - 22 March 2021
  • Auckland International Campus
    19 October 2020
    5 March 2021 - 22 March 2021
    11 December 2020 - 11 January 2021
    14 May 2021 - 31 May 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 January 2020
  • Dunedin
    20 July 2020
    28 September 2020 - 9 October 2020

IT skills are needed everywhere. Get a Bachelor of Information Technology degree and get the jobs. 

The BIT is an applied degree, so you’ll learn by doing. There is some theory to give context and depth to what you learn, but right from the start, you’ll gain the skills and practical knowledge to go straight into a job when you graduate. 

If you like computers, study IT. If you like gaming, study IT. If you want great job options with great salaries, study IT. 

IT is problem solving. Trouble shooting. Critical thinking. Creating. Designing. Building. It’s working alone or working with people. It’s getting a great job or having your own business.

Benefits of our Bachelor of Information Technology degree

Every industry, organisation and business in the world relies on computer technology. The BIT means you could become a Web Developer, Systems Administrator, Software Developer, Programmer, Business Analyst, Database Administrator or Computing Services Manager.

Small class sizes, excellent equipment and software applications, and supportive, experienced teaching staff make it the perfect learning environment to develop high-level technical abilities and a strong understanding of IT concepts. You'll develop professional communication skills to work effectively in the industry, and you'll gain essential practical experience doing an industry-based project for an external client. 

First year covers the bases of information technology but doesn’t gloss over them. Key topics come up again through the year, and you’ll address them with more depth each time as you learn more and understand more. 

For second and third year you choose a thread to focus on: 

  • Game development 
  • Software development 
  • IT Infrastructure and operations 
  • Network engineering 
  • Alternative digital platforms (hardware, IoT, etc.) 

With a BIT, you’ll know what's happening across the industry and you’ll be an expert in at least one thread and have a firm foundational understanding of the others. 

Auckland International Campus

At our Auckland International Campus, this programme is offered by Future Skills Academy due to a sub-contract arrangement with Otago Polytechnic. Auckland study block dates >  

Entry requirements 
  • NCEA Level 3
  • 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three NZQA approved university entrance subjects, and
  • 10 Literacy credits at Level 2 or above, made up of: 
    • 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing, and 
  • 10 Numeracy credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
    • specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR
    • package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).
  • You must submit an essay, explaining in approximately 500 words: 
  • what it is about IT that interests you
  • what future you see for yourself in IT and what sort of job you are interested in
  • what your educational background is and which subjects you enjoyed most at school
  • whether you have previously studied at tertiary level and what you studied
  • whether you have worked since leaving school
  • why you have applied to study at Otago Polytechnic. 
  • If you do not hold the above qualifications, you must demonstrate equivalent work/life experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet degree-level entry requirements and must have achieved the equivalent of Year 11 mathematics. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Bridging options

If you do not meet the entry requirements for the Bachelor of Information Technology, our New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) is the perfect solution as it will enable you to achieve the foundation knowledge you need to progress into other higher level IT qualifications.

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Selection procedure

All eligible applicants will be accepted unless the number of applications exceeds the available places (as indicated by the Bachelor of Information Technology Team Leader). In this case, applicants will be interviewed and ranked according to the professional judgement of the admissions panel on the basis of the candidate's likelihood to succeed in the IT industry.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

Further study options

This qualification is widely recognised, allowing you to apply for entry to postgraduate study in Information Technology. You will be qualified to apply for graduate teacher training programmes, leading to a career in IT secondary education.

You will study

The Bachelor of Information Technology degree is a broad-based programme providing an introduction to most areas of computing. Gain technical skills in programming, networking, operating systems, control technology and databases and learn about the IT environment and practice skills in business and interpersonal communication. Year one courses are compulsory and will give you a solid base for selecting specialist electives during the following years. In third year, you will undertake an industry-based project for an external client over two semesters and this will represent the culmination of your degree studies.


Professional Practice for Information Technology (Level 5)

Receive an overview of the fundamentals of communication studies in the information technology field. Gain an understanding of the fundamental principles and processes of communication, including an awareness of the multicultural influences in this context.

Introduction to Systems Analysis (Level 5)

Be introduced to business processes and information management in the information technology and related industries. Acquire knowledge about fundamental topics in business and, through a business context, learn about subjects in systems analysis and relational databases.

Programming 1 (Level 5)

Learn about concepts of program design and programming fundamentals.

Programming 2  (Level 5)

Build event-driven, GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications using pre-built controls. Be introduced to the theoretical issues involved in Object-Oriented analysis, design and programming, and the principles of correct design and implementation for applications of this type.

Web 1 - Technology and Development (Level 5)

Become acquainted with the range of available web-based tools for productivity, entertainment and communication. You are guided towards consideration of the social, academic, economic and cultural issues surrounding web-based interaction and are introduced to the technologies available for development of web-based functionality.

Introduction to Networks (Level 5)

Learn about fundamental networking concepts and technologies, by covering the basics of network theory and the skills needed to implement a simple network.

Maths for IT  (Level 5)

Learn about the mathematical concepts and methods that underpin and are directly applicable to the theory of information systems. This course is primarily sited within the field of discrete mathematics.

Platforms and Devices (Level 5)

Learn to use a range of devices, platforms and concepts utilised within the IT industry. 

Software Engineering (Level 6)

Develop an understanding of software engineering methodologies. This involves knowledge of the methods and problems of the development, implementation and deployment of information systems. An important outcome of this module is preparing you for IN700001 and IN700002.

Scaling Networks (Level 6)

Scaling Networks covers the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in larger and more complex networks. Students learn how to configure routers and switches for advanced functionality.

Databases 2 (Level 6)

Learn the fundamentals of relational database theory and how to design, build and use a database on a modern database management system.

Programming 3  (Level 6)

Extend your skills in object-oriented design and programming while introducing a full commercial programming language using Java.

Web 2 - Programming (Level 6)

Receive a thorough introduction to modern techniques for adding programmed behaviours to web pages. The course will include a review of basic network architecture and currently supported HTML dialects, and will introduce appropriate tools and languages for adding programmed interactivity and dynamic database support to web pages. As this is a rapidly changing field, the contents and tools will be regularly reviewed and updated as required to maintain discipline currency.

Programming 4: Intermediate Architectures and Algorithms (Level 6)

Be introduced to non-anthropomorphic object oriented class architectures and a selection of associated core computational approaches.

Multimedia Development (Level 6)

Become acquainted with multimedia and hypermedia development, focusing on the creation of multimedia materials using current industry-relevant applications. Theoretical material includes both technical issues in multimedia and design principles for artefact development.

Routing and Switching Essentials (Level 6)

Learn how to describe the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in a small network and to configure a router and a switch for basic functionality.

Operating Systems Concepts (Level 6)

Learn about the major components of operating systems and the basic organisation of computer systems.

Linux Operating Systems (Level 6)

Gain experience in the installation, support, maintenance and administration of a Unix-based operating system.

Quality Assurance and Software Testing (Level 6)

Lay the foundation for a potential craeer in the information technology field as a software tester. Understand the fundamental principles and processes of software testing.

Security (Level 6)

Develop foundation-level skill and understanding in general security concepts.

Embedded Systems (Level 6)

Be introduced to the core principles of computer hardware and architecture and become acquainted  with a range of embedded application contexts.

Automation and Robotics (Level 6)

Use microprocessors and sensors to build mobile, context-aware robots. Learn to programme classic robotic behaviours and add wireless communication to explore basic swarm algorithms.

Project (Level 7)

Carry out advanced project work in the information technology field, applying skills learned in the degree programme to produce a project for an external client. Demonstrate commitment, competence, creativity and craftsmanship throughout the process.

Data Science and Machine intelligence (Level 7)

Provides a broad introduction to machine intelligence/Data Science with an emphasis on the intuition and the applications behind the concepts.

Explore current areas of research in database implementation, use and management. Learn to use a range of tools and platforms for modern data mining.

OO Systems Development (Level 7)

Gain experience in the design and development of object-oriented software systems using an industry-relevant development platform. This course is ideal if you are an experienced programming student working at an advanced level.

Algorithms and Data Structures (Level 7)

Become acquainted with the wide variety of algorithms and data structures required for complex software development, develop your programming technique to an advanced level, and learn how to analyse the efficiency and correctness of a computational solution.

Web 3 - Enterprise Development (Level 7)

Apply modern techniques in the design and delivery of information and functionality across the Web. This course extends the skills and knowledge you gained during Web 2 and covers both client-side and server-side techniques.

Advanced Networks (Level 7)

Provides students with an understanding of how to evaluate and apply advanced networking protocols, services and concepts to the design, deployment and maintenance of medium to large scale networks.

Administering a Virtual Infrastructure (Level 7)

An in depth knowledge and techniques used to efficiently implement, optimize and troubleshoot a virtual infrastructure.

Design and Development of Applications for Mobile Devices (Level 7)

Explore the design and implementation of applications for mobile devices.

Systems Administration (Level 7)

Look at, and practice the configuration, management and troubleshooting of systems within an enterprise network including aspects of both applications and operating system components.

Next Generation Networked Hardware (Level 7)

Students are exposed to current and upcoming developments in the context of networked hardware and apply these in a project-oriented environment.

Developing Flexible IT Courses (Level 7)

Prepares students for the training role that is often performed by information technology professionals. 

Your workload

If studying at our Dunedin Campus

Most IT courses are worth 15 credits and are the equivalent of four hours contact time per week. A full-time programme will usually consist of four courses per semester. During an average week, you will be expected to undertake 16 hours of directed learning and an additional 15-20 hours of self-directed study completing assignments and reading.

If studying at our Auckland International Campus 

You will be expected to spend about 38 hours per week (or 300 hours per study block) on your course work. This includes both scheduled class time and self-directed study. Some of these hours may be spent in a workplace gaining hands-on experience and developing important industry and business connections.

Qualification structure 


Course Title



YEAR ONE (complete all)


Professional Practice for Information Technology




Introduction to Systems Analysis




Programming 1




Programming 2




Web 1 - Technology and Development




Introduction to Networks




PC Maintenance




Maths for IT



YEAR TWO (complete 120 credits from any of the following)


Software Engineering




Scaling Networks




Databases 2




Programming 3




Web 2 - Programming




Programming 4: Intermediate Architecture and Algorithms




Multimedia Development




 Routing and Switching Essentials




Operating Systems Concepts




Linux Operating Systems








Embedded Systems




Automation and Robotics




Quality Assurance and Software Testing



(Complete Project 1, Project 2, 60 Level 7 Credits and further 15 Credits at Level 5 or above)


Project 1




Project 2




Developing Flexible IT Courses




Databases 3




OO Systems Development




Algorithms and Data Structures




Web 3 - Enterprise Development




Systems Administration




Administering a Virtual Infrastructure




Design and Development of Applications for Mobile Devices




Next Generation Networked Hardware




Advanced Networking




Data Science and Machine Intelligence



Student loans and 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.  

Links to useful websites

Connect with Computing and IT students, graduates and staff on our very active Facebook page.


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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