Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4)


Dunedin and Auckland

Dunedin: Up to 17 weeks full-time; part-time options available; Auckland: 16 weeks full-time

On campus 

Dunedin: February, July and October; Auckland: January, April, June and August
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Auckland International Campus
    26 March 2018
    18 May 2018 - 5 June 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    5 June 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    13 August 2018
    5 October 2018 - 15 October 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    23 October 2018
    15 December 2018 - 13 January 2019
Want to improve your English language skills? Learning English at Otago Polytechnic means that you can prepare for further study, make new friends and experience New Zealand culture.

You will learn English from experienced teachers who are very patient and understanding. Class sizes are small and you will be able to take part in small groups to practise your speaking. You will also meet native speakers and listen to guest speakers.

The New Zealand Certificate in English Language is a nationally-recognised qualification. This means that you can use it to transfer to other institutes in New Zealand. It also provides a good pathway into academic study at Otago Polytechnic.

Successful completion of Level 4 will allow you to apply for most of our diploma or degree qualifications.

Within the Level 4 programme, there are strands in General English, English for the Workplace and English for Academic Purposes. Academic writing and study skills are also included.

Please note: Depending on your situation, you may not be enrolled into the Certificate level that you apply for. When you arrive at Otago Polytechnic, you will be tested and we will then place you at the right level. 

At our Auckland International Campus, this programme is delivered through the Future Skills Academy due to a sub-contract arrangement between Otago Polytechnic and the provider.

Entry requirements
  • You will be tested and placed at the right level when you arrive.
  • If you plan to study with us for more than three months, international students will need a visa.

For those studying this programme at the Auckland International Campus only

  • The New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4) is only offered to students who intend to study a Level 7 programme at the Auckland International Campus. 
  • Students are expected to have an IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) with no band score lower than 5.0*. 
  • Students will be tested upon arrival to ensure that the correct level of English tuition is offered. 

*This criteria is based on the Level 7 programme entry criteria of IELTS 6.0 - which students are expected to reach upon completion of New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4).  

You will study

This level is suitable for those speakers who can use English with accuracy and want to prepare for higher-level academic study. When you have completed this level, you can apply for most academic programmes at certificate, diploma, degree or graduate diploma levels.

When you graduate, you will have the English language skills to:

  • understand the main ideas and key supporting details of complex oral texts on familiar and sometimes unfamiliar topics
  • read and understand complex texts with a large degree of independence on familiar and sometimes unfamiliar topics
  • locate, organise and summarise important information in texts
  • speak with fluency and spontaneity to communicate with some degree of elaboration in a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • write coherent texts appropriate to audience and purpose, with few linguistic errors in a range of text types, synthesising and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources.
Your workload

It is expected that you will study for 37.5 hours per week. This includes 20 hours of teacher-directed learning and a minimum of 17.5 hours per week in self-directed study.

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. 


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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