Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Professional/Academic) (Level 5)


Auckland. This programme is only available to international students.

16 weeks full-time

Blended learning; face-to-face teaching on campus (directed learning) plus self-directed learning 

January, April, June or August 2018
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Auckland International Campus
    15 January 2018
    9 March 2018 - 26 March 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    26 March 2018
    18 May 2018 - 5 June 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    5 June 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    6 August 2018
  • Auckland International Campus
    18 March 2019
Gain advanced English language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

This will enable you to deal effectively and confidently with most situations in an English-speaking country. These English skills will also provide a basis for you to be able to progress into mainstream academic programmes from the National Qualifications Framework (Level 6 and above).

This programme is delivered through the Future Skills Academy due to a sub-contract arrangement between Otago Polytechnic and the provider.

What skills will I gain?

By successfully completing this programme, you will have the English language skills to:

  • understand the main ideas of complex spoken texts 
  • speak with fluency and spontaneity to communicate information, ideas and thoughts in extended discussions on a range of familiar and unfamiliar topics
  • use appropriate skills and language to manage interactions in a wide range of formal and informal settings
  • read and understand complex texts independently on familiar and unfamiliar topics
  • summarise and synthesise information across a range of complex texts for a specific purpose
  • write extended, crafted, logically-structured, coherent texts appropriate to audience and purpose
  • be able to synthesise, evaluate and apply information and arguments from a range of sources.
Graduate employment opportunities 

Graduates of this qualification will have the English language skills to work in positions that require:

  • complex interpersonal communication
  • understanding of complex, context-specific professional and/or technical texts
  • writing of complex, context-specific communications
  • full participation, interaction and initiative in a team. 

This qualification is designed to equip you with the English language skills to enable you to seek professional registration with regulatory standard bodies.

Entry requirements 

You must:

  • be 16 years of age or older on January 1st in the year that you enrol, unless approved otherwise by the Programme Leader
  • reasonably expect to achieve the standards required for successful completion of the programme or course.

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:

  • must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5, OR
  • must hold NZCEL Level 4 (Academic or equivalent, OR
  • must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.

Please note: All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills.

  • Students will be tested upon arrival to ensure that the correct level of English tuition is offered.
  • This criteria is based on the postgraduate programme entry criteria of IELTS 6.5 - which students are expected to reach upon completion of New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 5).  
Pathways into this programme 

International students can study the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4) if they do not meet the entry requirements for this programme.

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.

You will study 

This qualification is made up of four courses in reading, writing, speaking and listening. All courses are compulsory and will be studied at the same time. Within each of these skills, complex grammatical structures, tenses and vocabulary for specific purposes will be utilised.

Reading (15 credits) 

Gain and understanding of the organisation of academic/specialised texts in order to locate specific information, take notes, summarise and differentiate between fact and opinion.

Writing (15 credits) 

Learn how to produce crafted texts for specified audiences in academic or professional contexts, including discursive essays, research reports and business cases.

Speaking (15 credits) 

Discover how to speak on a range of academic/professional topics within academic and/or professional contexts and to be capable of sustaining discourse on a particular topic.

Listening (15 credits) 

Demonstrate an understanding of spoken texts and learn how to process information for academic and/or professional purposes.

Further study options  

This advanced certificate facilitates meeting the language requirements for:

• programmes/courses that are linguistically demanding and/or a specialised field of study

• most postgraduate programmes/courses, depending on the focus of the programme leading to this qualification.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to pathway into a coherent programme of study at Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus.

Recognition of Prior Learning 

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from 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 in the course of your life. 

Please note there are conditions and limitations regarding recognition of prior learning for 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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