If you don't meet a programme’s entry requirements or you’d like to build some foundational study skills, we have a range of Level 3 and 4 qualifications to help. These programmes prepare you for further tertiary study or the workplace, to ensure you succeed.

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What is a pathway programme?

Pathway and study preparation programmes are designed to help you if you don’t meet the entry requirements for a course you want to study. You will learn beginner skills and gain credits you’ll need to apply for the qualification you want to study.

Plus, some of these courses can also train you with work-ready skills for entry-level roles.

Which course is right for you?

Our pathway programmes of study range from Level 2 to level 4. Choosing the right programme will depend on your personal career goal and what NZQA credits you’ve already achieved, for example from secondary school. Understand more about NZQA qualification levels.

Level 2 foundation skills to re-engage with study or gain work-ready skills

A certificate at Level 2 will qualify you with introductory knowledge and skills that can be applied to a range of work or study fields. You’ll learn operational skills, problem-solving techniques and literacy and numeracy basics - all in a supportive and supervised environment that introduces self-directed learning and collaboration.

Our New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2) and Certificate in Land Skills (Level 2) are two qualifications that are a great place to start, to earn your NCEA Level 2 certification. Both programmes are taught from our Dunedin Campus and range from 9 - 17 weeks.

Level 3 and 4 - to learn both work and tertiary study skills in a specific field

Certificates at Level 3 and 4 start to focus your learning in a specific field, to prepare you for future work or further tertiary study. As well as operational knowledge being taught, theory is always introduced, so you learn both what and why. The higher the level, expect more self-management of your own learning and performance, as well as more field specialisation.

We have Level 3 and 4 certificates across a range of focused fields: art and design, beauty therapy, business, communication design, digital media and photography, engineering, fashion design, game design and development, health, information technology, product design and visual arts.  

As well as a more generalised New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) - to improve your academic study skills and employability skills such as CV and interview preparation.

Youth pathways - if you're still in high school or under 25 years old

The Youth Guarantee Funding Scheme is for people who are 16 - 24 years old (or 15 if you've got an early leaving exemption letter). It means you can enrol in Level 2 or 3 programmes, full-time or part-time, cost-free. Youth Guarantee covers your tuition fees, and the material and equipment costs of your programme.

If you’re currently in high school and want to get into a particular trade, you can gain practical skills and NZQA credits while you’re at school, via our Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC). OSTC has a campus in Dunedin and one in Cromwell. We have a range of OSTC programmes offered at both our Dunedin and Cromwell campuses.

No matter your background, you can start here

Many of our students have experienced a transformational journey through our Foundation Studies course. Watch and listen as they share their inspirational stories.

Understand NZQA levels and qualifications

Understand NZQA levels and qualifications

The NZQA has ten levels of qualifications, each based on complexity. Find out what they are.

Need some advice?

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.