Otago Polytechnic

Discover your potential and help others find theirs


Are you a caring person?
If caring is your strength, why not use it to help others find their strength? 

Your big heart can lead to a big future.

In a world where an increasing number of people struggle with issues that affect their confidence and self-esteem, sometimes all they need is someone to care about them and to recognise their potential. That someone can be you. 

You can be the transformation; the difference that inspires them.  

Being a “people-person” can lead to a wide range of fulfilling careers where you can add value and be valued.

You might be a counsellor who helps someone with the weight of the world on their shoulders feel lighter and happier; an early childhood teacher who encourages a shy child to feel confident and to make new friends; or a beautician or hairdresser who enables someone to leave the salon with a spring in their step, feeling beautiful and self-assured.

So, if you’re the kind of person that others open up to easily, who people turn to for support and care - follow your heart.

You could make a real difference in lots of people’s lives. And how good would that feel? 

How can I unlock my potential?

Here at OP, we’re keen to help people, help people and we’ve got a range of programmes that will do just that. 

People-centred programmes 


Beauty Therapy

Use your care and skill to help people feel beautiful on the inside and outside. Beauty Therapy roles are varied and include Beauty Therapists, Spa Therapists, Skin Therapists and Electrologists. Our top quality facilities and programmes are recognised as some of the best in the industry and graduates are in high demand with employers seeking trained therapists to work with clients straight away.


Unlock your potential now >



Early Childhood Studies

We all remember those amazing teachers who made a huge impact on our young lives and now it’s your chance to be remembered by someone for the difference you make to them. Working with children is a rewarding, fun and diverse career and this is your chance to play a pivotal role in their early development and personal growth. Help them to recognise who they want to be and to value their strengths. Our programmes include work placements and will prepare you for a range of entry-level education support roles or for further study. 


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We all know how great we feel after a visit to the hairdresser – now you can be the person who makes others feel that way. The hairdressing industry is exciting and ever-changing. Plus, hairdressing skills are highly transferable which gives you access to lots of employment opportunities – here in NZ and all over the world! Our programmes are delivered in our hairdressing training salon where you will gain experience with real clients and hear from industry professionals. 


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Social Services

Use your qualities of kindness and compassion to help those experiencing personal and social difficulties improve their quality of life. Career opportunities are diverse and include Mental Health Advocate/Workers, Disability Support Advocates and Counsellors – demand is likely to remain strong in this sector as New Zealand faces a growing and ageing population. With a strong emphasis on fieldwork placements and industry-relevant training, our programmes teach you exactly what to expect when you enter the workforce.


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Why choose Otago Polytechnic?

  • Hands-on, practical learning preparing you for the real world of work
  • Our Dunedin campus has bright open spaces, modern buildings and is right in the heart of student-ville
  • We help you find training opportunities and work placements
  • After 50 years, we’ve built lots of industry connections, and what’s ours is yours  
  • Highly experienced teachers and small class sizes
  • We pride ourselves on how much we care about our students and have extensive student support  
  • 97% of our graduates go straight into work or further study (Source: Otago Polytechnic Graduate Destination Survey, 2018)   
  • See if you’re eligible for Fees Free where your first year’s fees are free!

Hmm, I’m not sure – who can I talk to?

Sometimes, even those people who others turn to for advice need some advice themselves. That’s what we’re here for – to chat through your options and to find out which programme is right for you.

Give us a call on 0800 762 786 (Freephone NZ)
                         +64 3 477 3014 (from overseas)

Or email info@op.ac.nz

Ready to take the next step in that big future of yours?