Otago Polytechnic

Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 2) and (Level 3) - Akoraka Mahi Tini



17 weeks full-time (per level)

On campus with industry placements

60 (per level)
2 and 3
February and July
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    24 July 2017
    2 October 2017 - 13 October 2017
Would you describe yourself as a hands-on person? Are you interested in making things or finding out how things work? Want to learn in an environment where Māoritaka is incorporated into your daily routine?

Build a career in the trades and technical fields and help shape the world. Prepare yourself for studying a trade in a learning environment particularly tailored to Māori students. This programme is also suitable if you are non-Māori and believe you would benefit from studying within a kaupapa framework.

Gain real world experience by undertaking trades-based projects and industry placements, and learn tikaka and te reo as they apply to trades. Develop your reading, writing and maths skills and strengthen your Mata Ao Māori .

This programme is part of our Māori trades training initiative Hit the Ground Running - Pakakē Ana tō Haere.

Youth Guarantee Scheme

If you are a 16-19 year old* and feel that school didn't work out for you, you may be able to study this programme via our Youth Guarantee Scheme. This also applies if you are going to be 15 years old at the time that this programme starts and you have an early leaving exemption from school. 

Please note that there are limited Youth Guarantee places available for this programme and therefore funding cannot be guaranteed. 

Please note: From 2018, this programme name will change to the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 2) and (Level 3). This is due to a national review of qualifications that is being carried out by NZQA across all New Zealand tertiary institutions.

Entry requirements
  • You will be invited to attend a meeting to talk about your enrolment. This will help us to place you at the level that suits you best.
  • For Level 2, if English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency.
  • For Level 3, if English is not your first language, you must demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0, with no band score less than 5.0.
Free fees information

Due to a government initiative aiming to encourage more people to achieve a Level 2 qualification, we are offering free fees to those that do not already hold a Level 2 or higher qualification. 

If you do hold a Level 2 or higher qualification, some restrictions may apply. 

Please contact us for more information or if you would like to discuss your situation. Phone 0800 762 786 or email info@op.ac.nz  

Youth Guarantee information

To be eligible for Youth Guarantee funding, you must:

  • Be a domestic student between 16-19 years old
  • OR be 15 years of age at the time when you commence the programme AND have an early leaving exemption from your school
  • Not already hold a Level 3 qualification in any subject
  • Have been thinking about leaving school and getting a job OR prefer to be working towards a career rather than staying at school OR have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment
  • Want to learn practical skills
  • Be more motivated in a non-school setting and be prepared to enrol in a full-time programme.

Fees and allowances

The Youth Guarantee Scheme will cover tuition fees, material and equipment costs of your programme of study. 18-19 year olds enrolled in fees-free Youth Guarantee qualifications will now be able to access the course-related costs part of the student loan and student allowances if they meet the eligibility criteria. Those under 18 years old will not be able to access any part of the student loans. Funding for travel is available, conditions apply. Please visit the Studylink website for full details. We strongly recommend that you read this carefully prior to applying for this programme.  

The process 

  • There is not a separate Youth Guarantee application form. Please apply for this programme by using our standard Otago Polytechnic application form. To apply online, or to download a paper version, click the apply button at the top right hand corner of this page.
  • If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding you will be offered the funding if it is available. We will ask you to let us know within two weeks if you do not wish to take up the funding. 
  • If there is no Youth Guarantee funding available, we will send you a letter advising you of this. Along with this letter, you will receive an invoice, terms and conditions, a Studylink brochure and an equipment list advising what you will need to purchase before starting your programme. 
Additional documentation

You must provide proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate). This must be a passport or birth certificate.

Selection process

Your suitability for the programme will be determined in an interview.

Further study options

This programme prepares you for further study in the trades. Options include:

Programme specific risks

In on-site and off-site workshops there may be a risk of injury through lifting and/or the use of tools; you must therefore adhere to all health and safety procedures.

You will study

Plan and complete a number of trades-based projects and undertake industry placements to gain valuable experience in a variety of trade areas.

Literacy, numeracy and personal skills development are embedded in this programme in preparation for the demands of higher-level study and workplace requirements.

Learn tikaka and te reo at an introductory level, particularly as they apply to trades.

Enjoy Māoritaka components and the support group learning provides. You will also work on your Individual Learning Plan to help determine your direction and to ensure you get the teaching you need to succeed.

Your workload

You will be expected to undertake 25 hours of study per week.

Student loans/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.  


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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