Otago Polytechnic

Bridging programme to engineering diploma

Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3) 

Now you can start to become an engineering technician no matter what your academic background!

Do you want to prepare for diploma-level study in engineering? Then this bridging programme is the perfect option and will give you a Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3). Successful completion will provide you with entry to our New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil, Mechanical or Electrical) so you can achieve your goal of becoming an engineering technician.

Our modern equipment and facilities will allow you to gain industry-relevant, hands-on learning and many of our staff are experienced industry practitioners. This means that you will benefit from their high level of skill and up-to-date expertise and knowledge.     

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

Skills required

> A strong interest in being either a civil, electrical or mechanical engineering technician.

  • Self-motivation and commitment
  • A good work ethic.
Entry requirements
  • Open entry.
  • 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.

Please note: This programme will only run if there are sufficient numbers. 

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records and/or CV if you have been working and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Selection procedure

You will be interviewed to assess your suitability for this programme. If it is in your best interests, we may recommend an alternative programme for you.

Additional costs

You will need to provide your own personal stationery and a calculator. It is desirable that you have access to a wifi-capable laptop to assist you with your studies.

You will study

Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3)



FN3500 Introductory mathematics for engineers



FN2130 Statistics 2



FN2120 Algebra 2



FN3130 Algebra 3



FN3510 Introductory physics for engineers



FN3520 Academic writing for engineers



Programme total



Your workload

You will be expected to study for (approximately) 40 hours per week. This will consist of lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials and your own study time. Assessment is continuous throughout the semester. Assignments are issued regularly and there are end of semester exams.

Links to useful websites
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.

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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