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Where To Study

Where To Study

Take some time to explore your study opportunities in Christchurch and Canterbury.


National Certificate of Achievement (NCEA) is the main qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. You can be confident that you can use NCEA towards future study either in New Zealand or another country.

If you achieve NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance you can enrol to study at any New Zealand university. To gain University Entrance students need all of the following:

  • NCEA Level 3
  • 14 credits in each of three approved subjects at Level 3. Check the NZQA website for the list of approved subjects.
  • UE Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
  • – 5 credits in reading
  • – 5 credits in writing.
  • UE Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above (the same as the requirement for NCEA numeracy).

It is important to choose the right subjects and plan your NCEA journey for your future, so you can meet the entry requirements of the course you want to do. Seek advice from your school’s International Department or Careers Department. 

Types Of Providers

We have many different tertiary providers in Christchurch. Learn more about what they offer, and how they are different in this section.

Universities traditionally focus on teaching academic subjects, but many now include work placements and internships. They typically offer a mix of general degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts or Commerce, as well as some more specialist degrees such as Engineering and Agricultural Science.

Institutes of Technology focus on teaching a range of technical and vocational learning options. Vocational learning prepares you for a specific type of work. Institute of Technology teach you practical skills aimed at getting a job, while offering qualifications including certificates, diplomas, and degrees. These courses are typically more practical and hands-on than university courses.

Private Training Establishments can offer study options ranging from vocational study to degrees. While some PTEs offer a variety of subjects, some focus on more specific areas like Rural Animal Technology.

Qualification Levels & Types

There are 10 qualification levels in New Zealand, which start with NCEA in secondary school at Levels 1,2 and 3.

Generally, a higher level of qualification will get you a job with a higher salary. For example, 10 years after graduating, people with Level 1 to 4 certificates usually earn 15% more than the average income. However, people with Bachelor’s degrees (Level 7 and above) usually earn 67% more than the average income.

Understand more about New Zealand's qualification system.