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Careers & Tertiary

The following represents only a selection of possible careers and the requirements listed here are minimum ones. Tertiary Institutions will offer slightly different courses and entry requirements may differ. Students should check any additional requirements for courses they intend to enrol in, as some courses (e.g. limited entry University courses) require more than the minimum requirements.

For further information, see Mrs Gardiner and/or use the range of resources in the Careers Department, including the website. 

Helpful Hints for Choosing Options Aligned with Career Choice

It is important to keep options open so that a range of career pathways will be available when making thetransition beyond school. However, many tertiary study courses make recommendations for background study. As students move into the senior school, many have established career and/or tertiary study goals. Outlined below are some of the requirements for the more common degree areas studied beyond school. All degree study requires University Entrance. As this list is not exhaustive, please contact the Careers Adviser, Bronwyn Gardiner (  if you have other specific queries.


DEGREE                                                     REQUIREMENTS

Agriculture, Ag/Sci Horticulture, all Lincoln Uni courses

University Entry is required for degree programmes at Lincoln Uni and there are no pre-requisites for their courses, however it is helpful to have studied related subjects to the course.

Health Sciences Biomedical Sci

Radiation Therapy

Oral Health

Dental Hygiene

First year study is necessary for moving on into Medical, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, and Pharmacy careers. Strongly recommended that Level 3 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics or Calculus and English rich subjects be taken.

16cr’s in Stats or Calc and 16cr’s in Physics or Biology and 16 cr’s in Eng or Te Reo or History, Classics, Geo

Level 3 Bio – competitive entry – limited places

14 cr’s in a Science, Maths or Technology


Level 3 Calculus, Physics, English and one subject in creative areas such as Art, Design or Graphics recommended. 16 Level 3 credits in Calculus or Physics required or will have be included in first year programme of study.


English extremely useful and Arts subjects such as History, Geography, Economics useful. Statistics useful for advanced study in Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.


Calculus and/or Statistics recommended for all commerce subjects, particularly Finance. Accounting and Economics useful for most Commerce subjects.

Creative Arts


   Fine Arts


Degree study requires UE and usually submission of a portfolio (except for Massey Uni if L2 Excellence and Art subject with Ex Course Endorsement. Very useful to take some combo of Level 3 Art (Design, Painting, Photography) and/or Graphics.

UC entry requires a portfolio including 12 examples of work from NCE Arts subject(s) and a written statement.  A Rank Score of 150 for AKL Uni, 


(Civil or Mechanical) Calculus, Physics and Chemistry essential for any Engineering major - 14 credits in each recommended but 18 credits strongly recommended. English is also very useful. Direct Entry to 1st year at Canterbury University is possible with Outstanding Level 3 results, i.e. - Excellence Credits in Calculus, Physics and Chemistry.

Computer/Data Sci

Level 3 Statistics, Calculus and DIT strongly recommended.


English rich subjects i.e. English, History, Classics, Drama useful plus work experience in the industry helpful.


Essay-based subjects such as Level 3 English, History, Economics and Geography are useful.


Level 3 Statistics and English.


For Ara, UE including 14 credits at Level 3 in an approved English rich subject, BIO or PED or CHE and Level+ Numeracy plus a current first Aid Certificate. Otago Polytech, UE including 14 credits (18 recommended) in English rich and BIO or CHE, 10 Level 1 Numeracy credits. For Massey Uni, Level 3 Biology (14+ credits) plus supporting credits include Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, English, History and Geography.

Performing Arts/Music

NASDA (ARA), Otago Uni, UC, NZ Drama School etc. all require music and/or drama respectively, to gain entry.

Physical Education

Sport Coaching

Level 3 Biology, Statistics, PE recommended. Chemistry and Physics helpful.

Level 3 Biology, Physical Education useful and English or and English rich subject


Level 3 Biology, Statistics, English.

Social Work

Level 3 English, Classics, History, Geography and Economics useful. Statistics useful for advanced study.


Level 3 Calculus recommended, Physics, Geography. Digital Technology helpful – study at Otago Uni


Early Childhood and Primary – UE, entrance is competitive therefore good academic and people skills are essential. Level 3 English and Mathematics, Sciences, Maori extremely useful.

Speech and Language Therapy

No pre-requisites – study at UC

Vet Science

Year 13 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and Statistics all recommended. However, Statistics preferred if choice has to be made.


 Polytech Courses:

If you are considering studying at Ara or any other Polytech then check their website for programmes and entry requirements.



There are specific requirements regarding subjects studied and achievement for the various types of apprenticeships, check with the Careers Team. It is important for all students considering this pathway to achieve the best possible results in English and Mathematics at Level 1 and achievement of Level 2 very helpful


Tertiary website details that maybe of interest:

ARA Institute of Canterbury (previously CPIT)
Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
Avonmore Tertiary Institute
Canterbury Tertiary College (CTC)
Careers New Zealand
Lincoln University
Massey University
National Trade Academy (NTA)
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)
Telford (A Division of Lincoln University)
The University of Auckland
University of Canterbury
University Otago
Victoria University of Wellington

In Year 9 students start the first year of their two year junior programme. Year 9 consists of two semesters (half year-long) with a combination of compulsory courses and option courses chosen by the students. 

In Year 9 students will take 12 semester (half-year) courses that include:

a) Compulsory Courses - 2 semesters of Health & PE, Mathematics, Science, and one Semester of English and Social Studies. (the reverse happens in Year 10, the second year of the junior programme).

b) Option Courses - Four semesters of option courses (note: students choose 5 option courses in Year 10, the second year of the junior programme).

In Year 10 students complete their junior program by studying a combination of compulsory and option courses, see below. Students are not in core classes when studying their compulsory courses. Classes are mixed, similar to option courses. 


Compulsory courses: Students are assigned one semester of Health & PE, Mathematics and Science and two semesters of English and Social Studies. 

Option Courses: Students choose five semester courses. They can choose to do one semester course from a subject area e.g. Drama - B or take two semester courses from a subject area, which is equivalent to a whole year course e.g. Drama - B & C.  

Enrichment: Most courses provide opportunities for enrichment tasks. Some students may want to study a/some Year 11 semester courses. They should contact the Year 10 Tutor (Fiona Bamford, FBA) first before completing their course selections, to ensure they are adequately suited to studying Year 11 courses. 

Please note:

  • A few Year 10 semester courses (e.g. languages and music) require you to complete semester A first, before doing semester B or, semester B before semester C. Please read the course recommendations carefully to be aware of these details.
  •  As part of the Health & Physical Education curriculum, students attend a three-day camp in Term Four.
  • Placement into next year’s Year 11 courses is dependent on Year 10 results.
  • It is important to check recommendations and associated fees for all courses in the course descriptions.

Students don’t complete NCEA Level 1 in Year 11. Instead, we focus on all students having NCEA literacy and numeracy (most will have achieved this in Year 10). In addition, students get to experience a variety of courses that can be studied in depth. In some Year 11 courses there may be a small number of Level 2 credits on offer. The content covered in each course will include the knowledge required to continue into Year 12 for that particular course.  In summary, Year 11 and 12 are dedicated to the completion of Level 2 NCEA.

Semester Courses:

Year 11 students study 12 semester (half year) courses.  This equates to six year-long courses.  English and Mathematics are compulsory, but Science is also strongly recommended.  Students are required to select two English and two Mathematics semester courses (a year of each).  The remaining eight semester courses can be made up of:

  • selecting single courses from a subject area eg: 11BIOa (Biology-Human)


  • selecting two courses from a subject area eg: 11BIOa and 11BIOb.  This equates to a whole year of Biology.

A few semester two courses require you to complete semester one first, before doing semester two.

These semester two courses have an * at the end of their code:

    • Visual Arts (11ARTb*)
    • Chinese -Part 2 (11CHIb*)
    • French – Part 2 (11FREb*)
    • German – Part 2 (11GERb*)
    • Japanese – Part 2 (11JPEb*)
    • Māori Performing Arts - Part 2 (11MPAb*)
    • Materials Technology Engineering - Part 2 (11MTEb*)
    • Materials Technology Resistant Materials - Part 2 (11MTRb*)
    • Electronic Music Making - Drop the Beat! (11MUEb*)
    • Pūoro Music Sound Creation! (11MUSb*)
    • Pūoro Music Part B (11MUPb*)

    Note: It is important to check recommendations and associated fees for all courses in the course descriptions.

In English, you will choose two English courses.  One from Group A and one from Group B. 

 If you need more support with literacy, you can choose 11ENL English Literacy as one of your courses.

 You can choose 11ENW “The ‘Write’ Stuff:  Writing in English in addition to your Group A and Group B Course.


Close Viewing assessment


Connections Across Texts assessment


·         11ENGa English – General A

·         11ENY Dystopian

·         11ENC War and Conflict

·         11ENGb English – General B

·         11ENS Sport and Exploration (new course)

·         11ENM Myths and Legends

·         11ENW Writing

·         11ENL Literacy

Year 12 students study six year-long courses (see individual course details and Course Planning Chart).  There are no compulsory courses, however, English and Mathematics are strongly recommended.

Students have the option of studying five courses. In such cases, students will be placed in the Independent Learning Project (ILP001) course, in addition to their five courses, so that they can be mentored and have their progress monitored.

Prior to selecting courses online, students should consider discussing their possible options with this year’s teachers as well as attend the Course Selection afternoon. 

Note: It is important to check recommendations and associated fees for all courses in the course descriptions.


Year 13 students study five year-long courses (see individual course details and Course Planning Chart) and have an Independent Study (IST).  A sixth course can be selected in place of IST.  Students have the option of studying four courses.  In such cases, students will be placed in the Independent Learning Project (ILP001) course, in addition to their four courses, so that they can be mentored and have their progress monitored.

For students that are intending to gain University Entrance it is strongly recommended that they select at least four University Entrance approved courses.  Refer to individual course details to check if a course is a University Entrance approved subject

Year 13 (IST) is independent, unsupervised learning that can take place at school or at home.  Students are responsible for managing their work during this time. 

Prior to selecting courses online, students should consider discussing their possible options with this year’s teachers as well as attend the Course Selection afternoon.   

Students who have not completed NCEA Level 2 while in Year 12 may receive a customised timetable to support the completion of NCEA Level 2 while in Year 13.

Note: It is important to check recommendations and associated fees for all courses in the course descriptions.

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