Albany Senior High School/Coursebook/Making Your Choices

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What subjects do I need?


When thinking of possible career paths and matching to specialist subjects, use this link to explore possible subject/career opportunities that may interest you. These will also assist you in choosing your specialist subjects.

Entry into Tertiary Study

To gain entry into courses at Universities, Technical Institutes and Private Training Providers, you need to achieve a number of credits over a range of subjects. The following table gives a general inidcation of the current entry requirements for tertiary courses. It is essential that you check out the exact requirements for any course that you may be interested in.

General Overview of Tertiary Entry Requirements
Tertiary Course
Literacy and Numeracy
NCEA Requirements
CERTIFICATE (1 year) Level 1 literacy requirements. Completed 3 or 4 years' secondary schooling

Some courses require NCEA Level 1 or a number of Level 2 credits

DIPLOMA (2 year) Level 1 literacy requirements. Minimum of 48 credits at Level 2 (or higher) over four subjects.

Generally, no particular subject requirements – a few exceptions.


Open Entry (3 - 5 years)

  • 10 credits in Approved Achievement Standards at Level 2 or higher including:
    • 5 credits in reading
    • 5 credits in writing

Note: If you are intending on applying for The University of Auckland, you MUST have 17 credits of English at Level 2 or higher.


  • 10 credits in Mathematics at Level 1 or higher
Common Entrance Standard is the minimum requirement for degree entry. Some Universities have additional requirements for Restricted Entry Courses. See Craig Dyason for further details.

Literacy and Numeracy Requirements

Please Note: Students applying for university from a New Zealand secondary school using NCEA level 3 credits must also meet the literacy and numeracy requirement through the New Zealand education system. Students both domestic and international who have had all or part of their Year 11 and 12 schooling outside of New Zealand need to include English/ESOL and/or Mathematics in their course to enable them to meet these requirements.

International Students – Tertiary Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for international students into most New Zealand tertiary institutions are similar to domestic students. Some however may require higher levels of achievement and additional English language evidence.

How can I find which course I am interested in?

Deciding which tertiary course is the right one for me involves spending some time researching the different study programmes available. Whether this be at a University, Polytechnic, or Independant Training Organisation (ITO's). Use the following link to search where you can compare different study programmes at different NZ institutions.

University and Polytechnic Study

In NZ there are eight universities. Courses and entry requirements are constantly being updated. Please refer to the links below for the most up to date information.

There are 19 polytechnics in New Zealand. Of these two are located within Auckland.

A full list of all polytechnics in NZ, including links can be found here:

Subject Guide for Apprenticeships and On Job Training

If you are considering entering into an apprenticeship or trainee position, it is important to realise that most employers are looking for young people with a positive attitude, good communicaton skills, basic literacy, numeracy and information technology skills.

Many of the training programmes in work places are administered by ITOs (Industry Training Organisations). Although the minimum entry for many apprenticeships and trainee positions are generally set a level 1, students are encouraged to continue with level 2 NCEA studies. To complete four years' secondary schooling increases opportunities for employment. A high level of maturity is required to meet the demands of both work and study necessary to complete an apprenticeship.

Subject recommendations and requirements vary, but the main focus is on the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Technology.

For further information on apprenticeships please refer to

Armed Forces (Air Force,Army, Navy)

The Armed Forces provide many opportunities for apprenticeships and on job training. The minimum age for entry is 17 years and applicants are required to pass a Medical Assessment, Physical Fitness test and Aptitude test.

General Summary of Entry into the Armed Forces
Air Force, Army, Navy Recommendations or Requirement
Support Roles English, Mathematics, Science, Technology L1 minimum recommended.
Most Apprenticeships English, Mathematics and Science or a Technology subject L2
Engineering Apprenticeships English, Mathematics and a Science subject L3
Officer and Specialist Roles English, Mathematics and a Science subject L3
Undergraduate Scheme University Entrance L3 Merit/Excellence level

Further details on career areas and entry criteria can be found on the Armed Forces websites;