Understanding Academic Terms

The programme and course details listed on our website outline information you need to make an informed decision on your study choice. More in-depth information can be provided by staff. Each programme listing will provide the following details.

Admission, selection or entry criteria

View the Entry Criteria information page.


All courses have a credit value awarded when a student passes the course. Most courses have a value of 15 credits. Therefore, a 60-credit programme would require a student to pass four courses. A total of 60 credits represents a typical study load for one semester; 120 credits is the typical study load for one year. Students must pass a set number of credits to be awarded a qualification. For national qualifications or where unit standards are embedded within a course, NZQA credit may also be achieved.


This indicates the minimum amount of time it generally takes to finish the programme when studied full time. Most programmes can be studied full or part time.


An endorsement identifies a field of specialisation within a programme. Degree endorsements are known as majors, non-degree endorsements are known as strands.


Fees differ for New Zealand residents and international students, and are subject to change.

Fees include: student tuition fee; building levy; course materials (if applicable); and GST (goods and services tax).

You will need to pay your fees, or apply for a student loan (with StudyLink) or Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) grant (with Work and Income), prior to the programmes start date.

Part-time study: students studying part time will pay fees proportional to the courses selected for that year of study.

There may be other costs associated with study and students will be informed of these upon application to help plan for and understand the financial commitment.


Programmes are classified as Level 1 through 10, as per New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) classification, with the higher numbers indicating those that are more academically demanding.


The campuses or locations where a programme is offered is indicated for each programme. If the programme can be studied online or via blended or distance learning, it will be noted. Refer to the campus maps for campus locations and contact details.

Recognition of prior achievement

Applications for the recognition of credit must be completed at the time of enrolment, by completing the relevant application form. The credit should normally have been awarded or experience should have been gained within the five years prior to the application. This ensures currency of knowledge and skills.

The maximum credit that can be granted through recognition of credit, where no articulation agreement is in place, is normally:

  • two-thirds of the credit value of the programme being sought (where the credit was gained at another New Zealand tertiary institution, or where RPL or RCC is being applied for).
  • one-half of the credit value of the programme being sought (where the credit was gained at an overseas tertiary institution).

Start date (intake)

Our academic year consists of two semesters and a summer school. The semesters listed for each programme indicate when the programme commences. For some programmes, enrolment periods vary from the standard semesters. This will be noted.

Study terms


A self-contained block of study for which credits are granted upon successful completion.


A self-contained block of study or training or a combination of courses with which a student is required to be credited in order to be awarded a specified qualification.


A certificate, diploma, degree, conjoint degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma approved by the institute, ITPNZ, or NZQA.

Study options

Blended Study

Blended delivery indicates that delivery will be classroom based, with added support. This may include online material, workbooks, compact discs, video or other electronic media.

Credit Recognition and Prior Learning

There are a number of options for granting credit toward a programme. Recognition may be granted for credits formally earned at most tertiary education providers. Credit may also be granted for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC). Through these processes, evidence of previous formal and non-formal learning, either in the workplace or through life experience, is assessed and credit granted accordingly.

Distance Study

Distance study allows you to complete most of your study from home. Attendance in class may be required for some course work and/or assessments. Your study may be supported by a combination of workbook material, online study and other electronic media. Internet access may be necessary.


Flexi-study allows you to complete your study from home. Your study is supported with online material and workbooks (internet access will be necessary). You can also choose to attend scheduled classes.

Full Time and Part Time

Several study options are provided to allow flexibility, and suit busy lifestyles. Most of our programmes can be studied full or part time, allowing you to customise your study options.

NCEA Unit and Achievement Standards

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand’s main national qualification for secondary school students and part of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). NCEA unit and achievement standards may be used as entry criteria to various programmes or study options.

NZQA Accredited

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) quality-assures secondary and tertiary qualifications as well as education providers. All programmes have been quality assured, approved and accredited by NZQA. Accreditation means that our internal quality systems have been independently evaluated to ensure that the delivery and quality meets approved national standards. For all unit standards delivered, the institute obtains NZQA Consent to Assess.

Online Study

Online study allows you to study via the internet and choose your location. Attendance in class may be required for assessments.

Vocational pathways

There are six pathways which represent new ways to structure and achieve NCEA level 2 and provide a more coherent framework for foundation vocational education and training. The pathways will help students to develop their own individual education plan, so they are better informed and able to make better choices to meet their goals.

Page last updated: 01 Sep 2017