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Other Equivalent qualifications

Other qualifications may be equivalent to the university entrance standard either on their own or in combination with NCEA (NZIM Certificates and Enterprise NZ):

University of Cambridge International Examinations

Exams must be taken in New Zealand. To be eligible for admission candidates must achieve the following:


  • a minimum of 120 points on the UCAS Tariff at A or AS level from any syllabus groups from those available in New Zealand (check with a Cambridge school for details) which are broadly equivalent to those in the list of approved subjects for NCEA, and
  • a D grade or better in syllabuses from at least three different syllabus groups (excluding Thinking Skills).


  • an E grade or better in any one of AS English Language, Language and Literature in either English, Literature in English. A 'D' grade or better will satisfy one of the syllabus requirements of Part A; or
  • as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA.


  • 'D' grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE mathematics, or
  • any mathematics passed at AS level. A 'D' grade or better will satisfy one of the syllabus requirements of Part A, or
  • as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA.

International Baccalaureate

Completion of the Diploma (minimum of 24 points).

An IB Diploma completed with English as Language A1 at either Higher or Standard Level and including any mathematics subject satisfies the literacy and numeracy requirements for university entrance.

Steiner School Certificate

A completed Steiner School Certificate Level 3, including 9 points in each of 3 approved subject areas, 7 points in literacy (4 writing/3 reading), and 9 points in numeracy.

Accelerated Christian Education

A Year 13 Academic Certificate containing at least 4 credits in subjects designated Year 13.

This certificate satisfies the literacy and numeracy requirements for university entrance through its compulsory components in English and mathematics.

International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE)

ICCE Advanced (Academic) Certificate and ICCE Advanced (Academic) Certificate Honours acceptable for entrance.

Numeracy and literacy requirements may be fulfilled by passes in Algebra I 1097-1108 and English II 1097-1108 respectively, and by satisfying the ICCE Course Work, 0.5 credit, at each certificate level.

Christian Education New Zealand

A Christian Education New Zealand Level 3 Certificate, in at least 4 credits designated Level 3.

New Zealand Institute of Management Certificates

The Certificate in Management or the Certificate in Small Business Management may contribute to the 'third subject' of the NZQA university entrance standard (New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website).

Requirements for literacy, numeracy and two approved subjects must also be met.

Enterprise New Zealand Trust - Young Enterprise Certificate (the YES Certificate)

Through credit inclusion as recognised by NZQA may contribute to the 'third subject' of the common entrance standard (see New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website) in one of two ways:

(a) completion of the YES Certificate, or

(b) completion of the course requirements only (worth 10 level 3 credits equivalent to NZIM paper 836), plus at least four further credits at level 3 or higher, or a pass in another NZIM paper (worth 10 credits).

Requirements for literacy, numeracy and 2 approved subjects must be also be met.

Admission ad eundem statum with credit

If you have gained academic qualifications at any university outside New Zealand, or any tertiary institution which is not a university in New Zealand, or elsewhere, you may be admitted and/or granted credit ad eundem statum ('with equivalent standing') either through:

Special Admission for students over 20

If you don’t have University Entrance (UE) or other equivalent qualifications, and want to study at university, then Special Admission may be an option. You will need to be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident, over 20 years of age on the first day of semester.

Check the details and application dates on university websites.

Discretionary Entrance

Discretionary Entrance Regulations provide a route to university study for students who have not continued secondary education beyond Year 12. The salient points of the regulations are:

  • They apply only to New Zealand or Australian citizens and permanent residents under 20 years of age.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 14 credits in an approved subject at Level 2 towards NCEA.
  • Applicants must also have met the literacy and numeracy standards required for UE.
  • Application must be made to the university of choice and a fee may be payable.
  • A reference from a school principal or other suitable person is required and there may be an interview.
  • Admission will be at the discretion of the university concerned, with the proviso that a student who has undertaken Year 13 study beyond 1 June at a New Zealand secondary school may normally not be admitted under the Discretionary Entrance provisions before July in the following year.

Alternative entry pathways


Is my qualification recognised

Preparing you for university study - foundation or bridging courses

Most universities offer special programmes to help you transition to university, and prepare you for study. Check university websites and/or contact them about options if you have not have studied for some time, need help to meet your English language requirements or narrowly missed achieving UE.

DiscrEntrRegs_UniNZ_10Au.pdf Download (pdf 113.15 KB)