Back to top

Other School-Leaver Qualifications

Universities also accept other school-leaver qualifications for admission to an undergraduate degree

Cambridge Assessment International Education

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). 


Literacy and numeracy must be satisfied as follows:          



An E grade or better in any one of AS English Language, Language and Literature in English, Literature in English. A ‘D’ grade or better will satisfy one of the syllabus requirements of Part A


As prescribed for university entrance with NCEA



(i) 'D' grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE mathematics, or

(ii) Any mathematics passed at AS level. A 'D' grade or better will satisfy one of the syllabus requirements of Part A


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.

New Zealand Steiner Education (Level 3)

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.

Overseas school-leaver qualifications

Universities accept a wide range of overseas school-leaver qualifications for admission.

Check the university websites for up-to-date information.


Additional entry requirements

Additional entry for some courses of study:
• Some courses of study also require you to have taken NCEA specific approved subjects and gained a minimum
number of credits.
• Some universities may need you to have taken specific achievement standards in certain subjects, for entry into
some courses.
• Some courses of study also have other requirements such as a portfolio, audition and/or interview.

Selective Entry 

• Selective Entry might apply to some courses of study, especially for those with limited or competitive entry.

Guaranteed or Preferential Entry scores

• Some universities use a rank score system for guaranteed or preferential entry into some courses of
study, especially for those with limited or competitive entry. The score is based on the number of Level 3
credits you gain with Excellence, Merit or Achieved.
• You may still be accepted into a course of study if you don’t meet the rank score but meet the University
Entrance standard. Check with the university for the specific details.
• Get the right advice: Check with the university to see if the rank score applies to you and how to calculate your score for that university.

Targeted entry pathways

Some universities have special entry pathways for specific student groups e.g. Māori, Pasifika and
students with disabilities.


University Preparation courses

Universities and other providers offer University Preparation courses for students without University
Entrance or an equivalent qualification. Check with the university to see which courses they accept as a suitable entry qualification.
If you didn’t get University Entrance this may be an option for you! Contact the university to find out more.

Special Admission for students over 20 (without UE)

If you are over 20 years old and a New Zealand or Australian citizen (or permanent resident) and don’t have a
University Entrance qualification, you can apply for Special Admission.
Check the university websites for Special Admission application deadlines and what you’ll need to provide with your application.

Transferring students

If you’re transferring from one degree to another you can apply to have the courses you’ve already completed
credited to your new degree.

Discretionary Entrance

If you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen (or permanent resident) who hasn’t continued secondary
education beyond Year 12 you can apply for discretionary entrance based on your Year 12 results.
You’ll need to have met certain requirements in your Year 12 results, including a reference from your school principal
(or another suitable person) and you may need to do an interview. Discretionary Entrance is only for admission into
a specific course of study, not general admission into a university.
Check the university website for more information.

DiscrEntrRegs_UniNZ_10Au.pdf Download (pdf 113.15 KB)