Transition to University

Entrance to New Zealand Universities for School Leavers


To qualify for entrance to any New Zealand university you must achieve University Entrance

1.    University Entrance (UE)- Criteria for 2012 are

14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject


14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject


14 credits at Level 3 or higher in no more than 2 domains or approved subjects


               14 credits in Mathematics at Level 1 or higher

               4 credits in Reading Level 2 or higher

               4 credits in Writing Level 2 or higher


Most universities have also begun restricting entry into courses by means of competitive entry using a rank score (also called Guaranteed Entry Score (GES) or Preferential Entry Score)*

This is based on your best 80 credits at Level 3 from University approved subjects.


Achieved= 2 points       Merit= 3 points   Excellence=4 points


*Lincoln and Canterbury Universities are exceptions

How to Calculate the GPA- Example: Accounting L3


Describe and apply the conceptual basis of accounting in context


A= 8 Pts


Process financial information for partnerships and companies


A= 6 Pts


Process financial information for a manufacturing job cost subsystem


M=9 Pts


Prepare financial statements for partnerships and companies


M= 18 Pts


Prepare a report that analyses and interprets a company's financial report for external users


Ex= 20 Pts


Explain and prepare information for management decision making


Ex 12 Pts

Entrance to New Zealand universities for school leavers



Guaranteed Entry Score (GES)/ Preferential Entry Score

Courses with special entry


Link to website


Preferential entry

Achieve  NCEA level 2 awarded with merit/ excellence at the end of Year 12           or


Achieve an entry score of at least 140 points for both NCEA and CIE students        or


Have a place in a residential hall     or


Be of Maori or Pacific Island descent

Physical Education






Dental Technology



Performance Music (audition)







Victoria has set a 'Guaranteed Entry Score' of 120 NCEA points or 140 CIE points for all undergraduate degrees in 2011









University Entrance remains the entry standard for general degree programmes




University Entrance remains the entry standard for general degree programmes




Preferential entry score of 120




Fine Arts

Information Sci



Speech Language

Veterinary Science






Students are assessed  on their rank score based on their best 80 credits at level 3 or higher over a maximum of 5 subjects.


The required rank score varies according to the degree

(See examples in next column)


Different degree courses at Auckland have different rank scores for guaranteed entry eg

Bach of Arts, PE and Music      140            

B.SC              150


Commerce     165

Health Sci      210

Engineering   240















NCEA Level 3 for Guaranteed Entry


Social Work





Limited places based on academic achievement

Bachelor of Communication Studies (minimum of 60 NCEA Level 3 credits over 4 subjects incl merit and excellence)


All Health Science degrees with a clinical component

Bachelor of Design




 In summary:

  • √ UE is always required
  • √ At most universities many of the courses have their own subject requirements as well as possibly portfolios, interviews and auditions
  • √ Many students who have UE but don't reach a GES or Preferential Rank Score level will get into courses
  • √ Approved subjects DO count
  • √ Excellences and Merits DO count and because of this .......
  • √ Many of the universities' websites are stressing the importance of achievement standards over unit standards
  • √ Check the individual university prospectuses and websites for details


Otago University

Prospectus 2013 and application forms for Physical Education and Teachers Education available NOW from Careers

Applications open on line 1 August 2012

Hands-On Science enrolment brochures sent to schools

Physical Education School application close 15 August

Teacher Education applications close 27 August

August: Closing dates for some 2012 Otago Scholarships, refer to the website for respective scholarship closing date:

Performance Music Auditions closes 1 September

Medical Radiation Therapy closes 15 September

Residential College applications close 30 September

International Student applications close 31 October

Hands-On Science applications close 31 October

Oral Health, Dental Technology applications closes 1 November

First Year Registrations, Discretionary Entrance, Ad Eundem Statum Admission and Special Admission closes 10 December


Canterbury University

Canterbury open day 5-6 July 2012

Guaranteed Entry Score (GES) - 120 points

  • Achieved = 2 points
  • Merit = 3 points
  • Excellence = 4 points

Fine Arts and Performing music exempt from GES as assessed on separate application for entry

Teaching Programmes open July 2012

Sports Coaching Programmes open July 2012

Performance Music closes 15 September 2012

Fine Arts Portfolio closes 15 November

Campus and Halls of Residence Tours - students can arrange to meet with a Liaison Officer, tour the campus and selected halls of residence by completing an online Campus Tour Booking Form available at: During the school holidays, tours will be available Monday-Friday. 

Applications for accommodation must be at the Accommodation Office by 1 October.

Canterbury Scholarships open mid-July and close 1 September.

New Entrance Scholarships - Both level 2 and level 3 must be endorsed


Lincoln University

Open Day 11 July 2012

Halls of Residence applications due 1 October 2012

Enrolments for 2013 open 3 December 2012


Victoria University

Information Night Dunedin 30 May 2012

Open Day 31 August 2012

Accommodation opens 1 August 2012 and closes 1 October 2012


Auckland University

Applications due by

Bachelor of design/Visual Arts/Creative Technology/Communication Studies close 


S.I.T. - November closing if wanting to know by Christmas


ILT Scholarships

ILT scholarship closes 5pm 24 August 2012 - applications available from Careers or


Useful websites: 

  • Interactive tools
  • Register student (free and in that way anything you have saved will always be there)
  • Careers Quest test
  • CV's
  • Subject matcher
  • Skills matcher (password available from careers) All scholarships listed on this site. Student loans, Student Allowance information