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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic logo

New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) with a focus on Study or Work

This course is available


Level of Study



17 weeks

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Otago Polytechnic


Whatever your background, gain the skills you need to move into a higher level qualification in your chosen area.

This programme offers you the chance to improve your study skills and prepare for higher level learning or employment.

It includes either a general study context or a work context (which includes practical workshops and community volunteering opportunities).

All learners (from both contexts) will undertake the two compulsory courses first: Career and Study Skills, and Communication Skills. Those choosing the general study context will then do the numerical skills and career practice courses. Those choosing the work context will do the work placement preparation and work placement action courses. You will study in a highly supportive and encouraging learning environment. Class sizes are small and our teachers are very approachable. Along with improving your reading, writing, presenting and computer skills, you will also gain valuable employability skills such as CV and interview preparation, and how to write a cover letter.

Course descriptions

Career and Study Skills (Compulsory): Develop plans and evaluate opportunities for study and career pathways; Learn how to manage and think about your learning progress; Participate in group discussions/contribute to a team; Learn how to reflect on your role as a team member

Communication Skills (Compulsory): Communicate in a variety of styles; Learn how to write for a range of specified purposes; Discover how to present information using a range of methods suitable for your audience

Numerical Skills (General study context): Gain essential numeracy skills that are required for everyday life, learning or work; Learn how to use essential numeracy skills in an industry or study-related context

Career Practices (General study context): Progress further with your chosen study or career pathway; Think about the skills and attributes needed for your chosen pathway; Apply career development information to your chosen pathway

Work Placement (Preparation) (Work context): Learn about what is required to progress into your chosen career pathway; Discover how to communicate the specific skills necessary for engaging in your chosen career pathway; Through an authentic work experience setting, gain an understanding how to act personally and professionally

Work Placement (Action) (Work context): By engaging in authentic work experience opportunities, learn about the required practical skills and knowledge; Learn how to apply job specific skills and responsibilities within an authentic work experience; Analyse and reflect on your authentic work experience.

Entry criteria

Open entry

As part of our application process, you will be required to attend an informal chat with one of our careers team in Student Success. This is to ensure that you are enrolling into the best pathway for you and to inform you of the range of support services available to you through Otago Polytechnic.

If English is not your first language, you must provide: New Zealand University Entrance OR

IELTS test: Overall Academic IELTS 5.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

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