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The University of Waikato
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Certificate of University Preparation (CUP)

This course is available


Level of Study

Foundation Course


6 months

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


Hamilton Campus


The Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) is a one-trimester programme, provided by the Waikato Pathways College, which can provide students who have a New Zealand secondary school qualification with the equivalent of University Entrance as well as the tools and skills you need to confidently transition into degree-level study.

The Certificate of University Preparation has been designed to help students who don't initially meet the possible requirements for study at a New Zealand university, need additional academic preparation, or left school some time ago and are looking for a career change.

This programme will introduce you to an adult learning situation including lectures, tutorials and workshops. CUP is an academically approved qualification that covers skills such as note taking, research, essay writing, time management and critical thinking.

Taught on the Hamilton campus, you will have full access to University facilities and services, enabling you to adapt to this new environment prior to starting your degree. Following your successful completion of CUP, you'll be eligible for entry at all New Zealand Universities and most undergraduate degrees.

Course requirements:

Students are required to take four papers, two compulsory and two electives. For a full-time student, there are up to 17 hours of class, and around 20 hours of self-directed study a week.

Entry criteria

All applications will be assessed on a case by case basis if you don't meet one of the following entry criteria

  • NCEA Level 330 credits in university-approved subjects with numeracy and literacy
  • NCEA Level 2 certificate and 12 credits each in three university-approved subjects with numeracy and literacy. Students must not have been enrolled in a high school within the last 12 months
  • Successful completion of a Level 3 or 4 tertiary certificate

When applying please include a statement telling us a bit about yourself and what you would like to do after CUP.

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