Undergraduate studies in New Zealand are among some of the best in the world. Your degree will be recognized around the world as a degree that is on par with many British and Australian undergraduate degrees. Both employers and higher education institutions will recognize your degree as an important one. As with most schools, universities have an academic year that runs from February to November, with the semesters split during June and July.
There are a number of different undergraduate degrees and certifications that you can earn, all of which vary depending on where you attend school. These degrees and certifications will have different distinctions, and will grant you different privileges when it comes to furthering your education later on.
Professional Certificates and technical schools
There are over 600 tertiary training schools located throughout the country of New Zealand, each of which provides a different type of education depending on the field of work that you plan on going into. These programs put you right into practical classes, and can take anywhere from 2 to 18 months to complete. These can include internships, apprenticeships, and other types of educational experiences that can help you go right into the work field when you complete your program. These programs can include civil engineering, electricians, plumbing, secretarial jobs and duties, and a number of other technical jobs that usually do not require a bachelor’s degree, but they do require specialized training that you will need in an educational context like a training program.
Associate’s degrees are a level of tertiary education that is a step above the certificates and technical school programs. These offer a number of classes; many of them are theory based, but some of them will be practical like in a professional certificate program. Many people who go for associate’s degrees go in because they don’t know if earning a Bachelor’s degree is for them. Instead, they will take courses and receive an associate’s degree, which will allow them to go into the workplace immediately after they complete their degree or they can decide to finish up and earn a bachelor’s degree with only a year or so of extra time. Most associate’s degrees are in liberal arts fields; some of them may have technical aspects.
Unlike countries like the United States that take four years to complete a bachelor’s degree program, New Zealand actually lets you finish within three years. This is because there are very few, if any, general education classes. You may have to take classes that are not directly in your major (nursing students may have to take an algebra class, etc), but every single class you take is geared toward your course of study. You aren’t wasting any time with classes that are not directly related to the major at hand. These degrees will give you a well rounded education that will prepare you for the work world or for higher education pursuits.
If you are looking to enroll in an undergraduate program in New Zealand, there are plenty of places to look. Most undergraduate programs are at the 8 main universities in the country, which we discuss in our universities and higher education section of this website. You can also find more information at the Immigration Department website, and the Tertiary Education Commission’s website.