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New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Academic) (Level 4)

Do you need additional English skills to get into the Bachelor programme of your choice? Study English and get the skills to succeed in further study and in your career.

60 (0.5 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February, July, September
Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available

Programme overview

This programme takes your studies one step further. After completing this programme, you'll be able to write well-structured, developed, and moderately complex academic texts on a range of topics and you'll also have a chance to complete a research project in your area of interest.

Unitec employs the latest teaching practices, uses collaborative learning spaces, and provides a true campus and community experience, so you'll be prepared for success in a range of degree-level programmes in the following subjects: 

Is this the right level for me?

If you're not sure, feel free to take this free online test to help you determine what English programme to apply for. Alternatively, simply apply and we can move you into the right programme after you sit the placement test, (if required). 

Crafted Text and Oral Presentation

Two of the courses you’ll complete on this programme have stood out to our previous graduates as being particularly useful in preparing them for further study.

In Writing for Academic Purposes, you'll complete a ‘Crafted Text’ assignment. This gives you the opportunity to complete a research project over 14 weeks in an area that’s relevant for your future career path, or in an area that’s of particular interest to you. 

In Speaking for Academic Purposes, you'll complete an ‘Oral Presentation’ assignment. This involves using material from your Crafted Text research to create and deliver an 8 to 10-minute presentation to your teachers and classmates.This is an excellent opportunity to show off your PowerPoint and presentation skills and will set you up nicely for further study in mainstream programmes.

Where to from here?

Most students who successfully complete this programme can move into the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Academic) (Level 5), as well as any Unitec programme that requires IELTS 6.0. 

Please note: International students who graduate will NOT be eligible for a post-study work visa upon completion of this programme.

Graduate Success Story - Fatimah Aljarash

Fatimah has completed her New Zealand Certificate in English (Level 4) (Academic) and is currently studying a Master of Applied Practice (Social Practice)

Fatimah Aljarash
Fatimah knows a thing or two about hard work. When she first enrolled in the Masters of Applied Practice (Social Practice), she found that learning academic English was one thing, but understanding and responding to the colloquial English that her classmates used was another thing altogether. Still, she didn’t give in and stuck to it; she may have started off wanting to give up, but she ended up being the first person in her original class to graduate.

Originally from Saudi Arabia, Fatimah started her social work career because she wanted to help people. After completing her degree, she became a clinical social worker working with individuals and families with a wide variety of issues such as addiction, domestic violence, autism, mental health and relationship struggles.

Fatimah started studying at Unitec in 2019, after multiple recommendations from friends; she knew that Unitec offered a Maters of Applied Practice (Social Practice), which would enable her to continue her social work career in New Zealand, and she knew she needed to study English to meet the requirements, so she first enrolled into the NZ Certificate in English (Level 4) (Academic).

While studying English, she particularly enjoyed the connections with her classmates, who came from a wide range of different backgrounds, and the fun environment created by her lecturers. And while she found it challenging, she knew it was necessary to get where she wanted to go: “If I didn’t do the Level 4, I wouldn’t be able to do the masters. It was very helpful for me”.

Progressing from studying English to postgraduate study wasn’t an easy transition, but the support from her social work lecturers was very helpful in giving her the conviction she needed to continue. Fatimah particularly enjoyed completing her thesis, which was focused on the specific challenges faced by Arabic families in New Zealand with autistic children, particularly when it comes to accessing information and service access.

“There are many things that attracted me to study at Unitec. The English programme includes the four important axes which are talking, writing, listening and reading. Teachers were constantly following up with students on the importance of completing the tasks that were given to them, which had an important role in pushing students to study and accomplish. They also provided workshops during the term to assist students. All these aspects contribute to the success and strength of the English programmes at Unitec.”

Please note: Students typically need Level 5 English before progressing into Postgraduate study. However, as a domestic student with extensive prior social work experience, Fatimah was able to progress from Level 4.

Admission requirements

Academic requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

  1. Be 16 years old by the time the programme starts
  2. A New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Applied) (Level 3) or equivalent, IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0, or achieve an appropriate score on Unitec's Language Studies English Language Placement Test. 

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Listening for Academic Purposes (EAPL4181) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ language skills so that they can understand the main ideas and supporting details of moderately complex oral academic texts (CEFR mid-B2 level).
Speaking for Academic Purposes (EAPL4182) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ language skills so that they can participate effectively in sustained spoken academic discourse (CEFR mid-B2 level).
Reading for Academic Purposes (EAPL4183) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ language skills so that they can understand the main ideas and supporting details of moderately complex written academic texts (CEFR mid-B2 level).
Writing for Academic Purposes (EAPL4184) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops students’ language skills so that they can write detailed, developed, moderately complex academic texts (CEFR mid-B2 level).