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New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) - Applied Science

Are you interested in preparing for further study in applied science? The New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation is your start to an exciting future in biodiversity management. 

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

Programme overview

Please note: While this certificate programme is not equivalent to University Entrance, successful completion will allow you to progress to higher-level programmes.

As our human footprint increasingly makes its mark on the planet, conservation experts are in demand. This programme is ideal if you want to go on to higher-level study in conservation and biodiversity management. In it, you’ll explore how ecosystems function and learn the relevant literacy, numeracy and scientific skills you will need to become a leader in the biosecurity of Aotearoa New Zealand.


  • Tailored content for the Bachelor of Applied Science, meaning it'll prepare you for the Unitec programme in which you want to enter;
  • As a student in this programme, you’ll be part of an applied science student body – learning alongside other aspiring environmental scientists;
  • Learn from lecturers who are eager to share their industry experience with you;
  • A chance to complete a collaborative project in order to develop the skills you'll need for a career in biodiversity management;
  • A mix of classroom sessions, practical workshops, critique sessions, guest speakers, discussions, presentations and online learning;
  • A chance to take engage with Unitec's marae, a great setting to explore mātauranga Māori and the role of culture in communication.

Where to from here?

Upon successful completion of this programme, you can go apply for study in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management).

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

Admission requirements

Academic requirements:

For this programme, you will need the following:

  1. A minimum of 4 years’ secondary education;
  2. Be 16 years old by the time the programme starts;
  3. A minimum total of 40 NCEA credits at level 2 in four subjects, including:
    • A minimum of 12 English credits at level 1 or higher;
    • A minimum of 12 Science credits at Level 1 or higher;  
    • University Entrance numeracy (or equivalent);
  4. If you haven't met the above NCEA requirements, you'll need one of the following:

English requirements for international students:

If English is not your first language, you will need one of the following:

If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance, or try our New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3).​​

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
Identity and Communication (BPED4001) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course introduces pathway-related concepts and develops pathway-related academic skills in order to prepare students for further academic study in their chosen pathway.
Collaborative Project (BPED4002) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course will prepare students for further academic study in their chosen pathway by providing creative project experience in both individual and collaborative contexts.
Bioscience 4 (BPED4004) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course aims to develop students theoretical and practical knowledge of fundamental biological concepts as well as to improve vocabulary, problem solving, and use of scientific processes needed for further academic study.
Applied Maths (BPED4006) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course introduces pathway-related concepts and develops pathway-related academic skills in order to prepare students for further academic study in their chosen pathway.

Moving to Te Pūkenga

Vocational education in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is changing to better meet the needs of learners like you.

As part of this transformational change, in 2023 Unitec will become fully part of Te Pūkenga, a national network delivering skills training in a wide range of locations throughout Aotearoa.

This means that while you are enrolling with Unitec now, from Semester 1, 2023 you will become a Te Pūkenga learner.

Te Pūkenga has the success and wellbeing of learners at its heart, and a review of all programmes is currently underway to help support this, including this programme. The aim is to make qualifications more portable, consistent and closely aligned with the needs of industry, and more in tune with where the world is headed.

The information contained here is correct at the time of publishing, but as the programme review is ongoing, the courses outlined may be liable to change over time.

Rest assured that we will notify you of any material changes to delivery that might impact what you study, where you study or the ways you learn.