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

Are you interested in preparing for further study in nursing? The New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation is your start to an exciting future in the healthcare sector.

60 (0.5 EFTS)
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.

This programme is ideal if you want to go on to higher-level study in nursing. You’ll learn the relevant literacy, numeracy and biological science skills you will need to excel in your dream career.

In this programme, you’ll also learn more about the anatomy of the body, psychology, how to calculate drug quantities, and key research skills which will set you ahead of the pack for an exciting healthcare career.


  • Tailored content for Unitec’s Bachelor of Nursing; this means the content is highly relevant to the Unitec programme in which you want to enter;
  • In this programme you’ll already be a part of a Nursing student body – you’ll be learning with other aspiring nurses;
  • A chance to complete a collaborative project in order to develop the skills you'll need for a career in nursing;
  • A mix of classroom sessions, practical workshops, guest speakers, discussions, presentations and online learning;
  • Learn from an experienced and multi-cultural team whose value of partnership and care is reflected in quality teaching, support, and innovative curriculum delivery
  • 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 apply for study in Unitec’s Bachelor of Nursing, where you will be eligible to become a registered nurse.

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:
    • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework or equivalent qualifications (e.g. International Baccalaureate or Cambridge);
    • The New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) including FSTU 3921 Bioscience;
    • After you have submitted your application to study at Unitec, you may be asked to attend a skills review session to assess your literacy and numeracy levels. This helps us to enrol you in the best programme and courses for your career pathway. 

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
Human Biology for Healthcare (BEHC4403) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course introduces pathway-related concepts related to human biology and healthcare as well as developing relevant academic skills in order to prepare students for further study in their chosen specialty.
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.
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.
Courses Credits Aim
Nursing Maths (FSTU3913) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course is designed to extend students’ confidence and understanding of mathematics used in nursing contexts and to use mathematical thinking without a calculator in the solving and communication of contextualised problems.
Courses Credits Aim
Maths for Nursing and Healthcare (BPED4003) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course is designed to extend student’s confidence and understanding of mathematical and statistical concepts and processes that are needed within a nursing or health context. They will use mathematical methods, both with and without a calculator, to solve contextualised problems and communicate findings using appropriate mathematical language.