Certificate in University Preparation


The Certificate in University Preparation (CUP) is designed to prepare NZ citizens or permanent residents for University study. CUP meets the requirements for University Entrance and is recommended for people who have been out of study for a substantial period and want to refresh their study skills. CUP courses provide an inclusive and supportive learning environment to help you develop your confidence to succeed at university.

For full-time students, CUP is a one semester programme of study. Part-time and distance/flexible options exist.

Students who successfully complete the programme will be eligible to apply for entry to 100-level degree courses at UC.

The CUP programme will help you to develop the skills necessary for successful university study, including:

  • acquiring subject knowledge for pathways to degree programmes
  • study and time-management skills
  • oral and written communication skills for a variety of contexts
  • analytical, critical and problem solving skills
  • information literacy skills
  • interpersonal, group and teamwork skills
  • build relationships with peers.

Entry requirements

CUP welcomes students who:

  • have recently finished Year 13 programmes but missed University Entrance
  • are under 20 and left school without University Entrance
  • have been out of study for a number of years and want to refresh their study skills and obtain further background knowledge before beginning a degree programme.

Note: Enrolment in the CUP is restricted to New Zealand and Australian citizens or permanent residents (who are proficient in English).

If you are under 18 years of age you must meet the literacy and numeracy requirements for University Entrance and provide evidence of support from your school.

See the apply for preparatory programmes website for application information. The Regulations for the Certificate in University Preparation has all regulatory details. 

Qualification structure and duration

Completing CUP

 To gain the Certificate in University Preparation you must:

  • complete required oral, practical and written work
  • gain 60 credits (by passing the equivalent of four CUP courses), one of which must be BRDG006*
  • complete CUP within 12 months of commencing CUP

 * A pass result in BRDG006 delivered at Hagley College will be credit transferred to your University of Canterbury Academic Record. This applies to the February and June intakes only.


The CUP programme is delivered in partnership with Hagley College. The core course, BRDG006 Academic Communication and Study Skills, is delivered by Hagley College on their campus in the February and June intakes.

The courses are delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars, exercises and group tasks. The programme involves 17-23 hours of classes per week, plus approximately 24 hours of self-directed learning. Most courses combine internal assessment and a final exam. Some are fully internally assessed via written assignments, oral presentations, and lab or field trip reports.

Course Dates

CUP intakes are in February, July and November. With three intakes per year, there is a suitable pathway for everyone:

  • Semester 1 intake - 20 February to 4 June
    (Applications close 27 January)
  • Semester 2 intake - 10 July to 22 October
    (Applications close 16 June)
  • Semester 3 intake - 6 November 2017 to 4 February 2018
    (Applications close 13 October)

Each intake leads into degree study starting the following semester. An orientation day for each intake is held before the start of classes. Orientation information will be sent out along with enrolment confirmations. All students are expected to attend the orientation programme to receive important class information.

Part-time study

It is possible to complete CUP in one semester doing full-time study however, for some students completing CUP over a longer period may be adviseable or preferable. Part-time students are strongly recommended to take the core course BRDG006 in their first semester of study because it develops many of the communication, research and study skills necessary for successful degree study.

Students who wish to enrol in one or more CUP courses are able to do this by enrolling in a Certificate of Proficiency Preparatory (COP PREP).

Subjects and courses

For more information on course selection, please refer to the Suggested Guidelines on CUP Course Selection section in the 2017 CUP Brochure.

Compulsory course

There is one compulsory core course:

The CUP programme is delivered in partnership with Hagley College. The core course, BRDG006 Academic Communication and Study Skills, is delivered by Hagley College on their campus in the February and June intakes.

Course options

And you can choose from three other courses depending on which areas of study interests you:

All optional courses are subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

How to apply

To apply for entry into the Certificate in University Preparation programme you need to apply to enrol online now with myUC, UC's student online portal, available to anyone anywhere. If this option is not possible for you, please contact us for a hard copy application form at transitions@canterbury.ac.nz

Further study

When you successfully complete the programme you will be awarded the Certificate in University Preparation. This certificate is accepted as an entry qualification for the University of Canterbury and other New Zealand universities.

More information

For the full qualification requirements see the Regulations for the Certificate in University Preparation

For more information contact the Student Transitions and Engagement team:

Student Transitions and Engagement
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 369 3337
Email transitions@canterbury.ac.nz

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