Undergraduate certificates and diplomas
If you aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, but still want to give university a shot, an undergraduate certificate or diploma could be a great option for you.
Undergraduate certificates and diplomas require University Entrance to gain admission to UC. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to ensure they are of an equivalent standard.
Find out more about Apply for undergraduate qualifications.
You are also required to meet the UC’s English language requirements.
Some undergraduate certificates and diplomas have additional requirements. Check the details of your selected qualification and courses to make sure you meet these.
Undergraduate certificates and diplomas are qualifications at a lower level than a degree. Find out more about the undergraduate certificates and diplomas on offer at the University of Canterbury:
- Diploma in Chinese Language
- Diploma in Japanese Language
- Te Pourua: Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Studies
- Te Pourua Reo: Diploma in Te Reo Māori
A subject is a particular area of study that the University offers courses in, eg English, French, Mathematics or Geology.
Browse Subjects to explore your study options so you can get an idea of everything that is on offer.
Courses are blocks of work that are usually taught over one semester. When you pass a course, you gain points usually 15 or 30 points per course. First-year students usually only take 100-level courses, although there are some exceptions. Other universities sometimes refer to courses as ‘papers’.
At UC, course levels range from 100 to 700 level. Courses you will usually study in a first year at undergraduate qualification are called 100-level courses, eg SPAN101 is the code for a first-year Spanish course. Courses at 200-level begin with a ‘2’, eg SPAN201 is the code for a 200-level Spanish course, and 300-level courses begin with a ‘3’, eg SPAN301.
Each course has a code of four letters and three numbers. The letters show the subject and the numbers show the level. For example, MATH101 is a Mathematics course at 100 level and ENGL201 is an English course at 200 level.
You usually have to pass certain courses in a subject – called prerequisites – before you can continue on to 200-level courses in your second year.
Points gained for each course
Each course is worth a certain number of points. Every course you pass adds points to the total required for your degree.
Undergraduate certificates require 60 to 75 points of study at 100 and 200 level. Certificates can typically be completed full time or part time over period of up to two years.
Undergraduate diplomas require 120 points of study and can typically be completed full time or part time over period of up to three years.
The year is divided into three semesters — the first from March to July, the second from July to October and the summer semester from November to February. A course usually takes one semester to complete.
Only a small number of students choose to study in the summer semester — most students use this time to take a break, or to work and save for their next year of studies.
Successfully completing an undergraduate certificate or diploma may allow you to continue on to a Bachelor's degree.