Engineering First Year
(Previously known as Intermediate Year)
Entry to the Intermediate Year
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree (BE (Hons)) at UC is called the 'Engineering Intermediate Year'.
Studying the Engineering Intermediate Year is possible for all students who meet the entry requirements.
What to take at school
To ensure you have the best preparation for studying engineering at UC there are certain subjects you should be taking at school. Check the Pathways in Engineering document for details.
The University of Canterbury does not use NCEA rank scores.
What to take in your Intermediate Year
The courses you are required to take for a standard Engineering Intermediate Year depend on the engineering discipline(s) you wish to study in the Professional Years.
The Engineering Intermediate Year Required Courses Chart outlines which courses are required for each of the engineering disciplines.
If you are unsure of which elective course(s) to take as part of your Intermediate Year, have a look at our list of Recommended Elective Courses.
Interactive Course Planner
The interactive course planners can be used to find which courses you need to take in your Intermediate Year depending on what you have studied at school. You can select elective courses that keep your options open for more than one engineering discipline.
Find out more on the Intermediate Year course planner page
Download our enrolment guide
Support for Intermediate Year students
Is a student-led peer mentoring scheme that is available to all Intermediate Year students. Mentors are current engineering students (in their second/third year) who have “been there and done that!”. The programme runs for the first 10 weeks of Semester 1, and is the perfect place to learn tips and tricks, ask questions, seek advice and meet new people.
Intermediate Connect: Engineering Intermediate Year Events
Events are held during the year specifically for Intermediate Year students. Once you have completed your enrolment for the Intermediate Year you can find information on Learn.
Alternative Intermediate Year Options
If you have taken MATH199: Advancing in Mathematical Sciences, or equivalent courses at another institution and/or you achieve excellent NCEA, IB, or CIE results in relevant subjects at a New Zealand High School, you may be considered for Direct Entry to the First Professional Year of the BE(Hons) programme or be invited to study a Modified Intermediate Year. A Modified Intermediate Year involves taking some alternative (more advanced or interest) courses in place of some of the standard Intermediate Year courses and can be a good option for those still deciding which engineering discipline they wish to study in the Professional Years or for those who have achieved good results in one or two relevant subjects but not all three.
To be considered for Direct Entry or a Modified Intermediate Year you should be expecting to achieve at the following level:
- MATH199 - Advancing in Mathematical Sciences at University of Canterbury (or equivalent courses at another tertiary institution);
- NCEA: You must have achieved at least 20 credits, with at least 15 but ideally 20 with 'excellence' endorsement in each of Physics and Chemistry (for disciplines that require Chemistry*), plus other Level 3 credits to give a total of at least 80 Level 3 credits; OR
- International Baccalaureate: Scores of 7 HL in each of Physics and Chemistry (for disciplines that require Chemistry); OR
- Cambridge International Examination: An A grade in A Level in each of Physics and Chemistry (for disciplines that require Chemistry).
If you think you may be eligible for studying a Modified Intermediate Year or Direct Entry to the First Professional Year, submit an Expression of Interest Form 2020 to the College of Engineering Student Advisors. When your results become available in January the Dean of Engineering will consider the best study path for you and inform you of your options.
You may be required to complete your Engineering Intermediate Year over two years of study if you do not have the recommended background knowledge or you fail some courses in your first attempt.
If you do not have the entrance requirements for BE(Hons) in Maths, Physics, and/or Chemistry, you may be required to take one or more introductory courses to build up your knowledge before attempting the corresponding Intermediate Year courses.
Introductory courses are all offered in the first semester of the year so you may be able to complete your Intermediate Year in one year of study. However, you may have to complete your Intermediate Year over summer school or over two years because:
The introductory course MATH 101 must be taken IN ADDITION to the eight required Intermediate Year courses for your chosen discipline(s). It cannot be counted towards required courses in the Intermediate Year
The introductory course in Chemistry may be counted towards the eight courses.
Summer options vary from year to year. Find out more about what is offered during the Summer Programme.
If you need to take all three introductory courses, you are advised to spread out your learning over two years of study. You will need to take some additional courses to make yourself full-time. Contact the Student Advisors for more details.
Science Headstart courses can be taken during the summer before Semester One starts.
It is possible to take an equivalent intermediate year at other New Zealand universities for some engineering disciplines. Your application for entry to the First Professional Year is considered in the same way as students who have completed their intermediate year at UC. Contact a Student Advisor if you have questions.
If you have completed Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering from a New Zealand tertiary institution you can apply for entry to the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil, Natural Resources, Mechanical or Electrical and Electronic Engineering as appropriate. You will be considered for 1st Professional Year if you:
- have a B+ average, or better, in your BEngTech
- pass EMTH 119 and ENGR 102 (Civil, Natural Resources or Mechanical) or PHYS 102 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) with a B average, or better, during the summer prior to beginning the 1st Professional Year
- For Civil, Natural Resources and Mechanical Engineering programmes, you will then be required to take EMTH 171 in the summer between your 1st and 2nd Professional Years.
If you are granted entry to the 1st Professional Year you may be considered for exemption from individual courses depending on your background and experience (this will be at the discretion of the relevant department, considered on a case-by-case basis only after admission to the programme).
If you have completed a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering in Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering from a New Zealand tertiary institution with a B+ average across all your courses and an A- or better in a level 5 Mathematics paper, you will be considered for a Modified Intermediate Year for Civil, Natural Resources, Mechanical or Electrical and Electronic Engineering as appropriate, as follows:
- EMTH 118
- EMTH 171
- PHYS 101
- CHEM 111 (Civil, Natural Resources or Mechanical) or COSC 121 (Mechatronics or Electrical and Electronic only)
- EMTH 119
- ENGR 102 (Civil, Natural Resources, Mechanical or Mechantronics) or PHYS 102 (Electrical and Electronic only)
On completion of the above courses, you will be considered for entry to the 1st Professional Year in the same manner as all other 1st Professional Year applicants, ie ranked by Grade Point Average (GPA).
If you are granted entry to the 1st Professional year you may be considered for exemption from individual courses depending on your background and experience (this will be at the discretion of the relevant department, considered on a case-by-case basis only after admission to the programme).
Electrical and Electronic Engineering - direct entry to Second Professional Year
Subject to the approval of the Dean of Engineering, a student applying with a Bachelor of Science is expected to have an appropriate major for the specialisation they wish to study, a B grade average, and at least 200-level Mathematics to be considered for entry to the Second Professional Year. An appropriate specialisation for Electrical and Electronic Engineering would be Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science.
Additional papers at the 200 or 300 level in Management or Accounting and Information Systems would enhance your application.
With this option, a student has the opportunity to gain a double degree (BSc and BE(Hons)) in five years. Contact the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for more information.
Chemical and Process Engineering - direct entry to Second Professional Year
Subject to the approval of the Dean of Engineering, a student applying with a Bachelor of Science is expected to have an appropriate major for the specialisation they wish to study, a B grade average, and at least 200-level Mathematics to be considered for entry to the Second Professional Year. An appropriate specialisation for Chemical and Process Engineering would be Chemistry, Biochemistry or Physics.
With this option, a student has the opportunity to gain a double degree (BSc and BE(Hons)) in five years.
For more information contact:
Other alternative entry forms
- Application for exemption from prerequisite (PDF, 42KB, 1 pages)
- Entry with prior learning (PDF, 66KB, 2 pages)
Ready to start your engineering journey?
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