Engineering First Year 

(Previously known as Intermediate Year)

Eng Core

‌The Engineering First Year will provide you with a solid foundation in engineering processes, mathematics, physics, and computer science.

At UC, we offer a flexible Engineering First Year where you can keep a variety of discipline options open for your next three years of study. There are opportunities to further explore the engineering disciplines throughout your First Year including information evenings, lab tours, and more.

Engineering First Year students are supported by our student-led, Faculty-enabled, peer mentoring programme – ENGMe! You will be assigned a peer mentoring group, led by a current 2nd - 4th Year Engineering student who has successfully ‘been there and done that’, and is the perfect place to learn tips and tricks, ask questions, seek advice, and meet new people.

Entry to the First Year

Studying the Engineering First Year is possible for all students who meet the entry requirements. If you do not meet these requirements, there are alternative pathways

The University of Canterbury does not use NCEA rank scores.

Engineering First Year Courses

The required courses for a standard Engineering First Year depend on the engineering discipline(s) you wish to study in the Specialist (2nd – 4th) Years. The final semester of the standard Engineering First Year requires full time study (4 courses = 60 points).

The Engineering First Year Required Courses Chart outlines which courses are required for each of the engineering disciplines. You can also use the Engineering course planner to help you find which courses you need to take, depending on your school results.

If you are required to complete Summer School courses as part of your Engineering First Year, please check available courses.

If you are unsure which elective course(s) to take as part of your Engineering First Year, have a look at our list of Recommended Elective Courses below. 

Recommended electives by discipline

Course Semester Description
CHCH101 S1 Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation
CULT114 / MAOR108 S2 Aotearoa - Introduction to New Zealand Treaty Society
ECON104 S1 & S2 Introduction to Microeconomics
ECON105 S1 & S2 Introduction to Macroeconomics
EDUC101 S2 Spark! How & What People Learn
ENGL117 / WRIT101 S1 & S2  Writing for Academic Success
MAOR165 S1 & S2 Tuakiri: Culture and Identity
MGMT100 S1 & S2 Fundamentals of Management
MKTG100 S1 & S2 Principles of Marketing
SCIM101 S2 Science, Māori and Indigenous Knowledge
SENS101 S1 Introduction to the Principles of Concepts of Sustainability 
STAT101 S1 & S2 Statistics 1
TREO110 S1 & S2 Te Ngao Tu: Conversational Māori for Absolute Beginners
Course Semester Description
BIOL111 S1 Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
BIOL112 S2 Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
CHEM112 S2 Structure and Reactivity
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
PROD131 S2 Introduction to Formulation Science
Course Semester Description
CHEM112 S2 Structure and Reactivity
ENVR101 S1 Introduction to Environmental Science
FORE102 S1 & S2 Forests and Societies
FORE105 S1 & S2 Forests of the World
FORE111 S1 Trees, Forest and the Environment
FORE131 S2 Trees in the Landscape
FORE141 S2 Forest Growth and Measurements
FORE151 S1 Commercial Aspects of Forestry
GEOG106 S2 Global Environmental Change
GEOG109 Not offered in 2022  Physical Geography: Earth, Ocean, Atmosphere
GEOG110 S1 People, Places and Environments  
GEOL111 S1 Planet Earth: An Introduction to Geology
GEOL113 S2 Geohazards
GEOL115 S2 The Dynamic Earth System
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
PROD131 S2 Introduction to Formulation Science
SPCO126 S1 Land Journeys and Ethics
Course Semester Description
CHEM112 S2 Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry and Biochemistry
ENVR101 S1 Introduction to Environmental Science
FORE102 S1 & S2 Forests and Societies
FORE105 S1 & S2 Forests of the World
FORE111 S1 Trees, Forest and the Environment
FORE131 S2 Trees in the Landscape
FORE141 S2 Forest Growth and Measurements
FORE151 S1 Commercial Aspects of Forestry
GEOG106 S2 Global Environmental Change
GEOG109 Not offered in 2022  Physical Geography: Earth, Ocean, Atmosphere
GEOG110 S1 People, Places and Environments  
GEOL111 S1 Planet Earth: An Introduction to Geology
GEOL113 S2 Geohazards
GEOL115 S2 The Dynamic Earth System
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
Course Semester Description
BIOL116 S2 Human Biology
CHEM112 S2 Structure and Reactivity
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
PROD111 S2 Materials Science for Design
PROD121 S2 The Game Development Process
SPCO104 S2 Anatomy and Physiology
Course Semester Description
BIOL116 S2 Human Biology
COSC122 S2 Introduction to Computer Science
DIGI101 / COSC101 S1  Working in a Digital World
DIGI102 Not offered in 2022 Computers, Artificial Intelligence, and the Information Society
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
PROD111 S2 Materials Science for Design
PROD121 S2 The Game Development Process
Course Semester Description
COSC122 S2 Introduction to Computer Science - Compulsory for Software Engineering
DIGI101 / COSC101 S1  Working in a Digital World
DIGI102 Not offered in 2022  Computers, Artificial Intelligence, and the Information Society
INFO123 S1 & S2 Business Information Systems and Technology
INFO125 S1 Introduction to Programming with Databases
MATH120 S2 Discrete Mathematics - Compulsory for Software Engineering
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
PROD121 S2 The Game Development Process
Course Semester Description
COSC101 S1 Working in a Digital World
COSC122 S2 Introduction to Computer Science
MATH120 S2 Discrete Mathematics
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
STAT101 S1 & S2 Statistics 1

Check with the Science Kaitoko (First Year student advisors) for this major and appropriate courses.

Course Semester Description BProdDesign major / technical elective
BIOL111 S1 Cellular Biology and Biochemistry Chemical Formulation Design major
BIOL112 S2 Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Chemical Formulation Design major
CHEM112 S2 Structure and Reactivity Chemical Formulation Design major or Industrial Product Design technical elective
COSC122 S2 Introduction to Computer Science Applied Immersive Game Design major or Industrial Product Design technical elective
MGMT100 S1 & S2 Fundamentals of Management All BProdDesign majors
MKTG100 S1 & S2 Principles of Marketing All BProdDesign majors
PHYS102 S2 Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2) Chemical Formulation Design major or Industrial Product Design technical elective
PROD111 S2 Materials Science for Design Industrial Product Design major
PROD121 S2 The Game Development Process Applied Immersive Game Design major
PROD131 S2 Introduction to Formulation Science Chemical Formulation Design major

Download our enrolment guide

Alternative Engineering First Year Options

If you have taken STAR MATH199: Advancing in Mathematical Sciences, or equivalent course(s) at another tertiary institution and you achieve excellent NCEA, IB, or CIE results in relevant subjects at a NZ high school, you may be considered for Direct Entry to the 2nd Year of the BE(Hons).

If you have not taken STAR MATH199 and achieve excellent NCEA, IB, or CIE results in relevant subjects at a NZ high school, you may be eligible to apply for a Modified Engineering First Year. A Modified Engineering First Year involves taking some alternative (more advanced or interest) courses in place of some of the standard Engineering First Year course(s). This can be a good option for those still deciding which engineering discipline they wish to study in the Specialist (2nd - 4th) 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 Engineering First Year, you should be expecting to achieve at the following level: 

STAR MATH199 - Advancing in Mathematical Sciences at University of Canterbury (or equivalent courses at another tertiary institution);

AND EITHER:

  1. 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
  2. International Baccalaureate:  Scores of 7 HL in each of Physics and Chemistry (for disciplines that require Chemistry*); OR
  3. Cambridge International Examination: An A grade in A Level in each of Physics and Chemistry (for disciplines that require Chemistry*).

*Disciplines that require Chemistry: Chemical and Process Engineering, Civil Engineering, Forest Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Natural Resources Engineering. 

 

Expression of Interest 2023

If you think you may be eligible for studying a Modified First Year or Direct Entry to Second Year, submit an expression of interest form (see below) to the Faculty of Engineering Student Advisors. When your results become available in January, the Associate Dean (Academic: Engineering First Year) will consider the best study path for you and inform you of your options. 

Direct entry to Second Year or Modified First Year - Expression of interest form

You may be required to complete your Engineering First Year over two years of study if you do not have the required background knowledge or if 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 following courses:

Introductory courses are all offered in the first semester of the year so it is possible to complete your Engineering First Year in one year of study. However, you may have to complete your Engineering First Year over summer school or over two years because:

  • The introductory course MATH101 must be taken IN ADDITION to the eight required Engineering First Year courses for your chosen discipline(s).
  • Summer school 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 your learning over two years of study. You will need to take some additional courses to make your coursework full-time. Contact the Future Student Advisors for advice.

Science Headstart courses can be taken during the summer before Semester One starts.

It is possible to take an equivalent Engineering First Year year at another NZ university for some engineering disciplines. Your application for entry to the 2nd Year at UC Engineering is considered in the same way as students who have completed their Engineering First Year. Contact a Student Advisor if you have questions.

BEngTech

If you have completed a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering from a NZ tertiary institution, you can apply for entry to the BE(Hons) in Civil, Natural Resources, Mechanical or Electrical and Electronic Engineering as appropriate. You will be considered for 2nd Year if you:

  • have a B+ average, or better, in your BEngTech
  • pass EMTH119 and ENGR102 (Civil, Natural Resources or Mechanical) or PHYS102 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) with a B average, or better, during the summer prior to beginning the 2nd Year

If you are granted entry to the 2nd Year, you may be considered for exemption from individual courses depending on your background and experience. Note, this is at the discretion of the relevant department and is considered on a case-by-case basis only after admission to the programme.

NZDE

If you have completed a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering in Civil, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering from a NZ tertiary institution with a B+ average across all courses and an A- or better in a Level 5 Mathematics paper, you will be considered for a Modified Engineering First Year for Civil, Natural Resources, Mechanical or Electrical and Electronic Engineering as appropriate, as follows:

Semester 2

  • EMTH118
  • COSC131
  • PHYS101
  • CHEM111 (Civil, Natural Resources or Mechanical) or an elective course (Mechatronics or Electrical and Electronic only)

Summer School

  • EMTH119
  • ENGR102 (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 2nd Year in the same manner as all other 2nd Year applicants, ie ranked by Grade Point Average (GPA).

If you are granted entry to the 2nd Year, you may be considered for exemption from individual courses depending on your background and experience. Note, this is at the discretion of the relevant department and is considered on a case-by-case basis only after admission to the programme.

Chemical and Process Engineering - Direct Entry to 3rd Year

Subject to the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic: Engineering and Forestry), in order to be considered for entry to the 3rd Year, a student applying with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) is expected to have:

  • an appropriate major for the specialisation they wish to study (an appropriate major for Chemical and Process Engineering would be Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Physics).
  • a B grade average, and
  • at least 200-level Mathematics 

With this option, a student has the opportunity to gain a double degree (BSc and BE(Hons)) in five years.  

For more information, contact:

Ken Morison

Associate Professor
Link Rm 408
Internal Phone: 93818

Electrical and Electronic Engineering - direct entry to 3rd Year

Subject to the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic: Engineering and Forestry), in order to be considered for entry to the 3rd Year, a student applying with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) is expected to have:

  • an appropriate major for the specialisation they wish to study (an appropriate major for Electrical and Electronic Engineering would be Mathematics, Physics, or Computer Science).
  • a B grade average
  • at least 200-level Mathematics

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. 

For more information, contact:

Alan Wood

Associate Professor
Acting Head of Department
Link Rm 507
Internal Phone: 94433

Other alternative entry forms

Ready to start your engineering journey?