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Adult students

18 September 2023

As an adult student you might have been thinking about tertiary education for a while. Whether you're ready to start or just at the beginning of your enquiries, here are some areas of preparation to consider. Check out this key information for adult students at UC.

Preparation courses

Certificate of University Preparation (CUP)

If it’s been a while since you last studied, you may need to refresh some of those academic writing and study skills. The Certificate of University Preparation (also known as CUP) is a thirteen week course specifically designed to help you gain the skills needed to succeed at university. CUP is a proven path back into education as it 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.

Depending on the degree and subjects you are interested in studying, and other commitments you have, you might look to do just a couple of CUP courses rather than the whole Certificate. Talk to the Future Students about your options.


The FAST PATH into Engineering and Product Design degrees

For those looking at a more in-depth preparation option for Engineering and Product Design degrees, the University of Canterbury (UC) and Hagley College have collaborated to bring you this three-stage pathway designed for 20+ students.


Fees and Funding

Fees Free

Fees Free is provided by the government and targeted at first-time learners. If you haven’t studied at tertiary level before you may be able to get one year's study or two years' training Fees Free. Check out the Fees Free website for more information on this.


Student Loans and Student Allowances

StudyLink provide Student Loans and Allowances and can also help you sort a budget and find out what you can get.

They may be able to help with:

  • compulsory course fees
  • course-related costs (eg, books, laptop, etc)
  • day-to-day living costs
  • other costs (eg disability or childcare).

You need to apply as early as you can to make sure you get everything sorted in time, including your payments. For information on Student Loans and Student Allowances, including eligibility, please contact StudyLink.


Career guidance

Career Guidance and advice

  • Unsure what to study?
  • Want to know what qualifications/subjects you need for particular jobs?

We recommend contacting CareersNZ who offer a free and independent career advice/guidance service. They will be able to provide on advice on what skills, qualifications, etc. you might need. Once you have spoken to them please contact our Future Students Team to see if UC offers the qualification and subjects you would like to study.


What can I do with a degree from UC?

The subjects offered at UC can lead to a wide range of career options. Our What can I do with a degree from UC resources look at each subject and show:

  • What skills have our graduates gained?
  • Where have our graduates been employed?
  • What jobs and activities do our graduates do?
  • What professional bodies do our graduates link to?


Other questions you might have

Our Future Students Team can show you how degrees are structured, answer your questions about how university works, help plan your first year courses, and discuss options for part-time or full-time, by distance or on-campus (Not all options are available for all courses/programmes.)

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