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19 October 2023

Frequently Asked Questions about the STAR programme.


Applications for Semester One (S1) STAR courses and Whole Year (W and X) STAR courses close on 9 February 2024.  Applications for Semester Two (S2) STAR courses close on 5 July 2024.  

STAR students are charged at a reduced rate for most STAR courses and are exempt from paying the Student Services Levy (SSL). This applies to both domestic and international STAR students. You'll notice the STAR fee listed on the On-campus STAR courses page and the Distance STAR courses page (as well as in the corresponding brochures) while the regular UC student fee is listed on the Course page. 

2024 STAR course fee - $597 per 15 points

2023 STAR course fee - $580.50 per 15 points


  • ECON104 and ECON105 are paid for by the UC Business School and schools will not be invoiced.
  • MATH199 is paid for by the Faculty of Engineering and schools will not be invoiced.
  • MUSA141 and MUSA142 (Performance Music courses) will be charged at the full domestic or international rate, as shown on the course information page and will need to be paid up-front by the student instead of being invoiced to the school. 

Please note, textbooks are an additional cost.  

International students studying at a New Zealand secondary school can enrol in the STAR programme and the STAR tuition fees are the same as they are for domestic students.

If a home-schooled student living in New Zealand or a student who has recently arrived in NZ has not followed the NCEA curriculum, please contact the UC STAR Coordinator for advice about enrolling in the STAR programme.

You will receive a grade and the corresponding points for every STAR course you complete.  Grades for STAR students are released at the same time as for university students, and the student's school is informed via email. 

You can view your UC academic record at any time in myUC. If you choose to complete a degree at UC once you've left school, up to 60 points of STAR courses can be credited towards a UC qualification. 

This credit may also be transferred to another university but this is at the discretion of the other University. As STAR courses are (equivalent to) first-year UC courses, it's highly likely they will be accepted for credit transfer at another university. You will need to supply an academic transcript from UC for consideration. When filling in a Credit Transfer Application form you should put "STAR Programme" in the 'Qualifications taken' field. 

Students who intend to study Health Sciences at the University of Otago once they leave school are advised to email and check if the STAR course(s) they're interested in will affect their eligibility to enter pre-Med studies. 

At the University of Auckland, students are selected for the Bachelor of Health Science or the Bachelor of Science (Biomedical) (i.e. 'pre-Med') on the basis of their academic merit only; it is our understanding that there are no courses that will make students ineligible for selection, like at Otago. If a student has completed tertiary level study, they will look at the grades they received for that study as well as NCEA. We advise students to contact the University of Auckland directly to double-check if their STAR at UC plans will fit with their plans to enrol in pre-Med studies at Auckland (

If you're interested in taking a STAR course, find out who the STAR Coordinator is at your school - often it's a Career Advisor or one of the subject teachers (eg your Maths teacher for MATH199). Talk through your options with them first. If you still have questions or your school doesn't have a STAR Coordinator (or you're home-schooled), contact the UC STAR Coordinator. 


UC STAR Coordinator
Sarah Saywell

Phone:  +64 3 369 1884

UC invoices schools directly for STAR courses that their students are enrolled in. STAR students do not use their Fees Free entitlement to pay for STAR courses. 

If a student younger than 16 years of age is identified as a potential STAR student, the school STAR Coordinator should contact the UC STAR Coordinator to discuss whether enrolment in a STAR course is appropriate for the student. 

The UC STAR Coordinator and/or the relevant Course Coordinator may interview the student to assess whether they are ready for tertiary study (academically, socially, and emotionally).  UC reserves the right to decline enrolment in a STAR course.

If you feel you need to withdraw from a STAR course you're enrolled in, you are best to discuss your options with your school STAR Coordinator first. They can then get in contact with the UC STAR Coordinator and work through the best process. 

If you withdraw from a STAR course in the first two weeks of lectures, you will normally be eligible for a full refund. You can still withdraw after this date but you will not receive a refund of fees.  Details can be found on the Enrolment and Course Dates page.

Check on the UC Key Dates page for university holidays, semester breaks, examination periods and grade release dates.

If a STAR student did not provide a validated form of identification when they applied to enrol in the programme, their grade will not be released until the verified document is provided. 

On-campus and distance STAR students have access to numerous services and resources:

The Academic Skills Centre offers free workshops on writing and study strategies, individual consultations with a Learning Advisor to discuss a specific assignment and copious online resources.

The Student Accessibility Service offers support for students with a disability, medical condition, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition or a temporary impairment, including study and exam support.

STAR students have the same borrowing privileges as undergraduate UC students at UC Libraries, and can make use of computer and photocopying facilities, study space, access distance services, high demand collections, AskLive (Live Chat with a Librarian), Roving Librarian, Information Desk and one-to-one consultations with a subject specialist.  

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