Qualification group

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. 

Entry requirements

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. 

You are also required to meet the UC’s English language requirements if English is your additional language.

Find out more about apply for undergraduate qualifications.

Some undergraduate certificates and diplomas have additional requirements. Check the details of your selected qualification and courses to make sure you meet these.

Qualification options

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 Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury:




A subject is a particular area of study that the University offers courses in eg, English, Management, 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. Every course you pass adds points to the total required for your degree. First-year students usually only take 100-level courses, although there are some exceptions. Other universities sometimes refer to courses as ‘papers’.

Course codes

Each course has a code of four letters and three numbers. The letters show the subject and the numbers show the level. For example, MATH 101 is a Mathematics course at 100-level and ENGL 201 is an English course at 200-level.

Course prerequisites

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 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.

Students may choose to study in the summer semester to complete their qualification in a shorter time frame, to take prerequisite courses to prepare for another course they wish to take during the other semesters, or to catch up on a failed course.

Further study

Successfully completing an undergraduate certificate or diploma may allow you to continue on to a Bachelor's degree.

Alexandra Barclay

Alexandra Barclay

'It is just generally awesome to be in the mountains doing science in such wild places...'

Doug Monnig

Doug Monnig

'If you’re keen for nature, travel, and outdoor sports then UC is a great place for you...'