Studying at UC in 2020 | The best choice for your present. And your future.

With the New Zealand border currently closed to non-New Zealand citizens and residents, UC is pleased to confirm that students outside of New Zealand will be able to start a range of programmes (below) in 2020 in an Online to on-campus pathway. This pathway will enable students to complete one semester of study online and then come to UC to continue your studies when the New Zealand border reopens to international students.

This Online to on-campus pathway allows you to get started with your studies now, and still continue to be able to benefit from a truly international education and experience.

Programmes starting on 13 July 2020

Programmes starting on 31 August 2020

This is just a selection of programmes you can start through an Online to on-campus pathway in 2020. If you want to find out about a programme not listed here, including any that are available entirely online, please email

Is studying online right for me?

If you are eager to get ahead in your higher education, then starting your studies online is your best choice right now. Given the current global conditions, studying online is a viable way to begin your international education journey, and is a stepping stone to achieving a world-class qualification. Online study will also allow you to stay at home for a little longer, which is comforting in these times of uncertainty. Plus you will save money on living expenses and be able to delay travel until a safer time.


We have also changed the way we charge tuition fees for this pathway, allowing you to try out online learning before you need to pay the tuition fees. The aim is to give you a sense of how it all works and to decide if online learning personally works for you, without any financial risk.

Your tuition fees won’t be due until seven weeks after you have begun your online study.

- Start date 13 July, fees due 28 August

- Start date 31 August, fees due 16 October

To stay enrolled and continue your studies, you will need to pay your fees by 28 August 2020 for programmes starting on 13 July 2020 and 16 October 2020 for programmes starting on 31 August 2020. If you have already paid your tuition fees to UC, you will be able to withdraw from your online studies with a full refund up until these dates.

We want to offer you the chance to get comfortable with online learning, before you are required to make any financial commitment and pay your fees. If you find online learning is not suitable for you, you can choose to defer your offer and start again whenever you are able to arrive on campus.

What support services are available for online learning?

UC has a number of services in place to support you in your online learning.

If you need help developing effective writing and study strategies, managing your schedule, or improving your English, you can join an online workshop or book a one-on-one online appointment with the Academic Skills Centre.

UC also has a number of amazing subject librarians who you can consult with online to help you find and access information sources in your subject. In addition, you can make use of the AskLIVE online chatbot (UC Library’s instant messaging service).

You can also make an online appointment with one of the UC Student Care team if you are struggling with anything, to talk about your situation, help you to figure out your options, and work out the best way forward.

We also provide access to a VPN for students in China to ensure you are able to watch your lectures online and participate actively in your classes.

These are just some of the wide-range of support initiatives and resources that we offer to help you succeed in your online studies.

Will I still be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa?

Under current New Zealand policy, international students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or higher are eligible to apply for a three-year post-study work visa. However, to be eligible this must involve at least 30 weeks of full time study in New Zealand.

Even if you complete the first semester online from your home country, the programmes listed above will all involve you spending at least 30 weeks studying in New Zealand. This means starting online for one semester will not impact your ability to apply for post-study work rights under current New Zealand policy.

If you want to find out about a programme not listed here, please email

Do I need a valid student visa to begin my studies online?

You do not need a valid student visa to begin your studies online outside of New Zealand, but you will need one before you travel to UC.  It is still important to ensure you would be eligible for a student visa to be able to travel to New Zealand and continue your studies when the New Zealand border is reopened to student visa holders. We strongly recommend you talk to your agent about the visa application process, or email if you don’t have an agent. You can check Immigration New Zealand website for any updates.

Find out more here.

When would I need to arrive in New Zealand?

For programmes starting on 13 July 2020, students will complete Semester 2 2020 fully online, before coming to New Zealand in time for the start of Semester 1 2021 (subject to New Zealand border restrictions).

For programmes starting on 31 August 2020, students will need to arrive at UC in late-January (provisionally before 25 January 2021) to take their first term exams before the start of in-person Enrolment and Orientation for Term 1 2021 on 28 January 2021, although these will be held online if the border is not re-opened by January or likely to be within a short period of time after that.

What if my application for a student visa is unsuccessful?

If you begin your studies online and are subsequently denied a student visa to study in New Zealand, UC will fully refund your tuition fees even if your visa decline falls outside the final date to withdraw with full refund. However, we would encourage you to apply for your student visa for 2021 as soon as possible.  Again, your agent or the UC International Relationships Office can assist you in this process.

What if the New Zealand border is still not open by 2021?

If the border is still not open in time for Semester 1 2021, you may need to defer your studies until it is possible for you to arrive in New Zealand. Either way, you will have made a head start on your studies for whenever you are able to arrive.

We are hopeful that more information will be available about border restrictions before the final date to pay your fees or get a full refund. You will be able to make your decision then based on the most up to date information at that time. In the meantime, there is no reason not to get started.

We can also confirm now that it will be possible to continue the Master of Applied Data Science online if the border is still not open in time for you to arrive for the start of S1 2021. We will let you know if this becomes possible for any other programmes.

If you are interested in doing a fully online programme, please email to find out about your options.

Will the Chinese Government recognise online study?

The Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) released a statement on 3 April 2020 confirming that they will recognise online study undertaken due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Will it cost the same to study online?

The tuition fees will be the same, but there are a number of savings that you will make by starting your studies online for one semester.

  • Exempt from the Student Services Levy for your first semester - $435 for 60 points
  • Exempt from needing medical and travel insurance for your first semester, unless you end up coming to New Zealand during the semester - $310 for one semester
  • Likely reduced living expenses. It costs in the order of $8,632 to $11,362 for six months of living in Christchurch (based on estimate of $332-$437 per week from cost of living.)

What do I need to do next?

If you have any further questions about your study options at UC please contact your agent, or get in touch with us at

Click here if you are ready to apply or if you hold an offer and are ready enrol.