Home-school students and UC

Hands holding stack of books

There are several pathways for home-school students to gain admission to UC for degree-level study. UC Arts also offers a College Award to top home-school students in the UC STAR programme.

Home-school students are eligible to enrol in UC’s STAR Programme, which is an extension and transition programme for senior secondary school students. The Programme allows secondary school students to complete some of our first-year courses (up to 60 points) alongside their school study. Successfully completed courses are credited towards a relevant UC degree once the STAR student has achieved NCEA University Entrance or equivalent.

Home-school students can also include these STAR courses as part of their evidence that they have achieved an equivalence to NCEA University Entrance in their UC Special Admission application to enrol in a UC degree.

If a home-school student is solely using STAR courses to provide evidence that they meet the equivalent of NCEA University Entrance, they should have successfully completed:

  • At least one course with a significant element of essay-writing or other assessments types demonstrating their literacy skills, see the suggested courses in column 1 below.
  • At least one course with a significant element of mathematics or statistics demonstrating their numeracy skills, see the suggested courses in column 2 below.
  • One further course in a separate subject area. See the STAR Programme website for a list of our STAR courses and entry requirements.

UC Arts offers home-schooled students the opportunity to receive a College Award of $3000 towards fees in their first year of full-time study in a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Fine Arts.

To qualify for the UC Arts Home-School College Award students will need to have:

  • Achieved an ‘A’ grade in one UC STAR course
  • Completed and returned the UC Arts Home-School College Award application form
  • Have been approved for Special Admission to the University of Canterbury
  • Applied to enrol in either a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Music

When a home-school student applies to enrol for a degree at UC, they should provide evidence they have met one of these requirements:

  • Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) Certificate of Academic Excellence Year 13 certificate with at least 4 credits at Year 13 level
  • Young Enterprise Certificate (YES), including literacy and numeracy and 14 level 3 credits in each of two approved subjects
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE). There are specific requirements, which in short are: 120 points at A or AS level with at least a D grade in 3 subjects / at least E grade in AS English / at least D grade in IGSCSE Maths
  • At least 20 years old on the start date of the degree (NZ citizens or permanent residents only)
  • UC Certificate in University Preparation (CUP) (NZ citizens or permanent residents only)
  • NCEA University Entrance, for instance through Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (the Correspondence School)
  • Other home-school students can apply for Special Admission, which is an admission route for students who don’t meet the exact requirements of any of our other admission routes, but have achieved an academic standard that is equivalent. For NZ citizens or permanent residents the academic standard we look for is equivalence to NCEA University Entrance. Further details below.

Please note: If admission is granted this makes you eligible to apply to enrol at UC, it does not guarantee approval to all courses of study at UC.

Equivalency to NCEA University Entrance explained

Students should provide evidence that their academic standard is equivalent to:

  • Study in 3 approved subjects* at a level equivalent to at least NCEA level 3 (Year 13)
    (equivalent to 14 NCEA credits in each subject)
  • Literacy study at a level equivalent to at least NCEA level 2 (Year 12)
    (equivalent to 10 NCEA credits)
  • Numeracy study at a level equivalent to at least NCEA level 1 (Year 11)
    (equivalent to 10 NCEA credits)

* See NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) for the list of NCEA UE approved subjects

If a student has studied the required amount of mathematics/statistics at a level equivalent to at least NCEA level 3, then that would fulfil one of the level 3 subjects plus the numeracy requirement. If a student has studied the required amount of English literature/Reading/Writing at a level equivalent to at least NCEA level 3, then that would fulfil one of the level 3 subjects plus the literacy requirement.

Evidence of study

Most home-schoolers mix-and-match by providing evidence of some study in several of the examples listed below or similar study that if put together is equivalent to NCEA UE:

  • UC STAR courses – Each STAR course in a separate subject area can fulfil one of the 14 credits in an approved subject at level 3 (even if the subject is not on the NCEA UE list). The literacy requirement of NCEA UE can be met by completing a STAR course with a significant element of essay-writing or similar assessment types. The numeracy requirement can be met by completing a STAR course with a significant element of mathematics or statistics.
  • Music performance ABRSM/Trinity Grade exams
  • Home-school curriculum (online or text book-based) approved by our relevant Department
  • Relevant certificates at a polytechnic
  • NCEA through Correspondence School
  • Cambridge International Exams  (as a private candidate at a secondary school providing Cambridge study)
  • American SAT exams (these are invigilated at UC and other test centres in New Zealand)
  • Complete the Special Admission or enrol online through myUC.
  • Write a cover letter explaining what you have studied as a home-schooler.
  • Get the parent/caregiver who taught you to complete the Recommendation form at the back of the Special Admission form.
  • There is a $110 application fee for Special Admission. We will advise you how to pay this after the application has been submitted.
  • Provide evidence that you have met a standard equivalent to NCEA University Entrance. If the study was formally assessed then copies of certificates/result sheets should be provided with the application. If the study included a UC STAR course then you can simply state in your cover letter which course you have completed, there is no need to provide anything else. If it was pure home-schooling that was not formally assessed, then all details should be provided in the cover letter or attachments.

Get advice or more information

For enquiries about admission to UC (other than Special Admission) contact the UC Admission Team. For enquiries about Special Admission or the STAR Programme contact the Academic Processes Co-ordinator.

Franka Menzies

Co-ordinator
STAR Programme Coordinator
Matariki Level 5 Sth
Internal Phone: 93965

For enquiries about the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music or the UC Arts Home-School College Awards contact the College of Arts Student Advisors.

College of Arts Student Advisors are here to help

If you need advice or more information