If you’re a Year 12 student with an exceptional academic record or are using one of the pathways below you may want to apply for university prior to gaining University Entrance through Discretionary Entrance.
Minimum requirements for Discretionary Entrance
Discretionary Entrance is only available to citizens, holders of a Residence Class Visa or Permanent Residents of New Zealand (including the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue) or Australia.
You must be 16 years of age or older by 31 December in the year of application and under 20 years of age on the official start date of your course.
Minimum scores for Discretionary Entrance
To be considered for Discretionary Entrance you must have achieved the criteria below.
NCEA Year 12 student:
- 72 credits at NCEA Level 2, including a minimum of 14 credits in each of four subjects (three of which must be approved subjects) and a minimum of 60 Merit and Excellence credits
- achieved the literacy and numeracy standards for University Entrance
You must NOT have undertaken NCEA Year 13 study beyond 1 June if intending to enrol in February the following year.
For more details see NCEA University Entrance.
Minimum International Baccalaureate score:
- 24 points
You must not have been awarded the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
NZ Secondary School Exchange:
- NCEA Level 2, including a minimum of 14 credits in three approved subjects
- achieved the literacy and numeracy standards for university entrance
- evidence of having studied overseas, post year 12, for a minimum of 20 weeks on an official exchange programme such as AFS or Rotary
- a supporting letter from the principal of the school you attended overseas is required. If this is not in English an official translation is required. This supporting letter must be on school letterhead, state duration of study, and a comment of your overall standard of academic conduct and participation
- transcript of your studies completed on exchange if possible
There is an additional $115 NZD application fee to apply for Discretionary Entrance.
Steps to apply for Discretionary Entrance
Step 1. Apply to UC
Submit your application to enrol to UC.
Step 2. Complete the form
Complete the Discretionary Entrance application form:
Step 3. Gather your supporting documents
You also need to supply the following:
- A certified copy of your birth certificate or a certified copy of the ‘Personal Identification’ page from your passport
- Certified copies of all your academic records
- You must write a letter in support of your application giving reasons why Discretionary Entrance is required. You may also include letters of support from others
Step 4. Submit the form
If you are still at school:
Take the form together with the supporting documents to your Principal for their endorsement and the adviser’s recommendation. Your school will forward your completed application form to the University.
If you have left school:
Post the completed application form and supporting documents to:Admissions
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Assessment and notification of application outcomes
You will be notified of the outcome of your application via email. If you are unsuccessful and declined admission, or if additional supporting evidence becomes available, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.
Other pathways to UC admission
Even if you don’t qualify for admission to UC through University Entrance, its equivalent or meet the criteria for exceptional circumstances, you may still be able to gain admission through preparatory study at UC.
If you’re from New Zealand and do not yet meet the requirements for UC admission, you may still be eligible to gain admission through the Certificate for University Preparation.
If you’re from outside New Zealand and want to study at UC but don’t yet meet the UC entry requirements, you may be eligible for the another preparatory programme.
If you don’t quite feel ready to tackle degree level study, there are a variety of study options available to prepare you for successful university study.
If you’re a New Zealand student and do not yet meet the requirements for UC admission, you may still be eligible to gain admission through the Certificate in University Preparation.
If you’re from outside New Zealand and want to study at UC but don’t yet meet the UC entry requirements, you may be eligible for another preparatory programme.