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Certificate of University Preparation

The Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) is a one-semester course which will give you the equivalent of University Entrance as well as the tools and skills you need to confidently transition into degree-level study.

Adult Learners

The Certificate of University Preparation has been designed to help students who don't initially meet the entry requirements for study at a New Zealand university or tertiary provider, who left school some time ago and need additional academic preparation, or those who are looking for a career change.

This programme will introduce you to an adult learning environment including lectures, tutorials and workshops. CUP is an academically approved qualification that teaches skills such as note-taking, research, essay writing, time management and critical thinking.

Taught on the Hamilton campus, you will have full access to University facilities and services, enabling you to adapt to this new environment prior to starting your degree. Following your successful completion of CUP, you'll be eligible for entry at all New Zealand Universities and most undergraduate degrees.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February), Semester B (July), and Summer School (November)
Fees (Domestic): $3508 full time per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $11,000 (four papers)
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Degree Planner

All applications will be assessed on a case by case basis if you don't meet one of the following entry criteria

  • NCEA Level 3 30 credits in university-approved subjects with numeracy and literacy
  • NCEA Level 2 certificate and 12 credits each in three university-approved subjects with numeracy and literacy.  Students must not have been enrolled in a high school within the last 12 months
  • Successful completion of a Level 3 or 4 tertiary certificate

When applying please include a statement telling us a bit about yourself and what you would like to do after CUP.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship

For a full-time student, there are up to 17 hours of class, and around 20 hours of self-directed study a week. Students are required to take four papers (two compulsory and two electives).

Classes are scheduled between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

Students have the option to study part-time with approval.

Students are required to take a total of four papers: two compulsory and two electives. Options are listed below.

Compulsory papers

All papers are available in Semester A, B, or C.

Elective papers

Any two elective papers are required. 


Waikato Pathways College - Te Huanui

Phone: 0800 WAIKATO or + 64 7 858 5600