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Entrance Requirements for NCEA Students

Students reading in Library

To gain entrance to the University of Otago by using NCEA results, you need to be awarded University Entrance. To be eligible for University Entrance you must achieve the following:

  • NCEA Level 3, and
  • 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of three subjects from the approved list

You must also meet literacy and numeracy requirements:

  • Literacy: 10 credits at Level 2 or above in standards from the specified list, with at least 5 credits in Reading and 5 credits in Writing
  • Numeracy: 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of
    • achievement standards - specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or
    • unit standards - package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627 - all three required).

Note that if you are an NCEA student, only the NCEA literacy requirement above will be acceptable. You cannot use IELTS, TOEFL or similar tests to replace the NCEA literacy requirement.

Please note that these requirements apply to students who had not obtained University Entrance by 1 March 2014. Students who were awarded University Entrance before that date obtained the qualification under the requirements in place at that time.


Applicants for Physical Education and Law will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants for the Health Sciences First Year course are strongly recommended to have achieved at a much higher level than the minimum standards quoted above.

If you are applying to the University of Otago using NCEA as your method of admission you do not need to supply your forecast results with your application form.

Final NCEA examination results will be automatically supplied to the University of Otago in mid-January.