Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Entry Pathways

Students talking in front of the Clocktower

Entry Pathways

Under the Entry Pathway system there are two pathways for admission to general bachelors' degrees (together with Certificate of Proficiency, first year Law courses, Health Sciences First Year, Social Work Pre-professional, Surveying First Year and other intermediate courses) for new domestic undergraduate students (and certain students who have enrolled at Otago previously).

For most students being considered under the Entry Pathway system, an Entry Score is calculated, based on results for examinations taken in their final year at secondary school. These scores will be used to determine eligibility for Preferential Entry or rankings for Competitive Entry.

For students who have a university entrance qualification and meet minimum age and language requirements, Preferential Entry guarantees a place in the University while Competitive Entry students will be admitted on the basis of their ranking and the availability of places.

^ Top of page

Preferential Entry

Preferential Entry guarantees a place at Otago for high-calibre students (other than those applying for Special Admission or Discretionary Entrance), subject to gaining a university entrance qualification and fulfilling minimum age and language requirements.

Preferential Entry is available under the categories below. Those who have previously undertaken substantial study at tertiary level will not usually be eligible for Preferential Entry on the basis of school results, but otherwise will qualify if they:

  • have, in Year 12 or earlier, achieved NCEA Level 2 awarded with merit or excellence
  • have achieved an entry score of at least 140 points for NCEA Level 3 or have achieved NCEA Level 3 awarded with merit or excellence
  • have achieved the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 26 points
  • have achieved an entry score of at least 140 points for the Cambridge International Examinations
  • have accepted a place in a residential college owned by or affiliated to the University of Otago
  • have accepted a University of Otago undergraduate scholarship
  • are a recommencing Otago student, or a student transferring from another New Zealand university, or a student who has previously studied at an overseas university, with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4 (B-) or more for their most recent university study (only their results from their most recent equivalent two years of full-time enrolment will be considered). Where tertiary study has been undertaken other than at a university, it will be considered on a case by case basis depending on the programme and level of study
  • are a Māori applicant, or a Pacific applicant of Polynesian, Melanesian or Micronesian descent, who has not previously studied at a tertiary institution but who holds or is studying towards a New Zealand university entrance qualification

In addition, application must be made to the University by:

10 December 2013 (for study commencing in Summer School or first semester)

15 June 2014 (for study commencing in the second semester)

Preferential entry automatically converts to a guaranteed place at Otago when you also meet university entrance requirements (including minimum age and language requirements).

Many who do not have Preferential Entry when they first apply may qualify later when their examination results become available or they accept a place in a residential college.

Some students may hold a university entrance qualification and meet one of the Preferential Entry criteria at the time of application. For such students a place at Otago is immediately guaranteed.

The University may in limited circumstances agree to afford Preferential Entry to any applicant who does not meet any of the above criteria but who has achieved an appropriate standard in other recognised qualifications or study or who has otherwise demonstrated strong ability to achieve to a high standard in study at the University.

Students with tertiary passes will be considered on the basis of their tertiary GPA rather than their secondary school results other than in exceptional circumstances.

^ Top of page

Competitive Entry

Once all relevant information has been received for new or recommencing students, those who did not gain Preferential Entry and are applying to a general degree programme in 2014 will be placed on the Competitive Entry pathway. Competitive Entry students will be assessed and ranked according to academic performance and other relevant criteria, and offered places in order of priority, subject to the availability of places in their nominated programmes.

In cases where a student cannot initially be awarded Preferential Entry, the pathway will remain unassigned until all relevant information (NCEA results, CIE results, etc.) has been received and a decision on their pathway can be made. It is expected that the majority of students will ultimately meet the criteria for Preferential Entry. In every student’s case, admission will be subject to meeting university entrance and minimum age and language requirements.

Students who apply after 10 December 2013 will automatically be assigned to the Competitive Entry pathway.

Applications for admission via Special Admission or Discretionary Entrance will be considered under the Competitive Entry pathway.

^ Top of page

Calculating an Entry Score

^ Top of page