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Bridging Programme

The Bridging Programme is a 6 week course designed to increase your chances of success in the Foundation Year programme.

The University of Otago Foundation Year Bridging Programme is suitable for you if:

You have an unconditional offer.

  • This means that you meet our academic and English Language entry criteria, however, you may fit one or more of the following criteria:
  • You have been away from study for more than one year.
  • You are beginning subjects that you have not studied before.
  • You feel that extra time would help you prepare for Foundation Year.

You have a conditional offer.

  • This means that you do not meet our academic and/or English Language entry criteria AND:
  • You need to improve your level of English because you have a 5.0 IELTS and need a 5.5 IELTS or a pass in the Upper-Intermediate or Advanced General English course at the University of Otago Language Centre to enter Foundation Year.


  • You have the 5.5 IELTS required for entry but your academic grades are 10% less than what is needed for you to enter Foundation Year. You need to take a Bridging Programme.


  • You do not have a study background in the stream you have indicated you wish to study.


Bridging Programme delivery 2021

In 2021, the Bridging programme is offered:

  • On-campus in Dunedin to domestic students and international students living in New Zealand
  • Online to students in their home country


About the Bridging Programme

  • Click here for paper outlines.
  • The University of Otago Foundation Year runs the Bridging Programme three times a year.
  • Bridging Programme involves six weeks' focused study in subject areas that will help you prepare for Foundation Year.
  • Successful completion of a Bridging Programme is valid for entry to Foundation Year for 18 weeks from the completion of the course.
  • Successful completion means that you have achieved a GPA of 6.5 and a C in Academic English.
  • If you have a conditional offer of place for Foundation Year, you must successfully complete a Bridging Programme before starting Foundation Year.
  • If you have an unconditional offer of place for Foundation Year, your attendance of a Bridging Programme is optional but recommended.

* StudyLink funding is not available for the Bridging Programme.

*The government fees-free contribution is not available for the Bridging Programme


Entry requirements

You can take the Bridging Programme if you have been sent a Letter of Offer from the University of Otago Foundation Year for the February, June or October intake.

Your Letter of Offer may be conditional upon successfully completing the Bridging Programme.

This means that you must apply for and pass the Bridging Programme before you are able to start at Foundation Year. 


Key points:

  • 6 Weeks intensive programme
  • No Studylink funding
  • 6.5 GPA required to advance to Foundation Year