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Bridging programme

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

The 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 the Pathway programme.

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 the Pathway programme.


  • You have the 5.5 IELTS required for entry but your academic grades are 10% less than what is needed for you to enter the Pathway programme. 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

  • Paper outlines – brief descriptions of the papers that you will be studying.
  • The Bridging programme is run three times a year.
  • The Bridging programme involves six weeks' focused study in subject areas that will help you prepare for the Pathway programme.
  • Successful completion of a Bridging programme is valid for entry to the Pathway programme 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 the Pathway programme, you must successfully complete a Bridging programme before starting the Pathway programme.
  • If you have an unconditional offer of place for the Pathway programme, 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 Pathway programme 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 the Pathway programme.

Key points

  • 6 weeks intensive programme
  • No Studylink funding
  • 6.5 GPA required to advance to the Pathway programme