The University of Auckland
Certificate in Foundation Studies

The University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies transitions international students into an undergraduate degree programme of choice at New Zealand’s top university.

Programme delivered by UP International College

University of Auckland

Your steps to an undergraduate degree programme:

  • Relearn the content subjects you need for your degree programme, in English
  • Upskill in academic English
    • Understand lectures clearly
    • Write stronger essays
    • Read written content more effectively
    • Take useful notes
    • Improve pronunciation and confidence when speaking/presenting
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Learn independent study skills

University Pathways

Students who successfully complete the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies to prescribed standards are guaranteed entry into an appropriate University of Auckland undergraduate degree.

The University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies is accredited by Universities New Zealand and is recognised for entry to all New Zealand universities.

Two offers of place from the start

Students who enrol in the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies receive two offers of place: a letter of offer for the Foundation Studies programme, and a conditional offer of admission for the University of Auckland. A confirmed offer of admission is issued once you meet the standards required for the degree programme, as well as other entry requirements.

Academic excellence – the key to success

UP International College recruits top specialists in each field of study for best possible results. Programmes are tailored to individual student needs and abilities, and classes are delivered by dedicated professional educators. Teaching is a mix of lectures, tutorials and self-study periods, with 24–27 hours of contact teaching each week, and another 20 hours per week of self-study. Each student is assigned a tutor for counselling, support and guidance.


The top student completing the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies each semester receives a NZ$5,000 scholarship towards tuition fees in the first year of their undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland.


Intakes and Fees

Applying for a programme is simple. Applications can be made in person at our UP International College city campus, online, or by completing a printout of the application form and emailing or posting it to us.

The University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies takes 6 to 12 months (two to four terms) to complete, depending on the student’s academic background and level of English.

DurationEnglish LevelStart Dates (2021)Cost
6 months
(2 terms)
(a minimum of 5.5 in all bands)
– or agreed equivalent
25 January, 12 July, 6 SeptemberNZD19,000
8/9 months
(3 terms)
(a minimum of 5.0 in all bands)
15 April, 28 SeptemberNZD29,500
12 months
(4 terms)
(a minimum of 4.5 in all bands)
25 January, 12 JulyNZD29,500
18 months
(6 terms)
(a minimum of 4.0 in all bands)
25 January, 12 JulyNZD44,250
Course Accelerated
Duration6 months (2 terms)
English LevelIELTS 6.0
(a minimum of 5.5 in all bands) – or agreed equivalent
Start Dates25 January, 12 July, 6 September
Course Fast-track
Duration 8/9 months (3 terms)
English Level IELTS 5.5
(a minimum of 5.0 in all bands) – or agreed equivalent
Start Dates 15 April, 28 September
Cost NZD29,500
Course Standard
Duration12 months (4 terms)
English LevelIELTS 5
(a minimum of 4.5 in all bands) 
Start Dates25 January, 12 July
Course Extended
Duration18 months (6 terms)
English LevelIELTS 4.5
(a minimum of 4.0 in all bands) 
Start Dates25 January, 12 July

Other fees

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15 percent is inclusive where applicable.
The New Zealand Government Education Export Levy of 0.50 percent is calculated on tuition and course-related costs for international students

Additional Fees
Resource materialsNZD800 per year
Foundation Studies examination feesNZD350
Examination resit feeNZD50
IELTS examination fee (for degrees requiring IELTS)NZD385

Fees and documents

Once we have received your application, we may ask for more information or documentation. When we have everything we need we send you a letter of offer and schedule of fees. Once you accept your offer and pay the fees, we issue you with a receipt and send a confirmation letter.

Visa and travel essentials

Once you receive your confirmation letter, you can apply for a visa and arrange insurance. Let us know your arrival details so we can welcome you at the airport and arrange an airport transfer, if required. We can also organise your accommodation, if needed.


Entry to university

Your steps to an undergraduate degree programme at the University of Auckland

Two offers of place from the start

Enrol in a Foundation Studies programme and receive:

  1. An offer of place for the Foundation Studies programme
  2. A conditional offer of place for an undergraduate degree course at the University of Auckland (successfully complete the Foundation Studies programme and receive a confirmed offer)

To enter a University of Auckland undergraduate degree programme:

  • Score more than 40% in a minimum of four academic subjects in Foundation Studies
  • Achieve a B grade or higher in English for Academic Purposes (or IELTS Level 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands)

Other universities accept UP International College Foundation Studies students too

All New Zealand universities accept successful completion of the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies as meeting university entrance requirements.

Over 10,000 students have successfully transitioned to university through our Foundation Studies programmes delivered on behalf of the universities. Most students continue to the university offering the Foundation Studies programme, but others undertake an undergraduate degree overseas. While no formal agreement exists, Foundation Studies students have been accepted at

  • Australian National University
  • Bond University
  • Curtin University of Technology
  • La Trobe University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University Melbourne
  • Swinburne University
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • California State University East Bay
  • City University of New York
  • National Autonomous University of México
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Oregon State University
  • Ryerson University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Hawaii
  • HIALS (Aalesund University College, Norway)
  • University of Amsterdam
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Maastricht (the Netherlands)
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham (UK campus)
  • Maranatha Christian University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • RMIT International University Vietnam
  • Singapore Management University
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • University of Nottingham (Ningbo campus)
  • Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas
  • Prince Mohammad Bin Fahad University


Subjects required for the Foundation Studies Standard (12-month) programme
English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

four subjects from the list below:

  • Introduction to Accounting – Financial Statements, Double Entry, Basic Concepts
  • Cost-volume-profit Analysis
  • Decision-making
  • Spreadsheets, using Microsoft Excel
  • Cash Budgeting
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Companies
  • Accounting Concepts for a Reporting Entity
  • Cashflow Statements
  • Job Costing
  • The Renaissance
    • Naturalism and Science in Fifteenth-century Italian Painting
    • The High Renaissance – The Influence of Antiquity
    • Gesture, Expression and the Portrayal of Narrative
    • Portraiture – Characterisation of the Individual
  • Modern Art – Towards Abstraction
    • The Development of Cubism
    • Paths to Abstraction
  • Aspects of Modern New Zealand Art
    • Paths to Abstraction
  • Cells and Biochemistry
  • Plants and Animals
  • Human Physiology
  • Ecosystems and Energy Flow
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Atomic Structure
  • Chemical Bonding
  • Reduction and Oxidation
  • Electrochemical Cells
  • Enthalpy Change
  • Chemical Equilibrium
  • Acids, Bases and Alkalis
  • Dissolving and Precipitation
  • Organic Compounds – Nomenclature, Structure, Isomerism, Reactions and Polymers
  • Basic Economic Concepts
  • Theory of Demand
  • Production, Resources, Costs and Cost Curves
  • Theory of Supply
  • Elasticities of Demand and Supply
  • Market Model and Allocative Efficiency
  • Theory of the Firm and Types of Competition in the Market
  • Market Failure and Government Intervention
  • Circular Flow of Income and Expenditure
  • GDP and the Business Cycle
  • Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply Model
  • Balance of Payments and Exchange Rate
  • Monetary and Fiscal Policies to Close Recessionary and Inflationary Gaps
  • Geographic Skills using Topographical Maps
  • Tourism Development in Rotorua
  • Plate Tectonic Movement in New Zealand
  • Development
  • Linear Motion
  • Newton’s Laws and their Application
  • Circular Motion
  • Work, Energy and Power
  • Linear Momentum
  • Rotational Momentum
  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Mechanical Waves
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Direct Current Electricity
  • Capacitance
  • Electromagnetism
  • Alternating Current Theory

Academic writing,  speaking, reading,  listening, research skills, syntax and academic vocabulary. Core course material is supplemented with electronic materials such as media-related reading exercises and communication activities that improve grammar and listening skills.

Students who achieve a minimum of a B grade in EAP meet the literacy requirements for entry to the University of Auckland. They will not need an IELTS pass (minimum 6.0) for courses in Commerce (Business), Science, Arts, Law, Architecture, Music, Technology and others. Those wanting to study Engineering, Health Science and Education will still need to take IELTS, however after completing EAP they will be well equipped with the language skills needed for most ELT examinations.

  • Academic writing, reading, speaking and listening
  • Academic vocabulary
  • Research skills
  • Syntax
  • Collaboration and fluency in oral academic discussions
  • Mastery of a significant proportion of the Academic Vocabulary List for universities
  • Conforming written English skills to university academic requirements
  • Development of strategies for understanding and note taking of written and spoken academic texts
  • Using citations and references in the APA Style
  • Practising critical thinking and independent study skills that are essential for successful university studies
  • Undertaking independent research
  • Graphic Design Methodologies including Logo and Poster Design
  • Language of Design
  • Design Manipulation of Image and Text
  • Research and Enquiry of Design History and Designers
  • Self-directed Production of Design Portfolio
  • Creative Thinking and Development of Ideas
  • Editing and Decision-making
  • Layout and Presentation
  • Functions of the DSLR Camera
  • History and Theory of Photography
  • Language of Photography
  • Digital Manipulation of Images
  • Research and Concept Development
  • Self-Directed Project
  • Production of a Photographic Portfolio
  • Probability
  • Expectation Algebra
  • Probability Distributions
  • Sampling Methods
  • Data Display
  • Calculating Statistics from a Data Set
  • Sampling Distributions
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Graphs
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Numerical Methods
  • Linear Programming
  • Logarithmic Modelling
  • Analysis of Bivariate Data
  • Analysis of Time Series
  • Differentiation
  • Differential Equations

Many mathematics students study both Statistics and Calculus. If you have to choose only one, Statistics is a course required for most first-year programmes at universities. This includes degrees in Accounting, Business, Health Science, Mathematics and Computer Science. If you want to study Engineering, Advanced Economics, Physics or Mathematics, you need to choose Calculus. It is important that you look at a particular programme that you intend to study at university and plan your subject choices carefully. Check the prerequisites for your degree of choice.

Mathematics with Statistics

This course prepares students for careers in the biological and social sciences, medicine, commerce and administration. The topics include:

  • Linear programming
  • Numerical methods for finding approximate solutions
  • Sampling
  • Data display (representing data as graphs and interpreting graphs)
  • Expectation Algebra
  • Selections and Arrangements
  • Distributions (Binomial Distribution, Poisson Distribution, Normal Distribution)
  • Bivariate Data
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Time Series

Mathematics with Calculus

This course prepares students for careers in the Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. The topics include:

  • Algebra
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Differentiation
  • Integration
  • Conic Sections
  • Complex Numbers
  • Differential Equations

Art History*, Painting*, Music*

* subject to sufficient enrolments.


Location & Facilities

The University of Auckland Certificate of Foundation Studies is delivered at UP International College at 345 Queen Street in Auckland Central.

From the UP International College campus it’s just a short stroll to popular spots like Albert Park, the museum, Aotea Centre and the Town Hall. Lunchtime concerts in Aotea Square, street parades and access to New Zealand’s leading art galleries means there is always something new and exciting for students to see.

The campus is equipped with excellent facilities, including modern air-conditioned classrooms, specialist subject and computer rooms, and a student information centre, and all students have access to free Wi-Fi.

Contact us

345 Queen St
Auckland, New Zealand

Postal address
PO Box 78-359
Grey Lynn, Auckland 1245

T +64 9 307 5399
F +64 9 377 7125


Level 3, West wing
Wellington Railway Station
2 Bunny St
Wellington 6011, New Zealand

T +64 4 9795566