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Te Ara Pūtake My Academic Pathway

New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4)


Course details

  • Jul 2024
    Feb 2025
  • One semester
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • $3,670*
  • You may qualify for fee-free study under MPTT
  • Level 4
  • Hamilton City Campus or Rotokauri Campus - Sport Health strand


This programme is for those who want to begin study, but need to build confidence or brush up on skills. Students will choose from five pathways that align with their career goals, including Health, Social Practice, Creative Industries, Early Childhood, and the Open pathway for general subjects and skills.

Students will gain essential academic knowledge, capabilities, and skills needed to succeed at higher levels of study.

Students will be introduced to new ideas and concepts in a step-by-step way, building their confidence as we guide them along the way. Tutors support students at every stage of their journey, and there is an option of whānau-based delivery for Māori and Pacific students in the Health pathway. Classes range from lectures to small classes and labs (Health pathway), with a lot of online support.

On completion of the programme students will achieve a national qualification, the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4), and be able to apply for further study in their preferred career pathway. 

What you will learn

All students will enrol in two core modules plus another two modules from their chosen pathway. The core modules are:

  • Te Ao Hurihuri Futures: The focus of this module is on our changing world and the changing nature of work
  • Pukenga Matauranga Academic Skills: The focus of this module is on research, writing styles, teamwork and communication

Explore our pathway options below.

Open pathway

This prepares students for a range of higher-level study pathways, including information technology and business. This pathway gives students an opportunity to get involved in project planning and design thinking in their selected career field and has a strong digital technologies component. This pathway is offered annually in Semester 2.

Health pathways

The health pathway prepares students for further study in:

Students will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body, wellness, and human development. If students would like to learn in a whānau-based Māori and Pacific classroom environment, they can enrol into Te Tūāpapa Hauora.

This pathway is offered in both semesters of the year. Read more about the Centre for Health and Social Practice.

Early childhood pathway

The early childhood pathway will prepare students for further study in our early childhood education programme.

Please note: This programme will support students' entry application into the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) degree programme but is not a guaranteed pathway. Candidates who complete this course will still need to meet the other entry criteria for the degree (interview, numeracy and literacy testing). This pathway is offered annually in Semester 2.

Social service pathway

Prepare for a career in social work and counselling. Students will learn about values, beliefs, world views, key social issues, and be introduced to career opportunities in the social service sector. This pathway is only offered in semester two. Read more about the Centre for Health and Social Practice.

Creative industries pathway

Prepare for your career in the creative industries and discover what the design, communication, art, and music industry can offer you. Working with specialists in the School of Media Arts, students will learn relevant tools and technology for their craft and gain knowledge and understanding of the creative process. Students will develop and apply their skills in projects and be given the opportunity to exhibit their work in a showcase event. 

There are four streams to select from in the media arts pathway, and these are aligned to future study and career pathways:

  • Music and performing arts - for those interested in music theory, audio production or performance
  • Communication - for those interested in media, journalism, writing, marketing communication or screen arts production 
  • Visual art - for those interested in painting, sculpture, photography, design or screen arts production
  • Design - for those interested in graphic design, visual communication, and/or spatial design

Some prior credits or experience in the areas of music, visual art and design are useful for these pathways (eg 12 Level 1 NCEA credits), or you can attend an interview with Media Arts staff to help find the best fit. 

Media Arts offers a range of creative degrees studying communications, creative media, digital marketing, screen arts production, visual communication/graphic design, painting, sculpture, photography, music and performing arts. Read more about the School of Media Arts.

View programme modules

Note: no value in the pre/co-requisite columns means there are no pre/co-requisites for that module.


Group A: Core modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU401Te Ao Hurihuri Futures415
GEDU402Pūkenga Mātauranga Academic


​​Group B: Health pathway modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU403Wellness and Human Development415
GEDU404Applied Structure and Function of the Human Body415  

Group C: Early Childhood pathway modules Please note: this pathway provides a pathway to Wintec's Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) for over 20 year olds only. Those aged under 20 require university entrance to gain entry to the Bachelor of Teaching (ECE).

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU403Wellness and Human Development415
GEDU405Early Childhood Pathway415  

Group D: Social Services pathway modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU403Wellness and Human Development415
GEDU406Social Services Pathway415  

Group E: Open pathway modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU407Directed Project415

Group G: Creative Industries pathway modules

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
GEDU409Creative Project415
GEDU410Creative Practice415  


Graduate profile

Marama Hill always dreamed of being a midwife, and now, thanks to completing the Wintec Te Ara Pūtake Academic Pathway course, her dream will become a reality next month.

The mum of six has worn many hats over the years, she is a qualified chef by trade, but the long hours and late nights of hospitality were too strenuous on her family. So she retired as a chef and started working as an early childhood teacher. But now that the time is right, and her children are older, she is returning to study midwifery – her lifelong dream.

Read more.

Marama Hill

Career/further opportunities

Graduates of this programme may have enhanced employment opportunities in industries and professions associated with the context of their programme.

Holders of this qualification will be able to progress to further study or training at NZQF Level 5 and above (degree, diploma or certificate) related to the context of their programme.

Frequently asked questions

How much time outside of class will I need to spend on study?

This is a full-time course equivalent to 37 hours of study each week. Apart from the scheduled 20 hours of classes, you are expected to spend an additional four hours per week of self-directed study for each course. Self-directed study includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Planning and preparing for assessments
  • Reviewing your class notes and any resources on Moodle
  • Reading the recommended readings/materials directed by your tutor
  • Previewing the topic of the week before coming to class and doing any recommended readings or exercises to prepare for the session
  • Flipped classroom preparation
Who is this certificate best suited to and what are the benefits?

This programme is ideal for anyone who does not meet the entry requirements for a specific course, is unsure of what programme to study, or has been out of study for a long time and wants to build confidence and brush up on academic skills.

One of the main benefits is that after only six months of study, you will have the skills, knowledge and confidence to progress to further study at degree level.
Can I work and study at the same time?

As a full-time programme, we advise limiting your work hours to what you can manage. We recommend that those in employment take advantage of our part-time option, which includes the flexibility to work while you study.


Entry criteria

You can apply for this programme if you meet one of the below options.

Based on your school achievement (secondary school study)​

  • 40 credits at NCEA Level 2; including 10 literacy credits at NCEA Level 2 and 10 numeracy credits at NCEA Level 1;
  • Or a recognised equivalent.

Based on study completed after school (tertiary study)

  • A relevant course at NZQF Level 2; ​
  • Or a recognised equivalent. ​

Based on discretionary entrance

If you don’t meet any of the above options, and you think you have what it takes to complete this programme, you can apply for discretionary entrance. Your application may be accepted if you can demonstrate a good chance of success. Approval of discretionary entrance applications is decided by the relevant manager. If your application is approved, your acceptance into further programmes relies on you demonstrating success in this programme.

Selection criteria

Candidates may be required to participate in an interview.

English language requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 5.5 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 or equivalent.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?


To check what you need to gain direct entry to a course, review the entry criteria available on each programme page. These assist you in understanding what qualifications or experience are typically required to gain entry. You can contact our team at or 0800 2 Wintec at any time for further guidance.

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our welcome page.

Semester 2 2024

All streams

Whānau evening
Date: Wednesday 10 July 2024
Time: 5pm-6pm
Venue: Wharekai/wharenui, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa (Wintec Marae), City Campus

Induction day
Date: Friday 19 July 2024
Time: 10am-1pm
Venue: The Atrium, City Campus 

Wayfinder health stream

Pacific family evening
Date: Thursday 11 July 2024
Time: 5.30pm-6.30pm
Venue: Centre for Learners of Oceania in Vocational Excellence (C4LOVE), City Campus

Induction day
Date: Thursday 18 July 2024
Time: 9am-12pm
Venue: Centre for Learners of Oceania in Vocational Excellence (C4LOVE), City Campus 

If you are a new student, it is compulsory for you to attend your induction (first day) and we welcome you to bring whānau, family and friends to support you. You will be introduced to your tutors and new classmates, be given an overview of this programme, and receive a personalised timetable. Remember to get prepared before induction day and make all necessary arrangements for childcare, work and transport.

What you will need

  • Bring a pen and paper on your first day. There are no required textbooks, and workbooks will be provided to you during class.
  • You have the option of bringing your own device (laptop or tablet). We strongly encourage this as you will be able to follow along more closely in some lectures and classes. If you have trouble purchasing a device we recommend contacting Studylink regarding course-related costs. All students also have access to computer labs and computers in the hub.
  • If you have any questions please phone us at 0800 2 Wintec (0800 2 2946832) extension 3140 or visit us at the Centre for Education and Foundation Pathways Office located in D Block, Lower Ground Floor at the City Campus.
  • If you are unable to attend your induction day, please email us.

Timetable information

All Wintec timetables are available online here.

How to find your way around

Campus maps can be found here.

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - payment and permits may be required. Learn more about parking and find out about bus services here.

He reo pōwhiri, your official welcome to Wintec

Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koe e piki nei, e kake nei ki te Kuratini o Waikato.

You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. The pōwhiri is a welcoming ceremony involving mihimihi (speeches), waiata (singing), and will conclude with kai timotimo (light refreshments). Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

Click here to find out when the next pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course-related costs

Additional information

Module requirement for GEDU404 - Applied Structure and Function of the Human Body

Please note that for science labs, you are required to wear shoes that cover the toes (ie no sandals or jandals). If you are not wearing appropriate footwear, you may not be permitted to enter or complete a lab class.


Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

    New Zealand-based suppliers

    General book suppliers

    First aid certificate

    Health status



    Clinical placement

    Prospectus (course guide)

    The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

    Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

    The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

    Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus


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