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Sometimes the words and jargon relating to studying can be a bit overwhelming, and you may be unfamiliar with a lot of them. For this reason, we have put together a glossary of education terms so you can follow up on things you might not entirely understand.

A term used to describe those people who have graduated from an institute. After a student graduates from Wintec, they are Wintec alumni (follow this group on LinkedIn and remain connected to the institute).  

The physical location where study is taught. 

A qualification that typically takes between six months to a year to complete, if studying full-time. They may also offer a step into a higher level of study. They cover a range of levels from 1-6 on the NZQF. 

Certificate of Proficiency (COP)

A Certificate of Proficiency allows you to study modules without committing to a full programme. You may want to study specific modules to meet an entry requirement, out of interest, or to try a subject. 

Where two modules must be typically studied at the same time as one another. 

Conditional offer 
Where an offer has been made; however, the student may still need to meet specific requirements for the offer to be valid, like gaining certain marks, or completing an additional short-course or training first. 

The qualification awarded to the student once successfully finishing their Level 7 study.

Design Factory NZ (DFNZ) 
Design Factory NZ is a problem-solving and learning space, bringing together students, teachers, industry, and community leaders to help co-create the future.

This qualification usually requires one or two years of study. They cover a range of levels from 5-7 on the NZQF.

Discretionary Entrance  
A case-by-case consideration of students who don’t have the University Entrance qualification to get into polytechs or universities, but who may have the right background or experience to be able to enter.

Distance/off-campus study  
Some courses at Wintec are taught online. This is known as distance, off-campus, or remote learning, as you complete most of your study from home. You may still be required to attend sessions on-site at the Wintec campuses where outlined by the programme manager. 

Entry Criteria 
What you need to have studied and passed to get into a course. If you do not meet the entry criteria, it is good to talk to Wintec staff at the Student Enrolment and Information Centre to discuss what options are available. Contact them on

Future You 
A Wintec online tool to help students understand their areas of interest, and nationwide study options based on these. Try it out here.  

Graduate Diploma  
Typically, a one-year-long qualification that allows a graduate with a degree to study at degree-level in a subject area different to their degree qualification. For example, a media arts graduate may wish to consider a Graduate Diploma in Management to increase their knowledge-base and skill-set.

The term ‘honours degree’ refers to a variant of the undergraduate bachelor's degree containing a larger volume of material or a higher standard of study.   

Lectures and tutorial 
A lecture is a more formal presentation led by the student’s lecturer. Tutorials are smaller classes where you talk with other students and a tutor or your lecturer about the content, assignments, and anything else to do with that module you are studying. 

Any of the ten levels on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), which can range from Level 1 to Level 10. 

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) 
A government funding and support model with the intent of upskilling Māori and Pasifika learners in specific courses such as horticulture, automotive engineering, construction, dairy processing, electrical engineering, hair design, mechanical engineering, plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying, restaurant and barista services and culinary. This means many of the courses are free, and you receive extend support to help you through your studies. 

Master’s degree 
A Level 9 qualification on the NZQA. A master’s degree is a very high level of study that can be pursued once students have completed a bachelor’s degree and sometimes following a postgraduate diploma. It qualifies a person to apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for research. 

Micro-credentials are short certifications in specialised topics, often completed while people are in the workforce.  

A course that usually lasts for one semester. A module covers just one subject and is assessed independently of other modules. Other tertiary institutes may call this a paper, and at school, it may be known as a subject. 

The Wintec student portal used to house course content, timetables, forum discussions, assignments, and results. 

Orientation (O Week) 
A fun event full of activities for new students to get familiar with Wintec. Students can find out information about services on campus, resources available to them, and external info from businesses such as local gyms, banks, and other providers who may offer student benefits. 

Pastoral care  
The care of students’ well-being in all facets of their lives. Also referred to as holistic care. 

A pathway shows the different ways a student can enter a certain level of study or a specific course. Pathways can show them what the options are for further study on completion of the initial course; for example, there are many pathways of postgraduate study for those who have completed the Bachelor of Nursing

A period of supervised work, where the student will have the opportunity to experience working in a specific role in a real-life situation.

Polytech/Institutes of Technology 
An institute of technology delivers courses from certificate-level through to master’s degrees. Traditionally known for providing technical training, polytechs now offer a broad range of training for professional industries also. 

Postgraduate Diploma 
Studies typically undertaken after students have completed an undergraduate bachelor’s degree or, in some cases, based on relevant post-secondary qualifications or work experience. The diploma is a continuation of study in the same area that the degree qualification was received. 

All new students, staff and whānau (family) are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri Campus. The pōwhiri follows customary Māori protocols and involves speeches of welcome, singing, and kai (food). 

Where it is necessary as a prior condition for something else to happen. Usually a course you have to do to gain subject understanding before you can do another course at a higher level 

Professional Programme  
A study that is designed to meet the needs of people who are already working and may need upskilling or want to extend their knowledge in particular areas with short-course content. 

Programme (course) 
The qualification/course a student is enrolled in, eg Bachelor of Design, Certificate in Computing

A publication that includes information about every course available at Wintec, generally updated annually. You can find the these here

A certificate, diploma, or degree awarded following the successful completion of a programme of study. 

Scholarships can help contribute towards the costs of studying. They may recognise academic excellence or potential or be available for other reasons such as financial hardship. The list of Wintec scholarships and information on whether you qualify and how to apply can be found here.

Secondary Tertiary Aligned Resource Courses (STAR Courses) 
If you are a secondary school student and are considering your future study options, the STAR courses allow you to experience a snapshot of what a course involves. Typically, these are a day long.  

A period of about 15 weeks, which includes about 12 teaching weeks and about three weeks for study and or exams. At Wintec, the year generally has two main semesters. 

Some courses offer different areas of specialisation, which is called a strand (some tertiary institutes might call these majors). 

Student Learning Services
A support service at Wintec that can help students with in-class assistance, group study-sessions, and networking. Advisors can also provide one-to-one support for priority learners. 

The division of Work and Income NZ that manages student loans and allowances for students during their study. 

Summer School 
A course of lectures held during school and Wintec summer holidays, taken as part of an academic course or as an independent course of study for professional or personal purposes.

A timetable is your programme of lectures and tutorials. They can check their timetable here.

Transfer of Credit 
Transfer of credit (TOC) is the process of assessing and awarding credit towards a programme based on prior formal and informal learning.

Unconditional offer 
The student has a guaranteed place in a course. However, there may be a few things they still need to provide a university or polytech with. 

An undergraduate is a person/student studying towards a Level 7 degree, (that is, they haven’t yet graduated), and an undergraduate degree is another name for their path of study.  

Vocational Pathways 
A tool designed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to segment different pathways of study based on student interests.   

Waikato Trades Academy (WTA)
If you are a current secondary school student, you may be able to attend the Waikato Trades Academy (WTA). It provides an opportunity to experience what it is like to study trades at Wintec while still attending school.

An IT programme used to conduct online meetings, lectures, and tutorials. For some programmes at Wintec, attending Zoom sessions is a compulsory part of completing your course requirements. 

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