Course selection advice for seniors

Choosing your courses

The School provides a wealth of information and opportunities to assist you in selecting your courses:

  • Ignite Course Selection Booklets
  • Mentor conversations
  • Family Learning Conferences
  • Parent/Teacher interviews
  • Career Education programme  
  • Careers Adviser
  • ​​​​​​​My Mahi - careers and goalsetting website

A Formula for Choosing Your Courses


  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Do you like:
    • problem solving?
    • reading about people and events
    • ‘doing’ rather than listening?
  • You will do better if you have a genuine interest in the course


  • How good are you at this course?
  • Assessments, enjoyment and reports should give you a good idea
  • Discuss with your teachers
  • What a student does at school is becoming less important… what is important is the skills astudent gains and how well a student performs in that course


    ​​​​​​​If you already know what you would like to do when you leave school…Great, but seek advice.

    If you don’t know..that’s OK…but keep your courses broad!

    Tertiary Entrance Requirements

    This is the MINIMUM standard for entry to University

    University Entrance (UE) – General Admission

    • NCEA Level 3
    • Three subjects at Level 3, made up of 14 credits each, in three approved subjects
    • Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing
    • Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
      • Achievement Standards (specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects)
      • or Unit Standards – package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).

    Polytechnics & other Courses:

    There is a wide range of criteria and programmes available, so it is advisable to check specific courses and provider information online.
    NCEA L2 should be your minimum goal but always aim higher than the minimum!

    Specific Requirements

    • In general, few tertiary courses now demand that students study certain subjects at school
    • Many degree courses start with broad compulsory courses
    • Generally – 3 year degrees now benefit from a Post Graduate course to give greater employability.


    Needed for L1 literacy (10crs)
    Communication skills highly valued in all areas


    Needed for L1 literary

    Needed at higher levels for scientific & technical careers

    • Calculus
    • Statistics
    • Maths

    Min 10 credits at L1 or above for entrance to University


    Recommended to Year 11
    General Science and then at Year 12 & 13:

    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Earth and Space Science
    • Agriculture


    Interest in understanding or working with people
    Develop good higher level thinking skills

    • Aviation
    • Geography
    • History
    • Or by correspondence
      • Commerce
      • Classics


    Indicates a general interest in practical areas
    Develop a portfolio of your work – drawings and photos

    • Building
    • Technology
    • Design and Visual Communication
    • Digital Technology
    • Hospitality
    • Textiles

    Major shortages of skilled workers in trades – great opportunities.


    Demonstrate your creativity
    Portfolio essential
    Subjects include

    • Design
    • Photography
    • Painting
    • Sculpture
    • Art History


    These subjects all have a performance element

    • Music
    • Dance
    • Drama
    • And languages which have an oral and written component
      • Te Reo Maori
      • French


    Interested in sport and fitness. Enjoy team work.
    Available at a variety of levels
    All include practical activity

    • Train to Gain – Anatomy and Sports Performance
    • Take the Lead – Leadership and Participation
    • Out and About – Outdoor Education
    • Health is Wealth – Health Issues and Personal Wellbeing​​​​​​​
    • PE – Juniors
    • Sports Studies – Juniors

    PATHWAYS (Vocational)

    • Tourism
    • Retail
    • Work Skills – Skills and tools to get you started in the workplace
    • Drive – Pass your driver’s license
    • Trades Academies – Weltec, Whitireia, UCOL, Primary ITO
    • Gateway – Practical work experience


    • Stay broad for as long as possible.​​​​​​​
    • You can’t go wrong selecting English, Maths & Science.
    • Whatever you do… do it well & aim high!
    • Ask for advice.