University Entrance

UE requires: 

• Level 3 NCEA.
• 14 credits from three approved subjects.
• Numeracy requirements: A minimum of 10 credits at Level 1 or above in specified numeracy Achievement Standards.
• Literacy requirements: A minimum of 10 credits at Level 2 or above from specified literacy Achievement Standards - 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing.

Approved subjects offered at Nelson College



Business Studies


Classical Studies


Design (Practical Art)

Design Visual Communication (Graphics)

Digital Technologies (Computing)


Earth Space Science










Media Studies

Music Studies

Painting (Practical Art)

Photography (Practical Art)

Physical Education



Te Reo Māori

Literacy and Numeracy

Levels 1, 2 and 3 require achievement of 10 credits in specified literacy and 10 credits in specified numeracy standards.

University Entrance requires achievement of 5 reading credits and 5 writing credits in specified achievement standards.

NZ Universities course entry requirements

Auckland, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago Universities are using a system of Guaranteed Entry Score (GES) or Preferential Entry Score to select students for a) entry to undergraduate courses and b) entry to selected degree programmes.

Guaranteed Entry Scores are calculated using a student’s 80 best credits in Level three university approved subjects, weighted by grade (Excellence = 4 points, Merit = 3 points, Achieved = 2 points, with a maximum of 24 points in each subject. The maximum possible score is 320.)

Some universities use GES to give preferential entry to courses: Canterbury required 120 points for most degrees, Otago and Massey required 140 points and Victoria required 150 points. Auckland University has specific GES requirements for each of their undergraduate programmes, ranging from 150 – 280 points. Applicants with fewer than the required points are wait-listed and admitted to courses only if places remain vacant after students who met the GES requirements are  enrolled.

Note that universities can also vary in entry requirements. For example, many courses have entry requirements additional to UE such as portfolios or interviews.

Grade Entry Scores will be issued by individual universities from mid-year. For up to date information, go to the university websites, the Nelson College Careers website or contact the careers hub.