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New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (Health Pathway)

New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (Health Pathway)

Level 3

Learn the skills required for higher level study in health sciences with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (Health Pathway).

A photograph of a science lab featuring a group of students
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

14 Feb 2022- 24 Jun 2022
25 Jul 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

Domestic Fees: *
$3123.50Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

If you're aspiring to study Nursing, Applied Science (Laboratory Technician) or Health Sciences at a tertiary level, but don't have the entry requirements, consider studying UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (Health Pathway).

The course covers a variety of subjects that will equip you with academic skills for higher-level study in Health Science. As well as core subjects in Career and Study skills, and Communication Skills, you will study Bioscience for Health and Mathematics for Health.

The programme pathway:

Please take a quiz to see how suited you may currently be to our level 3 or 4 courses. Click here

You will be given a confidential score and can use this to plan your journey.
  • If your quiz score is between 35 and 50 you may be best suited to our level 4 course, but please feel free to contact us for more information.
  • If your quiz score is between 20 and 35 you may be best suited to begin with our level 3 course, but please feel free to contact us for more information.
  • If your quiz score is below 20 please contact us and we can help you decide which level would be best for you.

 Career & Study Outcomes

This programme directly leads to UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Nursing Pathway) and New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Medical Imaging Pathway). Students wishing to enter into Animal Care may take this Level 3 programme or the NZ Certificate in Animal Care (Companion Animals) Level 3.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

This programme comprises 60 credits and covers the following:

Career and Study Skills (Level 3) (15 Credits)
In this course, you will discover the best way to learn in the health sciences area. Topics cover learning skills, exam and test preparation, time management, research skills, written and oral communication, and interview and CV preparation. In addition, you will learn computing basics, including preparing written essays and oral presentations and how to learn in a blended (in-class and online) environment. You will also create a portfolio of the areas of health care you are interested in working in. Team-work is emphasized, and projects will see you making videos for a career-based assessment.

Communication Skills (Level 3) (15 Credits)
In this course, you will learn more about effective written, oral and visual communication. You will practice conversations, professional practice and study how social, cultural, and other barriers can affect our communication. You will practice communicating using a variety of media including, reports, emails and video.

Bioscience for Health (Level 3) (15 Credits)
In this course, you will be introduced to introductory chemistry and biology basics. Chemistry will include bonding, formulae and equation basics as well as basic chemical terminology. Biology will cover the broad function of the human body and the structure and function of main body organs. In addition, the health and wellbeing principles and models are also covered.

Mathematics for Health (Level 3) (15 Credits)
Students will acquire and gain confidence in basic numeracy skills relevant to health sciences. This will include metric conversions and other health-related measurements, including drug calculations. In addition, you will also be introduced to statistics and graphs from health and epidemiological data.

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (Health Pathway) supersedes and takes the best from the following programmes of study, which are no longer offered:

  • Certificate in Science and Health
  • Certificate in Introduction to Health Science

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1


Equivalent academic achievement 


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS General or Academic Level 5.0 with no band lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

Your timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of approximately:

  • 20 hours class time (including 3-4 hours online classes)
  • 20 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on research and study to complete your written assignments)

Blended learning
This programme is offered on a blended delivery approach, a unique combination of online and face-to-face learning. Students are welcome to use UCOL's facilities (computers, Internet) to access the online learning. However, we encourage students to have their device such as laptop/PC or tablet to be able to access the online component of this programme from home.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with this programme:

  • Protective labcoats will be supplied by UCOL, however you will be required to wear covered shoes (eg sneakers) in the laboratory classes.
  • Stationery - printed workbooks will be supplied, however you should provide your own pens, pencils, ruler and paper.
  • Scientific calculator - approximately $35


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.