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Subjects for standard full year foundation studies programmes

English for Academic Purposes (EAP), plus four from the list below.

At the end of the foundation studies programme, students sit a three-hour external exam in each subject. All subjects also have an internal assessment component.

Subject Descriptions

  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

    EAP trains students to use language appropriately for study, and includes academic writing, academic speaking, academic reading, academic listening, research skills, syntax and academic vocabulary. Core course material is supplemented with electronic materials such as media-related reading exercises and communication activities that improve grammar and listening skills.

    Students who achieve a minimum of a B grade in EAP meet the literacy requirements for entry to the University of Auckland. They will not need an IELTS pass (minimum 6.0) for courses in commerce (business), science, arts, law, architecture, music, technology and others. Those wanting to study engineering, health science and education will still need to take IELTS, however after completing EAP they will be well equipped with the language skills needed for most ELT examinations.

  • Accounting

    Get started in the world of commerce, business management and banking. Learn how financial information is used in business, how to prepare financial accounting reports, and how accounting information helps businesses make decisions. Study business ownership and the theory and principles of accounting, develop spreadsheet skills and gain an introduction to management accounting. Accounting leads to a wide variety of degree and diploma courses at university and institutes of technology, as well as some exciting career prospects through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.

  • Biology

    Gain a greater understanding of the world, learn more about plants and animals, and explore issues surrounding genetic engineering and biotechnology. Biology is the ideal base for many tertiary courses, and can be studied at tertiary level either as a specialist subject, or as part of courses such as those leading to the health sciences.

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry helps us understand materials that are part of everyday life, exploring the basic make-up of matter and how substances interact. A lot of chemistry is based on experiments and lab work, so students gain practical skills, and develop their powers of observation and ability to communicate results and conclusions. Students need good arithmetical skills.

  • Design

    Design is the stepping stone to design and architecture courses at university and technical institutes. To gain entry into a design course, students need to submit a portfolio of artwork, have an interview, and complete drawing and design tests. The course will expand their knowledge of design practice through practical projects and visual/verbal research into design history and theory. On top of scheduled classes, students spend three non-scheduled lessons in the studio working on extension projects.

  • Economics

    Build an understanding of how the economy works and make better-informed decisions about the political and economic direction that New Zealand should take. Economics is a great base for a business career, and can lead to rewarding jobs in marketing, sales, banking, stock broking, politics, management, asset management and government departmental roles.

  • Geography

    Geography is the science of place and space, with two main branches – human geography and physical geography. Human geographers work in urban planning, transport, marketing, tourism and international business, while physical geographers forecast the weather, manage land and water resources. The study of geography leads to a wide variety of degree courses and is useful for many career options.

  • Mathematics

    Many mathematics students do both calculus and statistics, but students who only want to choose one should keep in mind that it’s more difficult to pick up calculus at a later stage. In calculus, students manipulate abstract quantities, while in statistics they interpret questions into mathematical equations. To find out which is more relevant to a particular career path, students should talk to a careers counsellor or the university they are planning to study at.

    Mathematics with Calculus

    Students need good algebraic, graphical and computational skills for this subject. Half of the course consists of calculus, and looks at a limit and range of differentiation and integration techniques, including their application to a range of mathematical models. The other half is a combination of algebra, trigonometry and co-ordinate geometry. The course suits students interested in the continued study of mathematics, physical sciences, engineering or any field where analysis is an important tool. Calculus is a prerequisite for entry into some tertiary courses, such as engineering, advanced economics and physics, as well as further studies in mathematics. Requirements vary from one provider to another.

    Mathematics with Statistics

    This course prepares students for careers in the biological and social sciences, medicine, commerce and administration, and any other field where collection, analysis and interpretation of data is important. Half the course is statistics, covering elementary data analysis, probability, discrete probability distributions (Binomial and Poisson) and the Normal Distribution. The sampling distribution of the mean and the Central Limit Theorem pave the way for work on confidence intervals. A study of Time Series is included. The second half of the course is an algebraic section involving solution of linear equations, linear programming, series, the Binomial Theorem and a study of functions, graphs and simple mathematical modelling. Students learn to use computer software to present data graphically and are expected to complete projects on a computer.

  • Physics

    Physics explains why natural and manmade phenomena occur. The course builds knowledge and understanding of physics through everyday situations, teaching students about different types of experimental techniques, and helping them develop a logical approach to problem-solving and experimental design. The study of physics can lead to a wide variety of degrees and diploma courses and is a prerequisite for many careers.

  • Art History*
  • Painting*
  • Music*

* subject to sufficient enrolments.