What will I learn?

Study English at Otago Polytechnic to prepare for further study, make new friends and experience New Zealand culture.

When you study with us you will: learn English from teachers who are very patient and understanding. Work in small groups to practise your speaking. Meet native speakers and listen to guest speakers. Gain study skills through self-directed learning and group work.

This Certificate is for upper-intermediate English speakers who want to do further English-language or subject study in an academic context. It is a nationally-recognised qualification. It can lead to academic study at Otago Polytechnic, or you can use it to transfer to other study institutes in New Zealand.

What you will learn

When you complete this programme you will be able to: understand the main ideas and key supporting details of moderately complex spoken and written information on familiar and unfamiliar topics. Participate effectively in sustained, spoken academic discourse. Write detailed, well developed and moderately complex academic texts

Your workload

20-22 hours a week in class, guided by your teacher

10-14 hours a week for self-directed study

Next step

This programme prepares you for further study in our certificate, diploma and degree programmes.

Study options

Full Time (17 weeks)

Tuition fees
NZ$7,290.00 (US$ 5,212) per year
Start date

Expected February, July 2022


Otago Polytechnic

Dunedin Campus,

Forth Street,


North Dunedin,

9016, New Zealand

Full Time (16 weeks)

Tuition fees
NZ$7,290.00 (US$ 5,212) per year
Start date

Expected October, November 2021


Auckland International Campus

Level 2, 350 Queen Street,


Auckland Central,

1141, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For international students

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.

We will test you and place you at the right level when you arrive. You may not be enrolled into the Certificate level that you apply for.

International students need a visa to study with us for more than three months.

At our Auckland International Campus, this programme is delivered through Future Skills Academy in a sub-contract arrangement between Otago Polytechnic and Future Skills.

If you're studying this programme at the Auckland International Campus (OPAIC):

The New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Academic) (Level 4) is only offered to students who intend to study a Level 7 programme at the Auckland International Campus.

Overall Academic IELTS 5.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years)

Reading band 5.0
Writing band 5.5
Speaking band 5.0
Listening band 5.0, OR

Acceptable alternative evidence of the required IELTS:

IELTS test: General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36; Language Certificate: B2 Communicator IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.