Pre-Foundation programme

Student studying in library

What is the Pre-Foundation programme?

The Pre-Foundation programme is a 19-week programme for students who do not meet the academic or English entry requirements for the University of Auckland's Foundation Studies Certificate programme. The registered name for the Pre-Foundation programme is The New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2) and is developed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and delivered by Study Group NZ Limited trading as Taylors College.

Key facts

19 weeks (January start)
19 weeks (July start)
*21 weeks including holiday

Intakes: January and July

See: intake dates for more information.

Entry requirements

Minimum age: 16

English language: IELTS score of 4.5 (writing no less than 4.5) or approved equivalent

Visit the Entry requirements page for a full list of country specific entry requirements.


Visit the Fees page for full details.

What will I study on the Pre-Foundation programme?

During this course you will receive an introduction to the subjects that you will study at foundation level, including academic English. You will receive high quality academic tuition, as well as one-to-one support from your teachers. Taylors College Auckland will help you develop and improve your English language skills throughout the programme.

In this course you will study three core subjects and two out of three elective subjects.


A focus on the four basic language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Includes an introduction to academic reading and writing skills, with an emphasis on independent learning, interpreting resources and using new knowledge to answer questions and write essays.


Develops a skill base that will prepare you to specialise in statistics and/or calculus during the Foundation Studies Certificate programme.

Information Technology

Focuses on essential skills needed to study the Foundation Studies Certificate programme, including wider computing skills, presentation skills, and internet use for study and research.

You will study two out of three elective subjects depending on your chosen progression degree.


This subject offers an introduction to all the science subjects available with the Foundation Studies Certificate programme:

  • Biology: Key topics needed for foundation-level study, including genetics, evolution, and plant and animal responses to environmental factors.
  • Chemistry: A practical introduction to common chemicals, what they do, how to test for them, and how they react.
  • Physics: Practical and theoretical study to investigate why and how things happen.


This subject includes accounting and economics skills and vocabulary you need to study the Foundation Studies Certificate programme. It focuses on the knowledge, understanding and application of core concepts.

Social Studies

This subject gives students an introduction to New Zealand history and Māori culture, European history and ancient history. It includes topics in the history of art, and the history of disasters. The subject introduces vocabulary that will be useful in the Foundation Studies Certificate programme of Classical Studies, Geography and Art. You will also begin learning the skills of analysis and critical thinking which are necessary in humanities subjects.


On successful completion, you will be awarded a New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2).

When you complete the programme

Once you have successfully completed the Pre-Foundation programme, you can apply for the Foundation Studies Certificate programme. This programme is held on the same campus, so you will be familiar with your study environment and the friendly teaching staff at Taylors College Auckland.

Due to recent changes in regulations, effective from 01 January 2019, students studying the Pre-Foundation programme at Taylors College Auckland must achieve an IELTS score or other internationally recognised English test outcome as required by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to gain entry to the Foundation Studies Certificate programme.

Intake dates

There is a choice of start dates based on when you are planning to start your Foundation Studies Certificate programme.

IntakeLengthOrientation*Start date
January19 weeks20/01/202323/01/2023
July19 weeks07/07/202310/07/2023

Learn more about Orientation.

Cindy from China

"I chose the foundation course because I want to practise my English and make more friends so I can learn cultures from another countries."

Cindy from China
Studying Auckland Foundation Year (now replaced by the Foundation Studies Certificate)

Degree progression

Students studying from textbook together

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Studies Certificate, and meeting the minimum entry requirements, you can progress to an undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland.

How to apply

Student working on laptop on sofa

Ready to join us in Auckland? Learn more about the application process to join us at Taylors College and begin your academic adventure with us.