Course catalogs at New Zealand universities
The courses at a university can be found in the course catalog. At the New Zealand universities, the courses build on each other according to the desired degree. A course code of at least three digits can be used to identify the level and letters to identify the subject area of a course. At universities, the following generally applies: the designation 100-level stands for courses from the first year of study, Bachelor of Honor’s courses are usually 500-level, master courses 600-level and PhD courses 700-level. For example, BTEC101 describes an introductory course in biotechnology at Victoria University of Wellington. However, especially in the Masters area, some New Zealand universities deviate from this system and develop their own levels.
The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Private Training Establishments (PTEs) are usually based on the level of the NZQF. This system assigns all official New Zealand degrees to a certain level (level) from one (certificate) through seven (bachelor’s) to ten (doctoral degree). The course name ETH615, for example, stands for the Bachelor course Business Ethics at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. The exact classification differs in part at the universities and can be found on the respective website. Thanks to a largely standardized assignment, this represents New Zealand’s study system, however, ensures the comparability and correspondingly high quality of the degrees.
In many cases, the universities in New Zealand assign an additional occurrence code to the courses. The identifier describes in which year of study or in which semester the course takes place. This makes it easier for students to put together their timetable according to their level of study and to plan their studies. A possible site code provides information about the location of the course. This is particularly helpful at universities with multiple locations.
Types of examinations and grading in New Zealand
According to printerhall, the courses in New Zealand require proof of achievement in order to earn credit points for the desired degree. The required number of credit points and the corresponding level of study vary depending on which qualification students want to obtain.
At New Zealand universities, smaller assignments and a final exam or project serve as evidence of a course’s performance during the semester. This includes small term papers, essays, papers or reports as well as tests and exams. There are usually around three assignments per course. As a result, students in New Zealand invest a lot of time in the courses during the semester to get a good grade.
Just like the courses, the papers submitted are usually given a code that uniquely assigns them to level and subject area.
The New Zealand grading system evaluates the performance records according to letter grades from A + to E, which cover the corresponding percentage ranges. Studying in New Zealand requires continuous performance throughout the semester for a correspondingly good grade. The smaller certificates of achievement result in about 30% to 50% of the final grade of the respective course. The final exam accounts for the remainder of this grade. This has the advantage that the final grade of a course in New Zealand represents a whole semester and not a respective day form.
Atmosphere in the courses in New Zealand
New Zealand universities are known for their excellent teaching atmosphere. Small groups, practical relevance and modern equipment enable contemporary and individual courses. Contact with teaching staff is often very personal and lecturers are open to new perspectives. In order to motivate students to actively participate in the lectures, for example, the AUT University relies on round tables instead of rigid rows of benches. This teaching atmosphere challenges and encourages the students, who always have to stay on the ball in order to have a say.
It goes without saying that New Zealand students prepare for and follow up the courses in self-study. For project work or presentations, they often choose their topics freely and after their own research in consultation with the lecturers. The university’s own service-oriented facilities offer students space and resources to work and research independently. In the courses, the participants often discuss current research results from the university and benefit from the experience of the lecturers.
The practical projects, especially at the ITPs, also look after the cooperating companies with great commitment. Often students complete their final projects here. In addition, they have their own academic supervisors at the university. Internships are possible at all New Zealand universities and are part of the academic semester.
New Zealand courses compared to Germany
- Similar to studying at a German university, students in New Zealand compose their own schedule
- Due to the course number, courses are clearly assigned to a certain level
- New Zealand universities encourage an open atmosphere and interactivity in the courses
- As in Germany, studying in New Zealand consists of lectures, tutorials and seminars
- The New Zealand course is particularly practical thanks to internships and field trips
- In New Zealand, the final grade of a course is made up of several individual assessments
- A change of subject or university is also possible in New Zealand with comparable degrees