Certificate of Attainment in Foundation Studies

The Certificate of Attainment in Foundation Studies is our international bridging programme for students who have completed high school but have not meet the academic entry requirements for entry into degree study.

The Certificate of Attainment in Foundation Studies (CAFS) is offered as a standard one year programme or an accelerated five month programme for those with higher English Language/and or academic abilities.

The course includes compulsory English language and learning skills papers and electives across a range of study areas. Classes include New Zealand students to encourage international students to improve their English and make New Zealand friends.

Standard Foundation Studies Programme


Standard: 1 year (A & B semester)
Fast Track: 8 months (must include summer school option).
Accelerated:5 months (one semester)

2017 Dates

A Semester – 27 February to 23 June 2017
B Semester – 10 July to 27 October 2017
Summer School – 6 November to end of February 2018

Course Requirements

  • Standard Foundation: You will study a total of eight papers. Three compulsory papers (CAFS001, CAFS002 and CUPR001) plus five electives from the list below.
  • Accelerated: You will study a total of four papers – English 2 (compulsory) and any three electives from the list of papers below.
  • Students can have up to 20 hours of class per week (4 papers) with a further 20 hours to be spent on homework and revision.
  • Classes are scheduled between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

Compulsory Papers

CAFS001 English for Foundation Studies 1 (Standard)
CAFS002 English for Foundation Studies 2 (Standard and Accelerated only)
CUPR001 Study Skills (Standard, preferable for Accelerated)


CUPR008 Bridging Mathematics and Statistics
CUPR025 Bridging General Science
CAFS004 Bridging Calculus
CAFS006 Bridging Accounting
CAFS009 Bridging Biology
CAFS010 Bridging Chemistry
CAFS011 Bridging Physics
CAFS015 Bridging Business Studies
CUPR002 Critical Thought and Expression
CUPR003 Bridging Arts
CUPR004 Bridging Social Sciences
CUPR026 Te Huarahi Bridging Maori

Tuition Fees

The approximate cost for Standard NZD $20,852.00, Accelerated NZD $10,426.00

Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton
Faculty: Pathways College
Year: 1

Standard Foundation Studies Programme (two semesters) Entry Requirements

  • To be 16 years of age or over
  • Have completed secondary school study, equivalent to New Zealand Year 12, or
  • Have a completed secondary school qualification from your country of origin (view table below*)
  • Have an IELTS score 5.5 or above (with at least a 5 in writing) or
  • Have successfully completed Level 6 Certificate of Attainment in Academic English

Countries Minimum requirements
Bangladesh Higher School Certificate (HSC) or Intermediate Certificate completed after 12 years of schooling with a Second Division Pass (45% or above).
China Completion of Senior High School in Year 11 (Senior Grade Two) or Year 12 (Senior Grade Three).
Fiji Fiji School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) with 65% average in your best four subjects, which must include English.
Germany Intermediate School Leaving Certificate (Realschulabschluss, Mittlere Schulabschluss or Realschulreife) on graduation from Grade 10 with a grade 3 average.
Hong Kong Successful completion of Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education with a Grade 2 or better in four core subjects.
India All India Senior School Certificate (AISSCE) with a 45% grade average in four subjects or Indian School Certificate (ISC) with a 50% grade average or Higher School Certificate (HSC) with a 65% average, OR passed Tenth Grade in Kerala.
Indonesia Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate of Completion (Surat Tanda Tamat Belajar Sekolah Menengah Atas (STTB SMA)) with grade average of 6.5.
Iraq Sixth Form Baccalaureat (Adadiyah) with an overall 60% average.
Japan Kotogakko Sotsugyo Shomeisho with a grade 3 average.
Malaysia Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with a grade B4 average in five subjects.
Maldives University of Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Levels with a B4 average in four main subjects.
Oman Successful completion of the Secondary School Certificate (Thanawiya Amma) with at least an 80% average.
Pacific Islands Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate (PSSC) with an overall grade 5 average in four subjects, including a grade of 6 in English.
Russia Certificate of Secondary Education (Attestat o Srednem obrazovanii) on graduation from Grade 11 or Grade 12 with a grade 3 average.
Saudi Arabia Successful completion of the General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawhijiyah, Tawjihi or Shahadat Al-Maharlat Al-Thanawiyyat) with a 60% overall average.
Singapore Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ Levels with a B4 average in four main subjects.
South Korea Graduated from senior high school with a C grade average in Year 3 (Grade 12) of senior high school.
Taiwan Senior High School Learning Certificate with a C grade average in Grade 12 (Year 3) of senior high school.
Thailand Matayom 6 (M6) with a passing grade (1.0) in each subject studied.
Turkey Successful completion of the State High School Diploma (Develt Lse Diplomasi) or the Private High School Finishing Diploma (Lise Bitirme Diplomasi) with an overall grade 3 average.
UAE Secondary School Certificate (Tawjihiyya) with at least a 70% average.
Vietnam Upper Secondary School Graduation Certificate (Bang tot nghiep pho tong trung hoc) or Diploma of General Education (Bang tu tai) with scores of 5.0 or better on a 10 point scale.

Accelerated Foundation (one Semester) Entry Requirements

English Requirements IELTS overall 5.5 or above and at least a 5.5 in writing with no band less than a 5


Certificate of Attainment in Academic English Level 6 with an overall ‘B’ grade and a ‘B’ in writing at the University of Waikato Pathways College.

Countries Minimum requirements
China Complete Senior High School Year 2 or 3 with 80% and over in four subjects OR GaoKao Band 2 (high end)
Hong Kong HKDSE with 3 subjects at level 3.
Indonesia SMA between 6.5 and 8.5
Kuwait GSEC higher than 70% average (academic subjects only)
Malaysia Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with a grade A2 average in 5 subjects/STPM at least 1 C grade.
Oman GSEC with 70% average
Saudi Arabia GSEC with 85% average (academic subjects only)
Singapore Attempted A (H) levels with at least 1 H2 pass at C grade
Vietnam Intermediate Diploma (post school qualification
NZ High School Attempted NCEA Level 3 and narrowly missed attaining University Entrance.
All applications assessed on a case by case basis.
Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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Last updated July 10, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
5 - 12 months
- The approximate cost for Standard NZD $20,852.00, Accelerated NZD $10,426.00
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