Tertiary Jargon

This glossary helps you understand some key words and terms used throughout this website and at Toi Ohomai.

Academic Commitee
A committee required by New Zealand law, made up of Toi Ohomai staff who are accountable for the overall academic direction of the Institute including the development, conduct, validation and quality of all qualifications.

The process of determining the extent to which educational objectives have been achieved by the student.

Blended Delivery
A combination of face-to-face and online learning and assessment.

Bridging/Foundation Courses
Courses that are specifically designed to lead into more demanding, full-time study. They can help you develop your academic skills and strategies.

Certificates are qualifications at levels 1 to 4, with at least 40 credits. They can be between 12 weeks to a full year in length and can pathway into diplomas. Most trades and service jobs require certificates at levels 3 or 4. You can read more about tertiary levels of study on the NZQA website.

Core Paper
A paper that must be passed as part of a diploma or degree.

Course - definition
On this website the word course is used to describe a qualification e.g. New Zealand Certificate in Tourism (Level 3).

When you come to enrolment forms and other formal documents you may see the word course used to describe topics or papers within a qualification (referred to in that case as a programme). See also: Programme

Credits show the value of a topic/paper studied within a qualification. Students must pass a set number of credits to be awarded a qualification.

A one-year, full-time course of study (containing several topics or papers) is made up of a minimum of 120 credits. One credit is equal to approximately 10 hours of study.

All unit standard credits are recorded with NZQA and count towards a particular qualification.

For national qualifications or where unit standards are embedded within a course, NZQA credit may also be achieved.

‘Bachelor’ degrees are qualifications at level 7. They usually take 3-4 years of full-time study to complete and can lead to further study at Masters or Doctorate levels. You can read more about tertiary levels of study on the NZQA website.

Diplomas are qualifications at Levels 5 and 6, requiring at least 120 credits. They are between 1-2 years in length and may pathway into degrees. You can read more about tertiary levels of study on the NZQA website.

Distance Learning/Flexi-study
Distance study/flexi-study allows you to complete some of your study from home, with some attendance in class for some coursework and/or assessments. Your study might be supported by a combination of workbook material, online study and other electronic media. Internet access is usually necessary.

Domestic Student - definition
To qualify as a domestic student and to be entitled to the Government tuition subsidy, you must be a citizen of New Zealand (including students from the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue if you have New Zealand citizenship), or a permanent resident of New Zealand, or a citizen or permanent resident of Australia residing in New Zealand.

This indicates the minimum amount of time it generally takes to finish the qualification when studied. Most courses can be studied full or part-time.

An endorsement identifies a field of specialisation within a qualification. Degree endorsements are known as majors, non-degree endorsements are known as strands.

Entry Criteria
The academic requirements or work experience you need in order to be accepted onto a course e.g. NCEA Level 2 with passes in English/te reo Māori.

Some courses accept applications without academic entry criteria so long as you have life skills and/or work experience and can demonstrate an equivalent level of ability and/or experience.

A delivery option for people already working in industry/business who bring current knowledge to the teaching/learning situation. Class time is streamlined to fit with work and students can use their workplace experience and examples to complete learning and assessment.

Graduate Certificate
Graduate certificates are qualifications at Level 7 open to students who already hold a recognised degree. They're usually 60 credits. You can read more about tertiary levels of study on the NZQA website.

Graduate Diploma
Graduate diplomas are qualifications at Level 7 open to students who already hold a recognised degree. They're usually one year long. You can read more about tertiary levels of study on the NZQA website.

The date a course begins. The Toi Ohomai academic year is made up of two semesters. The main intakes are in February, June and October but several courses have intakes during the other months.

Each qualification is classified by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) at a level from 1 to 10. The higher the level, the more complex and demanding the course will be.

Certain diplomas or degrees allow you to select a major subject to study. For example, the Diploma in Tourism offers majors in international flight attending, travel management and event management. Since you’ll be studying this subject a while and changing majors is not easy, be sure to put some thought into your selection.

Once you become a student you’ll be given access to this online site where you can find all your course materials and lecture notes, and interact with your tutors.

National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA)
NCEA is New Zealand’s main secondary school qualification. NCEA can be gained at Level 1 (usually in Year 11), Level 2 (usually Year 12) and Level 3 (usually Year 13). Different qualifications may require you to have a minimum number of NCEA credits at specified levels to be able to enter.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)
New Zealand Qualifications Authority assures the quality of national qualifications in New Zealand.

NCEA Unit and Achievement Standards
National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand’s main national qualification for secondary school students and part of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). You’ll often see NCEA unit and achievement standards in entry criteria.

NZQA Accredited
New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) quality-assures secondary and tertiary qualifications, and education providers. Accreditation means that our internal quality systems have been independently evaluated to make sure they meet approved national standards. All our qualifications have been quality assured, approved, and accredited by NZQA.

Online Study
Online study allows you to study via the internet. For some courses this is completed at set times and for others, you can complete it at times that suit you. Attendance in class might be required for assessments.

Papers are units of study within the diplomas and degrees (sometimes also referred to as courses).

On this website you’ll see the term part-time used in relation to your attendance time e.g. an evening course, or a course you attend 3 days a week would be described as part-time. This has no relation to student loans and allowances.

StudyLink uses more complex factors to define the term part-time, the combination of which determines whether a course qualifies for student loans and allowances. Please refer to the StudyLink website for details. 

A programme of study is said to pathway when it leads on to something else, normally at a higher level e.g. a level 3 pathways to a level 4, and some of our business management courses pathway into degrees.

A paper that must be passed before you can start on another specified paper.

Programme - definition
Throughout the application and enrolment process and on legal and formal documentation, you might see the word programme used to describe a qualification e.g. New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4) and this would be made up of several courses.

Online, we refer to the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4) as a course, made up of several topics. We'd refer to the New Zealand Diploma in Business and anything at degree level or higher as being made up of papers. See also: Course

On the Website Degree Level and Above Qual's Below Degree Level
Overall offering is called degree/masters course
It's made up of papers topics

A certificate, diploma, degree, conjoint degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma approved by the institute, ITPNZ, or NZQA.

Recognition of Academic Credit

If you've studied before or have relevant work/life experience, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards the qualification you wish to study with us. 

There are several credit recognition pathways available to compare your previous experience with the learning required on one or more of the courses you will be studying.

Short Courses
Short courses can range from a few hours up to several weeks in length. Some are intended as professional development, (e.g. as preparation for an industry registration), others are open for anyone interested in the course.

Student ID card
A swipe card issued to identify our students. It might also give you after-hours access to the facilities, internet and photocopying, etc. and external student discounts.

Verification of Study (VOS) is a term that’s mainly used between StudyLink and the institute i.e. if you have applied for a student loan and/or allowance StudyLink will request a verification of your study details from the institute you are enrolled with.