Tertiary Jargon

Photo of young woman peering over text book

This glossary will help you understand some key words and terms used throughout this website and at the Polytechnic.

Academic Board
Accountable for the overall academic direction, including the development, conduct, validation and quality of all programmes.

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

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

Bridging/Foundation Programme
Bridging or foundation programmes are specifically designed to lead into more demanding, full-time courses. They can help you gain the necessary academic skills and strategies to be able to succeed in your tertiary studies.

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 diploma programmes. Most trades and service jobs require certificates at Levels 3 or 4.

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

Credits show the ‘value’ of a programme and denote the length of time required to successfully complete it. One credit is equal to approximately 10 hours of study. A one-year, full-time programme of study is made up of a minimum of 120 credits. All unit standard credits are recorded with NZQA and count towards a particular qualification.

‘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.

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 degree programmes.

English Language Requirements

  IELTS TOEFL paper-based TOEFL iBT
Level 1-4 programmes 5.5 500 61
Level 5-6 programmes 6 550 79-80

(unless stated otherwise)

Entry Requirements
Each programme has entry criteria you must meet. These may be academic requirements or work experience.

You're more likely to succeed in your study if you have life and/or work experience that's relevant to the programme and you're able to demonstrate you have the ability, interest and motivation, as well as the literacy and numeracy level to succeed in your programme.

If you have life skills and/or work experience and you don't meet the stated entry requirements but can demonstrate the equivalent ability and experience, you are encouraged to apply.

Flexi-learn is 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 in length.

Graduate Diploma
Graduate diplomas are qualifications at Level 7 open to students who already hold a recognised degree. They're usually one year long.

Each programme 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 programme 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, make sure to choose one you enjoy, are good at, and possibly want to pursue for a career.

Previously known as 'BayLearn', Moodle is an online site where you can access 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 programmes at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic 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.

Some diplomas and degrees are made up of a specific number of papers (also referred to as courses), all of which you’ll need to pass. Sometimes you can choose papers from a list of options. Just make sure you check the diploma/degree and pathway requirements closely.

At Bay of Plenty Polytechnic you can enter a programme of study at a level that suits your previous work skills and life experience or qualifications. You may have the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to enter directly into a programme, or you may need to start at a lower level with less entry requirements, or complete a bridging programme. Many of our programmes pathway into further study options either at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic or at other leading national and international tertiary education providers.

A paper that must be satisfactorily completed before entry to another specified paper.

A programme is made up of modules, papers or units of study that lead to a qualification. Some programmes require successful completion of compulsory subjects while others offer elective subjects.

There are two semesters in an academic year – February to June, and July to November.

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 students. Useful to get external student discounts, after-hours access, internet and photocopying, etc.

The Grid
The Grid is the service Bay of Plenty Polytechnic students use to access the internet at the Polytechnic wirelessly from a laptop, mobile device or from one of the computer labs.

For UoW students where students can top up their printing and internet (through Ako Awe).

Verification of Study (terminology 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).