Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about studying at the Wellington Faculty of Science.


How do I enrol?

It is possible to enrol for most courses online. Please see the Apply and enrol page for more information.

You cannot enrol online if:

  • you are an international student beginning either undergraduate or postgraduate study
  • you are applying for an exchange programme
  • you are applying for thesis-based study.

Student Advisers at the science faculty office can help with specific enquiries regarding course selection.
If you are ready to enrol online, visit the Apply now page.

How do I apply for exemption from a course prerequisite or degree regulation?

Complete this Application for exemption form and deliver it to the science faculty office for processing.

How do I enrol in an Honours degree?

The science faculty office can help with specific enquiries about science courses. Other information is available on the appropriate School website.

How do I enrol in a Master’s or PhD thesis?

Once you have chosen a supervisor and a project, visit the science faculty office to get an enrolment form.

Please go to the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research website for more information about the Master’s and PhD programme application process and closing dates.

How do I apply for a suspension or extension to a postgraduate programme?

Extensions and suspensions are normally only approved for serious health, family or work-related issues. In order to apply, you must complete an Application for suspension/Extension of postgraduate programme form, have it signed off by your supervisor and submit it to the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) for consideration. You will be informed of the outcome of your application in writing.

How do I re-enrol in a Master’s or a PhD thesis?

If you seek re-enrolment within the time limit for submission of your thesis, complete an Application for re-enrolment in postgraduate thesis programme form. It can be emailed or delivered to the science faculty office.

Adding and withdrawing from courses

How do I add or withdraw from a course?

You may be able to add or drop courses online—go to Student Records and follow the instructions.

Otherwise complete a Add/Drop Course form at the science faculty office:

  • To withdraw from a course, simply put a line through the courses from which you are withdrawing.
  • To add a course, write in the codes and CRN numbers of those being added. If you are adding a course after the start of the trimester in which the course is offered, then you will need to get the course coordinator to sign you in; otherwise, no signature is needed.

How long do I have to add a course?

As a general rule, you should add courses by the end of the first week.

Courses may not be added after the end of the second week of a trimester, except for exceptional circumstances. That does not mean that you are free to add courses at any time during the first two weeks. Once classes have started, you need the permission of the course coordinator. If the lecture/tutorial rooms are full, then there may be no place for you, and if you have missed too many of the lectures, then you may be declined permission on academic grounds.

How long do I have to withdraw from a course?

Courses may be dropped with a full fee refund at any time during the first two weeks of a regular trimester (within the first week of the summer trimester). After that, you are free to withdraw from a course taught over 12 weeks without having the course recorded as a fail (but without a fees refund) until the end of the ninth week of classes. If you are withdrawing by means of a Change of Course form, no signatures are needed.

Once the ninth week is over, withdrawals are possible only with the permission of the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) and if the conditions below are met:

  • you must have been achieving well enough to pass the course
  • your withdrawal must be due to unexpected circumstances which arose after the withdrawal deadline.

You must complete the late withdrawal form.

You can find out more about withdrawing on the Course additions, withdrawals and refunds page.

Degree planning and advice

How do I plan a degree?

You can get course advice from Student Recruitment and Orientation, located in the Hunter Building or from one of our Student Advisers in the science faculty office. The Associate Dean (Postgraduate) is also available to help with course planning.

How do I know how many more points I need for my degree?

This is called a degree audit. This is done automatically at mid-year for all final year students, and then again at the end of the year.

You can also complete a self-audit online by using myDegree, or come to the science faculty office and ask your Student Adviser to audit your degree for you.

How do I change my degree or major?

You may be able to change your degree or major online—go to Student Records and follow the instructions. Otherwise, you need to get a Change of Course form from the science faculty office. You may wish to discuss your options first with a Student Adviser or the Associate Dean (Postgraduate).

How do I apply for credit transfer?

To apply for recognition of study at other tertiary institutions towards your Victoria University of Wellington qualification, come to the science faculty office with proof of your previously completed courses. You will also need to provide:

  • an original or certified copy of your academic transcript
  • original or certified copy of your Certificate of Completion (for completed qualification only).

How do I apply for an exemption from course prerequisite / degree regulation?

If you are applying for exemption from a prerequisite or corequisite, complete an Application for exemption form and take this to the relevant course coordinator for approval. Then send or deliver the form to the science faculty office for processing. If you are applying for an exemption from a specific course requirement, or permission to substitute an approved course, you can simply take the completed form to the science faculty office.

Examinations and graduation

See the science faculty offices page for general information about aegrotats, student ID for examinations and sitting examinations at another time or place. For examination timetables, see the timetables page.

How do I apply for authorisation to take a dictionary into an examination?

Download the dictionary form and take it to your course coordinator to sign. Take the completed form to the science faculty office where you will be given a copy to take to the examination. Take the form and your dictionary to the examination where the supervisor will check it before the start. Note that only foreign languages to English dictionaries are permitted. Electronic dictionaries are generally not permitted.

How do I apply for a return of examination script?

You can apply to have your original examination script returned free of charge. Complete a Return of examination script form and send or deliver to the science faculty office for processing. You must apply by the following dates:

  • first trimester courses—31 August
  • second trimester courses—31 January
  • third trimester courses—30 April.

The original script will not be returned to you until two months after the end of the relevant trimester. A photocopy of your script can be supplied before these dates.

How do I apply for a reconsideration of assessment?

Contact your School office for more information on this process.

How do I apply to graduate?

Once you have completed your qualification you will be sent an email about the graduation process. It is therefore important to keep your contact details in Student Records up to date. The email will give you instructions on how to apply to have your qualification granted.

You may apply to graduate in person at a graduation ceremony or in absentia (when you are not present) at a meeting of the University Council. You must apply within 12 months of completing your qualification to attend either a graduation ceremony or graduate in absentia at a council meeting. Your qualification will be granted in absentia if the Graduation Office does not hear from you within 12 months.

Which graduation ceremony do I take part in?

If you complete your qualification at the end of the second trimester, you would normally graduate at the May ceremonies of the following year. If you complete mid-year (at the end of the first trimester), you would normally graduate at the December ceremonies. You can however apply to graduate at a subsequent ceremony as long as it is within 12 months of completing your qualification.

What is advanced graduation?

Some students who complete a qualification at the end of the year can graduate at the December ceremonies of the same year. This is called advanced graduation. Only the following students are eligible for advanced graduation:

  • international students returning home
  • students leaving New Zealand to take up a scholarship overseas (Note: supporting documentation must be provided)
  • PhD and Masters students
  • students facing exceptional circumstances
  • any Māori students who wish to attend the Toihuarewa graduation at the Michael Fowler Centre. These students are also eligible to attend Hui Whakapāmau, an additional celebration organised by the Marae. (Note: these students must have previously declared themselves as Māori on the student records system).

A written application outlining your circumstances must be made to the Manager, Student and Academic Services, using the Application for advanced graduation form.

Your application to graduate at one of the December ceremonies must be made by 1 September. Students completing a qualification over the summer trimester and PhD and Masters students, may apply for advanced graduation at one of the May ceremonies. Application must be made before 1 March and is subject to the conditions outlined above. Contact the science faculty office for more information.