Discretionary Entrance

This type of admission is for secondary school students who wish to apply to university prior to gaining a university entrance qualification.

To be considered for Discretionary Entrance to Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington you must have achieved the University Entrance literacy and numeracy standards or the equivalent from Cambridge International Examinations and International Baccalaureate.

You will normally need to have an NCEA Level 2 certificate endorsed with Merit or better.

  • If you are applying directly from Year 12, you will need to have strong support from an adviser at your school. Your adviser’s confidential recommendation will support your maturity, motivation, capability, and readiness to undertake degree-level study.
  • If you are applying after an overseas exchange, you will need to provide written evidence of your study overseas and an adviser's confidential recommendation as above. You will need to complete Year 12/NCEA Level 2 before you go overseas.
  • If you are applying for summer trimester preparatory courses before your Year 13/NCEA results are available, your admission for the following year will still depend on your getting University Entrance.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age by the time you start your study at university.

Application process

  • Apply online by the deadline.
  • Complete the Discretionary Entrance application formpdf39.6KB
  • Obtain an adviser’s confidential written comments for this form.
  • You must specify your proposed programme of study. Discretionary Entrance is granted for a nominated undergraduate qualification.
  • Write a personal statement to the University (‘To Whom It May Concern’ is fine) outlining the reasons why you wish to undertake university study. This statement should be approximately one page long and preferably typed.
  • Provide the required documentation to support your application (i.e. certified copies of your birth certificate or passport and any references).
  • Submit everything by scanning and emailing to enrolments@vuw.ac.nz.

Important information

  • A student who has undertaken Year 13 at a New Zealand Secondary School may not normally apply for Discretionary Entrance for trimester one of the following year.*
  • Discretionary Entrance is not available to international students.
  • Each Discretionary Entrance application is considered on its own merits.

*In recognition of the significant challenges that 2021 school leavers are facing, this condition does not apply for Year 13 at a New Zealand secondary school in 2021.

Course planning advice

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us. Call 0800 04 04 04 or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.