Course Selection Information for Students entering Year 13

The national qualification for students in Year 13 is Level 3 of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).   In Year 13, all students take 5 subjects.  Some students may be allowed to take 6 subjects (with Dean and Deputy Principal - Curriculum approval).  When selecting courses for Year 13, students should look ahead to the following year and beyond taking into account their long-term career aspirations.  Like Level 2 subjects, Level 3 subjects also have a combination of both internally and externally assessed standards.

  • No subject is compulsory.
  • All Year 13 pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in Community Service.
  • Students from overseas may be permitted to take ESOL as well as 5 NCEA subjects if timetabling permits. 

All students intending to gain University Entrance after Year 13 studies, must achieve a minimum of 10 literacy credits at Level 2 or higher (5 credits - reading; 5 credits – writing.) There are a variety of subjects that contribute credits to the University Entrance Literacy Requirements


  • Most subjects have a minimum requirement.  These are listed as "Recommended Prior Learning" on each subject page.
  • Subjects with no such prerequisites require the approval of the relevant Faculty Leader for all students applying to do the course. In general, students who achieve poor grades will not be permitted to start a new series of subjects.
  • In special circumstances, the Faculty Leaders may, after discussion, allow a student to do a course without having the meeting the recommended prior learning expectations.
  • Course availability is dependent on numbers and staffing, and course entry will be confirmed at the beginning of the school year.

It is important to put in the time and effort now to choose your subjects wisely as class allocations are made according to your choices. 
Changes to option subjects will not be accepted after the end of this year, except in response to NCEA results or in exceptional circumstances. 

It is important you complete your option selection by the due date to enable you to have your preferred course of study. 

Planning Your Course - Some Suggestions

As you plan your course, carefully assess your interests, skills and learning style and choose subjects that build on these.

If you have a particular career in mind, you may need to study some specified subjects.  There is a guide to tertiary study requirements and subject choices in this handbook but do be aware that university courses change frequently and you need to be proactive in seeking up to date information directly from the university or from the Careers Department at the College.

As you plan your course and choose your subject options think about these things:

  • Your interests and abilities.
  • Which subjects you enjoy the most.
  • The skills you have and would like to develop.
  • Your preferred learning style.
  • Your possible future career interests.
  • Are there subject requirements (pre-requisites) at the next level?
  • Any entry criteria for tertiary education?
  • Is the subject on the University Approved list of subjects? (See List of Approved Subjects). 
  • Do I have sufficient flexibility to change my course if my career goals change?

If you are unsure of a subject, talk to someone.

  • Ask students who are doing the subject this year what it is like.
  • Ask the Teacher.
  • Ask the Careers Advisor.
  • Ask your Dean.
  • Ask everybody.
  • Ask for help.  It is an important decision.

Be informed.