TFC overview

Do you want to study at university but lack confidence or feel unprepared?
Did you leave school early, or has it been some time since you last did any study?
Do you lack the grades needed for entry to university?

Then TFC is the way to go. TFC is for those who:

  • Didn’t achieve University Entrance via NCEA Level 3 or Cambridge examinations
  • Can’t gain admission into the bachelors programme of their choice due to their rank score
  • Have been away from school for some time

The TFC programme supports the University’s belief that anyone capable of studying at tertiary level should be given that opportunity. The major factors for your success in this programme are regular attendance, motivation and determination to maintain the necessary effort.

TFC is offered at two campuses: City campus and Tai Tonga (South Auckland). Note: There are limited Pathways offered at Tai Tonga. Contact us to find out more.

What you’ll learn

This intensive one-year, full-time programme will help you gain the skills and confidence you need for successful tertiary study. You will:

  • Pursue a range of courses specifically designed to bring you up to Stage I university level
  • Learn how to study effectively and understand the discipline needed for effective tertiary-level study
  • Work with highly qualified University lecturers and tutors
  • Be introduced to university life, with full use of campus services and facilities
  • Gain an academically recognised qualification so you can apply for admission into a bachelors programme at the University of Auckland or with another tertiary provider.*

*Note: Some faculties have limited-entry programmes, and TFC graduates may need a stronger Grade Point Average (GPA) to be considered favourably. Strong TFC grades, such as B+ and above, usually enable admission into a basic BA, BCom or BSc programme, but requirements may vary. Contact individual faculties for details.

Programme structure

TFC offers six different pathways which provide an entry route to degree studies which is the core purpose of TFC. The specific pathways help to prepare you for many of our degree programmes. The pathways are: Arts, Business and Economics, Education and Social Work, Engineering, and Science. If you haven’t quite decided which degree you want to pursue, you can choose our General pathway. This allows you to select courses that will prepare you to enter most degree programmes here at the University of Auckland.

Each pathway consists of a combination of courses. Your acceptance into any particular pathway will depend on your aspirations, your performance in our diagnostic tests and your personal interview. Your acceptance into a degree programme after completing any given pathway will depend on the grades you achieve.

The TFC consists of eight courses. You are required to complete four in each semester. Courses may be scheduled any time between 8.30am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Your classes, tutorials and labs will total approximately 16 hours per week. You are also expected to spend another 20 hours per week on research and assignments.

TFC Pathways


The Arts pathway prepares you to enter the first year of a degree in either the Faculty of Arts or Creative Arts and Industries. Once you’ve completed your TFC, you’ll be able to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Global Studies or a programme offered by the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries. CAI offers a Bachelor of Architecture, Dance, Design, Fine Arts, Music and Urban Planning. The Arts pathway is also an ideal way to prepare for a Bachelor of Laws.

Business and Economics

The Business and Economics pathway prepares you to enrol in a Bachelor of Commerce or a Bachelor of Property. To complete this pathway you must be enrolled in TFCSTATS 92F and TFCBUS 92F in Semester Two.

Education and Social Work

You can select courses in this pathway to develop your skills and build knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system and society. This pathway is offered at the City campus and Tai Tonga (South Auckland). It prepares you to enter the Bachelor of Education (Teaching), Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Education.


The Engineering pathway prepares you to enter Part I of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). To complete this pathway you must pass our Physics and Maths for Science courses, specifically TFCMATHS 94F and TFCPHYSICS 92F, and achieve an A- across the eight courses of TFC.


The Science pathway prepares you to enter your first year of a Bachelor of Science. If you gain the TFC by passing eight courses, you’ll qualify to enter the BSc general majors. Food Science and Nutrition, Exercise Sciences and Biomedical Science have higher entry requirements.
Moving from a TFC pathway into a specific degree is not automatic and depends on the grades achieved in your TFC year. Note that some degree programmes have additional entry requirements.

General Pathway

If you haven’t yet decided which degree to pursue, you could enrol in our General pathway. This option involves a combination of TFC courses. You will still be eligible to apply for most degrees offered at the University depending on the grades you achieve and combination of courses you have chosen.

Plus Pathway

If you gain an Aaverage in Semester One of the TFC, you may be offered the opportunity to enrol in a selected Stage 1 bachelors course as part of your Semester Two TFC programme. This course will be credited to both your TFC and degree.

Contact us for further details.