TFC overview

The Tertiary Foundation Certificate (TFC) programme offers you a pathway to degree studies. You'll have the opportunity to gain the confidence and skills necessary to enter university programmes and achieve success.

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
  • Didn't achieve the rank score that you needed to get into a degree of your choice 
  • 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 can expect

The academic year

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.

Your weekly timetable will consist of lectures, tutorials and laboratories. You'll also need to study in your own time. 

Attendance hours are generally 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday. That's approximately 20 hours class time and 20 hours on research and assignments each week. 

Access to facilities and services

As a University of Auckland student, you'll be entitled to apply for a University ID card. This will allow you to access:

  • All the campus Library facilities
  • Pay photocopying facilities
  • Subsidised medical and welfare services
  • Crèche facilities (Fees will apply, and early application is recommended)
  • The University Recreation Centre and other sports clubs and facilities (Recreation Centre and some other fees apply.)

Graduation from the programme

To receive your University of Auckland Tertiary Foundation Certificate, you must pass all eight courses and the compulsory Academic Integrity module.