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Otago Polytechnic


Otago Polytechnic

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Bachelor of Applied Science

Key information

Level of study:
Bachelor's Degree
Tuition fees:
3 years
Start date: Expected February-2021
Otago Polytechnic
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Course details


Are you passionate about sports, exercise or health? Do you like working with people? Do you want to help others improve their lives to reach their potential?

If you answered yes to all of these, then this contemporary degree is the pathway for you. It is based around practical experiences and problem-based learning, where you are the centre of the puzzle and the context determines the learning and outcomes. You will learn to reflect and critique your own and others practice in relation to the underpinning theory. Staff will work in partnership with you to develop and build your learning pathway. By focusing on career outcomes there will be the opportunity to gain “real world” industry experience and take part in community based projects with the support of staff. This degree will allow you to develop the transferable skills that make you work ready.

Graduates of this programme can expect to gain employment as competent practitioners within professional organisations. This may include government and non-government sport, exercise and health settings. For example, working in or with regional sports trusts, commercial gyms, teaching, health promotion organisations and sporting organisations. You will be trained broadly in the skills needed to be practitioners for sport, exercise and health, in addition to completing community projects within your chosen field of practice that expand your knowledge.

Students who choose to study the massage and health specialities will complete the New Zealand Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage as their first year of study. They will then continue into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Applied Science. Over the course of study they will meet the requirements for registration with Massage New Zealand (MNZ) as a massage therapist specialist in rehabilitation.

Graduates who choose to study the exercise specialty will be able to apply for registration with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

Pathways into this programme

  • Health bridging certificate
  • New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 5)
  • New Zealand Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage (Level 5)

Further study options

It is expected that graduates of the Bachelor of Applied Science will be able to gain entry into relevant postgraduate qualifications (dependent on meeting programme-specific entry criteria). Programmes include the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science; Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science; Master of Applied Science; or Master of Professional Practice at Otago Polytechnic; Master of Public Health, Physical Education or Teaching at the University of Otago; Master of Sport and Exercise, Public Health or Health Science at Massey University; or Master of Health Sciences or Science at the University of Auckland.

Entry criteria

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.


  • A qualification at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) equalling 60 credits or more completed within one year.
  • This may be achieved through successful completion of a pre-entry programme such as the Certificate in Health at Otago Polytechnic; completion of pre-entry qualifications does not guarantee automatic entry into this programme.

University study

  • University study: Successful completion of courses equating to 50% of first year learner workload completed within one year.

Other: Equivalent professional experience.

If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in any band.

TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT): Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18)

Cambridge English Qualifications: B2 First, or B2 First for schools, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill;

Pearson Test of English (Academic): PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42

Language Certificate: C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill


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