Taking the leap from school to study

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Still at school but want to get a head start on your future? Whether you're wanting to dive into a course alongside your school classes, want to sample a programme, or you're looking to leave, we have options for you. 

There are many options for secondary school students: 

If you: You could study:

Are at school

and want to start learning career skills

STAR & Taster Programmes

Wellington Trades Academy

Are 16 - 24

and have left school or are leaving but don't have qualifications or skills

Youth Guarantee Programmes 

Level 1 or 2 programmes  

Are over 25

but don't have qualifications

Level 1 or 2 programmes

Other options - you may qualify for special admission on certain programmes

Have NCEA Level 1 Certificate programmes
Have NCEA Level 2 or 3 Certificate, diploma or degree programmes (depending on programme entry criteria)

What are STAR and Taster programmes?

These are great courses if you aren't sure what study path is right for you, or if you want to sample a course before committing. We offer a wide range of STAR and Taster programmes, including cookery, trades, programming, youthwork and more. Most are 1-3 days long.

Discover all the programmes here


What is Wellington Trades Academy (WTA)?

Get a head start on your future. Learn new skills in a variety of vocational pathways not offered within secondary schools. Strands we offer include barbering, creative tech, engineering, construction, animal care and more. 

Choose one area of interest, and attend classes 1 or 2 days a week, whilst attending your usual secondary school classes for the remaining days. You will gain credits towards NCEA and across other national qualifications within vocational pathways.

Start developing the skills and attributes that are valued by employers alongside gaining a qualification. We support you, along with your teachers at school, in planning your next stage to identify what that may look like.

Explore WTA courses 


How do I decide what I want to study?

You can talk to your careers advisor at school, do your own research, try our study search tool, explore Te Pūkenga's programme wizard, or, talk to us at schools.liaison@whitireia.ac.nz 

Get inspired by our graduates →


What benefits do I get at Whitireia and WelTec?

With small class sizes, specialised tutors, and over 120 study options, there's no doubt you'll find the skills you need to succeed. 

Check out our support options →


I know what I want to study, what's next?

If you've gained enough credits to reach your chosen course prerequisites, you're welcome to enrol whenever you want. You can find key dates, information on prerequisites, and more on the programme page. 

Check out all our programmes 


How do I pay for my fees?

We have a number of scholarships available, some are specific to certain courses, and some are open. We also offer the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) scholarship, which covers course fees and provides support. Learn about our scholarships, studylink, and options for funding on our Funding your Study hub. 

Explore our Funding Your Study hub 

Related pages

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