Certificate in
Foundation Studies

Prepare to study at university

  • Skills for studying, in English
  • Academic reading and writing
  • Learn about academic integrity, e.g. APA referencing
  • Learn presentation skills and meet new friends in group projects
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Learn independent study skills

Programme delivery

Partnered with AUT, UP Education has been delivering foundation programmes for over 20 years. All teachers are trained and registered with the Teachers Council of New Zealand.

We also place great emphasis on student welfare and ensure a high standard of care. Our dedicated staff are experienced in looking after the educational, practical and social needs of students.


Note: Not all subjects may be offered each term.

In this subject, students will:

  • Engage in academic discussions and improve their presentation skills
  • Develop language and research skills that are necessary for writing academic essays
  • Practise a range of strategies for reading and understanding complex academic texts
  • Develop summary and paraphrasing skills
  • Use citations and references in the APA Style
  • Practise critical thinking and independent study skills that are essential for successful university studies
  • Learn to take effective notes using a range of strategies and techniques
  • Undertake independent research

Topics include:

  • Study skills
  • Exam techniques
  • Academic listening and note-taking
  • Listening for organisation in lectures
  • Lecture comprehension and note-taking practice
  • Microsoft Word Intermediate – Advanced
  • Microsoft Excel Intermediate – Advanced
  • PowerPoint
  • Referencing (The Harvard System)
  • Research project
  • The case study (case analysis report)
  • Oral presentations

Topics include:

  • Geographical features of New Zealand
  • New Zealand social customs
  • Consumer issues in New Zealand
  • Education
  • New Zealand politics
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Major historical events
  • Conservation in New Zealand
  • The New Zealand legal system
  • Employment in New Zealand

Topics include:

  • Users of accounting information
  • Forms of business ownership
  • Features of a sole proprietor
  • Financial reports for a sole proprietor business
  • Accounting concepts
  • The accounting equation
  • Processing transactions for a sole proprietor including journals, ledgers and the trial balance
  • Balance day adjustments
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial reports for a sole proprietor

Topics include:

  • Algebra functions
  • Trigonometry conics
  • Geometry
This subject is only available for students studying onshore in New Zealand.
Topics include:
  • Drawing and Research methodologies
  • Image Making
  • Photography
  • Typography and Poster Design
  • The final Individual Project is focused on your area of interest in Design

In this course you will develop your ideas and skills to use in an application portfolio of work for AUT’s undergraduate Art and Design and Architecture programmes.

Topics include:

  • Periodic table
  • Chemical bonding
  • Formulae and structure
  • Chemical reactions
  • Acids and bases
  • Oxidation and reduction
  • Solubility
  • Simple nuclear transformations
  • Equilibrium
  • Electrochemistry
Topics include:
  • Overview of the Renaissance
  • Italy – Piero della Francesca
  • Early Renaissance – Brunelleschi, Masaccio 
– Paganism
– Christianity
– Humanism
– Florence
– High and Late Renaissance
The Enlightenment
  • Introduction to the Enlightenment
  • The human sciences – Thomas Hobbes
  • New Zealand / Maori – ‘discovery’ The Scientific Revolution
  • Empiricism and Science
  • Reason and Logic
  • Early New Zealand Art
  • Gesture, expression, portrayal of narrative
  • Merchants and Mercantilism – The Anunciation with St. Edidius
  • Mercantilism to Capitalism – The Arnolfini Marriage
  • the Social Position of the Artist – da Vinci, Michelangelo (cf. McCahon)
  • Renaissance Gardens – ETV
  • Introduction to Modernity
  • Images of Early Modernism – The Red Tower (Delauney)
  • Industrialisation and Progress – Easy Chair L.C.4 (Le Corbusier) cf. Bauhaus vs New Zealand designer Modernism – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (Picasso)
  • New Zealand contemporary – Petrus van der Velden, Colin McCahon
  • NZ engineering design – John Britten (motorcycle)
  • NZ lighting – David Trubridge
  • NZ architectural design – Ian Athfield, Noel Lane Architects 
  • Maori Contemporary Art – Michael Parekowhai

Topics include:

  • Scarcity and allocation
  • Consumer demand
  • Producer supply
  • Market equilibrium
  • Market situations

Topics include:

  • Circular flow of income
  • Money and credit market
  • Government budget and money supply
  • Foreign exchange market
  • Government monetary and fiscal policy

Topics include:

  • Role of government in achieving efficient & equitable outcomes for society
  • Resource allocation by Planned & Market economies.
  • Market failure to allocate resources efficiently or fairly. For example:
  • –Monopolies
  • –Merit & demerit goods
  • –Mixed goods
  • Income distribution & inequalities of wealth
  • Economics of immigration

Topics include: 

  • Introduction to History
  • Maori Society before Pakeha arrival in Aotearoa
  • Maori / Pakeha relations to 1840
  • Maori / Pakeha relations from 1840 to 1900
  • Maori in the 21st and 22nd Century

Topics include:

  • Sampling
  • Picturing distributions
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Normal distributions
  • Correlation and regression
  • Describing relationships
  • Probability
  • Random variables

Topics include:

  • Classification
  • Ecosystems – factors, trophic levels & nutrient cycles
  • Conservation
  • Population studies
  • Community dynamics
  • Genetics – Mendelian problems and inheritance
  • Evolution – evidence of evolution, natural selection & variation

Topics include:

  • Biochemistry – water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein & lipids
  • DNA & RNA – structures & replication
  • Protein synthesis
  • Mutation & karyotype
  • Cell structures, processes & division
  • Photosynthesis
  • Cellular respiration
  • Alternation of generations

Topics include:

  • Arithmetic skills
  • Linear equations and inequalities
  • Percentages, progressions and interest rates
  • Non-linear functions and optimisation
  • Constrained linear optimisation
  • Time series analysis
  • Probability and probability distributions
  • Microsoft Excel is also introduced to solve some of the applied problems


We prepare students for assessments that will get them into AUT’s degree programmes.

Our assessments are benchmarked against international standards and are a stepping stone to achievement.

All assessments are internally assessed. The final mark for subjects is made up of a combination of tests, assignments, projects and presentations.


Orientation is a great way to start your study journey. During your orientation, you will be provided with a range of information of the support services we provide, living, studying, and working in New Zealand, your timetable and study materials, etc.

Please note that at Online Orientation, we strongly recommend a laptop with Windows system and installed with Google Chrome as the browser for the best user experience.