Discretionary Entrance

This type of admission is for secondary school students who wish to apply to university prior to gaining a university entrance qualification.

Application key dates

Discretionary entrance applications to study in Trimester 1 and 2 2019 are closed. You can still apply online for study in Trimester 3 2019.

For course advice or to find out more about your study options, email the Student Recruitment and Orientation team or phone 0800 VICTORIA (842 867).

To be considered for Discretionary Entrance to Victoria University of Wellington you must have achieved the University Entrance literacy and numeracy standards described in the NCEA section, or equivalent from Cambridge International Examinations and International Baccalaureate.

You will normally need to have an NCEA Level 2 certificate endorsed with Merit or better.

  • If you are applying directly from Year 12, you will need to have strong support from an adviser at your school. Your adviser’s confidential recommendation will support your maturity, motivation, capability and readiness to undertake degree-level study.
  • If you are applying after an overseas exchange, you will need to provide written evidence of your study overseas, and an adviser' confidential recommendation as above. You will need to complete Year 12/NCEA Level 2 before you go overseas.
  • If you are applying for summer trimester preparatory courses before your Year 13/NCEA results are available, your admission for the following year will still depend on your getting University Entrance and meeting the Guaranteed Entry Score (see the NCEA section).
  • You must be at least 16 years of age by the time you start your study at university.

Application process

  • Apply online by the deadline.
  • Complete the Discretionary Entrance application form.
  • Obtain an adviser’s confidential written comments for this form.
  • You must specify your proposed Victoria University of Wellington programme of study. Discretionary Entrance is granted for a nominated undergraduate qualification.
  • Write a personal statement to the University (‘To Whom It May Concern’ is fine) outlining the reasons why you wish to undertake university study. This statement should be approximately one page long and preferably typed.
  • Provide the required documentation to support your application (ie. certified copies of your birth certificate or passport and any references).
  • Submit everything and post to the Enrolment Office, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140. Write “Discretionary Entrance” on the outside.


  • If you have missed out on achieving University Entrance from Year 13, or gaining a place at Victoria University of Wellington, you may not apply for Discretionary Entrance.
  • Discretionary Entrance is not available to international students.
  • Each Discretionary Entrance application is considered on its own merits.

Need help with course planning?

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.