Nelson College Logo

Young Men Taking Their Place in the World

Our Curriculum


Nelson College has a sound academic tradition and is recognised throughout New Zealand as a leader in boys’ education both in and out of the classroom.

The College offers multiple curriculum pathways tailored for boys. The Curriculum book is published in July and outlines the subjects available, how they are structured into each course of study and where your learning might lead to.

The junior curriculum comprises a broad balanced and comprehensive introduction to secondary education and the national curriculum. While the course content is largely compulsory, there is some flexibility with option courses that allow students to sample areas of interest which could lead on to subject choices in the senior school.

The senior school offers a wide curriculum selection for students to gain credits towards the National Certificate of Education Achievement or NCEA. Students are encouraged to make an informed choice on course selections by considering personal strengths and interests, career options and future study plans along with seeking advice from key staff, family and careers advisors in order to have the best possible outcome.

Nelson College offers NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3 as well as University Entrance and NZ Scholarship. For more information on the NCEA achievement standards and assessment system please visit the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website.

COVID-19 changes for 2020 results Only: UE requirements have been reduced to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects, from 14 credits in each of three approved subjects. Students still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet the literacy and numeracy requirement to be awarded University Entrance

Further details can be found here:


NZQA Factsheets

NZQA has produced a series of new factsheets about NCEA which are designed to be printed off individually or viewed online. The factsheets are:

  • Factsheet 1: What is NCEA?
  • Factsheet 2: NCEA and recognising excellence
  • Factsheet 3: NCEA – choosing a course or subjects at school
  • Factsheet 4: NCEA – internal and external assessment
  • Factsheet 5: NCEA and University Entrance
  • Factsheet 6: How NCEA results are recognised overseas.

The six factsheets are available here.

Examination Period for 2021