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Young Men Taking Their Place in the World

As you transition through Nelson College our aim is to build your Career Management competencies, which you will use throughout your life. These three competencies are:

  • a developed sense of self-awareness – understanding yourself and the influences on you.
  • an awareness of opportunities – skills to investigate opportunities in learning and work.
  • the ability to make decisions and plans, and the ability to take action.


What to consider when choosing school subjects

There are a few things you’ll need to weigh up when choosing your school subjects. It’s not just about what you enjoy (this is important to consider, as you’re likely to put more effort into the subjects you enjoy) but also about what subjects will be useful to you in the future. Ask, what are the subjects that are needed in the areas of work I am interested in?

Step 1. Know your options

  • The 2018 Curriculum book” lists subjects that are available and the prerequisites for each subject.
  • Course Option forms are available from the Enrolment page.
  • Download Course Selection Tool. This is to be used as a guide only. (Note that you will need the Excel software to open this. Click enable editing for it to work correctly when opened.)
  • Online Course Selection. If you have not already received access for online course selection email the Student Office for your access details.


Step 2. Think about your abilities and interests at school                                                                                                       

  • What subjects are you good at or not so good at? What do others say you are good at?
  • What does this tell you about yourself?
  • What are your strengths? Are you a good writer, good with numbers, a practical person?
  • Which subjects have you enjoyed studying?
  • Which do you dislike and why?Thinking about these sorts of things will help you figure out what subjects you could do and what jobs you might want to pursue in the future.


Step 3. How will your choices affect your future?

Where do your subjects lead. Information for job research:

  • Consider your future career and or tertiary training options. (University, polytechnics and apprenticeships).  See the tertiary study recommended subjects table below.
  • Each job summary on the Career NZ website and the website includes information about recommended secondary school subjects in the ‘How to enter the job’ section.
  • industry training organisation websites Go to the websites for each of the ITOs here
  • newspaper and magazine articles eg.
  • TV or radio programmes eg. Just the Job
  • people with experience of the job
  • people who offer training in the area
  • your own work experience, including the Year 10 work choice day.


Step 4. Keep your career options open

Most people change their minds about what they want to do in the future. Your interests and abilities will change over time, or you might find out about new careers that you had never heard of before.

If you’re unsure about what job you want to do, try to study a wide range of subjects at school. This will give you more options later on. Keeping up with English, maths and at least one science subject is a good place to start.

Here is a checklist for deciding on subjects for Year 11, 12 and 13:

  • How well do you think you are going with your Level 1 or 2 subjects?
  • What are your expectations of achievement?
  • How hard have you been working at your subjects?
  • Do you know what you need for NCEA Level 1/2/3/UE (have you chosen University approved subjects – outlined below?)
  • Have you spoken with your teachers about doing Level 2 (or 3) in the subject?
  • Are you aware of the pre-requisites for the subjects you have chosen?
  • Are there any other subjects that you have considered? Have you considered options through Trades Academy, STAR, Gateway?
  • Are you intending to return for Year 13?
  • What job and training ideas do you currently have for beyond school?
  • Do you know what the pre-requisites are for these choices beyond school? Do you know what career directions they might offer?
  • Have you checked your job and training ideas with someone in that area?
  • Have you talked over your choices with your parents, whanau, home room teachers?
  • Need more help? Talk to the Careers team.


University Entrance (UE)

University Entrance is the minimum requirement to go to an NZ University. To qualify you must have Level 3 plus 10 literacy credits (5 reading and 5 writing) from a list of approved subjects at Level 2 or above. You must also have 14 credits at Level 3 or above (see below). For more information on University Entrance requirements see your Dean or the Principal’s Nominee.

University Entrance Diagram

UE approved subjects offered at Nelson College

Accounting, Biology, Business Studies, Calculus, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Design, Digital Technologies, Economics, English, Geography, History, Japanese, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music Studies, Painting, Photography, Physical Education, Science, Statistics, Technology, Te Reo Māori. Additional subjects are also offered at Nelson College for Girls or through the Correspondence School (where appropriate).

While this is the minimum requirement for University Entrance students will need to achieve a guaranteed entry score (GES) to ensure direct entry into university courses.  (Sign in to view the link on the Ultranet.)

This Tertiary Subject Entry Requirements  table has the recommended school subjects for New Zealand’s tertiary courses. While every effort has been made to check the accuracy of this information, it is recommended that students check with the tertiary provider about specific pre-requisites.