Bachelor's Degree


A Bachelor's Degree provides individuals with a systematic and coherent introduction to a body of knowledge of a recognised major subject[1] (or subjects, in the case of a double degree or a double major) as well as to problem-solving and associated basic techniques of self-directed work and learning.

A Bachelor's Degree involves at least one sequential study programme in which content is progressively developed such that it might form a basis for postgraduate study and/or professional practice. 

Bachelor's Degrees are taught mainly by people engaged in research[2], see s253B of the Education Act 1989.


A programme of study leading to a Bachelor's Degree builds on prior study, work or experience, and is open to those who have met the specified entrance requirements, normally at level 3 on the NZQF.


A graduate of a Bachelor's Degree is able to:

  • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical thinking and analytic rigour
  • engage in self-directed learning
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the ideas, principles, concepts, chief research methods and problem-solving techniques of a recognised major subject
  • demonstrate the skills needed to acquire, understand and assess information from a range of sources
  • demonstrate communication and collaborative skills.

Credit requirements

A Bachelor's Degree requires a minimum of 360 credits from levels 5 to 7. Some Bachelor's Degrees, notably in professional fields such as engineering, the health sciences and law, encompass additional credits and may require a longer period of study. For example, an eight-semester (four-year) degree would normally be equivalent to 480 credits.

Of the credits required for a Bachelor's Degree, a minimum of 72 credits must be at level 7 or higher. The degree should specify a spread of credit across levels, so that the qualification demonstrates progression, reflects the requirements of the degree definition and achieves the associated learning outcomes in a way that is appropriate to the subject area.

Relationship with other qualifications

A person who holds a Bachelor's Degree might be eligible to enrol in a Postgraduate qualification.



 [1] A major is defined by Universities New Zealand as a substantial component of a degree (usually at least one-third and often consisting of one subject only) selected by the individual, in accordance with the regulations, as the principal area of study for the degree. In addition, a major normally includes outcomes at the highest level of the degree.

 [2] Research is an intellectually controlled investigation that leads to advances in knowledge through the discovery and codification of new information or the development of further understanding about existing information, and practice (Approval and Accreditation of Courses leading to Degrees and Related Qualifications, 2003 or CUAP Functions and Procedures 2009-2010).

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