NZQA Levels

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eCampus NZ offers NZQA Level 3, 4 and 5 study options. But what's the difference?

Level 3

Level 3 courses are designed as an introduction to the topic of study and do not require prior knowledge or skills.  

As you grow your knowledge of a topic through the course materials, you will begin to apply your knowledge to simple tasks and processes to demonstrate your understanding.

Study level

Content is designed to be at a level similar to senior high school learning (e.g. Years 12 & 13). This will be a big step up if it’s your first time taking a national qualification or you last studied at NZQA Level 1. If that’s the case, reach out to your student advisor, who will help you get the support you need to develop the learning skills and techniques you’ll need to be successful. 

What you will gain from Level 3

You will develop a good introductory, foundation level of skill and knowledge for your field of study and be in a stronger position to continue to more advanced levels of study, where you can continue to grow and apply your learning. 

Previous knowledge or experience

 This is not required, as learning materials start from the beginning. 

Level 4

Level 4 courses are designed to build on foundation level knowledge which you have already achieved (e.g. through prior learning and/or practical experience).

This existing prior knowledge and learning from course content enables you to apply yourselves to more advanced level tasks and processes to demonstrate your understanding. 

Study level

Content is designed to be at a similar level to foundation undergraduate study, as might be covered in a short (preparation) certificate course at University. 

What you will gain from Level 4

You will  develop a strong intermediate level of technical knowledge and skill application in your field of study and you will be able to demonstrate your competence in a range of related assessment tasks and processes. Level 4 introduces applicable job skills and increases employment opportunities. 

At Level 4 you should be demonstrating higher levels of self-management. 

Previous knowledge or experience

Minimal. Related study at senior high school level is advantageous, as is having completed an Introductory/foundation level course of study. 

Level 5

Level 5 courses will take you to a higher level of learning, requiring in-depth study of your learning topic and advanced level application of skills. 

At this stage of learning, you are able to demonstrate detailed knowledge of your subject by generating rigorous and effective problem-solving to assignment tasks. 

Level 5 will help you develop a broad operational or technical and theoretical knowledge within a specific field of work or study. 

Level 5 requires a higher level of self-directed learning and the need for you to undertake your own independent research.  

Study level

Content at this level is more detailed and advanced and is similar to the level of learning required for a 1-year university diploma, or the first year of an undergraduate degree. 

What you will gain from Level 5

You will develop advanced levels of technical understanding across a broad range of topics from within your field of study and will be able to apply this to wide-ranging and complex situations. 

Previous knowledge or experience

Required. Previous work experience in the field of study, or certificate level 4 achievement is highly advantageous.