Careers Information

Choosing Your Course

Study a broad a range of subjects for as long as possible to allow more choices beyond school.

Pathways Day runs in term 3 each year to help students access information they need to select courses.

The 2020 Northcote College Course Directory contains information about qualifications and subjects offered at school. It lists entry requirements, what is studied and the assessments planned for each subject.

The subjects you select are crucial to your future so careful thought is needed. 

The further students go in the senior school, the more difficult it becomes to change that direction.

Think carefully about where each subject will lead, and whether it fits in with their intended career or study path.


Gateway offers senior students the chance to gain work experience in their industry of interest and will offer support as you undertake learning and assessment in the workplace. 

The programme aims to provide students with between 5 - 20 days of actual work placement, depending on the industry and the time required to complete the learning plan.  Students have their workplace learning assessed against unit and or achievement standards on the National Qualifications Framework and this is integrated with their current programme of study which is undertaken in school. 

Gateway work placements will usually commence in Term 1 or 2 with a view to being completed by the end of Term 3.

Students are carefully screened before being admitted to the programme.

Gateway is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and is supported by over 250 businesses.

Gateway allows students to:

  • Experience work in the real world
  • Build links with industry training organisations
  • Customise learning to meet their needs.
  • Develop individual skills for employment
  • The opportunity to try out potential career options

Students selected for the programme are offered a placements in a field of interest such as: a mechanics workshop, a 5 star hotel, an aircraft hangar, a veterinarian’s surgery, a 3D animation studio, a construction site, a hospital laboratory . . . the list goes on.

Our school has formed some wonderful relationships with local employers and business as well as company’s based around greater Auckland.

During Term 4 each year, Northcote College students are given the opportunity to apply for a place on the following year’s programme. However at any point during the school year students are welcome to call into the Gateway office (located in Te Korowai Aroha) and discuss the benefits of taking part in the programme.

STAR Courses

STAR courses are short work-based learning programmes and can offer unit standard credits for vocational, education and training courses at level 1 or above. Priority is given to students intending to go straight into the workforce.
STAR offers students:

  • opportunities to try out possible careers
  • new skills that are appropriate to the workplace
  • opportunities to trial courses that lead to a qualification
  • a curriculum that is more relevant to working life
  • practical “hands on” work-based experience
  • a chance to experience a different learning environment
  • courses are free

Courses are advertised to Year 11 – 13 students throughout the year, and run both in term-time and during the holidays.
As limited places are available on each course the criteria for selection includes:

  • Attendance
  • Number of credits gained towards a qualification
  • Career aspirations
  • Attitude

University Websites

The most up to date information about university courses and entry requirements can be found on the website of each university. Here are quicklinks to New Zealand universities.

If you plan to study overseas talk to Mrs Grimwood who is experienced offering help with applications to overseas universities.

Financial Scholarships

Financial Scholarships range in value from one off payments to high value awards that cover tuition fees for up to 3 years. Students are encouraged to read the information provided below and to talk with Ms Russell in advance of applying for a scholarship.

Financial Scholarships for Tertiary level study are available from most institutions and some private organisations.

Scholarships are generally awarded on academic ability, and depending on the scholarship, will also take into account financial hardship.

Most Universities also offer scholarships in many of their Faculties, ie Engineering, so it is imperative that you read through the whole list. There is money available - make sure you are the person that gets it!

Remember that scholarships are based on your academic results, and take into account your Year 12 results ONLY. You should have Level 2 NCEA with an overall Excellence endorsement before you consider applying for most scholarships.

Closing Dates are important! Make sure you check the date applications are due and apply for an early testimonial at least a month in advance of the closing date.

Mr McNaughton is available to assist you with your application. Contact him by email, attach what you have written so far, and they will check what you have written and get back to you with feedback. Your English teacher would also be a good person to check your application. It is more than wise to have your application checked by an adult.


Financial Scholarships are offered to school leavers by most universities in New Zealand.

Once on the university website use these search words: undergraduate scholarship/school leaver scholarship/Faculty Scholarship

There are a number of other financial scholarships available that are not linked to a particular institution including:

Maori & Pasifika Scholarships:

Several universities offer significant scholarships to high achieving students of Maori or Pacific ancestry who have demonstrated leadership. Some information is provided in the links below but this is not an exhaustive list. Please refer to the website of every university that you are interested in attending and search for undergraduate or school leaver scholarships.

Other scholarships are available based on the principles of equity eg for female, international, refugee, disabled and those students who will be the first in their family to attend a university. Check out the details on each university website.