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5 Campuses + Distance Learning, 218 Courses, 33 Subjects

4734 Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry) Level 3 - SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Qualification: Certificate
Level: 3

Intake 1: 29/01/2018 to 20/04/2018 - Applications close 08/01/2018

Intake 2: 12/03/2018 to 01/06/2018 - Applications close 19/02/2018

Intake 3: 07/05/2018 to 27/07/2018 - Applications close 16/04/2018

Intake 4: 18/06/2018 to 07/09/2018 - Applications close 28/05/2018

Intake 5: 13/08/2018 to 02/11/2018 - Applications close 23/07/2018

Intake 6: 24/09/2018 to 14/12/2018 - Applications close 03/09/2018


3 months fulltime

Up to 2 years part-time

Intakes are 12 weeks long

The Certificate in Health Science (Pre Entry) (Level 3) is expiring at the end of 2018 and has been replaced with the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (applied health sciences programme of study). In 2018 the Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry) (Level 3) is only available to all students who will complete the qualification in 2018. All other applicants should go to the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) (applied health sciences programme of study) webpage and complete the online application form found there.

Location: SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Credits: 41

This programme provides students with the skills and knowledge required for employment or further training in the health sciences sector. An ideal starting point for students wishing to study Nursing, Midwifery, Sport & Exercise or Therapeutic and Sports Massage.

Students will study human anatomy and biology, structures and systems of the human body in a health context, health care, ethics, culture, and science fundamentals.

Please note: This programme is made up of local units, rather than unit standards. Local units are written by SIT. They will not show on your NZQA Record of Learning, however the overall course is NZQA accredited.  Upon completion students will receive a SIT qualification/transcript with a list of local units, levels, credits, and grades.

HSC101 - Normal human structure and function in a health context (Level 4) 5 credits

This paper introduces you to human anatomy and physiology and provides an overview of the structure and function of the ten major body systems – musculoskeletal, integumentary, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, reproductive, urinary, lymphatic, and endocrine. 

  • This paper is a pre/co-requisite for all other papers in the programme. It must be completed in your first enrolment in the programme.

HSC102 - Abnormal human structure and function in a health context (Level 4) 5 credits

This paper introduces you to some abnormal conditions for each of the ten major body systems covered in HSC101, and causes for each condition. You will investigate types of complementary and alternative medicine, and a range of health care interventions, including medication, non-medication, invasive, non-invasive, psychological, and spiritual therapies.

PEH103 - Human biology (Level 3) 6 credits

This paper builds on the knowledge introduced in HSC101, and explores in more detail the biology of the skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and integumentary systems. This paper also introduces basic cell and tissue biology, and integrates knowledge from all of the body systems.

PEH104 - Scientific notations and units (Level 3) 3 credits

An understanding of scientific notation is essential in the health sector. This paper will enable you to demonstrate knowledge of basic Système International (SI) units of measurement, and derived units often used by laboratories. You will develop knowledge of quantity calculations, including units, prefixes, powers of ten, and standard form, and apply this knowledge in order to use formulae to solve a variety of problems.

PEH109 - Work safely in a science laboratory (Level 3) 2 credits

This paper will give you some real-life insight into scientific laboratories, including identifying and describing electrical, chemical, physical, and biological hazards that may be present. You will also be required to demonstrate that you are able to follow laboratory procedures for health and safety, including safe working practices, safe handling techniques, and documenting incidents.

  • You are strongly recommended to visit a scientific laboratory as part of this paper.

PEH110 - Describe ethical behaviour in a health, disability, or community setting (Level 3) 3 credits

This paper introduces you to consumer rights and ethical behaviour in health, disability, and community settings. You will be able to describe consumer rights, and rights to privacy, in terms of the Code of Rights, as well as characteristics of ethical behaviour and community expectations in health, disability, and community settings. You will investigate how personal values, cultural practices, ethical requirements, and consumer rights can all be respected in terms of the policies and procedures of an organisation.

PEH111 - Describe relationships between practitioners, and roles and responsibilities in group processes in a health care context (Level 4) 4 credits

This paper introduces you to the professional relationships between a range of health care professionals, including the similarities and differences in their roles and responsibilities. These health care professionals may include doctors, registered and enrolled nurses, radiographers, ambulance officers, occupational therapists, social workers, and anaesthetic technicians, as well as a range of complementary health care practitioners. This will also include the role of each health care professional in a collaborative group process.

PEH112 - Number and measurement (Level 3) 7 credits

This paper will provide you with a body of functional mathematics skills. You will gain understanding of: how to apply the four basic rules of arithmetic (whole numbers and decimals), rules of order of operations, fractions and decimals, the metric system of measurement, and volumes of 3D figures.

PEH113 - Demonstrate knowledge of cultural identities and culture-related issues in an aged care, health, or disability context (Level 3) 6 credits

This paper will challenge you to reflect on and describe the impact of your own, and other, cultural identities on work practices in an aged care, health, or disability context. It will also introduce policies, procedures, and resources that may be utilised to respond to culture-related issues.

The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration cost of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and residents/permanent residents (residing in NZ). 2018 Cost (NZ$) $7.00 per credit + admin cost $50.00 per application (e.g. $700 for 100 credit course) - includes GST

International Students $100 per credit

Payments must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice. 

Withdrawals & Transfers

  • Early withdrawals within the first week of the intake starting are entitled to a full refund of the Student Direct Material Costs but not the non-refundable administration cost of $50.00.
  • Withdrawals have to be requested within 75% of the intake, withdrawals after the early withdrawal date are not eligible for a refund.
  • Transfer requests have to be within the first two weeks of the intake starting and will incur a $50.00 transfer fee. Transfers can only occur to a subsequent intake within the same calendar year.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink. Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or www.studylink.govt.nzThis link is to an external site and opens in a new window.

Graduates from this programme will have gained an introduction to health studies and developed skills and knowledge for further tertiary study in health related areas.

Graduates will be prepared for further study in the Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) (Level 4).

  • All applicants should demonstrate a keen interest in health sciences and academic attributes which demonstrate that applicants have a reasonable likelihood of successful completion of the programme.
  • Minimum of 18 years of age, with a minimum of three years secondary education;
  • A minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 2 in each of four subjects.
  • Mature students are also welcome to apply.

Language Requirements

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 percent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having passed an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or one of the following tests of English language competence in accordance with the NZQA rules below:

  • IELTS test – General or Academic score of 5, with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) – Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) – Score of 35 (with a writing score of 20)
  • University of Cambridge English Examinations – FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill
  • NZCEL – Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic 
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PtoE (Academic) score of 36
  • City & Guilds IESOL – B1 Achiever with a score of 43

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English must provide evidence that they:

  • Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements or
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America or
  • Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA or
  • Have achieved one of the English Language competence tests specified above


Full time study

Full time study is completing all nine papers (41 credits) in one 12 week intake. This requires around 35 hours of study per week for the duration of the intake.

Full time acceptance into the programme is at the Programme Manager’s discretion, and is not guaranteed.

Part time study

The number of papers you select to study per intake should depend on work, family, and other commitments. Aside from HSC101, which must be completed in your first enrolment, you may enrol in the papers in any order that you wish to study them.

All work for a paper must be completed during the intake in which you are enrolled in it. If you do not complete the paper within the intake, you must re-enrol in the paper in a later intake.

The example study plans below are guides only; you are free to select fewer, or more, papers per intake, as time allows. Use the ‘Study Load Calculator’ table below to calculate approximately how many hours per week you will require for your chosen study plan.


Light study load (2 yearsto complete)

Average study load (1 – 1.5 years to complete)

Full time study load

First enrolment



10 credits




16 credits










41 credits

Second enrolment


6 credits





12 credits


Third enrolment



5 credits



13 credits


Fourth enrolment



7 credits


Fifth enrolment


7 credits


Sixth enrolment


6 credits



Literacy and numeracy assessment

It is a Tertiary Education Commission requirement that all students enrolled in programmes at Levels 1, 2, or 3 must complete online literacy and numeracy assessments at the beginning of their studies. This is a Level 3 programme, therefore you will be required to complete at least one literacy, and one numeracy, assessment as part of your studies. You will receive information about the assessments, and how to complete them, during the first two weeks of your first intake.

Additional information

  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet).
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs).
  • Online enrolments are on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes in one enrolment.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover. 

Cross Credits

Once completed, HSC101 and HSC102 can be crossed credited into the Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) (Level 4). This is done by filling in a cross credit application form and attaching proof of achievement. If you wish to apply for a cross credit, please attach the completed form to your intermediate application. Forms can be found at:

Credit Transfers

Some NZQA unit standards meet the requirements for their corresponding paper in this programme. If you have previously completed a unit standard with a similar title and/ or content to one of the papers listed above, please contact SIT2LRN administration to see if that unit can be credit transferred into the programme to replace its corresponding paper.

Workforce Restrictions for Children's Workforce

If you have a criminal conviction, and you are studying (or considering studying) toward a qualification that will lead to a job in the state funded sector (including teaching or providing youth services) working directly with children, you need to check whether your conviction could prevent you from working in some roles in your chosen field.

This is because new legislation, the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014, will prevent state sector agencies and government-funded service providers from hiring people with convictions for specified offences to work with children in some roles. The restrictions came into effect on 1 July 2015.

You can read the list of the specified offences online here.

You can get more information (including FAQs) here.

This information has been supplied by the Children’s Action Plan Directorate and the Tertiary Education Commission.

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have a computer and internet access. Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information Booklet that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Facilitator Assistance:  During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only).  All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study.  Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme.  Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.

Progress reports are sent out 6-8 weeks after the end of each intake.

We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for further study and enrolment information.

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with.  Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information.

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions section
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content).
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s) (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed and approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility.
  • I have completed and attached a cross credit form (if applying for a cross credit)
  • New students – I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application.
  • New students – I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience).
  • I understand that this is a Level 3 programme therefore, as required by the Tertiary Education Commission, I agree to complete at least one online literacy and one online numeracy assessment as part of my studies
  • I have computer access,  an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees. However, there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay and a non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or 
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of your enrolment.

Instructions to Help You with Your Application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call
    0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student …

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • If you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in.
  • If you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application.
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks. However, we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation.
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment.
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order) you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us.

For students to be considered to have satisfactorily completed this programme, and be eligible for the awarding of the qualification Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry) they must have completed all scheduled course work requirements and assessments, successfully completed assessment requirements for all modules/unit standards and or local units, and achieved a total of 41 credits as specified in the programme schedule. The timeframe for completion of this qualification is two years.

Graduates will be prepared for further study in the Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) (Level 4).

After completing both certificates, students could pursue further study (at diploma or degree level) in health and science related subjects, such as NursingMassage, Sport and Exercise, and Midwifery (not available at SIT).

Assessments for this programme include online tests and written, short answer assessments. There are no external exams for this programme.

Textbooks are not required for this programme. All of the information you need will be provided through the Study Guides and recommended online readings.