Department of Mathematics

Tertiary Foundation Certificate

The University of Auckland Tertiary Foundation Certificate (UoATFC) Programme prepares students for tertiary studies.

What is the Tertiary Foundation Certificate?

The University of Auckland Tertiary Foundation Certificate (UoATFC) Programme prepares students for tertiary studies. Because it is taught here, by The University of Auckland staff, it is a particularly good pathway for acceptance into degree courses. It is a bridging course that is particularly suitable for adults wishing to return to education.

The programme consists of two semester's study comprising eight courses in total. In the first semester, students take courses in four subjects. English and Mathematics are compulsory and students choose two others from Geography, History, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. In the second semester, students usually continue studies in their chosen four subjects. The Tertiary Foundation Certificate is awarded to students who pass all of their eight courses. It may be used as an entry qualification for university study. Successful completion of any of the subjects chosen can lead to degree courses at first year level.


About the students

Students come from many backgrounds, including:

  • single parents
  • adults wanting to change their careers
  • school leavers with insufficient school qualifications to gain entry to university
  • new immigrants
  • mature students who have no formal qualifications.

The students range in age from late teens to over fifty but they all have a common need for a formal entrance qualification to university study.


What to expect from the Tertiary Foundation Certificate

You will be part of a big university, but at the same time, you will be part of a small friendly group. Your own tutors will teach you and your fellow students will support you. You will find it easy to make good friends with a wide range of people all committed to starting learning again. You will be able to help one another with your studies and to socialise together.

You are expected to make a commitment to some intensive hard work. You must attend all classes every week, do homework that is set and hand in your assignments on time. You should think about the programme as a job, because including individual study, it will take at least 40 hours of your time every week. Remember though, that The University of Auckland semesters are only twelve weeks long.

The programme follows the University semesters. Students will take four 15 credit courses in the first semester, and four 15 credit courses in the second semester. Students who successfully gain 120 credits over the year, by passing 8 courses, will be awarded the UoATFC.

Entry into a degree at The University of Auckland will still be possible for some students who complete the year's study in the UoATFC Programme, but who are not awarded the certificate.

If you would like more information about the UoATFC Programme, you can contact:

UoATFC Coordinator
Stephanie Wyatt
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87335


UoATFC Secretary
Gill Stringer
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84145


Background of the Tertiary Foundation Certificate

The Tertiary Foundation Certificate, formally known as The Wellesley Programme was set up in 1989 as a joint venture between The University of Auckland and the Auckland Institute of Technology and named after the street running between the two institutions. It was a year long pre-degree programme to prepare students who had missed out on essential schooling for tertiary studies. It quickly became an initiative run entirely by The University of Auckland and was one of several options available in the general area of Foundation Studies. The Wellesley Programme proved to be very good preparation for university study for students who had been out of school for some time, and who needed to catch up on basic skills. Many students who completed the Wellesley Programme went on to finish degrees.

In 2002, the programme was granted Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) approval, and this brought some changes. Firstly there was a new name, 'The University of Auckland Tertiary Foundation Certificate Programme'. The structure also changed to fit into the University's semester system and the UoATFC Certificate became a formal qualification, providing entry to degree studies for students who successfully passed all courses in the programme.


What is the Mathematics part of the programme?

Successful completion of one mathematics course is a compulsory part of the UoATFC pre-degree programme. The mathematics courses give you the opportunity to catch up on your mathematics understanding, at the same time preparing you for further study. The mathematics is taught in small classes, instead of large lectures. You will have time to ask questions, to do some work in class and to work with your tutor if you need extra help.

The mathematics TFC courses are designed to prepare students to enter the Stage I mathematics courses MATHS 101 or MATHS 102, depending on the standard reached by individual students.

It is also possible for students to go into Stage I statistics and Stage I computer science.

What Mathematics courses are offered?


Who are the tutors?

All of the tutors in the UoATFC design and administer their own courses.

Rachel Passmore, Phil Kane and Jac Field are the three Mathematics tutors. They can be found on the fifth floor of the Mathematics Department, part of the Science Centre, at 38 Princes Street, Auckland CBD.

Rachel Passmore
Room 528
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85746 / ext 85750
Office hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday 2-3pm

Phil Kane
Room 528
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85746 / ext 85750
Office hours: Tuesday 3-4pm, Wednesday 10-11am, Friday 10- 11am

Jac Field
Room 513
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85244
Office hours: Monday 3-4pm, Tuesday 10-11am, Thursday 10-11am

All of the tutors are available for extra help if it is needed.