• A

    Academic Learning Advisor

    The Learning Advisors offer free, confidential, informal, one-to-one and group sessions to assist students with the skills necessary for succeed in their programme. Students can come any time to make an appointment or lecturers may refer them for support in a particular area.

    Student Success Team

    H Block, Dunedin Campus.

    0800 762 786

    Academic mentor

    A member of the academic staff who acts in a mentoring role to support students in their studies.

    Academic transcript

    The official record of all study completed.

    Adult Learning and Literacy Assessment Tool (ALLA)

    A compulsory on-line assessment tool to provide robust and reliable information on the reading, writing and numeracy skills of adults.

    Results are used to match learners’ needs and strengthen their literacy and numeracy skills, allowing learners to track their progress over time and enable educators and organisations to report on the progress made.

    Advanced Standing (ADV)

    Advanced standing applies where an RPL applicant has been awarded credit through an APEL process for at least 60 credits towards an Otago Polytechnic qualification and entry to a programme at an advanced level.


    All Op graduates are considered OP alumni.


    The process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, a student’s performance against explicit learning outcomes and levels of achievement. It involves gathering, analysing, interpreting and using a range of information that provides evidence of a student’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs, in order to make a valid and reliable judgment about their performance and achievement.

    Assessment of Prior/Experiential Learning

    A measure of knowledge and skills against formal qualifications, including certificates, diplomas and degrees.

  • B

    Blended learning

    Learning through a blend of modes including face-to-face, online, authentic work experiences and student-managed learning.

  • C


    The site at which Otago Polytechnic programmes are delivered. Otago Polytechnic has three campuses: Auckland Campus, Central Otago, and Dunedin Campus.

    Campus Cop

    Snr Constable Woodhouse leads Campus Watch and looks after students at the Otago Polytechnic as well as the University of Otago. He offers advice on safety/security, as well as taking complaints regarding thefts, lost property, etc.


    New Zealand Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning.

    Career Practitioner

    Qualified person with a Bachelor of Social Services degree in Career Practice who provides support and guidance in career choice.

    Career Service

    Free service provided to all student who are unsure of their career path – or who wish to discuss options for further study. Assistance given with CV’s and preparation with skills for job interviews. 

    Career Success Centre

    Patricia Quensell

    Central Otago Campus (COT)

    The Otago Polytechnic campus in Cromwell, Cental Otago.


    Part of the Student Success, the Chaplain has an “open door” to meet with all students regardless of religion or beliefs. Also happy to meet off campus if this is more comfortable for the student. Provides spiritual help to all students, as well as acting as a celebrant when required. Our Chaplain is also a JP so can assist with verification of documents.

    Student Success Team

    H Block, Dunedin Campus.

    0800 762 786

    Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

    Phil Ker.

    Chief Operating Officer (COO)

    Phillip Cullen.


    Confidential free service provided to students to discuss their personal issues that may be impacting on their study. Support provided by qualified Counsellors – available through an appointment with Student Health.


    8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
    Student Health Centre, Harbour Terrace, M Block, Dunedin campu

    0800 762 786


    Four qualified Counsellors at Otago Polytechnic who work in different methodologies to attend to the needs of their clients. Appointments can be accessed through Student health.

    Counselling Services

    Student Health Centre. M Block, Dunedin.

    0800 762 786

    Course outline

    A description of the essential details of a course, in particular its objectives and goals, and its assessment procedures.

    Credit (CR)

    A description of the essential details of a course, in particular its objectives and goals, and its assessment procedures.

    Credit Transfer (CT)

    A form of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).

    Cross Credit (CC)

    A form of RPL.

    Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    A written summary of a person’s experience and qualifications, job history and some personal information, often tailored according to the position being advertised.

  • D

    Disability Support

    Any student that identifies on enrolment with a learning or medical disability that will have some impact on their ability to study is offered support through the Disability support advisor. Individuals are supported on a case by case basis.

    Disability Support

    H Block, Dunedin campus.

    0800 762 786

    Distance learning

    Studying by distance education and with no requirement to regularly attend an Otago Polytechnic campus.

    Domestic student

    A student who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.

  • E - F

    Experiential learning

    Experiential learning is learning through reflecting on experience within the context of programmes and courses, including the face-to-face activities, online activities, student-managed activities and authentic work experiences that have been designed to enable learning.

  • G - H

    Graduate profile

    Description of the personal qualities, skills and attributes a student is expected to obtain by the end of an undergraduate degree.

  • I - K

    International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

    The main international examination used in New Zealand to assess the English ability of non native English speaking students wishing to enter tertiary studies or apply for New Zealand residency.

    International student

    A student who is not a New Zealand citizen or resident, and is enrolled or proposes to enrol at OP.

    International Support

    All International Students are able to access support through Student Success They are dedicated to assisting international students settle into Dunedin and work to ensure that you get personalised support while you are studying. Support provided in homestay accommodation, referrals to academic learning support and pastoral care. 

    Student Success Team

    H Block, Dunedin campus.

    0800 762 786

    IT Service Desk

    Support provided on line to students who are having issues logging on or accessing course material on their moodle site. The Service desk is open 6 days a week 8am – 8pm daily and Sunday 2- 6 pm.

    IT Service Desk

    H block. Dunedin Campus.


  • L

    Learning Management System (LMS)

    LMS is your place online for teaching and learning. The main LMS used at OP is Moodle.

  • M - N


    Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments.

  • O

    Open Education Resource (OER)

    OER are freely-accessible, openly-licensed teaching, learning, and research resources.


    A programme of activities and information sessions to introduce new students to OP.

    Otago Polytechnic (OP)

    A public tertiary institution that is characterised by a wide diversity of vocational and professional programmes. 

    Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC)

    The Auckland based Otago Polytechnic campus in Queen Street, Auckland – a collaboration with Future Skills to deliver BAppMngt and ESOL programmes.

    Otago Polytechnic Student Association (OPSA)

    OPSA provides a huge range of quality services and facilities to safeguard your welfare and ensure you have a successful study experience. It offers advice, assistance, representation, advocacy and student events, and will protect your rights so you can spend time focusing on your studies. 

  • P - Q

    Path of Study (POS)

    A form developed from the Programme Schedule and containing all occurrences of each course. The form is part of the enrolment process and is completed jointly, and signed by, Head of School/Programme Manager and the student.

    Permanent External Advisory Committee (PEAC)

    External stakeholders, who are not  employed by the OP, whose main role is to represent the wider relevant community in providing assurance on the quality, relevance, scope and currency of our courses, and advising the institution accordingly. There is a statutory requirement from TEC to have an associated PEAC for each programme delivered.


    The illegal taking of the words and ideas of another writer and representing them as being one’s own work.


    Studies which must be completed before embarking on a programme.

    Programme Satisfaction Survey (PSS)

    Feedback on the effectiveness and appropriatenes of the delivery of a programme.

  • R

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    The process used to recognize the previous learning of students and award credit against current courses within OP qualifications, or recognize unit standards already gained.

    Residential assistant

    Often referred to as a “RA” this is a position held in a Hall of residence as a senior student who has responsibility and duties within the Hall to provide pastoral care to the first year students.

  • S


    The core unit responsible for teaching, research and interaction with professional organisations. Course coordinators and teachers work in schools.

    Service Area/s (SA)

    Customer Services, Student Success Team, ISS, Learning Environment, QEC, Finance, and Contracts. 

    Special assessment circumstances

    If your performance in a summative assessment is affected by factors beyond your control, some programmes allow you to apply for consideration for special assessment. Examples include sickness, injury or bereavement. Every now and then, there are programmes where you have to sit assessments and no special assessments are available (with clinical skills etc). Special assessment circumstances are usually specified within your programme regulations which may also refer you to institute-specific policies.

    Student advisors

    Pastoral care Support provided to all students to ensure they are able to be successful with their studies. Help with day to day issues,  budgeting and financial guidance, links to community support and referral to other supports within the team as well as on campus.

    Student Success

    Team of people who are here to help. Support provided for International students, Maori students, Pasifika students, students with disabilities, and the wider student population. Academic support is also provided by the Learning Advisors. Careers guidance and counselling are also available.

    Student Success

    H Block, Dunedin campus

    0800 762 786

    Support for Pasifika Students

    Pastoral care provided to all Pasifika students with the opportunity to meet the Support Advisor in the Pasifika room or through Student Success - any time during the day. Academic support provided with homework evenings every Wednesday. 

    Student Success

    H Block, Dunedin Campus.

    0800 762 786

  • T

    Plagiarism detection system. Many courses use the system embedded within the assignment submission process to assist both students and staff to identify plagiarism and maintain the academic integrity of our qualifications. You are required to submit your assessments electronically. Further information can be provided by your school.

  • U - V

    Unit Standard (US or Unit Std)

    A unit of assessment with a unique number on the NZQA Directory of Standards.

  • W - Z

    Withdrawal policy

    Withdrawal and fees refunds are regulated under this policy.

    Work-based Learning (WBL)

    Through Capable NZ and Work-based Learning you can have your knowledge and skills measured against an actual qualification, and gain a qualification through your workplace.