Otago Polytechnic

Your handy guide for application!

You’ve decided you want to study but now you’re not sure what to do next. This step-by-step guide will tell you all you need to know!

Hang on, what’s the difference between application and enrolment?

Application is the name that we give to the first stage of this process. When you apply, you are submitting an ‘expression of interest’ in studying your chosen programme and giving us your details. When you successfully submit your application, this means that we are processing your request.

Enrolment is the name for the second stage in this process. If your application is successful, we will make you an offer that you must accept if you wish to be enrolled into the programme. We will then send you an invoice for the programme fees.


  Step 1: Begin the application process


Click on the APPLY button above to fill in our online application form     Click on the APPLY ON PAPER button to download an application form.

If you would like a paper application form sent to you instead, please phone us on 0800 762 786 or email info@op.ac.nz  

Alternatively, pop in to see our friendly Customer Service team who will always be happy to help you fill in your application.


  Step 2: Complete the application form

You will need to give us certain information such as your first and last name, your date of birth, your address, your contact details (phone number and email address) as well as providing emergency contact details and letting us know whether you are a domestic student or an international student.  

You will then need to select the programme that you wish to study for. There is then the option to upload supporting material to your online application OR to send copies through the post with your paper application. 

Please note: You do not need to upload or send supporting material at this stage if it doesn’t suit you. The important thing is to submit your application to us. Once we receive this, we will get in touch to ask for anything further that we need from you.  

The last few questions on the form are compulsory and asked on behalf of the New Zealand Government. There is also the chance to request learning and/or disability support from our Student Support team at this stage.

If you need help with anything in your application, please phone 0800 762 786 or email info@op.ac.nz  

  Step 3: Submit your application

Either hit the SUBMIT MY APPLICATION NOW button on the online application form OR post your completed paper application form to the correct campus (see campus addresses at bottom of this page). If you have filled in a paper form, you can also scan a copy and email it to info@op.ac.nz or drop it off at Customer Services.

Online application

When you have successfully submitted your application online, a screen will appear which holds a web address which is your unique application link. This will enable you to monitor the status and progress of your application.

Paper application

If you are posting, emailing or dropping off your paper application, our Student Administration team will let you know when they receive it by sending you an acknowledgement email.

  Step 4: Application outcome

If we require more information from you to process your application, we will contact you to ask for this.

Once your application has been processed, our Student Administration team will contact you to let you know the outcome and any necessary next steps that you need to take. 


  Step 5: Accepting your offer

Once you have accepted your offer (and all of the next steps have been completed if necessary), you will be enrolled into your programme.

Please note: You MUST let us know that you wish to accept the offer to be officially enrolled. If we do not hear from you, enrolment cannot occur.

  Step 6: Payment

Are you eligible for Fees Free study?

Remember, due to the Government’s Fees Free scheme, your first year of study may be free if you’re eligible. This scheme is managed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

It covers one year’s full-time study up to $12,000 (or 120 credits) or part-time study up to $12,000 (or 120 credits) and has no age restrictions.

Conditions do apply so check if you’re eligible at www.feesfree.govt.nz (You can also find out your National Student Number here too).

For more information, go to the Fees Free website mentioned above or contact TEC at 0800 687 775.

What does this mean for my student loan?

It’s a good idea to check if you’re eligible for fees-free study before applying for student support so you know whether to ask for a loan for your fees or not.

If you’re eligible for fees-free, you don’t need to ask StudyLink to pay your fees.

However, you can still borrow course-related costs and living costs through a student loan. Your student allowance eligibility won’t change either.

If you still want a loan (i.e. for course-related or living costs), make sure that the ‘Pay fees’ option in your loan application is set to ‘No’.

If you’re not eligible for Fees Free study

An invoice will now be sent to you. Your enrolment is confirmed when you receive this invoice. This communication also holds important information such as your OP network log-in and password, your Student Hub link and Terms and Conditions.

You will need to arrange payment of your fees once you receive your invoice. This can be done via online banking, by sending a cheque to Otago Polytechnic, by paying at our Customer Services Desk or with your student loan. 

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only and you can find all that you need to know about them by visiting the Studylink website.

It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for your programme due to the length of time Studylink take to process.

Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time. 

  Step 7: Getting ready to study

Congratulations – you’re ready to study at Otago Polytechnic!


Domestic students

We will be in touch closer to your start date with more information about your programme.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about your application and enrolment, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team:

Phone 0800 762 786 (New Zealand)
Email info@op.ac.nz


International students
You will need obtain your student visa. and make your travel arrangements.

  • Make your travel arrangements to New Zealand.

We are still here to advise you. Let us know if you have any questions when applying for your New Zealand student visa or if you need help with your arrival or travel arrangements.

Phone + 64 3 477 3014 (International)

Email international@op.ac.nz



Below is a list of questions and answers which we hope helps you to complete your application smoothly.

If you need help at any time, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Phone: 0800 762 786 (NZ); +64 3 477 3014 (International) or email info@op.ac.nz


Q. How do I find out what I need to submit in my application?
A. Each programme that is offered by Otago Polytechnic has its own online information sheet at www.op.ac.nz

These each hold the specific entry requirements that you need to meet for that programme and outline if you need to provide any additional supporting material such as a portfolio. These information sheets are housed in the STUDY area on the website.


Q. How do I submit my portfolio/supporting documents?
A. For some programmes, you will need to submit a CV, cover letter, portfolio or other documents with your application. You can upload these when you’re applying online under the section called ‘Supporting material’ or some students choose to send in portfolios as hard copies.

If you don’t have your supporting documents ready when you apply that’s not a problem at all. You can provide these to us later. As soon as you have applied, one of our friendly Student Administrators will be able to contact you to assist with completing your application.


Q. Can I apply for more than one programme?
A. Yes! If you’re not sure exactly what you would like to study next year then you can apply for more than one option to give yourself more time to decide.


Q. When should I apply for my student loan?
A. You should apply for your student loan as soon as you can, even if you’re still deciding what or where you’re going to study, so you get paid on time. Head to www.studylink.govt.nz for more information on loans and allowances. 


Q. How do I apply for my accommodation?
A. If you are applying for City College or Salmond College in Dunedin then you will need to apply through the University of Otago’s website from 1 August and before 30 September. Your school will also have to complete a confidential reference and forward this to the accommodation office before 15 September, so make sure you complete the NZCCRF form by the end of August. Please select ‘Otago Polytechnic’ on both forms.

To begin the application process for City or Salmond College, click here.

For more information, contact accommodation@otago.ac.nz

For more accommodation options in Dunedin, visit: http://www.op.ac.nz/students/campuses/dunedin/accommodation/  

For accommodation options at our Central Campus in Cromwell, visit: http://central.op.ac.nz/students-2/living-in-central/

For accommodation options at our Auckland International Campus, visit: http://www.op.ac.nz/students/campuses/auckland/finding-accommodation/


Q. Can I defer my place?
A. If you are planning on taking a gap year it’s still a good idea to apply now. Most of our programmes allow students to defer their place on the programme until the next academic year and you will have to select this option on your offer letter.