1. How do I apply to study at SPCNM?
Please see our How to Enrol page. Applications open for Bachelor of Natural Medicine and Personal Interest courses in October of each year for the following year Semester One begins in February each year). New Zealand Certificate of Study & Career Preparation applications open in May with a start date in July (limited places may be available for the Bachelor of Natural Medicine and Personal Interest courses for our Semester Two intake, depending on class numbers).
2. How do I get the documents necessary for the application process certified?
A certified document – a scanned copy of a document, passport or card (e.g. driver’s licence) must:
- show the entire image of the relevant document/card on the scan or photograph.
- be certified by someone authorised to do so. Examples of officials authorised to verify a document: Justice of the Peace, lawyer, registered teacher or medical doctor, an official of the issuing authority, or a court official (Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar). The verifier must not be a member of your family.
- have the date, the official’s signature, with the name and occupation of the official shown clearly below their signature.
3. I previously studied at South Pacific College. Can my previous completed courses be transferred if I apply to study again?
This will depend how long ago you first started studying with the College. The College regulations have changed so that the degree should be completed within 6 years of your first enrolment. You will need to complete a new application to enrol in the degree programme. Acceptance is not guaranteed. You may be required to take competency tests to demonstrate the currency of your knowledge.
4. What are the differences between SPCNM and your competitors?
We are the only NZQA-rated Category One college offering a degree in natural medicine. We achieved Highly Confident in Educational Performance and Highly Confident in Self-Assessment (the highest possible rating) as the first sentence.
SPCNM is in a handy central location with a lovely College environment including a working garden and light well-equipped facilities. SPCNM prides itself on our highly qualified and skilled staff. The College has been in existence since 1967 and is a supportive, stable friendly environment.
5. Can my enrolment application fee be paid with my course fees?
No, the application fee of $120 (including GST), must be paid as part of the enrolment process. The application fee is not covered by Studylink.
6. Do you offer scholarships?
No, we currently do not, but we encourage you to look into community and/or Māori scholarships that you may be eligible for.
7. What prerequisites are there to enrolling?
We have English language proficiency requirements and require students to have NCEA Level 3 in Chemistry or equivalent. For details, please see https://www.spcnm.ac.nz/admission-requirements/
8. What do I need to do if I do not have the prerequisite NCEA Level 3 or equivalent Chemistry qualification?
If you do not have the prerequisite Chemistry qualification, we have set up an Introduction to Biological Chemistry course on Moodle. The course will be forwarded to you as soon as you submit your application and have indicated that you do not have the required Chemistry qualification. The course includes a practice quiz (limited to 3 attempts) so that you can see the level of knowledge that is expected. Applicants who are selected for an interview will be required to sit the Chemistry test on the day. The pass rate is 90%.
9. How long will it take me to complete my degree?
Our recommended study pathways allow you to take between 3 years (full-time), to 5 years (part-time in Years One & Two, full-time in Year Three). Take a good look at the course descriptions (outlining our 24 compulsory Bachelor of Natural Medicine courses) and recommended pathways on the website:
10. Am I eligible for a student allowance?
You will need to be studying full-time to be eligible for a Student Allowance (if you meet Studylink’s other requirements). Seven or eight courses per year constitute full-time study. See the Studylink website for details.
11. Can I study some courses on-campus and some on-line?
Yes. Blended learning is available in Years 1 & 2. All Year 3 courses are offered on-campus only. Once your mode of study is established at enrolment, you will need to maintain on-campus attendance or on-line access. You may formally apply to change your mode of study for a course if need be. There is a charge of $50.00 per course including GST to do so.
12. Is there any compulsory attendance for on-line students?
On-line students have the same attendance expectations as on-campus students; They must access the course content through live-streaming or by watching the recorded classes and completing the required activities online each week.
The College organises on-site weekends for all students offering a range of activities, guest speakers and time for you to socialise and meet your peers and College staff.
13. How much are the course fees each year?
Please see the Fee Schedule on our website. All fees for the year are due two weeks before the beginning of the first semester. If you are applying for Studylink for a student loan or using Fees-free to pay for your fees, you will need to ensure that your application has been completed and you have notified us at least two weeks before the beginning of the first semester.
14. When does the timetable come out?
We aim to publicise the timetable prior to the end of the year. You will not know your assessment due dates until the courses start in February.
15. What can I do if something unexpected comes up and I can no longer study?
Although we recommend a 3 or 5-year pathway, you have a total of 6 years to complete your degree. This allows you some lee-way to take a leave of absence of one semester, if need be, to manage major life changes. It will also help you to restructure your pathway if you fail a course. We do not recommend that you take time out from study for more than one year.
We urge you to consider your individual circumstances before you apply and plan how you will manage your study for the duration of the degree. Much deliberation and planning take place in the time that we are considering applications. Once the academic year is underway, and the confirmed study period has begun, we cannot offer another student your place if you withdraw.
If you withdraw and re-apply at a later stage, we cannot guarantee acceptance back into the degree.
16. Can I change from full-time to part-time during the semester or during the year, or are changes required at the end of the year only?
Two weeks into the semester is a really important milestone. If you transfer from full-time to part-time study within this time period, you will be refunded for the courses from which you have withdrawn, minus 10% administration fee. After two weeks from the start of the semester, fees are non-refundable. Please think carefully about study considerations prior to enrolment (see above).
17. Can I try the courses to see if I can manage the level of study before committing to the degree?
You may apply to enrol in the Personal Interest programme commencing in either Semester 1 or 2 (select this option in the application process – Enrolment Application Form). You will be able to select from certain Year One courses offered in our degree programme. We normally allow students to study one Personal Interest course per semester if places are available. Assessments are optional on the Personal Interest programme. However, applicants must nominate if they will complete assessments, at the time of enrolment. For more information see https://www.spcnm.ac.nz/personal-interest-courses/
18. How indicative is the prerequisite Chemistry course of the work required during the first year of the degree? It was suggested that this course needed up to 20 hours of study time depending on your previous Chemistry background.
The Chemistry course is not indicative of the time requirement for the degree programme. It is a course that the College designed to ensure students have the necessary basic understanding before they start the degree. Some people finish it in a few hours’ time, and others take longer.
19. Is SPCNM looking to change Year three to on-line?
No, with the complexities of clinical practice we believe that it should always be delivered on-campus.
20. If I complete the first two years of the degree programme on-line, what planning will I need to consider for Year 3 of study on-campus?
The year 3 programme is delivered full-time. There are 16 hours per week of clinic and on-campus classes. There are also additional hours of supervision working on your cases – a total of 30 hours per week.
Students who live outside of Auckland sometimes relocate to the city for the whole term or commute home at weekends, depending on where they live.
21. How often are the tests, and if you are studying on-line, what is the process for completing these?
You will receive an assessment schedule in your Course Guidelines at the start of each semester. Tests and assignments are spread through the academic year. Several assessments can be submitted on-line and there are some on-line tests. There are a few paper-based tests which you can write on-campus or, if you reside out of Auckland, in the presence of an approved invigilator.
22. What happens if I fail a test or an assignment?
All learning outcomes must be met, and if you fail to do so, you will have one further opportunity to re-sit that test or re-submit your assessment at no cost. If you fail to meet all the learning outcomes in a course, you will need to re-enrol in that course the following year.
23. Do you record the on-campus lectures?
Yes. All classes are live-streamed so that you can join in with students on-campus. Classes are also recorded for watching at a later more convenient time for you. You will need to ensure that you access recorded lectures and activities promptly as new course work is released each week and you must keep up.
24. Is there a mentor for each person studying on-line for the duration of the course?
There is no mentor allocated for each student. However, there are staff members to deal with the academic and pastoral care aspects of study, including Moodle issues, help with referencing and research, and support with personal issues that may impact your studies. We also encourage you to set up a buddy system with other students.
25. How do I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Recognition and Transfer (CRT)?
You will be able to indicate that you may be interested in applying for RPL or CRT early in the application process for the Bachelor of Natural Medicine. Once accepted into the Bachelor of Natural Medicine, an enquiry form for the RPL/CRT needs to be completed. RPL or CRT application fee/s are paid in full before full instructions and an application form are provided.
Evaluating RPL is a lengthy process in comparing Learning Outcomes between our courses and those you have completed. Therefore, this is unlikely to be completed before you have enrolled. Please refer to this section on our website – https://www.spcnm.ac.nz/admission-requirements/
26. Is the SPCNM Bachelor of Natural Medicine degree recognised overseas?
This depends on the individual country/state. Contact officials in the specific country/state for clarification.
27. Can a New Zealand Citizen, residing in Australia, get a student loan with Studylink?
Yes, they can (if eligible).
28. As an International student living overseas, can I study Years 1 and 2 of the degree programme outside of NZ?
Currently, no you cannot do this. If you are in NZ, with an international study visa, you must study full-time on-campus.
29. Do you have a mid-year intake for the Bachelor’s degree?
We do not routinely have a mid-year intake.
30. How does the NZCert relate to the degree?
The NZCert is Level 4, whereas the BNatMed programme progresses from Level 5 – 7. The NZCert is good preparation for the degree and students who have progressed from the NZCert to the degree attest to this.
31. What career opportunities are there upon completion of the Bachelor of Natural Medicine Degree?