Course details

Certificate of Achievement in Fundamentals of Mathematics (Level 3)
NZQF Level 3

About the course

This online certificate will introduce you to various aspects of mathematics.


Our distance learning courses are offered throughout the year to help you fit study around your work and life commitments.
Courses are offered up to 12 times per year depending on demand and availability of academic staff.
Exact start dates are in the course information pages and in our Enrolment dates page:

Enrolment dates


  • Course costs can be found on all course pages.  The fees may increase annually.
  • Qualification cost – to give you an idea of how much a qualification may cost in total over the duration of your studies, an approximate cost is provided for many of our qualifications. This is based on the required number of courses to complete the qualification and the average cost of those courses. It does not include annual administration fees, text books and course materials or external exam fees, and is subject to annual course fee increases. 


Courses are assigned credits depending on how much time and effort is needed to complete their learning outcomes. In general, each credit represents approximately 10 hours of study time.

Delivery method

  • Online – The course materials for online courses are delivered in an online format and all assignments are submitted online.
  • Mixed – These courses are delivered using a mix of online and paper based course materials. This may include receiving paper course materials, submitting  assignments online, or being required to participate in online forums and learning activities.
  • Print Only - The course will be delivered using paper based courses materials, and assignments may need to be submitted in hard copy rather than online. This will depend on the course.

Whether courses are delivered online, on paper or a mixture of both, there may also be components such as workshops, noho marae, work experience and practicum to participate in. To find out what your course involves check the course information page.


EFTS stands for equivalent full-time student. An EFTS is the study time required for each course and is used by the Tertiary Education Commission to decide if a course is part-time or full-time. 

One year of full-time study is generally between 0.8 and 1.2 EFTS.


You can tell how hard a course or qualification is by the level it is set at:

  • Levels 1-4 are about the same as secondary school and basic trades training.
  • Levels 5-7 are the same as university study.


  • Prerequisites are courses that must be completed before another course can be studied. 
  • Co-requisites are courses that can be studied at the same time as another course.

If a course has a specific prerequisite or co-requisite course, it will be listed on the course page under the title 'Prerequisites'. If no courses are listed, check the entry and other requirements under the qualification you are studying for. Some courses require you to have studied at a particular level prior to enrolling.

Student loans

Not all qualifications or students are eligible for student loans. You will need to meet criteria such as studying a minimum number of credits over a specific study period. It is up to you to apply for a student loan via StudyLink - Open Polytechnic does not do this for you.

Information about student loans and eligibility

StudyLink website

Teaching weeks

Teaching weeks is the number of weeks that we teach a course. This differs from the enrolment period, which is based on the course start and end dates.

For example, a 20-week enrolment period will have 16 teaching weeks, followed by four weeks to accommodate marking, any extensions and reassessments, or exams.


The workload estimate given on a course page is calculated like this:

Number of credits x 10, divided by the number of teaching weeks for the course. The hours will be rounded up to nearest whole number.

Please note, this is a guide only. You may need more or less time for study, and you may also need to do more hours during assessment due dates or exams times.

    Student loan

    Not applicable.

It will help you build your confidence in using mathematics. You will gain techniques and strategies commonly used in mathematical problem solving.

It will also give you a basis for further study in mathematics, computing, science or engineering and more.

Zero fees Offer

This programme is currently offered under zero fees. For full details and terms and conditions please click the 'Zero fees offer' tab above.

NCEA Achievement Standards

When you complete this programme, you will gain NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards in Mathematics. These are:

  • AS91574 Apply linear programming methods in solving problems
  • AS91576 Use critical path analysis in solving problems.

Maximum Programme Completion Time

To be awarded the qualification, the programme must be completed in no more than 20 weeks of first enrolment, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

About the provider

Open Polytechnic is New Zealand's leader in online and distance learning.

What’s our distance learning difference? It’s the almost 30,000 students who join us each year to study and achieve their career and personal goals.

It’s Open Polytechnic being New Zealand’s specialist distance learning provider for over 70 years. 

All our students study by distance.

Distance learning is what we do.

Our programmes are designed exclusively for distance learning. Our online courses include a range of rich content to engage you – readings, videos, interactive elements, case studies, quizzes and activities, and forums.

Our academic staff are experts at teaching by distance learning. It’s what they do.

They will be with you every step of the way to encourage you, and ensure you understand the course content. They will help you gain the skills and knowledge you need, so that you can succeed.

If you need other support or help, we’ve got a range of people here for you. 

With Open Polytechnic, you’re not alone.