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New Zealand Certificate in Baking

New Zealand Certificate in Baking

Level 3

Interested in baking? Take your skills to the next level and gain an industry recognised qualification with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Baking.

A student baking bread
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui

Duration: 19 weeks full-time
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

Palmerston North
13 Feb 2023 - 23 Jun 2023

17 Jul 2023 - 24 Nov 2023

Domestic Fees: *
$3943.50Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

Join UCOL's intensive bakery programme to master the essentials of baking and pastry production. New Zealand Certificate in Baking is a hands-on programme where you'll learn how to make breads and dough, pastry products, cakes and sponges, and bakery small goods.

Our industry-experienced chefs will guide you to hone your practical skills and apply theory, such as producing baked goods in commercial volumes for sale to retail shops or restaurants.

You'll be able to work safely with limited supervision in a factory or craft bakery. Employers will value your familiarity with baking industry standards, and the ability to adapt to their specific production environment.

Hear from 2017 graduate, Zach Meads:


COVID-19 vaccination and work

Some private companies and organisations may require staff to be vaccinated. If placement or internship is part of your programme, please check with the companies or organisations about their policy. You can see more information on UCOL's Covid-19 page and on the Unite Against Covid-19 website.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 19 weeks, including 2 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
19 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings, cookery practicals, timetable set by your lecturer.
Study Time
16 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Baking will be able to:

  • Follow health and safety, and food hygiene processes and procedures related to baking industry standards
  • Apply basic baking skills to produce biscuit, bread, cake, and pastry products in accordance with industry standards
  • Work as an effective member of a team to produce required bakery products
  • Communicate clearly and appropriately

Employment opportunities include working in:

  • Baking
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Chefs.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

From 2023, UCOL and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga. So, if you join UCOL in 2023, you will be awarded Te Pūkenga certification. And, if you are a current learner graduating in 2023, you will be awarded a co-branded certificate.

This programme consists of 60 credits. The courses includes:

Breads and Doughs (15 Credits)
Learn to produce breads and doughs, and about food safety, kitchen safety and hygiene practices to industry standards. You will also develop your communication skills as an effective team member and in one-on-one situations. The course covers:

  • Weighing and measuring
  • Bakers' percentages
  • Flour types and their uses
  • Main commodities used
  • Quality points
  • Correct storage procedures for dough products
  • Preparation of fermented doughs, unfermented doughs and enriched doughs

Pastry Products (15 Credits)
Learn to produce pastry products including short pastry, sweet pastry, puff pastry and choux pastry.

Cakes and Sponges (15 Credits)
Learn to produce cakes and sponges, including fruit and plain cakes, sponges, and gateaux/tortes.

Bakery Small Goods (15 Credits)
Learn to produce bakery small goods including biscuits, slices, scones, muffins and friands.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

UCOL Hospitality Schools are members of NZ Chefs, and Baking Industry Association of New Zealand. We are active participants in Manawatu Hospitality Awards and each campus is well supported by our local industries.

 Learning Facilities

Our students learn from professionals and gain practical experience in our on-site commercial kitchens.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits)
Equivalent academic achievement
On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

This programme may require students to work outside normal office hours. To optimise chances of student success, 100% attendance is recommended. It is recommended that applicants have met the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 or equivalent. 

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial kitchen environment. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader  before the programme begins. Students who have successfully completed the requirements for the relevant Learning Outcomes in all 4 courses will be eligible for the award of Unit Standard 167 ‘Practise food safety methods in a food business’.


Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, which run from 

Monday to Thursday:

  • 6am - 12pm in Palmerston North
Monday to Wednesday:
  • 8.30am - 5pm in Whanganui

Your weekly commitment comprises:

  •  19.5 hours of lecturer supported learning (practical learning in UCOL's professional kitchen, theory and computer work)
  •  16 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on practical skill development, theory and computer work to complete your assignments)

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Baking of approximately $520 as follows:

  • UCOL uniform
  • Knives
  • Safety shoes


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.