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New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry)

New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry)

Level 3

Building the future or restoring the past, UCOL is dedicated to preparing the best employees to enter the construction industry – you will hit the ground running.

A carpentry student works on cutting machine at UCOL in Palmerston North
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Horowhenua Levin, Taumarunui, UCOL Whanganui, UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton, Marton (based at Ngati Apa site)

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Palmerston North
14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022
01 Aug 2022 - 19 May 2023

14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022
01 Aug 2022 - 19 May 2023

Marton (based at Ngati Apa site)
2022 dates TBC

Domestic Fees: *
Eligible for fees-free until 31 Dec 2022Scholarship 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.

If the construction industry is where you want to build your career, UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills is for you.

Gain practical competencies and skills in health and safety, trade mathematics, hand tools and project work related to different aspects of the construction industry.

You'll graduate work-ready with transferable skills for a wide range of construction-related trades.

Possible roles include working as a labourer with limited supervision, or an apprentice.


This programme is eligible for fees-free study under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund.

You don’t need to apply to access the fund - just enrol in an eligible programme, and the TTAF process will take care of the fees until 31 December 2022.

Please contact the info centre for more details.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates will be able to:

  • Understand and apply specific carpentry terminology and concepts such as line, level, square and plumb when carrying out carpentry work in a project environment
  • Understand basic building technology, the properties of timber, concrete, steel and composite products, interior and exterior linings and fixings, and apply this knowledge to carpentry projects 
  • Use construction and installation processes and techniques while carrying out carpentry projects
  • Carry out assigned carpentry work in a project environment

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Carpenters & joinersConstruction Workersand Quantity Surveyors.

Education pathway

 Course Information

This programme comprises 120 credits.

Workplace Safety Frameworks and Practices (20 Credits)
Learn about the broad legislative frameworks that regulates the construction industry; and requirements for workplace safety in the construction industry. Students are exposed to construction environments where they are able to apply their knowledge of safe working practices, the legislative framework and develop effective communication skills.

Skills for Construction Trades (10 Credits)
Learn how to interpret and use construction specifications and drawings. Develop calculation skills that underpin construction practices in the industry.

Carpentry Terminology and Concepts (10 Credits)
Learn carpentry concepts and terminology.

Building Assembly Techniques and Properties of Building Materials (10 Credits)
Learn broad range of basic building techniques and properties of building materials/products and linings that are used in a variety of carpentry projects.

Construction and Installation Processes and Techniques (10 Credits)
This course introduces students to a range of construction and installation processes and techniques when carrying out carpentry tasks.

Carpentry Project Preliminaries (15 Credits)
Complete a carpentry project that focuses on preliminary work and consent and compliance requirements.

Carpentry Project Foundations and Support Structures (15 Credits)
Carry out foundation and support structure work and meet compliance requirements for a defined carpentry project.

Carpentry Project Frames, Structures and Exterior Envelope (15 Credits)
Carry out frames, structures and exterior envelope work in accordance with compliance requirements for a defined carpentry project.

Carpentry Project Interior Linings and Finishing (15 Credits)
Complete interior lining and finishing work and meet compliance requirements for a defined carpentry project.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

UCOL staff are well connected to our stakeholders. We will prepare you for the workplace and help manage your apprenticeship.

 Learning Facilities

The Regional Trades and Technology Centre in our Palmerston North campus is a state-of-the-art ten million dollar facility, with the latest industry fit equipment and teaching technology, complete with an indoor space large enough to build a 3-bedroom house.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.



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 Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS General or Academic score of 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 iBT testing centre.

Applicants under 20 years of age:
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

To successfully complete this programme, you need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway.

Work experience
There is no work experience component as part of this programme.

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).

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:

  • Certificate in Carpentry

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills:

  • Steel cap boots $100 - $150
  • Scientific calculator $30
  • Drawing equipment - set squares (45 and 60 degree), pencils (H and 2H), soft rubber, compass, and scale rule (1:5, 1:10, 1:20 etc) $60

Approx $150.00

  • Faber Castel graphite sketch pencils (6B-2H)
  • Pilot Hi Tech Rectractable Roller Pen
  • Pilot Hi Tech Rectractable roller pen fine black
  • Staedler Academy scale ruler 300mm
  • Staedler Mechanical Pencil 0.9mm
  • A3 Sketch Pad Quad/Grid type, compass set, protractor, USB memory stick 8GB
  • Office eraser max large, french curves, triangles 200mm
  • Pencil sharpener, lecture pad a4 7mm ruled 200 leaf


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.