Skip Navigation LinksHomeProgrammesConstruction & Built EnvironmentNew Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology

New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology

New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology

Level 6

UCOL’s New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work independently as an architectural technician on small to medium scale build projects from all stages to completion.

A photograph of a young man in an architectural drawing class
Quick info

Level: 6

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 2 years, full-time or part-time study options

14 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

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.

Gain competency to work on large and/or complex building projects under the supervision of an experienced architectural technician, designer or architect. 

This qualification provides employers and consumers with the confidence that the working drawings produced meet with the requirements of New Zealand legislation, Codes of Practice, and New Zealand and Australian Standards.


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

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at diploma or degree level in the field of Architectural Technology, Construction Management or Quantity Surveying.

Career pathway

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology will be able to:

  • Evaluate design principles for a building project.
  • Carry out feasibility studies for small, medium and large buildings.
  • Establish a clients’ requirements, develop and communicate a concept and building design, and prepare approval documentation for a building project in accordance with the clients’ brief.
  • Evaluate the performance of and select materials and finishes to be used in the building process.
  • Prepare, organise and present architectural working drawings for small and medium buildings using manual and digital technologies in accordance with the statutory and regulatory environment.
  • Understand the roles, documentation and administrative requirements of the construction industry, apply this knowledge and assist senior personnel through the tender process.

Graduates will be able to work as an architectural technician, but with further training, career options include:

  • Architectural designer
  • Senior architectural designer
  • Architect
  • Interior designer
  • Urban designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Design manager
  • Consultant design practice owner
  • Or in another field related to construction, planning or design.

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

 Course Information

UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology comprises 240 credits.

Communication in the Construction Industry (15 Credits)
Learn to communicate effectively, and be aware of legislation in the construction industry. The course covers:

  • Roles and responsibilities within the construction industry, with reference to the relevant stages in the construction process
  • Documentation used to monitor and manage timing of the design, tender and construction process.
  • Reports, letters, emails, meeting notes, verbal and written instructions, and standard industry forms
  • Organising and an understanding of running a meeting
  • Taking minutes
  • The regulatory environment as it applies to building construction - The Building Act, The Consumer Guarantees Act, Resource Management Act, Construction Contracts Act, Treaty of Waitangi, Weathertight Homes.

Tendering Administration Processes for Construction Projects (15 Credits)
Learn to effectively administer processes that are essential to the success of a construction project. Students will gain an understanding of the effects of specific Acts and their resultant regulations on design and construction practices and principles in the construction industry. Also learn about what is involved in the pre-contract phase of construction.

Contract Administration for Valuing Building Works (15 Credits)
Learn about construction project administration, of the principles, practice and documentation of post tender administration.

Materials in Construction Projects (15 Credits)
Learn about the impacts that the external and internal environment and the Building Code have on the selection and application of building materials and finishes.

Services for Construction Projects (15 Credits)
Learn about the operating principles and coordination of services that are used and applied in small and medium buildings, taking into account the environment and the legal and regulatory frameworks.

Structures for Residential Construction Projects (15 Credits)
Learn about the relationship between the choice of site and structure of a small building, taking into consideration site limitations, small building design, the envelope and interior. Students will learn how a building is constructed in accordance with NZS 3604 and the Building Code to specific and non-specific design.

Feasibility and Analytical Reports for Construction Projects (15 Credits)
Learn about how the site on which a building is developed places constraints and the resulting limitations. You'll use your knowledge to establish the condition of an existing building; and present information from the research, feasibility and environmental study on the design and construction of that building.

Commercial Construction 1 (15 Credits)
Gain an understanding of what a commercial building is how they are constructed, how structural products are used in these, why specific design is necessary, the construction process, and related legislation.

Commercial Construction 2 (15 Credits)
Learn about the end use of buildings in line with the building code and territorial authority requirements. Understand services placement and use in a commercial structure. Also learn about the materials and services that can be used to enhance the management of a commercial structure, and the design and end user management functions of a medium building to category 3.

Concept Design (15 Credits)
Learn how to work through the process of preparing concept documentation for a building of non-specific design using multimedia to cover LBP licence Design 1 requirements.

Preliminary Design (15 Credits)
Learn how to work through the process of preparing preliminary documents for a building of non-specific design, using CAD software, preparing approval documentation to present to a client to cover LBP licence Design 1.

Developed Design (15 Credits)
Learn to prepare developed design in cad and present a preliminary architectural design to cover LBP Licence design 2.

Detailed Design 1 (30 Credits)
Learn to work through the process of preparing drawings for a building with a mixture of specific and non-specific design to cover LBP licence Design 2.

Detailed Design 2 (15 Credits)
Work through the process of preparing drawings for a building with up to three levels, using CAD software.

Design Principles (15 Credits)
Learn to describe and evaluate design principles for architectural projects; analyse and illustrate the historical development of design principles; explain the differences in design across cultures and environments; and describe the interaction of people with a built environment.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Domestic Entry Requirements

a minimum of 50 NCEA Credits at Level 2, including 12 Credits in Mathematics and a minimum of 12 Literacy Credits at NCEA Level 1


be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills.

Recognition of prior learning application should be made to accredited providers and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation.


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:
  • IELTS Academic Score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5, or 
  • TOEFL pBT Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE), or 
  • TOEFL iBT Score of 60 or higher (with a writing score of 20), or 
  • Cambridge FCE with a pass at Grade B or CAE with a score of 52 or higher, or 
  • NZCEL Level 4 with the Academic endorsement

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.

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

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a workshop or construction site. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins. To optimise chances of success, 100 per cent attendance is strongly recommended.

Work experience
This programme has optional project work included as part of the course.

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 of approximately $150 associated with the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology:
  • Faber Castell graphite sketch pencils (6B - 2H) - packet of six
  • Pilot Hi Tech V7RT Retractable Rollerball Pen
  • Pilot Hi Tech V7RT Retractable Rollerball Pen Fine Black
  • Staedler Academy scale ruler 961 80 2AS 300mm
  • Staedtler Mechanical Pencil 0.9mm
  • Pencil leads 0.9mm HB
  • A3 sketch pad
  • Lecture pad A4, 7mm, ruled, 200 leaf
  • Compass set
  • Protractor
  • USB memory stick 4GB
  • Eraser max large vinyl (1)
  • French curves
  • Triangles 200mm (45/45, 30/60)
  • 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) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.