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New Zealand Diploma in Construction

New Zealand Diploma in Construction

Level 6

UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Construction (with strands in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying) is the ideal qualification for people who want to work as construction managers or quantity surveyors.

Construction students planning on CAD software
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.

From the start to the completion of residential as well as commercial building projects, the New Zealand Diploma in Construction will provide you with extensive construction training, the knowledge and the skills for a successful career in either construction management or quantity surveying. 

Upon completion of this programme, you will receive qualification to enter employment in construction management or quantity surveying under the supervision of a more experienced practitioner relevant to your chosen area of expertise.


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.

This qualification also provides employers and consumers with the confidence that construction and building projects are being effectively planned and organised and with sound financial management that meet the requirements of New Zealand legislation, Codes of Practice, and New Zealand and Australian Standards.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at diploma or degree level in the field of construction.

Career opportunities

Construction management

  • Site management
  • Health and safety
  • Construction project management
  • On-site construction management
  • Construction administration
  • Contract administration

Quantity surveying

  • Quantity surveying
  • Estimating residential and commericial building projects
  • Construction administration
  • Contract administration

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

 Course Information

This programme comprises 240 credits.

Communication in the Construction Industry (15 credits)Learn to communicate effectively and gain an overview 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 administrate 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. They will also understand what is involved in the pre-contract phase of construction.

Contract Administration for Valuing Building Works (15 credits)
Gain an understanding of construction project administration, including 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 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. The course covers water supply and discharge, electrical supply and communications, fire protection, ducted services, vertical and horizontal transport systems, and solar systems.

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. You'll 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.

Commercial Construction 1 (15 credits)
Learn what a commercial building is, how they are constructed, how structural products are used in these, and why specific design is necessary for these larger structures of a commercial nature.

Commercial Construction 2 (15 credits)
Learn about the end use of buildings in line with the building code and territorial authority requirements. You'll gain an understanding of services placement and use in a commercial structure.

Residential Estimation (15 credits)
Learn to estimate costs for a small - two-level construction project and collate the information required to submit a tender for trades.

Residential Tendering (15 credits)
Learn how to bring a bid together for a small - two-level construction project.

Construction Programming & Construction Methodology (15 credits)
Learn to develop a pre- and post-contract programme for a medium construction project.

Personnel Management (15 credits)
Learn about usiness and corporate structures, problem solving and improving performance in a construction site situation.

Courses for the Construction Management Strand

Site Management (15 credits)
Learn to establish health and safety, and quality assurance plans. Understand resource management and sub-contractors' requirements on a medium construction project.

Construction Planning (15 credits)
Learn to develop a pre-contract and post-contract construction plan plan for a medium building.

Health & Safety and Quality Assurance in Construction (15 credits)
Learn to implement health and safety, and quality assurance plans. Understand how safety and quality plans improve quality on a construction project; how to use levels and the positioning of a medium sized buildings on a site involving datum’s; and the principles of the requirements of total stations and automatic levels in construction projects.

Courses for the Quantity Surveying Strand

Measurement (15 credits)
Learn to develop schedules of quantities for specialist trades in construction projects.

Measurement and Estimation Commercial (15 credits)
Learn how to build up rates and establish a tender for a medium construction project.

Preliminary Estimates (15 credits)
Learn to complete preliminary estimates for a medium building, compile an elemental cost plan for a medium building, and prepare cashflow statements to meet client requirements.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

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


be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills. 


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:

  • 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. an IELTS Academic Score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 (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: 

Applicants under 20 years of age must provide evidence of an equivalent academic qualification that meets the relevant programme requirements for entry. Please refer to the International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria Guidelines for more details.

 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.

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 Diploma in Construction:

  • Steel cap boots $100 
  • 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
  • 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, compass set, protractor, usb memory stick 4gb
  • 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) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.