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New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

Level 3

Get your career started in the mechanical engineering, construction, manufacturing and fabrication industries with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering.

A photograph of a female UCOL student working at the workshop
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

14 Feb 2022 - 18 Nov 2022
25 Jul 2022 - 28 Apr 2023

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.

Learn how to perform basic engineering tasks and gain the essential skills needed for an entry level position in mechanical engineering, construction, manufacturing or fabrication. 

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering is designed for people already working in the industry or people intending to complete a pre-trade qualification before entering the workforce. 

Your training will provide you with skills employers are seeking, including workplace professionalism (health and safety, and communication), and the ability to perform a defined range of engineering tasks.


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 certificate level in the fields of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Fabrication and Mechanical Building Services. UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering is equivalent to the first year of an apprenticeship. Further study options at UCOL include:

New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4)

Career pathway

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering will be able to work under limited supervision in an operator or trade assistant role in their area of specialisation, in the mechanical engineering, construction, mechanical building services, manufacturing, or fabrication industries. Roles may include:

  • CNC machine operator
  • Mould and core maker
  • Machine operator
  • Specialist production welder
  • Metal worker/fabricator
  • Ducting fabricator
  • Pipe fitter/welder
  • Metal polisher and pattern maker trade assistant

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

 Course Information

This programme comprises 120 credits.

Mechanical Engineering Health and Safety (10 Credits)
Learn how to identify and demonstrate safe working practices in the mechanical engineering industry.

Mechanical Engineering Drawing and Calculations (15 Credits)
Apply basic trade related numeracy, literacy and visualisation skills to perform engineering tasks.

Mechanical Engineering Workshop Basics (40 Vredits)
Learn how to perform a defined range of engineering tasks according to instructions using relevant materials, tools and equipment.

Mechanical Engineering Materials and Basic Processes (20 Vredits)
Learn to apply effective and efficient processes and principles while adhering to the instructions for single process engineering jobs.

Mechanical Engineering Communication and Quality (15 Credits)
Develop concepts of quality, continuous improvement and interpersonal communication within a mechanical engineering context.

Mechanical Engineering - Welding (20 Credits)
Learn to demonstrate basic welding procedures under supervision.

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3) supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • Certificate in Fitting, Welding and Machining

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean


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

 International Entry Requirements

Please enquire for details

 Advice & Guidance

Work experience
There are no practicum or work experience hours for 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 appropriate 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

PPE Gear, Overalls, Gloves, Hat, Boots, Hard Hat $350.
Scientific calculator $30
Drawing equipment, compass set 150mm, 300mm rules $15
Folders, Lecture pads, pens and pencils approx $60


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.