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Certificate in Science and Health

Level 3

If you’re interested in a career in health or science, then let UCOL’s Certificate in Science and Health give you the best start.

Students experiment in one of our science labs on the Palmerston North campus
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Palmerston North
7 Aug 2017 - 11 May 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$5,524.04Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* 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.

UCOL’s Certificate in Science & Health students will graduate with a firm foundation to study nursing, vet nursing, sport science, medical imaging (X-ray) and science – all of which are programmes available at UCOL.

If you would like to  to pursue Nursing, Vet Nursing, National Diploma of Science, and Exercise and Sport Science, you should enrol in Elective One. Elective one is offered in Whanganui and Palmerston North. 
If you would like to pursue Medical Imaging you should enrol in Elective Two, which includes Physics and higher level Mathematics. Elective Two is only offered in Palmerston North in the February intake. 

Career & Study Outcomes

Course Information

Semester 1 Core papers include:
  • Biology
  • Study & Computing Skills

Semester 1 Elective papers include:
Elective One

  • Applied Science
  • Mathematics

Elective Two

  • Physical Science+
  • Mathematics+

Semester 2 Core papers include:

  • Biology
  • Human Health


Semester 2 Elective papers include:
Elective One

  •  Introduction to Health Care
  • Applied Science

Elective Two

  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Student & Staff Profiles

Learning Facilities

Chemistry Lab, Biology Lab, Science Theory Lab

Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including Literacy 10 credits and 10 Numeracy credits)


Equivalent academic achievement


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

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 (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

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

UCOL's Certificate in Science and Health comprises 120 credits.

This programme is intended for students who wish to prepare for entry to the Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology), New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science, New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, or other health or science programmes.

Students preparing for Bachelor of Nursing, Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or National Diploma in Science are advised to select Elective One in each semester.

Students preparing for Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology) are advised to select Elective Two in each semester. Achievement of at least 15 credits of Mathematics NCEA Level 1 is highly recommended before beginning this elective.

In Palmerston North, it may be possible to select combinations of courses from Electives One and Two in Semester Two, subject to timetabling.

In Whanganui, only Elective One is offered in both Semester One and Semester Two.

Note: Subject to the availability of a suitable clinical placement, students who achieve the Certificate in Science and Health, Level 3 with A passes in Physics, Mathematics III and Biology II will be given preferential entry to up to a quarter of the available places on the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology) programme.

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.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the Certificate in Science and Health of approximately $145.00:

  • Protective labcoats will be supplied by UCOL, but students will be required to wear covered shoes (eg sneakers) in the laboratory classes.
  • Scientific calculator - approximately $30
  • Printed workbooks will be supplied, but students should provide their own stationery (pens, pencils, ruler, paper etc)
Text book
  • Memmler's The Human Body in Health and Disease (12th or 13th edition) by Cohen, B. (2013) - Approximately $80


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.