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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, Whanganui

Duration: 1 year, full-time or part-time study options available

Palmerston North
20 Feb 2017 - 1 Dec 2017
7 Aug 2017 - 11 May 2018

20 Feb 2017 - 1 Dec 2017

Domestic Fees:*

International Fees:*

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). Fees for multi-year programmes are 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. In Palmerston North there are February, April and August intakes.
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

This programme is intended for those who want to study the following:
  • National Diploma in Science
  • Diploma in Veterinary Nursing
  • Diploma in Enrolled Nursing
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Exercise & Sport Science

Student & Staff Profiles

Learning Facilities

Chemistry Lab, Biology Lab, Science Theory Lab

Domestic Entry Requirements

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


Equivalent academic achievement


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

*Pending NZQA approval

International Entry Requirements

English Proficiency Entry Requirements:

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.

Advice & Guidance

This programme is intended for students who wish to prepare for entry to the Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology), National Diploma in Science, 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.

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


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.