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New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials

New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials

Level 4

Sharpen your Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills with UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials.

A photograph of a group of student working at desktop computers
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

21 Feb 2022 - 01 Jul 2022
25 Jul 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.

This ICT qualification will provide you with essential skills for a career in the ICT industry and also provides automatic entry into UCOL’s Bachelor of ICT degree and the NZ Diploma in IT Technical Support.

In the NZ Certificate in IT Essentials you will gain foundation skills in core ICT subject areas including: database and information management, multimedia web design and development, programming, software design and development, and operating systems, hardware, and networking.

This programme has a practical, hands-on focus which enables students to demonstrate their skills and develop expertise in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries.


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.

Individual Papers
You can enrol in a number of individual papers from this programme instead of the whole degree to get new skills for your work, your next job and what really interests you. Click here to see the options. 

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Entry level ICT roles
  • IT support

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

 Course Information

This programme comprises 60 credits.

Technical IT Skills (15 Credits)
Upon successful completion of the course you'll be able to assemble and disassemble standard computer hardware components; install, configure and use operating systems; apply basic networking and security concepts to connect devices and access Internet based services; and communicate and plan effectively. The course covers:

  • Hardware, including local and remote storage technology
  • Operating systems, including device drivers and command line entry
  • Networking, including remote services
  • Security concepts at end user level
  • Documentation of planning and implementation of above procedures, including technical writing
  • Professional conduct and safety when working with hardware.

Media Design and Development (15 Credits)
Learn to build a multimedia website to a brief using essential concepts of development and design. The course covers:

  • Multimedia such as graphics, sound, video and text
  • Interactivity, accessibiility and user experience (UX)
  • Scripting and content management systems
  • Intellectual property and copyright, professional conduct and cultural sensitivity, including Treaty of Waitangi

Information Management (15 Credits)
Upon successful completion of this course you'll be able to investigate and describe information management solutions in a range of organisational environments and cultural contexts; plan, design and document information systems solutions to meet organisational requirements; build information systems solutions using appropriate tools to meet organisational requirements; and communicate and plan effectively. The course covers:

  • Basic concepts of business analysis and data modelling
  • Basic relational database development including tables, queries, reports,forms, validation, and restricting information
  • Other information management tools as applicable, such as spreadsheets,file management and report writing
  • Intellectual property, security, confidentiality and privacy issues
  • Compliance with regulations, legislation and internal policies, andprofessional conduct.

Software Design and Development (15 Credits)
Learn essential skills and knowledgeto develop basic software applications. The course covers:

  • Programming fundamentals, including coding standards and documentation
  • Compiler, command line interface (CLI), interpreters, logic depiction methods
  • Basic concepts of user experience
  • Project management and project management tools
  • Intellectual property, security and professional conduct.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2


New Zealand Certificate in Computing (Intermediate User)


Certificate in Information Technology for Business


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

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements the following applies to international student applicants.

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
The minimum entry requirement for international students is IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (iecombining 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 with an interest in computing and ICT will develop essential foundations skills over a range of industry leading digital tools, programming languages, development platforms and environments, and hardware, operating system, and networking technologies.  It is recommended that applicants seek advice from the Head of School if they would like more information regarding the required skill level 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 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).

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in IT Essentials supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:

  • Certificate for Advanced Computer Users


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under section 249 of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to provide it under section 250 of the Act.