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National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

Level 4

UCOL’s National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering with strands in Fitting and Machining and General Engineering is a trade qualification for people working in the engineering industry.

A mechanical engineering student works in the Regional Trades and Technology Centre at our Palmerston North campus
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 4 years, part-time and block courses

Dates:
To be confirmed

Domestic Fees:*
$1,782.14Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Not applicable.

* 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 mechanical engineering course is a managed apprenticeship that combines a broad, common foundation of mechanical engineering with more specialised skills and knowledge in the form of strands to suit the nature of the particular trade or enterprise the individual is engaged in.

The Fitting and Machining strand is for those employed in precision manufacture and related occupations, where both precision fitting and machining skills are required. Typically this involves machining, assembly, and alignment of components to close tolerances, machine installation, and hydraulic or pneumatic control systems.

The General Engineering strand is for those employed in a general engineering workshop, where the work may involve fitting, machining, welding, maintenance, repair, hydraulics, pneumatics, marine or rail engineering or fabrication.

The programme is solely designed for trainees/apprentices employed in the Fitting and Machining or General Engineering discipline of engineering.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Production manager
  • Workshop supervisor
  • Product design and developer
  • Business owner
  • Or staircase to further study

 Course Information

Year 1 (Night Class)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of workplace health and safety requirements
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety on engineering worksites
  • Manually produce and interpret engineering sketches under supervision
  • Manually construct plane geometric shapes for engineering
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of engineering materials
  • Demonstrate knowledge of common engineering metals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of trade calculations and units for mechanical engineering trades
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic mechanics for mechanical engineering trades
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fasteners used in mechanical engineering

Year 1 (Workplace Training)
  • Assemble mechanical components under supervision
  • Select, use, and care for, engineering hand tools
  • Select, use and maintain portable hand held engineering power tools
  • Select, use, and care for simple measuring devices used in engineering
  • Select, use, and care for engineering dimensional measuring equipment
  • Select, use, and care for engineering marking-out equipment
  • Apply safe working practices on an engineering worksite
  • Provide first aid
  • Provide resuscitation level 2

Year 2 (Night Class)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the composition of engineering metals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fits, limits, and tolerances in engineering
  • Demonstrate knowledge of bearings used in machines and equipment
  • Demonstrate knowledge of mechanical power transmission

Year 2 (Block Course)
  • Perform basic mechanical engineering machining operations under supervision
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of safe welding procedures under supervision
  • Shift loads in engineering installation, maintenance, and fabrication work

Year 2 (Workplace Training)
  • Safely shut down and isolate machines and equipment
  • Demonstrate knowledge of lubricants and lubrication systems, and inspect lubrication systems
  • Replace static seals in machines and equipment
  • Interpret mechanical engineering drawings
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of  setting and operating CNC engineering machines
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of programming
  • CNC engineering machines
  • Produce components by performing engineering turning operations
  • Produce components by performing engineering milling operations
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of mechanical fitting
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of manually controlled machining operations
  • Assemble and fit precision components

Year 3 (Night Class)
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of international tolerancing in engineering
  • Demonstrate knowledge of hydraulics and hydraulic power systems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pneumatics and pneumatic power systems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of job costing in mechanical engineering
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pumps, fan and valves for mechanical engineering trades

Year 3 (Block Course)
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of manually controlled machining operations
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of mechanical fitting
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of welding aluminum and stainless steel
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of welding low carbon steel
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of machine leveling and alignment

Year 3 (Workplace Training)
  • Dismantle, inspect, assemble and test components

Workplace Electives across Years 3 and 4
  • Carry out heat treatment of metal parts under supervision
  • Produce components by performing basic engineering drilling operations
  • Produce components by performing basic engineering turning operations
  • Produce components by performing basic engineering milling operations
  • Produce components by performing basic engineering surface grinding operations
  • Operate and monitor a production engineering machine
  • Produce components by performing reciprocating cutting operations
  • Produce components by performing engineering grinding operations
  • Set manually operated production engineering machines
  • Assemble and fit precision tooling
  • Set and operate a CNC machining centre
  • Set and operate a CNC lathe
  • Produce components by performing advanced engineering turning operations
  • Produce components by performing horizontal boring operations
  • Produce components by performing vertical boring operations
  • Grind tools and cutters used in engineering machining operations
  • Produce components by performing jig-boring operations
  • Produce components by performing advanced engineering milling operations
  • Produce components by performing advanced engineering grinding operations
  • Program a 3-axis CNC machining centre using proprietary software
  • Program a 2-axis CNC turning centre using proprietary software
  • Test the physical properties of engineering metals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of heat treatment for engineering non-ferrous metals
  • Program a 3-axis and additional function CNC turning centre using proprietary software
  • Program a 4-axis CNC machining centre using proprietary software

 Domestic Entry Requirements

It is recommended that students have met the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 or equivalent. 

Students need to be in full-time employment to be assessed against practical unit standards.  

 

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

 International Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering comprises 270-300 credits.

The availability of a particular elective (optional paper) is subject to an appropriate number of students enrolling in that elective. 

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial engineering environment. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

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 or unit standards have already been met.

Students who can provide evidence of a current first aid qualification will be given a credit transfer for the relevant unit standard(s). If the qualification is no longer current the student must requalify. Students with an expiring qualification must revalidate. 

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.

 Accreditation

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.

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