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New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

Level 3

Get your career started in the automotive industry with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3).

Two people in a garage working on a car
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North, Whanganui

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Palmerston North
12 Feb 2018 - 16 Nov 2018
23 Jul 2018 - 27 Apr 2019

12 Feb 2018 - 16 Nov 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$6,087.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

* 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 service general automotive systems and gain the essential skills needed for an entry level position in automotive engineering.

Hear from 2017 graduate, Regan Curtis:


 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) will have the following theoretical and practical skills:

  • Follow workplace policies, procedures and relevant regulations to work safely and effectively in an automotive workshop
  • Use tools and equipment to complete basic workshop engineering tasks
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service engine and driveline systems
  • Check operation of and perform minor repairs on electrical systems
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service steering, suspension and brake systems.

 Course Information

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) covers:

  • Automotive Workshop Safety
  • Basic Repair and Modification of Automotive Components
  • Engines
  • Engine Systems
  • Driveline Systems
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Starting and Charging Systems
  • Electronic Controls, High Voltage Systems and HVAC
  • Brake Systems
  • Steering and Suspension Systems

Previous Related Programmes

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

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Learning Facilities

Automotive workshop

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy Credits and 10 Numeracy Credits at 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

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

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 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 (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).  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 New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering comprises 120 credits.

A Class 1 full driver’s licence (or working towards) is recommended on entry to this programme.

Previous study in related technology areas would be an advantage.

To successfully complete this programme, students need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway.

Work experience
Students engaging in UCOL directed work experience will need to complete programme course Automotive Workshop Safety beforehand.

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. 

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

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the Certificate in Automotive Engineering:
  • Steel cap boots $80 -$100
  • Cotton, long-sleeved overalls $50
  • A basic tool kit consisting of spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer and socket set $150
The recommended text book is May, E., & Simpson, L. (2007) Automotive Mechanics (7th revised edition, volume 1). Australia: McGraw Hill


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.