HomeProgrammesChef Training & HospitalityNew Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3)

Level 3

Interested in working in a cafe or restaurant? Gain practical skills and an industry recognised qualification with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3).

Hospitality lecturer Niels Huibers showing a student how to make the perfect coffee
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 19 weeks full-time
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

Palmerston North
19 Feb 2024 - 28 Jun 2024
22 Jul – 29 Nov 2024

Domestic Fees: *

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$12,500 + Student Services Levy $295.50

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.

Learn the essentials of working in hospitality with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3). You'll prepare and serve the types of food and beverages offered at cafés and functions, and develop professional skills that employers value.

You will have the opportunity to cater for events, and learners at the UCOL Palmerston North campus will have the additional benefit of gaining real-world experience in our training restaurants. 

Our industry-experienced staff will guide you to hone your skills and gain confidence in working with customers. 

Learn to become a valued member of a café or functions team, and make a start on a career in the exciting world of hospitality.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 19 weeks, including 2 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
14 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings, cookery practicals, timetable set by your lecturer.
Industry Experience
4 hrs

Work integrated learning.
Study Time
17 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service will be able to:

  • Apply health and safety, food safety and security practices
  • Communicate confidently with colleagues and customers
  • Follow standard operating procedures to deal with familiar problems in a hospitality establishment

Employment opportunities include working in:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bars
  • Overseas work
  • Or staircase to further study

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries for Hospitality Workers, see careers.govt.nz

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL Te Pūkenga is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

During your studies you'll learn:

Food and Beverage Core Skills (20 Credits)

To establish standards of professional practice for basic service in hospitality food and beverage establishments.

  • Describe and apply health and safety, food safety and security practices to minimise hazards and to ensure self and customer safety in service.
  • Follow standard operating procedures and deal with common problems in a food and beverage environment.
  • Communicate effectively when serving customers and others in the hospitality industry and demonstrate appropriate whanaungatanga and manaakitanga in your professional service behaviours.

Indicative Content

  • Hazards in the workplace
  • Food safety
  • Security practices
  • Health and safety
  • Host responsibility
  • Deal with familiar problems – e.g., complaint handling within authority, outside authority, accounts and payments, work area preparations, time management, personal presentation
  • Customer service strategies
  • Sales techniques
  • Professional behaviour

Barista Service (20 Credits)

To provide learners with an opportunity to develop basic skills required to deliver beverage service as a barista.

  • Follow standard operating procedures as a barista
  • Provide espresso beverage service as a barista
  • Maintain service areas as a barista

    Indicative Content
  • Follow standard operating procedures to prepare equipment and ingredients for espresso beverage service
  • Maintain health and safety requirements 
  • Present a range of espresso/café beverages for service
  • Effective communication skills when serving beverages to a customer
  • Extraction of espresso
  • Correct milk texturing for correct beverage
  • Over/under dosing /extraction
  • Quality and taste problems
  • Equipment issues 

Restaurant Service (20 Credits)

To provide learners with an opportunity to develop basic skills required to deliver food and beverage service in a restaurant.

  • Follow standard operating procedures in a restaurant environment
  • Serve food and beverage in a restaurant environment
  • Maintain service areas in a restaurant environment

    Indicative Content
  • Standard operating procedures to prepare equipment and ingredients for restaurant service 
  • Health and safety requirements, including food safety and alcohol service
  • Sustainability in a restaurant
  • Product knowledge of hot and cold beverages and food
  • Order processing, including accuracy,standard operating procedures and customer requests
  • Set up, break down and maintenance of equipment and restaurant dining areas 
  • Professional presentation to meet industry expectations

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

UCOL Hospitality Schools are members of NZ Chefs. We are active participants in Manawatu Hospitality Awards and each campus is well supported by our local industries.

 Learning Facilities

Our ākonga learn from professionals and gain practical experience in our on-site training restaurants.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

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


Equivalent academic achievement


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

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

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

English language proficiency
International learner applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

The New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Café Services and Functions Services) (Level 3) comprises 60 credits. 

Full attendance is encouraged to maximise learning opportunities and to optimise success for learners.

This programme will require learners to work after hours when studying at the Palmerston North or Whanganui campus.

This programme is an excellent starting point for those wanting to work in restaurants or bars. It is recommended that applicants have met the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting and will comprise a weekly commitment of:

  •  18 hours of lecturer-supported learning (class time, theory, computer work and real-life experience in the UCOL training restaurant*)
  •  17 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on practical skill development, theory and computer work to complete your assignments)

*Work in the UCOL training restaurants is dependent on the time of year.

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 Te Pūkenga Academic Statute and other relevant 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).

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Food & Beverage Service Level 3 of approximately $210.  Costs may vary - if you already own shoes or clothing listed below, then these can be checked by the lecturer to see if they are fit for service.

  • Black leather shoes
  • Black skirt or pants, and black long-sleeved shirt
  • Black bib apron
  • Tie


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning, a business division of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.