HomeProgrammesEngineeringNew Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3)

Level 3

Are you looking to start your career in the electrical industry? ​

Electrical student in class
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL te Pūkenga Wairarapa in Masterton

Duration: 1 year consisting of 34 teaching weeks and six holiday weeks.
(See Course Hours & Duration for details).

Palmerston North
Our Manawatū 2024 intake is full. 2025 dates TBC.
For further info please contact us:
E: enquiry@ucol.ac.nz

19 Feb 2024 – 22 Nov 2024

Domestic Fees: *

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$25,000.00 + Student Services Levy $595.95

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.

The UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3) is designed to equip learners with core electrical knowledge and basic practical skills to work in entry level electrical roles.

The programme will also help you develop the literacy and numeracy skills relevant to the electrical industry. This is an ideal programme for anyone wanting to get a head start before they begin an electrical apprenticeship. 

 Course Hours & Duration

This is a one-year programme consisting of 34 teaching weeks and six holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:
16 hours of Class Time
14 hours Study Time (Self-directed learning in your own time)

 Career & Study Outcomes

This programme will prepare graduates for entry-level employment, such as an apprenticeship in the electrical industry and related electrical fields. Graduates will be able to work under the supervision of a licensed electrical worker. Graduates could also go onto further study.

 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.

This programme comprises 121 credits.

Electrical Work Practices (15 Credits)

Learn how to apply electrical workplace standards and health and safety practices.  Learners will also achieve/maintain a first aid certificate.

DC Fundamentals (15 Credits)

Learn to apply fundamental theory and principles of Direct Current (DC) circuits and systems.

AC Fundamentals (15 Credits)

Learn to apply fundamental theory and principles of magnetism and electromagnetism to AC theory. Students will also learn how to safely use the tools and equipment used in an electrical workplace.

Cables, Fittings, and Testing (15 Credits)

Learn how to install, test and fault-find electrical cords, cables, and equipment.

Electricity Supply Systems (15 Credits)

Learn about the New Zealand electricity supply system and methods used to ensure the protection of users and installations.

Protection, Plans and Circuits (15 Credits)

Learn about circuit protection, electrical drawing conventions, switching circuits, and lighting systems.

Electrical Installations (15 Credits)

Learn about cable and wiring systems, including how to work safely in damp situations.

Transformers, Electrical Machines, and Isolation (15 Credits)

Learn the theories underpinning the operation of transformers, electrical machines, and isolation procedures.

Capstone Assessment (1 Credit)

This is a final closed-book examination to measure learners' understanding and competency.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1, with Mathematics and English


Equivalent academic achievement or work experience


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

 International Entry Requirements

English language proficiency

Minimum entry for international learners of IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) General or Academic Level 5 with no band lower than 5. IELTS scores must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

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

 Advice & Guidance

While work experience is not a requirement for this programme, it is an advantage if learenrs have some practical experience while completing their study.

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 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).


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 Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.