HomeProgrammesEngineeringNew Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

Level 3

Get your career started in the mechanical engineering, construction, manufacturing and fabrication industries with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering.

A UCOL learner working at the workshop.
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year full-time
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

12 Feb 2024 – 15 Nov 2024
05 Aug 2024 – 09 May 2025

Domestic Fees: *
$9,231.00 per full-time year

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$25,000.00 + Student Services Levy $591.00

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 how to perform basic engineering tasks and gain the essential skills needed for an entry-level position in mechanical engineering, construction, manufacturing or fabrication. 

The UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering is designed for people already working in the industry or people intending to complete a pre-trade qualification before entering the workforce. 

Your training will provide you with skills employers are seeking, including workplace professionalism (health and safety, and communication), and the ability to perform a defined range of engineering tasks.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 40 weeks, including 6 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
22 hrs

In-person, online and in-work learning.
Study Time
16 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at certificate level in the fields of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Fabrication and Mechanical Building Services. the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering is equivalent to the first year of an apprenticeship.

Career pathway

Successful graduates of the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering will be able to work under limited supervision in an operator or trade assistant role in their area of specialisation, in the mechanical engineering, construction, mechanical building services, manufacturing, or fabrication industries. Roles may include:

  • CNC machine operator
  • Mould and core maker
  • Machine operator
  • Specialist production welder
  • Metal worker/fabricator
  • Ducting fabricator
  • Pipe fitter/welder
  • Metal polisher and pattern maker trade assistant

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

 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 consists of 120 credits. 

Engineering Health & Safety (Level 3) (10 credits)
Develop ākonga knowledge and skills in relevant health and safety legislation so they can apply appropriate work safety practices and procedures when carrying out tasks in an engineering environment.  

Engineering Calculations and Drawings (Level 3) (15 credits)
To develop basic trade-related numeracy, literacy and graphic visualisation skills to produce engineering tasks.

Mechanical Engineering Workshop Skills (level 3) (15 credits)
Develop basic engineering workshop skills in using simple measurement, lifting and moving loads and materials as well as develop knowledge of common engineering materials.

Engineering Machining (Level 3) (20 credits)
Develop skills in basic machining and workshop practices including applying appropriate engineering work practices when using measuring equipment to perform mechanical machining operations.

Engineering Fabrication (Level 3) (20 credits)
Develop basic fabrication skills and techniques as well as develop good working practices when using engineering power tools. 

Welding (Level 3) (20 credits)
Develop and apply basic welding principles and skills as well as health and safety processes when welding materials.

Mechanical Engineering Processes & Quality (Level 3) (10 credits)
Develop ākonga knowledge of effective and efficient processes as they take responsibility for their own work in the carrying out basic engineering tasks.

Mechanical Engineering Communication (Level 3) (10 credits)
To consistently apply effective communication techniques by participating in a team environment within an engineering workshop.

Previous Related Programmes

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

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 


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 or equivalent, including TOEFL. Contact the info centre for more details.


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

 International Entry Requirements

Please enquire for details

 Advice & Guidance

Work experience
There are no practicum or work experience hours 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 appropriate 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 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).

 Additional Costs

Scientific calculator $30
Drawing equipment, compass set 150mm, 300mm rules $15


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.