HomeProgrammesEngineeringNew Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4) - Managed Apprenticeships

New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4) - Managed Apprenticeships

Level 4

Gain advanced mechanical engineering skills while working with the UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4).

A mechanical engineering workshop with people working on machines
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 4 years part-time (up to 36 weeks per year).
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

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

Domestic Fees: *
Y1: $1,530.76 Y2: $1,914.70 Y3: $1,917.70 Y4: $1,787.38

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

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.

This qualification is designed for people working in the industry and will typically be achieved in a workplace environment whilst completing a New Zealand Apprenticeship. We welcome your enquiry.  

Learn how to perform advanced engineering tasks, specialising in fitting and machining, or general engineering.

 Course Hours & Duration

Part-time for 4 years (up to 36 weeks per year).

With this flexible apprentice programme you are able to enjoy the best of both worlds with equal study and work opportunities as you progress toward your graduation. With flexible classes, including day release, night classes, block courses and online learning available, this programme makes it easier than ever to balance study and work. 

Our lecturers and your employer will work together and manage your apprenticeship so you have everything needed to succeed.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Education pathway

This qualification provides a pathway to further tertiary study at certificate level in advanced Mechanical Engineering.

Career pathway

Graduates of the fitting and machining strand will be able to build and install complex machines where both precision fitting and machining skills are required.

Graduates of the general engineering strand will be able to build, maintain, and repair a broad range of machinery and equipment  using fitting, machining, fabrication, hydraulics, pneumatics, and welding skills and knowledge.

Employment options include becoming a fitter turner, fitter, or general engineer.

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 280 - 300 credits. 

Year One

Mechanical Engineering Principles 1 (15 Credits)
Gain elementary trade knowledge of engineering principles and skills. 

Mechanical Engineering Practices 1 (15 Credits) 
Learn to perform defined engineering-related tasks. 

Mechanical Engineering Processes 1 (15 Credits) 
Develop an operational knowledge of engineering processes in the workplace. 

Strand-Based Project or Task 1 (15 Credits) 
Work with limited supervision to manufacture a chosen strand-based project/task. 

Year Two

Mechanical Engineering Principles 2 (15 Credits)
Gain an operational understanding of engineering principles. 

Mechanical Engineering Principles 3 (15 Credits) (Fitting and Machining Strand)
Learn to draw and design components manually and with computer assistance. 

Mechanical Engineering Principles 3 (15 Credits) (General Engineering Strand)
Develop an applied knowledge of mechanical engineering principles. 

Mechanical Engineering Skills (15 Credits) 
Gain an applied operational knowledge of technical workshop practice skills. 

Strand-Based Project or Task 2 (15 Credits) 
Manufacture a chosen strand-based project and/or task. 

Precision Machining 1 (15 Credits) (Fitting and Machining Strand)
Gain an applied operational knowledge of precision machining. 

Maintenance and Welding Skills 1 (15 Credits) (General Engineering Strand)
Gain an operational knowledge of fitting and maintenance. 

Year Three

Mechanical Engineering Principles 3 (15 Credits) 

Advanced Maintenance (15 Credits) 
Gain advanced skills to maintain plant and machinery. 

Strand Based Project Planning (15 Credits) 
Learn to plan for a chosen strand-based project and/or task.

Strand Based Project (30 Credits) 

Year Four

Management Practice (10 Credits) 
Gain a fundamental understanding of engineering management practice.

Strand Based Positional Welding (15 Credits) 
Learn to demonstrate a broad operational knowledge of positional welding with an emphasis on distortion control and quality assurance.

Advanced Machining and Measurement (15 Credits) (Fitting and Machining Strand)
Learn advanced manual high-precision machining and measurement strategies of high-precision applications.

Advanced Fluid Power (15 Credits) 
Gain advanced knowledge of fluid power installations and preventable maintenance technologies.

Strand Based Project or Task 3 (15 Credits) (General Engineering Strand)
Learn to operate under very limited supervision to produce a chosen strand based project/task.

Elective Course (15 Credits)

  • Strand Based Project or Task 3
  • Strand Based Mechanical Engineering Processes 6
  • Pressure Valves and Pipework
  • Site Installation

General Engineering strand options:

  • Pressure Valves and Pipework
  • Site Installation

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2


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

This programme of study is not open to international learners.

 Advice & Guidance

Work experience
To successfully complete this programme of study, candidates must be employed in the mechanical engineering  (general engineering or fitting and machining) industry at time of study. Candidates must enter into a 3-way training agreement between the candidate, employer and UCOL. You'll complete the practical learning in your place of employment, or at a site agreed to by yourself and your employer. You'll be visited on a regular basis by engineering lecturers from UCOL. 

Special needs or requirements
Learners need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial engineering environment. Learners 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 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 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.