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New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trade Assistant) (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trade Assistant) (Level 3)

Level 3

If you’re interested in a career installing and servicing refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trade Assistant) Level 3 is a good starting point to learn the necessary skill.

Air conditioning unit
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 32  weeks

Jul 2022
Dates TBC

Domestic Fees: *
Eligible for fees-free until 31 Dec 2022Scholarship 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.

The New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trade Assistant) (Level 3) programme is designed for those with a keen interest in electrical technology and applications. You will gain fundamental knowledge about tools and equipment, theory and safety practices, principles, components and application of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.


Don’t miss your chance to study fees-free under TTAF – this free funding closes at the end of 2022!

This programme is eligible for fees-free study under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).

You don’t need to apply to access the Fund - just enrol in an eligible 2022 programme, and the Fund will take care of a full year of your programme’s fees, covering up to 31 December 2022.

Get enrolled now! Please contact the info centre for more details. 

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 32 weeks, including 7 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
21 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings.
Timetable set by your lecturer.
Study Time
16 hrs

Study in your own time.

You can also choose to study part-time, or possibly by paper. Talk to us about your options with this programme.

 Career & Study Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme you will be able to carry out a range of diagnosis and the repair of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment safely and with lesser supervision.

 Course Information

This programme consist of 120 Credits. The courses includes:

Core Engineering Calculations, Materials, and Engineering Drawings (15 Credits)
Students will learn the use of mathematics and mechanics in engineering, how to interpret heating, ventilating, and air conditioning drawings, the use of common engineering materials and metals, and safety on engineering worksites.

Core Engineering Practical and Safety (15 Credits)
Students will learn to correctly select, use, and care for engineering hand tools, power tools, and fasteners. Students will also learn to apply safe working practices on an engineering worksite, including how to shift heavy loads safely.

Refrigeration Principles and Operations (30 Credits)
Students will learn about ozone depletion, global warming, and refrigeration and air conditioning principles and applications.

Refrigeration Assembly and Site Safe (30 Credits)
Students will learn fabrication and assembly of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems, including site-safe.

Welding for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (15 Credits)
Students will learn about applying safe welding procedures, preparing and purging braze piping for refrigeration and air conditioning and, joining metals using the torch brazing and soldering processes to industry standard.

Electrical Theory Electromotive Force and Magnetism (15 Credits)
Students will learn the properties of conductors, insulators, and semiconductors and their effect on electrical circuits and electromotive force and electromagnetism theory.

Electrical Safety and Electrical Appliance Servicing (15 Credits)
Students will learn the practical skills required for Electrical Service Technicians – knowledge of electrical safety and safe working practices, isolating and testing low-voltage electrical sub-circuits, and testing instruments and taking measurements.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

To be eligible for entry to the programme, applicants must hold the following:

NCEA Level 1 (including Literacy 10 credits and Numeracy 10 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

The minimum entry requirement for international students is IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL).

UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).

 Advice & Guidance

Students need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway. Students 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 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 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



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.