Course details

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) (Light)
NZQF Level 3

About the course

If you want to get into the Automotive Industry as a Mechanic, then the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) Light is for you.

This pre-apprenticeship qualification will prepare you for the industry and teach you all the automotive engineering fundamentals that you will need to know. Hands-on practical workshops and work experience placements are an essential part of this course.

You will learn how to:

  • Follow workplace policies, procedures and relevant regulations to work safely and effectively in an automotive workshop
  • Use tools and equipment to complete basic workshop engineering tasks
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service engine, and driveline systems
  • Check operation of, and perform minor repairs on, electrical and electronic systems
  • Apply fundamental automotive engineering knowledge to service steering, suspension and brake systems.

Entry requirements

School Leavers

Four years’ minimum secondary education
Attained NCEA Level 2
Desire to work in the automotive industry
Recommended as a co-requisite: Class 1 full driver's licence

Mature Applicants

Applicants over the age of 20 years at time of enrolment will be considered where they can demonstrate the ability to succeed in a programme. Examples of demonstration of ability to succeed are the provision of evidence of successful completion of a programme of study at Level 3 or above, in a related discipline and/or employment in the related sector for one or more years. They may be admitted subject to programme regulations approved by the Head of Faculty, in consultation with the Programme Operations Manager as appropriate.  Personal commitment and a belief in one’s own ability to succeed are important personal traits and will always be taken into consideration during the selection process.

English Language Requirements

Applicants, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved one of the following

NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance, or

an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Cambridge A- level qualification for which the teaching and assessment was conducted in English; or

Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA),or Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL);or

Successful completion of all primary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand primary school years 1 to 8) and at least three years of secondary education (being the equivalent of three years from New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand,,Australia,Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States one of the countries listed in Rule 18.5 where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; or

Successful completion of at least five years of secondary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; or

Successful completion of a Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters' Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States or

Successful completion of one of the following internationally recognised proficiency tests listed below to the level required of the programme of study and with all scores achieved in a single test during the two years preceding the proposed date of enrolment


IELTS test - General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE)
TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14)
Cambridge English Examination - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill.
OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current: a) Level 3 (General) or (Workplace) b) Level 3 (General)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 36 with no band score lower than 36
Language Cert - B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than PASS in each skill
Trinity ISE - ISE I with no less than distinction in any band

* New versions of some NZCEL qualifications, and in some cases new qualifications, were published on 13 June 2017. These are intended to replace pre-existing versions and qualifications, which have been given expiring status until discontinued on 31 December 2019. (a) denotes expiring (b) denotes current

About the provider

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) provides quality tertiary education and training across a wide range of subjects and qualifications. From certificates to postgraduate studies, we offer NZQA programmes for students to learn at a level and pathway that suits them.

We are home to the Zero Fees Scheme and are the only tertiary provider in New Zealand to offer a no tuition cost education to domestic NZ students for every year of study, at all levels.

We offer SIT programmes at campuses in Invercargill, Christchurch, Queenstown, Gore, Auckland and online through SIT2LRN Distance Learning.

We also have specialised faculties in music and rural education - MAINZ – Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (Auckland & Christchurch) and Telford in Balclutha, South Otago.

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