Course details

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering
NZQF Level 3

About the course

Get your career started in the automotive industry with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering.

Learn how to service general automotive systems and gain the essential skills needed for an entry-level position in automotive engineering.

Take your passion for cars or bikes, develop technical skills, and hone your problem solving of engineering issues to lay the foundation for an exciting career.

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering is an ideal place to start in the industry, which is riding the wave of technical innovation. 

Course Information

Automotive Workshop Safety (10 Credits)
Learn to identify and consistently apply policies, procedures and regulations that ensure safe and effective working practices in an automotive workshop.

Basic Repair and Modification of Automotive Components (15 Credits)
Safely and correctly use hand and power tools and workshop engineering equipment to complete basic automotive engineering workshop tasks. The course covers:

  • Material types and properties
  • SI symbols (International System of Units)
  • Principles behind basic fabrication techniques
  • Principles behind use of specialist tools
  • Hand tools - hacksaw, internal and external threading tools, stud extractor, files, measuring and marking out tools
  • Power tools - drilling machinery
  • Basic equipment - electric welding equipment, gas welding equipment
  • Workshop engineering equipment - material types/properties, basic fabrication (heating, cutting, welding, threading, fastening systems)

Engines (15 Credits)
Learn to identify the components of an engine; strip, measure, reassemble and start an engine; and carry out tuning for four stroke spark ignition (SI) and/or compression ignition (CI) engines.

Engine Systems (10 Credits)
Learn the function, purpose and location of engine systems and undertake basic servicing of engine systems. The course covers:

  • Intake
  • Cooling
  • Engine management system
  • Exhaust systems 
  • Fuel - petrol and diesel
  • Lubrication, lubricants and sealants

Driveline Systems (10 Credits)
Learn the function, purpose and location of driveline systems and undertake basic servicing of driveline systems.

Electrical and Electronics (15 Credits)
Learn automotive electrical and electronic principles and how to conduct basic checks and repairs on wiring and lighting systems.

Starting and Charging Systems (10 Credits)
Learn about starting, charging and ignition systems with appropriate tools, equipment and processes.

Electronic Controls, High Voltage Systems and HVAC (10 Credits)
Learn about the function and purpose of control systems, the tools and processes to check the operation of electronic control systems and the operation and safety processes of high voltage systems.

Brake Systems (10 Credits)
Learn about the function, purpose and location of brake systems and use appropriate tools and processes to service brake systems.

Steering and Suspension Systems (15 Credits)
Learn about the function, purpose and location of steering and suspension systems and use appropriate tools and processes to service steering and suspension systems.


Entry requirements

Domestic Entry Requirements
NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy Credits and 10 Numeracy 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
In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie 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.

About the provider

Established in 1902, UCOL is a high-performing New Zealand government funded Institute of Technology and Polytechnic that offers a wide range of rewarding study options. With over 100 foundation courses, diplomas, degrees, and postgraduate qualifications available, our programmes are designed to fit into your lifestyle.

With campuses in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Auckland, as well as delivery locations in Horowhenua and Taumarunui, UCOL is well known in its local communities and also draws students from far and wide due to its positive reputation. UCOL boasts campuses in city centres and beautiful landscape environments.

UCOL exists to inspire students, businesses and communities to succeed. Our lecturers take a relationships-based approach to teaching, and we have small student-teacher ratios and class sizes. We also have dedicated student support staff available to help you thrive and grow with every step of your UCOL journey. You will be immersed in a practical learning environment, with innovative technology and a range of specialised equipment that surpass industry standards.


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