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New Zealand Certificate in Cookery

Level 4

Develop your creativity in the kitchen and get hands-on work experience in our training restaurants and at events and functions with UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Cookery.

A cookery student gets ready for service at our Whanganui campus
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Whanganui, HLC Levin**

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Palmerston North
20 Feb 2017 - 24 Nov 2017
7 Aug 2017 - 1 Jun 2018

20 Feb 2017 - 24 Nov 2017

20 Feb 2017 - 24 Nov 2017

HLC Levin
20 Feb 2017 - 24 Nov 2017

Domestic Fees:*
$7,001.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). Fees for multi-year programmes are for one year of study.

Go from novice to intermediate-level trainee, covering cold larder dishes, complex preparation and presentation techniques, hot dishes and a range of patisserie and desserts. Combine practical cooking skills with knowledge on how a professional kitchen is run.

On completion of this programme you will be eligible to sit in the examination for the International City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Level 2). Manukau Institute of Technology is the originator of this programme. 

**Note to Levin students: You can study this course at HLC Levin.

Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Cookery will be able to:

  • Monitor and maintain health and safety, food safety and security practices
  • Manage workplace and customer relationships
  • Apply standard operating policies and procedures to work roles in a commercial kitchen
  • Prepare, cook and present a range of cold larder dishes, hot kitchen dishes, and a range of patisserie and desserts employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

Employment opportunities include working in:

  • Commercial kitchens
  • Commercial catering businesses
  • Cafe kitchens
  • Institutional catering
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Chefs.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

Student & Staff Profiles

Industry Connections

UCOL Hospitality Schools are members of Chefs NZ, the Restaurant Association of NZ, active participants in the Manawatu Hospitality Awards, and each campus is well supported by our local industries.

Learning Facilities

Our students learn from industry experienced professionals and gain practical experience in our commercial kitchens and restaurants in Palmerston North and Whanganui.

Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2 (including Literacy 10 credits at Level 2 and Numeracy 10 credits at Level 1)


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean

International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.0. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes. 

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

Advice & Guidance

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) comprises 120 credits.

Full attendance is encouraged to maximise learning opportunities and to optimise success for students.  To meet external examination requirements, 80% attendance of practical classes is compulsory.

This programme may require students to work after hours when studying at the Palmerston North and Whanganui campus. 

It is recommended that applicants have met the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in a commercial kitchen environment.  Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Head of School 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 or unit standards have already been met.

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.

Students at HLC Levin
Programme requirements may vary. Please contact your tutor for details.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery of approximately $580 as follows:
  • UCOL uniform
  • Knives
  • Safety shoes

Optional - City & Guilds International, Level 2 Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) (8065 – 02) is approximately $200.

Course Information

  • Cookery Fundamentals
  • Applied Complex Cookery Skills
  • Restaurant Cookery and Professional Practice
  • Industry Cookery Skills 


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.