Skip Navigation LinksHomeProgrammesTradesCertificate in Automotive Engineering

Certificate in Automotive Engineering

Level 3

UCOL’s Certificate in Automotive Engineering, Level 3 is a pre-apprenticeship qualification that will help get your career started as an automotive technician.

Automotive students work on an engine at the Wairarapa Campus
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Whanganui

Duration: 1 year, full-time

To be confirmed

Domestic Fees:*
$5,978.96Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* 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.

By successfully completing this automotive course, you will also gain a Level 2 National Certificate, therefore fast forwarding your apprenticeship. UCOL graduates are highly valued by the automotive industry.

Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's Certificate in Automotive Engineering will have knowledge of theory and practice in automotive engineering, and the relevant literacy and numeracy skills, to help them gain an automotive engineering apprenticeship, employment in the automotive engineering industry and/or engage in further study in automotive related fields. They will also have acquired a range of workplace and team-oriented skills.

  • Automotive engineering
  • Automotive heavy engineering
  • Automotive electrical engineering
  • Automotive machining
  • Motorcycle engineering
  • Outdoor power equipment servicing
  • Power boat servicing
  • Brake service engineering
  • Automotive air conditioning
  • Automotive parts person
  • Service station attendant
  • Automotive dismantler
  • Motor vehicles salesperson

Course Information

  • Workshop Administration and Self Management
  • Engine Service
  • Under Body Service 
  • Vehicle Electrics
  • Wgraduorkshop Engineering
  • Workshop Safety

Student & Staff Profiles

Industry Connections

A wide variety of automotive industry service providers support our students with work experience and also provide employment opportunities such as:
  • Appco Auto Parts
  • Repco
  • Sulco
  • SP Tools

Learning Facilities

Automotive Workshops at Palmerston North, Wairarapa and Whanganui campuses.

Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme has open entry, but a current and appropriate driver's license is recommended.

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 (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Advice & Guidance

UCOL's Certificate in Automotive Engineering comprises 120 credits.

An ability to work with one’s hands or the completion of study in related materials technology areas would be an advantage. 

It is recommended that students would have met the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

To successfully complete this programme, students need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway. Students must supply their own equipment as specified in the Student Handbook. This qualification has an embedded award, the National Certificate in Motor Industry (Entry Skills) (Level 2) (Automotive Electrical and Mechanical strand).

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.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the Certificate in Automotive Engineering:
  • Steel cap boots $80 -$100
  • Cotton, long-sleeved overalls $50
  • A basic tool kit consisting of spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer and socket set $150
The recommended text book is May, E., & Simpson, L. (2007) Automotive Mechanics (7th revised edition, volume 1). Australia: McGraw Hill


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.