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New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3)

Level 3

Interested in working in a cafe or restaurant? Gain practical skills and an industry recognised qualification with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3).

A photograph of the hospitality lecturer Niels Huibers showing a student how to make the perfect coffee
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North,  HLC Levin

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

21 Feb 2022 - 01 Jul 2022

Domestic Fees: *
$3290.50Scholarship info

International Fees:*

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.

Learn the essentials of working in hospitality with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Cafe Service & Function Services) (Level 3). You'll prepare and serve the types of food and beverages offered at cafés and functions, and develop professional skills that employers value.

You will have opportunity to cater for events, and students at UCOL's Palmerston North and Whanganui campuses will have the additional benefit of gaining real-world experience in our training restaurants. 

Our industry-experienced staff will guide you to hone your skills and gain confidence in working with customers. 

Learn to become a valued member of a café or functions team, and make a start on a career in the exciting world of hospitality.

Students in Horowhenua can study this  programme at HLC Levin.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service will be able to:

  • Apply health and safety, food safety and security practices
  • Communicate confidently with colleagues and customers
  • Follow standard operating procedures to deal with familiar problems in a hospitality establishment

Employment opportunities include working in:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bars
  • Overseas work
  • Or staircase to further study

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Hospitality Workers.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

During your studies you'll learn to:

  • Apply health and safety, food safety and security practices to ensure your own safety and minimise potential hazards when serving customers (10 credits)
  • Communicate effectively when serving customers and others in the hospitality industry and behave in a professional manner with colleagues, customers and managers (5 credits)
  • Follow standard operating procedures to deal with familiar problems in the hospitality establishment (5 credits)
  • Prepare and serve food and beverages in a café (20 credits)
  • Provide food and beverage service for in-house functions (20 credits)

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

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

 Learning Facilities

Our students learn from professionals and gain practical experience in our on-site training restaurants.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

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


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 language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.0 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.

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

The New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Café Services and Functions Services) (Level 3) comprises 60 credits. 

Full attendance is encouraged to maximise learning opportunities and to optimise success for students.

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

This programme is an excellent starting point for those wanting to work in restaurants or bars. It is recommended that applicants have met the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of:

  •  18 hours of lecturer supported learning (class time, theory, computer work and real-life experience in UCOL's training restaurant*)
  •  18 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on practical skill development, theory and computer work to complete your assignments)

*Work in UCOL's training restaurants is dependent on time of year.

Students at Horowhenua Learning Centre in Levin
Programme requirements may vary. Please contact your tutor for details.

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

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service Level 3 of approximately $207:

  • Shoes from
  • Waist apron, tie, shirt, skirt or pants


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.