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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
Universal College of Learning (UCOL) logo

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) (In-work)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


UCOL Horowhenua Campus


UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) In-work strand offers you the flexibility to learn while working and obtain a nationally recognised qualification.

The industrial cookery profession is not for the faint-hearted, as you face many challenges daily. The high-pressure work environment and long work hours make it difficult for those who want to learn further. We understand this and have adapted the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) programme for intermediate cookery professionals eager to upskill themselves while still working.

This strand is offered in a blended delivery model, combining in person, online, and in-work learning. You will learn to produce a range of complex finished dishes and various aspects of professional cooking. While you become competent with cooking complex dishes, you will also learn more about the socio-cultural attributes required to progress and succeed in the industry.

Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) In-work strand will be able to:

  • Monitor and maintain health and safety, food safety, and security practices.
  • Monitor and maintain institutional 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 desserts, employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

Employment opportunities include working in:

  • Commercial kitchens
  • Commercial catering businesses
  • Cafe kitchens
  • Institutional catering

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

  • New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5)

Course Information

This programme consists of 120 credits. The courses are as follows:

  • Workplace Culinary Essentials 1 (30 Credits)
  • Workplace Culinary Essentials 2 (30 Credits)
  • Workplace Culinary Essentials 3 (30 Credits)
  • Workplace Culinary Essentials 4 (30 Credits)

Entry criteria

The applicant must be in paid employment (cook/chef position) for a minimum of 20 hours per week for the duration of the programme in a UCOL approved establishment.

And, they should have:

  • NCEA Level 2; or
  • Equivalent academic achievement; or
  • On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean

English language Requirement: IELTS - General or Academic: Score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5; TOEFL (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 with score of 162; no less than 154 in each skill; OET - Minimum Grade C or 200 in all subtests; NZCEL - Level 3 (Applied); and Pearson Test of English (Academic) - Score of 42 with no band less than 36.

Under 20 years of age

In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

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