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New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4)

Level 4

Help keep New Zealand at the forefront of scientific research, product development and testing with the New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4).

A science classroom
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

19 Feb 2018 - 29 Jun 2018
23 Jul 2018 - 30 Nov 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$3,231.50Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

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.

Gain the skills you need to assist in routine sampling, field work, laboratory work and routine operation in a variety of settings.

This qualification will provide you with the knowledge and experience needed to work supervising in entry-level positions in science and technology-related fields including manufacturing and regulatory industries, field work, research and development.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4) will be able to:

  • Apply scientific principles
  • Collect and examine scientific data
  • Contribute collaboratively to a team in the workplace
  • Apply relevant health and safety principles relevant to the workplace

There are job opportunities working in laboratories and undertaking field work in manufacturing, regulatory industries, and research and development.

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

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information


  • Professional Skills in Science 1
  • Making sense of Data
  • Bioscience in Industry 1


  • Introduction to Science and the Environment
  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • Practical Skills in ICT
  • Introduction to programming

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4) supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • National Diploma in Science

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Domestic Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement for students is NCEA Level 1 with 100 credits at Level 1 or above.  This includes 15 Level 2 credits from Science, Biology or Chemistry, 10 Level 1 Literacy credits and 10 Level 1 Numeracy credits.


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 5.5 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.

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 Diploma in Applied Science (Level 4) comprises 60 credits. There is no work experience component.

It is strongly recommended that all applicants, especially those over twenty years of age who do not have the minimum entry qualifications or recent experience of study, seek advice from the Head of School for Science before enrolment about the nature of the programme in relation to their own skills and experience.

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.

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science Level 4 of approximately $90.00:

  • Covered foot wear
  • Hair net or hair ties
  • Scientific calculator
  • Stationery (pens, pencils, ruler, paper etc)


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.