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New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills with strands in Carpentry and Joinery

Level 3

Building the future or restoring the past, UCOL is dedicated to preparing the best employees to enter the construction industry – you will hit the ground running.

A carpentry student works on a door frame in the Regional Trades and Technology Centre at our Palmerston North campus
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Levin

Duration: Carpentry - 1 year, full-time
Joinery - 30 weeks, full-time

Palmerston North
12 Feb 2018 - 30 Nov 2018 (Carpentry)
23 Jul 2018 - 26 Apr 2019 (Carpentry)
12 Feb 2018 - 7 Sep 2018 (Joinery)

Wairarapa & Levin
12 Feb 2018 - 30 Nov 2018 (Carpentry)

Domestic Fees:*
$6,272.00 (Carpentry strand) $4,704.00 (Joinery strand)Scholarship info

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

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

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.

If the construction industry is where you want to build your career, UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills is for you. Choose to specialise in either the carpentry or joinery strand, and gain practical competencies and skills required for further progression in the industry.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates will be able to work in the construction trades sector with limited supervision having gained skills and knowledge in health and safety, trade mathematics, hand tools and project work related to different aspects of the construction industry.

As a graduate of the Carpentry strand you will also be able to:
  • Understand and apply specific carpentry terminology and concepts such as line, level, square and plumb when carrying out carpentry work in a project environment
  • Understand basic building technology, the properties of timber, concrete, steel and composite products, interior and exterior linings and fixings, and apply this knowledge to carpentry projects 
  • Use construction and installation processes and techniques while carrying out carpentry projects
  • Carry out assigned carpentry work in a project environment
As a graduate of the Joinery strand you will also be able to:
  • Understand and apply specific joinery terminology when carrying out joinery work in a project environment
  • Apply knowledge of the types of timbers, panel products, fixings and hardware to joinery projects
  • Follow the sequence of machining, construction for assembling and installing joinery items while carrying out joinery projects 
  • Carry out assigned joinery work in a project environment.

 Course Information

Carpentry strand:
  • Workplace Safety Frameworks and Practices
  • Skills for Construction Trades
  • Carpentry Terminology and Concepts
  • Building Technology and Properties
  • Construction and Installation Processes and Techniques
  • Carpentry Project Preliminaries
  • Carpentry Project Foundations and Support Structures
  • Carpentry Project Frames, Structures and Exterior Envelope
  • Carpentry Project Interior Linings and Finishing
Joinery strand:
  • Workplace Safety Frameworks and Practices 
  • Skills for Construction Trades 
  • Joinery Terminology and Concepts 
  • Joinery Materials and Hardware 
  • Machining, Construction, Assembly, and Installation of Joinery Products
  • Joinery Projects 1 & 2

 Industry Connections

UCOL staff are well connected to our stakeholders. We will prepare you for the workplace and help manage your apprenticeship.

 Learning Facilities

The Regional Trades and Technology Centre in our Palmerston North campus is a state-of-the-art ten million dollar facility, with the latest industry fit equipment and teaching technology, complete with an indoor space large enough to build a 3-bedroom house.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1


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 Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL).  IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Applicants 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 Construction Trade Skills with strands in Carpentry and Joinery comprises 60-120 credits.

To successfully complete this programme, you need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway.

Work experience
There is no work experience component as part of this programme.

Study options
The length of your study will depend on what area of focus you choose. The New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) has two speciality strands to choose from including Carpentry and Joinery.
  • Joinery strand comprises of 27-delivery weeks and 3 weeks holiday.
  • Carpentry strand comprises of 36-delivery weeks and 6 weeks holiday.
Classes started in February 2017 in all three locations of Palmerston North, Wairarapa and Taumaranui and are due to finish in September 2017 and December 2017, depending on the strand. Additional cohorts are being run with a mid-year start as per the quick info box above.

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 Construction Trade Skills:
  • Steel cap boots $80 - $100 
  • Scientific calculator
  • Drawing equipment - set squares (45 and 60 degree), pencils (H and 2H), soft rubber, compass, and scale rule (1:5, 1:10, 1:20 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.