Programme overview

Do you love your community and want to help make change? This programme provides the opportunity to explore the knowledge and skills needed for a career working with people. The Certificate in Community Skills helps develop the personal, social, academic and practical skills you need to be effective in the community in paid or voluntary roles. Throughout the programme, you’ll improve your self-awareness and understanding of community development, cultural awareness, teamwork, group dynamics and communication skills.


  • This programme prepares you for further degree level study in youth development, health promotion and social work
  • It also prepares you for other professional training or to increase your social awareness, interpersonal skills and confidence
  • A supportive learning environment where you study alongside students of different ages, cultural groups and social backgrounds
  • Takes into account life experience
  • Highly knowledgeable staff with current experience in the community sector. All of our lecturers have active roles in community and national organisations

What next?

Once you’ve completed this programme, you could continue your studies with the Bachelor of Health and Social Development, Bachelor of Social Practice, or National Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Support.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. A minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in two different subjects, one subject must be English
2. A minimum of 4 years secondary education
3. Be at least 16 years old by the time the programme begins
4. If you are under the age of 20, you will be required to attend an interview and:

  • Provide a personal statement indicating your reasons for applying
  • Demonstrate competence and maturity 
  • Provide the names of two referees who Unitec can contact

5. If English is your second language you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet these requirements? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 2 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Culture and Community (CSTU4712) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enhance participants’ awareness of the community and of their own culture in relation to the Treaty as well as develop an awareness of key issues that affect people from differing ethnic backgrounds.
Identity and Communication (CSTU4715) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enhance self awareness and promote communication strategies for use in personal, family and professional contexts.
Introduction to Counselling (CSTU4721) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to a general counselling model which will enable them to use a variety of strategies to help clients achieve their goals.
Youth Studies (CSTU4722) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an introduction to the principles of youth development and the role of the youth worker.
Abuse and Trauma Studies (CSTU4724) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop a broad understanding of issues relating to abuse and trauma and to identify methods of conflict resolution in community settings.