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Civil Engineering

The Burj Khalifa, Golden Gate Bridge and even Egypt’s great pyramids wouldn’t exist without civil engineers. Civil engineers conceive, design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure projects and systems including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems. Civil engineers are in high demand globally. New Zealand alone needs thousands more graduates over the next 10 years so now’s the time to enrol in a civil engineering programme.  


Explore your options

From motorways and airports to bridges and tunnels, civil engineers design, plan and oversee the building of structures that keep our cities moving. They also deal with pollution, traffic congestion and other environmental problems.

Study civil engineering and you’ll learn how to choose the best materials, tools and techniques for civil construction projects. You’ll explore computer modelling software and practice your civil and structural drafting skills. You’ll get opportunity to have field trips to new high-rise development, water and waste treatment sites, geological sites, and so on.

Unitec offers diploma and degree programmes in Civil Engineering with specialisations in either structural, geotechnical, roading, water and wastewater, and environmental. We are the only institute to offer all 5 specialisations in this programme. Many of our staff are Chartered Professional Engineers and members of Engineering New Zealand, with a wealth of industrial experience between them. This means you will learn current best practice, which is one of the reasons why there are Unitec graduates now in senior roles in New Zealand and across the globe.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) 3 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study at certificate or diploma level. February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) - Engineering 4 Full-time for 16-weeks or part-time options available This programme prepares you for study toward a career in engineering February or July
New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) 6 Full-time for two years or part-time options available Civil or structural engineering employment with a civil engineering consulting practice, Engineering laboratory operation and management, Civil or structural engineering employment with a civil engineering contractor, Site and project engineer February or July
Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) 7 Full-time for three years or part-time options available Civil engineer (design), Civil engineering project and/or construction manager, Geotechnical engineer, Roading-transportation engineer, Structural engineer, Water/environmental engineer February or July

Industry connections

Unitec works closely with lots of the big players in civil engineering. The companies below are just some of the organisations that offer great career opportunities when you study civil engineering. Our New Zealand Diploma (Civil) and our Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) programmes are recognised internationally through the Dublin Accord and Sydney Accord respectively, and as such your qualifications are accepted in most of the countries throughout the world.

Work experience

Study civil engineering and you could meet representatives from top civil engineering companies during guest lectures or at employers’ nights. This could mean holiday work, scholarships, internships, cadetships or a job once you graduate.

Need to know information before you apply


Local and international students

International student status (click to expand)

According to the Education Act, an international student is a person who isn’t a New Zealand Citizen or who doesn’t have a residence class visa or permit. If you’re still not sure what your correct status is, you can get in touch with our Student Central (Te Pae Kōrero) team.
If you’re on a resident visa or a permanent resident visa, or if you’re a resident/citizen of Australia, then you’ll be classified as a domestic student. If you want to apply for a Student Loan to help pay your study fees, you’ll only be eligible once you become a permanent resident and have held it for 3 years or more.
If you’re currently on a work visa, student visa or visitor visa, you’ll still be classified as an international student and international fees will apply.


Age requirements (click to expand)

If you’re a domestic student, you’ll need to be aged 16 years or older (unless you can claim an exemption under TEC regulations). You can contact if you need more information about this.
If you’re an international student, you’ll need to be aged 17 years or older to study at Unitec.


Applying as an international student (click to expand)

You can find out more and apply online as an international student by clicking here.


Study programmes

Apply anytime (click to expand)

We accept applications for programmes throughout the year and we consider all applications in the date order that we receive them. However, we recommend that you apply for a programme as soon as possible to avoid unexpected delays. If you’re interested in a programme, you can apply online here.


Programme eligibility (click to expand)

Admission requirements vary from programme to programme. Make sure you check the admission requirements for the programme you want to enrol in before you apply. You can find admission requirements for individual programmes on our website, and we’ll consider each application on a case-by-case basis.


Short courses (click to expand)

If you want to apply for one of our short courses, you’ll need to know what the class number is – you can find the class number on the short course timetable page on the website. You can apply, enrol and make a payment all in one go. You won’t receive any notification, but we’ll contact you only if the short course isn’t running. In some cases, we may need you to apply for a short course by completing a hard copy short course enrolment form.
You’ll need to bring your original NZ birth certificate, passport or Citizenship certificate into one of our Student Centrals, and we’ll certify that as a true copy for you. Alternatively, you can download and complete the form, and send it along with a certified copy of your NZ birth certificate, passport or Citizenship certificate to:
Student Administration
Private Bag 92025
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142


Looking for a programme (click to expand)

Can’t find the programme you’re looking for? There may be a few reasons why you can’t find the programme or course you’re looking for:
  1. if you want to take a single course (as part of a larger Unitec programme), you need to apply for a Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Find out how to apply for a COP.
  2. it might be that it has a different name to the one you were expecting to find. If that’s the case, you can simply use the search bar on the website to help find your programme.
If you still can’t find the programme you’re looking for, you can email and our friendly team will help you work out your next steps.


Previous and declined Unitec applications (click to expand)

If you applied for a programme last year or last semester, but your application was declined (or cancelled) you’ll need to lodge a new application online. If you already provided us with your supporting documents last time you applied, then you don’t need to provide them again.
If you cancelled your application after you accepted the offer of place last time, then all you need to do is re-enrol manually. Make sure you visit one of our Student Centrals or send us a re-enrolment request by emailing


Credits from previous study (click to expand)

If your programme includes a course that is very similar to and at the same or higher level as a course you’ve already completed as part of a different programme, or prior to studying at Unitec, you may be able to get credits recognised towards your programme. This can reduce the number of courses you need to study for your Unitec programme.
We can only consider credit recognition after you’ve applied for the programme you want to study. If you’re offered a place, then you can fill out an Application for Credit Recognition form, and include your academic transcript and course descriptors from your previous studies.
If you’re applying for credit recognition from courses completed at another institution, then you’ll need to pay a non-refundable and non-transferable fee.
When you apply for credit recognition, you need to make sure you include verified evidence of previous course content and your academic transcript. We’ll then carefully check and compare the content and level of both courses to determine whether we can accept credit recognition. Make sure you get your application in early, as we’ll need to process your application for credit recognition before you start your programme.


Credits from previous work and life experiences (click to expand)

If you’ve already worked in your chosen industry or have skills and knowledge that are highly relevant to your programme, then you may be able to get formal recognition and reduce the length of time it takes to finish your study. Find out more about Assessment of Prior Learning.


Insufficient credits (click to expand)

If you don’t have enough credits to get into your programme, you may still be able to apply for a Unitec course. Our dedicated enrolment managers can help you get into the programme that’s right for you, and you may be eligible for discretionary admission into the programme. It’s a good idea to apply early as we may need you to complete a few tasks first. If you’re waiting on results from school or another academic programme, you should let your enrolment manager know when they call you. Email us at so that we can get an enrolment manager to get in touch with you.


Programmes requiring Police Vetting clearance or a Ministry of Justice check (click to expand)

The New Zealand Police Vetting Service provides criminal history checks and other relevant information on potential students who are applying for a programme at Unitec, that may have contact with children or vulnerable members of society through the programme.
You should receive the Police Vetting form via email, but if you haven’t received anything, please feel free to get in touch with us. Once you’ve filled out the form, you can drop it off at one of our Student Centrals or email us with your scanned certified ID documents.
For Police Vetting clearance, we’ll require a filled-out form for any of the following programmes or short courses:
Short courses:


Ministry of Justice (MOJ) check (click to expand)

The MOJ form gives consent to a third party (in this instance Unitec) allowing them a Ministry of Justice database search. This form will be sent to you by the department, but if for some reason you don’t receive the form, you can download it here.
For a Ministry of Justice check, you’ll need to provide us with the filled-out form if you’ve applied for any of the following programmes:
  • New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant)
  • New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Submitting your application

Applying online (click to expand)

Apply online for the programme or course you want to study. If you need any help applying, you can contact us on 0800 10 95 10, or come into Student Central.


Application closing dates (click to expand)

Some programmes have a closing date, and some have a special date that you should apply by. Programmes that don’t give a closing or special application date close when all the places have been filled. This can happen early so make sure you apply as soon as possible.


Checking your application status (click to expand)

Once you've applied online, you can see what’s happening with your application by visiting the Unitec website and clicking on ‘Continue my application’ in the Quicklinks section. This will take you straight to the login page.
Log in via Google or Facebook, or by using the email address and password you chose when you first applied. If you have trouble logging in, you can call us on 0800 10 95 10 or email


Process after submitting your application (click to expand)

After you’ve submitted your application it goes straight into our system. You’ll need to supply evidence of your identification and residency or citizenship status in the form of supporting documents - for example, a birth certificate, passport, or previous qualifications). You’ll need to either bring the originals into Student Central so we can certify them as true copies, or you can post certified copies of the originals to us.
Your student enrolment portal task list will have information on any other tasks you need to complete. For some programmes, you’ll need to submit additional documentation, such as a CV, or attend an assessment, interview or audition.
If you have any issues with any of the steps above, you can ask for an update in your student enrolment portal. Call 0800 10 95 10 or visit Student Central.


Submitting applications on campus (click to expand)

You can visit us in person to submit your application. Our Student Central (Te Pae Kōrero) is a one-stop-shop for help, located on both of our campuses. Our team of advisors will be able to help you apply for the programme you want to study.
Make sure you bring in your original documents, passport, birth certificate, academic transcripts and certificates so that you can sort this at the same time, while you’re with us. For more information and where to find us, visit the Student Central (Te Pae Kōrero) page.


Submitting documents online (click to expand)

If you log into your student enrolment portal, you’ll be able to upload your documents online. ID documents and academic documents need to be certified as true copies before they’re uploaded. Please note that the maximum file size allowed for uploads is 20MB. If you have trouble uploading your files, you can email or come into Student Central and have a chat with us.


Getting someone else to drop your documents to us (click to expand)

We know that you might not be able to make it into Unitec to submit your identity and academic documents due to work or other commitments. In this case, you can get your documents dropped off by your friends or family. It’s important to know that we need to see the original or certified copy of all official documents. Please be aware, we cannot accept photos, photocopies or e-copies.
You aren’t able to change your personal info on the application form
If you aren’t able to change your personal information on the application form, then this may be because we still have your previously entered information stored in our system. If you would like us to update your personal details, make sure you bring all relevant original documents such as your new passport or birth certificate or marriage certificate, to Student Central. If you just want to change your email address, feel free to contact us.


Previous Unitec applications (click to expand)

When you apply for a programme, you’ll be asked whether you’ve created an account with Unitec before. If you have an account, you can just log in using your old account details. If you were a Unitec student, or you applied prior to 2016, you can answer ‘no I’m new to Unitec’ and continue on to apply as a new applicant. Let your enrolment manager know when they call you, that you have previously applied to Unitec.


Student Fees and Financial Aid


Fees-free study eligibility (click to expand)

To receive fees-free support, you'll need to meet the relevant eligibility criteria and be enrolled in an eligible course. To check your eligibility, you'll need to go to the Government's Fees-free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN). The Fees-free website will also have instructions on what to do if you don’t know or don’t have an NSN.
Once you've checked that you're eligible, you can now browse our career and study options.
Once you've entered your NSN, you’ll receive one of the following results:
  • Yes – you're eligible for fees-free
  • No – you're not eligible for fees-free
  • Unknown – not sure if you’re eligible for fees-free
If you get a no as an eligibility status, you can apply for a student loan or allowance. For more information on student loans and allowances, visit the StudyLink website. We also have a range of scholarships, grants, and awards available, all with a wide variety of criteria that can help with paying for your study. For more information on our scholarships, grants, and awards, visit our Scholarships and Awards page.
If you get an unknown eligibility status but meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll need to complete and submit a statutory declaration to be eligible for fees-free. Instructions for completing the statutory declaration form are on the Fees-free website. We encourage you to do this as soon as possible, so there are no disruptions to your studies.


Fees-free coverage (click to expand)

Fees-free covers:
  • Tuition fees
  • Compulsory course costs, and
  • Compulsory student services fees
Please note: Fees-free doesn’t cover other optional and occasional fees.


Student Loan and Student Allowance Applications

Applying for a Student Loan or Student Allowance (click to expand)

You can apply for a student loan or student allowance online, through StudyLink.
If you still need more information, visit or call them on 0800 88 99 00.
If you need help applying, our Student Support Advisors can assist you. They run drop-in sessions at the beginning of each semester, for dates and times visit our Loans and Allowances (StudyLink) page.


Attending class where StudyLink has not yet paid for your fees (click to expand)

Processing of student loans may sometimes take longer than expected. You can still attend your classes, but you’re expected to keep a track of the proceedings of your loan application with StudyLink. We recommend that you apply for student loans at least 3 weeks prior to the semester start date, to avoid any delays or inconvenience.


Statement of Satisfactory Progress forms (click to expand)

If StudyLink sent you a Statement of Satisfactory Progress (SSP) form, please bring it to your nearest Student Central. Alternatively, you can send the form to us by email or post.
Our postal address is:
Student Administration
Academic Records Building 60
Unitec Institute of Technology
Private Bag 92025
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Paying your fees

Domestic students (click to expand)

You can pay your fees by cheque, EFTPOS, credit card, or in the form of an approved application for a student loan. Follow the link for more options on how to pay your fees. If you’re applying for a short course, you’ll need to pay your fees when you register for the course.
If you’re expecting a refund, your course fee will be returned to the same account or payment method you used to pay them. If you paid fees for your course by student loan, your refund will be credited to your loan balance. If we have any issues finding your bank details or processing your refund, we’ll get in touch with you. If you have any questions, you can email with your full name and student ID.


International students (click to expand)

If you’re an international student, whether onshore or offshore, you’ll need to pay international fees that are set for the specific programme or courses.
If you’re expecting a refund, you’ll need to get an international refund form from our international office. You can book an appointment at the AskMe desk (in the hub - Te Puna) to see a Student Advisor if you want to drop or add a course, to understand how this impacts your visa and insurance. If you have any questions, you can email with your full name and student ID.


Obtaining your fees invoice or statement (click to expand)

There are a few ways to get one:
  • To confirm any outstanding balances of your fees, you can check this information by logging into Student Self Service via MyPortal
  • If you need a copy of an invoice or statement, just ask us and we’ll send you a copy of your invoice.
  • If you’re not able to do this or are having problems accessing this information, make sure you get in touch with us on 0800 10 95 10 to request an invoice or statement.
You can also visit any of our Student Centrals and we’ll print you a copy.


Dropping a course (click to expand)

Changes to your fees and grades or academic transcript will depend on when you submitted your change enrolment request:
  1. If you drop a class before or on the class start date
    • Enrolment for this class won’t appear on your transcript and you won’t be charged a fee.
    • If you’re a returning student, you can action this via MyPortal. If you’re a new student, you need to make a change to your Unitec application
  2. If you drop a class before or up to 10% of the class start date
    • A record of the enrolment won’t appear on your transcript, and there’ll be a fee of 10% of your fees for this class or a refund of 90% if you’ve already paid your fees.
    • You can action this after the semester start date via self-service on MyPortal.
  3. If you drop a class outside of the 10% timeframe
    • You may be liable for full fees and the record may appear on your transcript as a grade of W (Withdrawn) or DNC (Did Not Complete).
    • You can action this after the semester start date via self-service on MyPortal.