Open main menu Close main menu


New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil)

Get a solid grounding in civil engineering to cleverly design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure. Through applying mathematics and physics to civil engineering problems, you’ll learn to develop the expertise needed to successfully manage civil engineering projects. 

240 (2.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for two years or part-time options available

Programme overview

The focus of this qualification is on developing the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to perform meaningful civil engineering work. 

As a graduate of this programme you’ll be able to use your knowledge to make informed decisions and implement them; competently perform technical work using national and international standards and apply civil engineering theory to design, contract administration and construction practice. You'll gain a solid understanding of water, structural, geotechnical, road engineering and develop invaluable civil and structural drawing skills.

This diploma allows you to specialise in any one of the following four areas:

Structures: the design and construction of simple buildings, bridges, retaining walls and other structures

Water Resources: the design and construction of water, wastewater and stormwater reticulation systems.

Roading: the design, construction and maintenance of roads, pavements, and road drainage systems

Geotechnical: the assessment of soil and rock structures to support civil engineering structures, designing and constructing simple soil structures and testing and monitoring earthworks.


  • Unitec is the largest provider of civil engineering training in New Zealand at diploma level.
  • Supported by the civil engineering industry, including Engineering New Zealand.
  • A step towards Engineering New Zealand membership: once you've gained a suitable period of work experience as a qualified civil engineer at diploma level, you'll be eligible for Associate Membership (AIPENZ).
  • Can serve as a pathway into graduate engineering qualifications.
  • Focus on real-world learning: observe the day-to-day activities of engineering sites, and take part in lab work, land surveying, and workshops.
  • Undertake a project where you tackle an engineering problem.
  • Visiting industry experts who will give you a real feel for the career opportunities available in civil engineering.
  • Cross-credits towards the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil).

Prepare for success

Well-prepared students have the best chance of success in their studies, so we've put together a free online guide you can use to refresh and sharpen some of the skills you'll use on this programme.

Admission requirements

You will need the following:

1.    Be at least 16 years of old when you start this programme:
2.    A total of NCEA level 2 including a minimum of:

  • 10 literacy credits at level 1 or higher (for those who achieved NCEA Level 2 before 2013); and
  • 48 NCEA credits at level 2 in four subjects, including at least 12 credits in Mathematics (preferably achievement standards in algebra, calculus or trigonometry);

2. If English is not your first 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 have NCEA? We also accept:

  • An equivalent qualification; or
  • Equivalent credits from appropriate trades training and/or demonstrated skills and experience; 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, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2024; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Engineering Fundamentals (ENGGDE4101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the basic fundamentals of a range of engineering strands.
Engineering Mathematics 1 (ENGGDE4102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop mathematical skills, concepts and understandings in order to perform calculations and solve problems within engineering contexts.
Technical Literacy (ENGGDE4103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop technical research skills along with oral, written, graphical and interpersonal communication skills.
Materials (Civil) (ENGGDE4201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the fundamentals of geological and geomorphological processes and the properties and application of a range of civil engineering materials.
Land Surveying 1 (ENGGDE4202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand and apply the theoretical and practical concepts of Land Surveying
Courses Credits Aim
Structures 1 (ENGGDE5201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To analyse structural elements and simple structures.
Civil and Structural Drawing (ENGGDE5202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop skills required to produce civil-engineering and structural drawings.
Hydraulics (Civil) (ENGGDE5203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the principles of fluid mechanics and apply them in civil engineering hydraulic applications.
Highway Engineering 1 (ENGGDE5204) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the fundamentals of road materials, road construction practices, principles of drainage design, and basic geometrical alignment of a road.
Geotechnical Engineering 1 (ENGGDE5207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the fundamentals of soil composition, the engineering properties of soils, and site investigation procedures.
Courses Credits Aim
Engineering Management (ENGGDE6101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop the knowledge and skills required to administer and manage projects effectively in a specific strand of engineering
Engineering Project (ENGGDE6102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To apply knowledge and problem-solving skills to plan and complete an engineering project relevant to the strand studied (civil, mechanical or electrical) to accepted practice and standards from a given specification.
Courses Credits Aim
Engineering Surveying (ENGGDE5205) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further knowledge and understanding of surveying with specific reference to engineering applications.
Structures 2 (ENGGDE5206) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further knowledge of structural analysis and structural design.
Courses Credits Aim
Geotechnical Engineering 2 (ENGGDE6201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further knowledge of the principles and practice of geotechnical engineering.
Highway Engineering 2 (ENGGDE6202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop analytical and evaluation skills for use in structural analysis and design.
Traffic Engineering (ENGGDE6203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce traffic engineering concepts and fundamentals.
Water and Wastewater Systems (ENGGDE6205) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To evaluate the requirements of, and design water-, wastewater- and storm water reticulation systems.
Water and Waste Management (ENGGDE6206) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop knowledge and understanding of drinking water quality control parameters and treatment methods, and of current and emerging treatment technologies for liquid and solid wastes.
Land Surveying 2 (ENGGDE6207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further land surveying knowledge and skills.
Civil Engineering and Construction Practices (ENGGDE6208) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop knowledge of and apply principles and practices of civil engineering construction activities

Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga

On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.