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You can study Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Unitec

New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Level 3)

Do you want to work in the electrical industry? This pre-apprenticeship certificate is your starting point to a career as a registered electrician or to begin your training in electrical engineering.

120 (1.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for 1 year, or part-time options available

Programme overview

Start your electrical engineering training with the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Level 3) (NZCEE). This pre-apprenticeship programme is the first step in electrical training before you enter into an apprenticeship arrangement with an employer.

You’ll learn and develop Level 3 competencies such as:

  • Fault diagnosis and testing techniques
  • Safe practices
  • Electrical legislation
  • Installation and maintenance of electrical machines and electrical equipment in special electrical situations
  • Communicating with stakeholders on electrical and related matters

The NZCEE is suitable for you if you wish to pathway into an apprenticeship or further education in Electrical or Electronics Engineering.

ITO students: The National Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Level 2) programme has been replaced with a Unit Standards based stream in the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Level 3).


  • Once you have completed this programme you can apply to have the courses cross-credited as Unit Standards towards your apprenticeship requirements
  • A key step towards registration with the Electrical Workers Registration Board (you do not gain registration as a direct result of completing this qualification) 
  • Practical experience reflecting real-world application
  • Study full-time or part-time – ability to switch between full and part-time easily

Qualification pathway

Once you’ve successfully completed this programme you’ll receive the qualification New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3).

Graduates of this qualification will, in the context of the wider electrical industry and under supervision in a controlled environment, be able to work within the electrical industry as an electrical apprentice, including maintaining current competency and
communicating with stakeholders on electrical and related matters.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:
1. NCEA Level 1 in Mathematics, English, Physics or General Science; and
2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 1 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).
3. A minimum of 3 years secondary education.
4. Be 16 years old by the time the programme starts.
5. 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:

  • 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, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2020; the course timetables for 2020 will be available in mid-November.

Courses Credits Aim
Electrical Work Practices (ENCE3101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To acquire fundamental operational and theoretical knowledge of electrical work practices.
DC Fundamentals (ENCE3102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce fundamental knowledge and principles of Direct Current (DC) electrical installation practices.
Installation Fundamentals (ENCE3103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce fundamental knowledge and principles of electrical installation practices and associated legislation and standards.
Electrical Applications (ENCE3104) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand and apply fundamental knowledge of electrical theory and practice to the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and equipment.
Electricity Systems (ENCE3105) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To extend knowledge of electrical systems and applications of direct and alternating current.
Electricity Supply and Distribution (ENCE3106) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To gain understanding of the fundamentals of the New Zealand electricity supply system and devices used to ensure the safety and protection of users and installations.
Circuit Design and Operation (ENCE3107) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand the theory and application of electrical diagrams in terms of circuit design and lighting installations.
Electrical Machines (ENCE3108) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand the theory and application of electrical machine protection, fault diagnosis, special power supplies and rotating machines.