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You can study Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Unitec

New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical)

Learn about the fundamentals of electrical engineering and develop the extensive practical knowledge required to work in the field of power engineering. This programme also leads to EST registration and further opportunity for Electrical Engineer registration with EWRB.

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

Programme overview

Want to pursue a career as an electrical technician? The New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical) is an industry-recognised qualification with a focus on power.

You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of electrical engineering theory and practice, and you'll  develop the knowledge and skills to work as an engineering technician on construction sites and in engineering workplaces. After the first year of study, you will cover the necessary theory requirements to prepare you to sit your EST theory and regulations exam. With additional practical experience you may then apply for your EST registration with the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB). Your NZ Diploma in Engineering qualification will also allow you to pursue the registration as an Electrical Engineer, which will allow you to specify, design and supervise the construction or manufacture of systems and equipment that produce, distribute and/or use electricity. Work includes designing the electrical wiring of a building and doing the work of an electrician.


  • Work towards your EST registration and be able to work independently as registered electrical worker - read more about EST in the section below 
  • This programme is a nationally developed and internationally recognised engineering qualification
  • Supported by the electrical engineering industry, including the Engineering New Zealand  (ENZ)
  • A step towards ENZ membership: completion of the programme, combined with a period of work experience, provides eligibility to apply for membership of ENZ
  • Small classes: the average class size is just 35–60 students
  • 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, workshops, and debates
  • Visiting industry experts will give you a real feel for the career opportunities available in electrical engineering

Qualification pathway

Once you've successfully completed this programme you'll receive the qualification: New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical). This programme can cross-credit into the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical).
You may gain your EST Registration from the EWRB with successful completion of the EST theory and regulations exam, and with on-job practical experience component (currently 18 month). Read more about the EST Registration in the section below. Upon completing the Diploma, you can also work towards your registration as an Electrical Engineer.

EST Registration

To apply to EWRB for EST registration you must:

1. Pass the theory and regulations exam (Unitec prepares you for this)

2. Complete on job practical experience component (currently 18 month)

The New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electronic) prepares you to sit the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) theory and regulations exam for the Electrical Service Technician (EST) class of registration.

To do this, you’ll need to complete courses DE4401 and DE4402 within this diploma. You’ll then need to apply directly to EWRB to sit the exam.

Once you gain employment in the electrical or electronics industries you can then apply to EWRB for the Trainee Limited Certificate (TLC). This certificate will allow you to carry out electrical prescribed work under supervision (a nominated supervisor who has an appropriate registration and current practicing licence) for their on-job eighteen months’ experience. Prior to applying for TLC, students must also complete safety training, also offered at Unitec - view Unitec short short courses here.

Upon successful completion of your on-job practical experience component, you can then apply to EWRB for EST registration. This registration means that you’re a registered electrician and can therefore work independently (unsupervised) on prescribed electrical work. This will give you more skills, capability and be able to work more independently as an electronics engineer.

For more information about how to register visit

Admission requirements

For this programme, 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

Compulsory Courses

level 4:



Engineering Fundamentals

DE 4102

Engineering Mathematics 1


Technical Literacy


Electrical Principles


Electrical Electronic Applications

level 5:



Power Engineering


PLC Programming 1


Electronic Principles

DE 5404

Electrical Machines


Introduction to Networks

level 6:


DE 6101

Eng Management

DE 6102

Engineering Project

Elective Courses

Level 6



Power Systems 1


Electrical Building services


PLC Programming 2


Sustainable Energy and Power El







The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

The statistical results below are a summary for:

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirementsInfo Icon: Applicants must have a total of 48 NCEA credits at level 2 in their best four subjects, including maths, graphics and a science related subject. English language and selection criteria may apply.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


2 YearsInfo Icon

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  N/AInfo Icon N/AInfo Icon
Government tuition subsidy:  N/AInfo Icon N/AInfo Icon
Total: N/AInfo Icon N/AInfo Icon

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings $53,980Info Icon
Earnings range $44,162 - $68,197Info Icon
In employment 61%Info Icon
In further study 37%Info Icon
On a benefit 1%Info Icon

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.