New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

Programme highlights

Are you interested in the automotive industry?  

This New Zealand certificate will prepare you for a career in automotive engineering, working on cars and trucks to heavy industrial machinery.

You will gain a solid foundation with the skills, knowledge and capabilities to work safely using tools and equipment in automotive engineering such as engines, driveline systems, electrical and electronics brakes, steering and suspension systems.

With a shortage of qualified mechanics in New Zealand, your skills will be in demand.

Automotive Staff Profiles

Key facts

Start Month(s) February, July
Study Location(s) MIT Otara
(MIT TechPark from mid-2020)
Level 3
Domestic fees $6,700 (approx.)
Youth Guarantee Available
Programme Code NZ3097

36 teaching weeks (full-time)

Study Method Full-time (classes and online)
Credits 120
International Fees Enquire upon application
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship Available
Qualification New Zealand Certificate

Entry requirements


Open entry for Domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

International students: English Language Entry Requirements

For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules

International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 is required. Equivalent acceptable evidence can be seen at the following NZQA link:

Provisional Entry

Students who have attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the minimum entry requirements for a programme will be eligible to be enrolled as a student where their previous educational, work or life experience indicates they have a reasonable likelihood of success. Students who have not attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the required minimum entry requirements for a programme may also be eligible to enrol in exceptional circumstances. Such decisions will be made by the Director/Head of School.

International students

Test your English level to help you plan.

Take our free online English test to get a basic indication of your English level. This will help you understand what programmes you can apply for and what preparation you may require before you start your programme of study.


Book your British Council IELTS test with us.

You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 5-7 days.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge to work in an entry level position in any area of the automotive industry.

Programme structure

You will need to complete the below four courses (120 credits):

201.326 Automotive Workshop Safety, Tools and Equipment (25 credits)

You will learn Safety: first aid, fire and safety procedure, chemicals, gas, hazardous materials

  • Safe working practices, good work habits, policies and procedures, PPE, warning notices, precautions
  • Industry engineering tasks, tools and equipment, may include but is not limited to: spanners, sockets, screwdrivers, torque wrench, locking devices, bolts, nut studs, power drill, drill press, cutting fluid, taps, dies, die nuts, grinder, welding
  • Tools for electrical and electronic service and repair
  • Safe working practices for working with electronics, including protecting electronics.

201.327 Automotive Engines and Drivelines Systems (30 credits)

You will learn about Vehicle servicing and component replacement.

  • Petrol and diesel engines: Two-stroke, four-stroke engines, power, torque
  • Drivelines: Driveshafts, drive axle, joints and bearings, VIRM requirements, final drives, differential mechanisms
  • Transmission, manual and semi-automatic operation, and construction
  • CVT gearboxes
  • Cooling systems, cleanliness pH, freeze protection, flushing system, refill, bleeding
  • Cambelts
  • Lubrication: Oils, grease, lubricants, and specifications
  • Air-conditioning: Refrigeration, compression, condensing, expansion, evaporation
  • Clutch
  • Intake systems, induction systems, emissions/exhaust.

201.328 Automotive Electrical and Electronic Systems (40 credits)

May include, but is not limited to:

  • Ignition systems
  • Electronic fuel injection
  • Batteries
  • Basic Electrical theory
  • Hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles
  • Electrical principles, testing and repair of automotive electrical circuits
  • Automotive charging and starting systems
  • Automotive lighting
  • Airbags/seat belts
  • Diesel injection/fuel systems.

201.329 Automotive Brakes, Steering and Suspension Systems (25 credits)

  • Wheels, tyres, wheel balancing
  • Brake system: May include but not limited to: bleeding hydraulic brakes, park brake, service brake, brake lines, brake cylinders, pads, shoes, rotors, drums, Disc brakes, Drum brakes, brake fluid, air braking systems, heavy commercial brake systems
  • Steering and suspension: may include but is not limited to: components, manual, power-assisted, four-wheel/all-wheel systems, front and rear suspension, ball joints, bushes, linkages, wheel bearings, struts, shock absorbers, springs, control arms, stabiliser bars, control arms heavy steering and heavy suspension.

Key dates

To find the start date of your programme intake listed above, please view the trades calendar.

Further training or study

This qualification can lead to level 4 qualifications in automotive engineering.

Information is correct as at October 2019. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2020 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2020 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2020 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2020 are based on the 2019 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2020. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is accredited under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.