New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

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Fees-free is available for eligible first-time tertiary learners. Find out if you’re eligible at

Is food your passion?

An essential introduction to professional cookery, this programme will prepare you to work as a junior chef in a commercial kitchen. You’ll learn how to prepare, cook and present a range of basic dishes, while learning about health and safety, food safety and security practices.

What will I learn?

You will learn to:

  • Apply health and safety, food safety and security practices to ensure own safety and minimise potential hazards for customers.

  • Communicate effectively and behave in a professional manner with colleagues, managers and customers.

  • Follow standard operating procedures to deal with familiar problems in a commercial kitchen.

  • Apply fundamental cookery skills to prepare, cook and present a range of basic dishes employing commodities commonly used in industry.

Career opportunities and pathways include any role within the hospitality industry that requires chefs in junior positions producing basic dishes in a professional kitchen.

This qualification leads on to the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4).

Courses in this programme

Compulsory courses Level Credits
3470.0001 - Meat, fish and poultry 3 15
3470.0002 - Eggs, salads and pastry 3 15
3470.0003 - Pizza, pasta and baking 3 15
3470.0004 - Soups and stocks 3 15

Workload & schedule

This programme involves 24 hours of teaching spread over three and a half days, in addition to 12 hours of self-directed study per week. You will also participate in various culinary events, so will be required to attend two evening events (dates will be advised at or shortly after programme commencement).

Part-time employment in the hospitality industry is an advantage to the learning of the skills gained on this programme.

Additional costs

Black leather closed-toe shoes, suitable for commercial restaurant environment. Uniform, full knife kit and workbooks provided

Entry requirements

All applicants must:

  • be at least 16 years old at the time the programme commences

  • be able to read, write, and communicate in English at a basic level

  • be physically able to complete the programme specific outcomes

Applicants for whom English is not a first language must have an IELTS score of 5 with no band score lower than 5; or an accepted international equivalence.

Employment in the hospitality industry is an advantage, as is the achievement of cookery unit standards through secondary school education.

Qualifications gained

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3)

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

From 1 January 2023, all NorthTec learners will be part of Te Pūkenga. Please note that these programmes of study are currently under review as part of the reform of vocational education training and may be subject to change.

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Full time


1 semester

Start Dates

Whangarei: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

2022 Fees: $3,453.73

Student levy may apply

International Fees (2022): $18,400 (includes Level 3 & 4)

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
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