New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

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

July Intake - This intake runs during the normal term breaks. By reducing the long term breaks during the year, this usually year-long programme finishes up before the start of the next semester. This can allow you to progress on to the New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5) in a shorter period of time, and make your way into paid employment much sooner.

This programme does not have the standard summer break – the Christmas break is 3 weeks. Classes are 4 days a week, Monday to Thursday.

About this programme

This is the next step after the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) and will prepare you to work as an intermediate level chef, producing complex dishes in a commercial kitchen. You’ll learn to prepare, cook and present a range of cold larder dishes, hot kitchen dishes, patisserie and desserts.

The purpose of this qualification is:

  • To provide for those individuals who are employed as chefs in intermediate positions, a credential that will enhance their employment opportunities in a commercial kitchen across the hospitality sector.

  • To establish standards of professional practice for complex cookery that can provide customers with confidence in a range of hospitality environments.

What will I learn?

You will learn to:

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

  • Monitor and maintain interactions between colleagues, managers and customers.

  • Monitor and maintain the application of standard operating policies and procedures to work roles in a commercial kitchen.

  • Apply cookery skills to prepare, cook and present a range of cold larder dishes employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

  • Apply cookery skills to prepare, cook and present a range of hot kitchen dishes employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

  • Apply cookery skills to prepare, cook and present a range of patisserie and desserts employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.

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

Courses in this programme

Compulsory Courses Level Credits
4520.0001 - Cold Larder 1 4 15
4520.0002 - Cold Larder 2 4 15
4520.0003 - Complex Meat and Poultry 4 15
4520.0004 - Game and Offal 4 15
4520.0005 - Complex Seafood 4 15
4520.0006 - Grains, Starches and Vegetables 4 15
4520.0007 - Complex Pâtisserie 4 15
4520.0008 - Complex Desserts 4 15

Workload & schedule

This programme involves 24 hours of teaching spread over four 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 expected on this programme.

Additional costs

Black leather closed toe shoes, suitable for commercial restaurant environment. Chefs Jacket 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

  • have successfully completed the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) or can demonstrate equivalent knowledge, skill and experience.

Applicants for whom English is not a first language must have an IELTS score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5; or an accepted international equivalence.

Employment in the hospitality industry is an advantage.

Qualifications gained

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

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 academic year

31 weeks (July intake)

Start Dates

Whangarei: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

2022 Fees: $7,411.90

Student levy may apply

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

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
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