New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

This is a practical programme using real-life scenarios as part of your learning. You will graduate as a work-ready Mechanical Engineering Technician with the knowledge and understanding of mechanical engineering processes and theory. Employers often headhunt directly from this programme.

About the programme

Want to know how mechanical things work and why? Get into a career in mechanical engineering.

If you've often peeked inside something and had a desire to have a go at making it yourself, then you're exactly the kind of person we're looking for to study Mechanical Engineering and mechatronics. 

Embrace the chance to have a go at projects you’ve only been thinking about until now!

During this hands-on programme, you'll do a small amount of maths and science and learn how to design, create 3D models, and program controls (Otago Polytechnic Engineering uses RoboDK ( for simulation and offline programming of industrial robots).

You'll gain great knowledge, understanding, and practical appreciation of mechanical engineering processes and theory by developing your ability to apply learning in a practical and innovative way. There are a variety of exciting, hands-on projects throughout this programme that you'll get involved in such as building a full-size, two-seater airplane; battery-powered skateboard, or an electric car. 

This industry is growing fast and there is high demand for Engineering Technicians with training like this. Many of our graduates secure employment before they even finish their qualification. Or, you could move into our Bachelor of Engineering Technology to deepen your learning and widen your career options.

Accredited by Engineering New Zealand, this practical programme meets the standards required for the Dublin and Sydney international Engineering accords - meaning it's highly respected and recognised nationally, and internationally.  

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We offer this programme part-time, studied over four years (but this can also be flexible). Our July intake is only available part-time.


Course Title Level Credits
Year One (Compulsory)    
DE4101 Engineering Fundamentals 4 15
DE4102 Engineering Mathematics 1 4 15
DE4103 Technical Literacy 4 15
DE3301 Engineering Practice 3 15
DE4301 Engineering CAD 4 15
DE4302 Mechanics 4 15
DE4303 Material Properties 4 15
DE5304 Electrical Fundamentals 5 15
Year Two (Compulsory)    
DE6301 Fluid Mechanics 6 15
DE6101 Engineering Management 6 15
DE6102 Engineering Project (Mechanical) 6 15
DE5301 Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer 5 15
DE5302 Strength of Materials 1 5 15
DE5303 Manufacturing Processes 5 15
Electives (Select 2)    
DE6302 Mechanics of Machines 6 15
DE6308 Strength of Materials 2 6 15
DE6309 Advanced Thermodynamics 6 15
DE6419 Engineering Maintenance Management 6 15
DE5418 Engineering Mathematics 2 5 15
Programme Total   240

Please note: Alternatives to those listed above may be available following consultation with the Programme Manager. Subjects offered subject to minimum class numbers.

Skills you'll gain

All courses within this qualification contribute towards the skills, knowledge and attributes of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering qualification and the Engineering Technician as recognised by the International Engineering Dublin Accord.

At the completion of this Diploma, all graduates will be able to:

Differentiating characteristic Dublin Accord - New Zealand Diploma in Engineering Graduate
Engineering knowledge Apply knowledge of mathematics, natural science, engineering fundamentals, within a specialist discipline to wide practical procedures and practices
Problem analysis Identify and analyse well-defined problems reaching substantiated conclusions using codified methods of analysis specific to the specialist field
Design development of solutions Design solutions for well-defined technical problems and assist with design of systems, components or processes to meet specified needs with appropriate consideration for public health and safety, cultural and societal and environmental considerations
Investigation Conduct investigations of well-defined problems, locate and search relevant codes and catalogues, conduct standard tests and measurements
Modern tool usage Apply appropriate techniques, resources, and modern engineering and IT tools to well-defined engineering problems with an awareness of the limitations
Engineer and society Demonstrate knowledge of the societal, health, safety, legal and cultural issues and the consequent responsibilities relevant to engineering technician practice and solutions to well-defined engineering problems
Environment and sustainability Understand and evaluate the sustainability and impact of engineering technician work in the solution of well-defined engineering problems in societal and environmental contexts
Ethics Understand and commit to professional ethics and responsibilities and norms of technical practice
Individual and teamwork Function effectively as an individual, and as a team member in diverse technical teams
Communication Communicate effectively on well-defined engineering activities with the engineering community and society at large, by being able to comprehend the work of others, document their own work, and give and receive clear instructions
Project management and finance Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of engineering management principles, apply these to ones’ own work, as a member or leader in a technical team and manage projects in a multidisciplinary environment
Lifelong learning Recognise the need for, and have the ability to engage in independent updating in the context of specialised technical knowledge

Further study options

Upon successful completion of this qualification, there are opportunities for you to move into the Bachelor of Engineering Technology at Otago Polytechnic or engineering degree programmes at either Canterbury or Auckland Universities. Completion of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering can reduce the length of these degrees by a year and a half, or with appropriate experience, two years on application. 

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.