Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Computing (Intermediate User) (Level 3)



One semester full-time; one year part-time

On campus

February, 2018
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    19 February 2018
    16 April 2018 - 27 April 2018
Want to gain practical experience and a firm grasp of IT foundation skills? Decided you want to pursue a computing career in the IT industry but don't know where to begin?

Start here! The IT industry may be constantly evolving, but one thing is certain - it is definitely here to stay. Computing skills are now fundamental life skills and there are currently far more IT-related jobs than there are graduates. Employers are desperate for individuals with a good awareness of the industry and a willingness to continue developing new skills. IT is a global industry and the right qualification will create a whole world of opportunities for you. With further study, career possibilities are exciting and diverse and include business computing, network administration, technical support, hardware, software, database, web development and much more.

Learn about a variety of topics within the computer field, develop your IT foundational skills and gain knowledge of the industry. Acquire essential skills towards becoming an IT professional and take the opportunity to explore and establish an understanding of a range of computer concepts. Study in a creative and innovative environment and enjoy a mix of theory work and hands-on application, allowing you to apply your learning within relevant IT applications. This programme is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to enter the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) or other equivalent qualification.

Youth Guarantee Scheme

If you are a 16-19 year old and feel that school didn’t work out for you, you may be able to study this programme via our Youth Guarantee Scheme and pay no fees. This also applies if you are going to be 15 years old at the time that this programme starts and you have an early exemption from school.

Skills required
  • Good communication skills
  • Planning, organisational and problem-solving skills
Entry requirements
  • There are no academic entry criteria.
  • It is preferred that learners hold the New Zealand Certificate in Computing (User Fundamentals) (Level 2), or equivalent knowledge, skills and experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study.  
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0, with no band score less than 5.0 or equivalent, from one test within the preceding two years.
Selection procedure

All applicants who meet the entry requirements will be accepted unless the number of applications exceeds the available places. In this case, a waitlist will be used.

Youth Guarantee information

To be eligible for Youth Guarantee funding, you must:

  • Be a domestic student between 16-19 years old
  • OR be 15 years of age at the time when you commence the programme AND have an early leaving exemption from your school

  • Not already hold a Level 3 qualification in any subject
  • Have been thinking about leaving school and getting a job OR prefer to be working towards a career rather than staying at school OR have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment
  • Want to learn practical skills
  • Be more motivated in a non-school setting and be prepared to enrol in a full-time programme.

Fees and allowances

The Youth Guarantee Scheme will cover tuition fees, material and equipment costs of your programme of study. 18-19 year olds enrolled in fees-free Youth Guarantee qualifications will now be able to access the course-related costs part of the student loan and student allowances if they meet the eligibility criteria. Those under 18 years old will not be able to access any part of the student loans. Funding for travel is available, conditions apply. Please visit the Studylink website for full details. We strongly recommend that you read this carefully prior to applying for this programme.  

The process

  • There is not a separate Youth Guarantee application form. Please apply for this programme by using our standard Otago Polytechnic application form. To apply online, or to download a paper version, click the apply button at the top right hand corner of this page.
  • If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding you will be offered the funding if it is available. We will ask you to let us know within two weeks if you do not wish to take up the funding. 
  • If there is no Youth Guarantee funding available, we will send you a letter advising you of this. Along with this letter, you will receive an invoice, terms and conditions, a Studylink brochure and an equipment list advising what you will need to purchase before starting your programme.  
Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

Further study options
Programme specific risks

Few hazards exist within the IT field. Ergonomic hazards may arise from poor equipment set up resulting in poor posture. Also, prolonged use of computers may result in eye strain and potential soft tissue discomfort or strains. You will be required to participate in Health and Safety training as part of your orientation at the start of the programme. 

You will study

Consisting of three, Level 3 compulsory courses, this programme is designed to enhance readiness for further study in computing and related fields. There is a philosophy of "applied learning" throughout the Certificate and you will undertake tasks that are based on what actually happens in the IT industry; this enables you to fully understand the task that you are completing and to comprehend how your learning is relevant to your success within the industry. 

Course name Course description Level Credits
Introductory Digital Tools Use core features of common digital tools to access and manipulate information in a professional context 3 15
Applied Digital Tools Combine the use of a wide range of features of several common digital tools to process information in a professional context 3 15
Project Use digital tools to plan and produce solutions to meet specified outcomes in a professional context 3 30
Total      60


Your workload

This programme is delivered through 16 hours of classes per week for 17 weeks. You will be in small classes of around 15 students with excellent equipment and great staff. In addition, you will need to spend up to 12 hours per week in self-directed study (assignments and review work).

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this 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.

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