Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering (Level 4) (Road Transport) - TTAF funded



Three and a half years part-time

You will be expected to attend a weekly night class, additional one-week block courses, and to undertake some self-directed study in conjunction with your apprenticeship

Anytime - email EngTrades@op.ac.nz

Build on the skills and knowledge you gained in the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3).

This qualification is ideal for learners who are starting, or already doing, an apprenticeship in the workplace. Plus, you’ll be able to study for free due to the Government’s Trades Training and Apprenticeship Fund.

During this programme, you will gain the industry-specific skills you need to work in a wide range of roles in the motor industry. You will learn how to safely and effectively diagnose and repair faults that are commonly encountered on heavy vehicles. There will be strands in Road Transport, Plant and Equipment, Agricultural Equipment, and Materials Handling.

Upon successful completion, you will graduate as a Qualified Automotive Technician and would be well placed to pursue senior positions in a heavy automotive workshop.

Entry requirements 
  • New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) OR equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • You must also be employed in a heavy automotive engineering workplace which is operating at a commercially-acceptable industry standard.
  • Enrolment into this programme will also require you, your employer and Otago Polytechnic to enter into a training agreement.

It is recommended that you hold a current workplace First Aid certificate (prior to enrolment) and achieve a Class 4 Licence before you complete this programme.

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Selection criteria 

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis until the programme has reached full capacity. 

You will study 
Course title (all Level 4) Credits 

Effective Workplace Maintenance and Safety


CoF Inspections and Vehicle Recovery


Multi Cylinder Diesel Engines


Diesel Engine Intake and Exhaust Systems


Diesel Fuel Injection Systems


Diesel Engine Emission Control Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Clutches and Transmissions


Heavy Vehicle On-road Driveliness and Final Drive Assemblies


Heavy Vehicle On-road Suspension and Chassis Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Steering Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Starting, Charging and Lighting Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Foundation Brake Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Pneumatic Brake Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Electronic Brake and Stability Control Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Cab and Body Control Systems


Heavy Vehicle On-road Telematics and Hybrid Systems

Total 240
Recognition of Prior Learning 

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from 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 in the course of your life. 

Your workload 

You will be required to attend night classes and block courses. You will do approximately six hours per week of directed study (outside of your employment commitments).

Additional costs 

Safety equipment and clothing (may be supplied by your employer).

You need to buy all of your textbooks, stationery, tools.

Textbooks (optional - online digital access will be provided while studying):

  • CDX Fundamentals of Automotive Technology (ISBN: 978-1-284-10689-3)
  • CDX Medium and Heavy Duty Diesel Engines (ISBN: 978-1-284-06705-7)
  • CDX Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle Systems (ISBN: 978-1-284-04116-3)

Stationery (compulsory):

  • 1 x calculator
  • Pens/pencils/eraser etc. 
  • 8 GB flash drive

Smart device (Recommended):

  • Laptop, cellphone or tablet which is Wifi capable, able to take photos and use Windows 365 applications.
Student loans and allowances with TTAF

Whilst this programme is free for you to study via the Trades and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), this fund only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. It does not cover any additional costs or living costs. You can pay for additional and living costs by yourself if that is possible for you or by applying for a loan or allowance through Studylink.      

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. 

  • For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website

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.