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New Zealand Certificate in Brewing Operations (Level 3)



15 weeks full-time
To be confirmed

Want to learn how to make beer?

Whether you already work in the brewing industry or are keen to enter it, this online programme is the perfect place to gain knowledge of the fundamentals of the brewing process.  

You’ll learn all about:

  • the brewing industry, its language, science, equipment, processes and practices
  • the health and safety principles, product quality and legislation for small-scale brewing operations, and
  • how to follow a brew plan to produce beer!  

Delivered over 15 weeks (with a two-week break), this programme includes a virtual tour of our Otago Brew School and has three courses – Introduction to Brewing, Health and Safety in the Brewery, and Practical Brewing.

You’ll work through a series of online modules with regular, facilitated meetings, and you’ll also need to do some practical activities to support your learning. Assessments will be through things like online, multi-choice quizzes, a photo journal, and a brewing diary.  

You’ll graduate being able to produce beer in a small-scale brewing environment and could work (under limited supervision) as a brewing process operator.

Entry requirements
Academic requirements 
  • Open entry. 
English Language requirements 

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

Other requirements 
  • You must be 18 years old by the time this programme starts. 
  • You'll need access to brewing equipment, a computer and reliable internet. 
Selection process 

Where the number of people applying for the programme exceeds the number of places available, applicants who meet the entry requirements will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.  

COVID-19 vaccination information

As this programme is delivered fully online, you do not need to provide us with a My Vaccine Pass.

  • You will need to provide us with a valid My Vaccine Pass if you want to visit an Otago Polytechnic site for any reason while you are studying with us (e.g. meetings, events, presentations) or attend graduation in person at the end of this programme.
  • You do not need to provide a valid My Vaccine Pass if you are attending on campus health services (e.g. student health, Kowhai Centre).
  • In exceptional circumstances, exemptions may be granted to this. You can find out more about this in our vaccination policy. If you think you have grounds to be exempt from our vaccination requirements, please email    

You can find more information about our vaccination requirements here. And, if you still have further questions, please visit our FAQs page which you can find here.

What you study 

This programme is delivered over 15 weeks (with a two-week break). There are three courses and you need to pass course 1 and 2 to move into course 3.

Course 1 and 2 give you an overview of the brewing industry and foundational knowledge of core ingredients, regulatory frameworks, health and safety, and the processes used in brewing. The programme then moves into a space where you apply this introductory knowledge to the brewing process. 

How will I learn? 

You'll work through a series of modules delivered online with facilitated, regular meetings. You'll also do some practical activities to help support your learning. 

1. Introduction to Brewing (15 credits) 

Gain a broad overview of the brewing industry, and its language, science, processes and practices. 

Example of content 

  • Overview of the brewing process 
  • Equipment and its suitability for various scales of operation 
  • Differences in cider and beer production 
  • Yeast strains and appropriate uses 
  • Unwanted microbes in a brewery 


  • An online test 
  • A further online test with multi-choice and short answer questions 

What will I be able to do?

When you pass, you'll be able to:

  1. Recognise variations between small-scale and large commercial brewing operations. 
  2. Identify and name the processes in cider and beer production. 
  3. Explain the brewing processes, including microbiological agents, used in brewing operations. 

2. Health and Safety in the Brewery (15 credits) 

Be introduced to the health and safety principles, food safety, product quality and legislation for small-scale brewing operations. 

Example of content 

  • Equipment set up and sanitisation 
  • Safe chemical handling and storage 
  • Applying Worksafe NZ legislation 
  • Customs/Excise duties in a small-scale brewery 
  • Food safety plans 


  • An online test 
  • A photo journal

What will I be able to do?

When you pass, you'll be able to:

  1. Identify best practice principles in assembly, cleaning and operation of brewing equipment for a small-scale brewing environment. 
  2. Recognise ways of managing hazards in a small-scale brewing environment. 
  3. Interpret the legislation and regulation that applies to small-scale brewing environments.  

3. Practical Brewing (10 credits) 

As a small-scale brewer, be guided through brewing practices to produce beer following a supplied recipe. 

Example of content 

  • Follow a brew plan to produce a beer 
  • Accurate measurement and recording of specific gravity, mash rests and temperatures 
  • Fault finding and solutions 
  • Calculating alcohol by volume (ABV) and required corrections from specific gravity readings 
  • Virtual tour of Otago Brew School 
  • Health and safety 


  • Scenarios - multi-choice online quiz
  • Reflective poster / brewing diary

What will I be able to do?

When you pass, you'll be able to:

  1. Locate and assemble brewing equipment and ingredients for small-scale brewing operations. 
  2. Carry out brewing processes in a safe and correct sequence to produce beer in a small-scale brewing environment. 
  3. Apply record-keeping techniques to promote good brewing practice.
  4. Identify the application of health and safety principles in your own brewing environment.  
Student loans and 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. 


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.