Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

Begin your journey from cook to chef.

Involving lots of hands-on, practical cooking in our training kitchens, and a work placement in a local business, this qualification will expand the skills you have developed in a Level 3 cookery programme.

As well as developing a range of cookery skills enabling you to prepare, cook and present a variety of dishes, you will gain hospitality management skills and techniques which will allow you to create and maintain successful food operations. In turn, this will enable you to learn the important steps necessary to operate and evaluate the performance of a food operation. You will also learn how to develop communication, leadership and critical thinking skills and how to create a safe workplace.

The work experience opportunity will allow you to apply your hands-on learning outside of the classroom and is great chance for you to increase your knowledge and develop real-world skills.  

By studying this programme in Central Otago, you will benefit from the unique "paddock to plate" approach and have the unrivalled opportunity to source your ingredients straight from the campus nursery, modern glasshouses and our vineyard.

Skills required
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • To be motivated and have a good work ethic
  • A willingness to constantly update your skills.
Entry requirements

You need one of the following:

  • Successful completion of the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) or equivalent, OR
  • Evidence of at least one year of relevant industry experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. Click here for your country's equivalent entry criteria. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score less than 5.0.
Additional requirements and documentation

You must supply your academic records, along with certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

All applicants must submit a letter of no more than 500 words which explains:

  • why you have chosen to study this Certificate
  • your expectations of the programme
  • your career goals in the hospitality industry
  • the steps you have already taken to progress your career goals to improve your chances of being accepted into the programme.

If you have not completed the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3), we would also like you to submit a CV with details of your industry experience.

You may also have to undertake an interview.

Selection procedure

If the number of applicants exceed the available places, a waitlist will be used to ensure preference is given to applicants in order of application.

Additional costs

Dunedin

During your induction day, you will have the opportunity to purchase your full uniform from Otago Polytechnic's preferred supplier. You should expect to spend approximately $700 on programme specific equipment. This will be covered by the 'Course-Related Costs' section of your student loan (if you are eligible). You may already have some or all of the required uniform, equipment and textbooks. 

Central Otago

You will need to purchase your own knife kit, knives, uniform and textbooks.

More about the Central Otago experience

Embrace the world-renowned Central Otago food and wine experience and enjoy the chance to use local, fresh produce in your dishes. Our unique approach focuses on sourcing ingredients grown on campus to strengthen your understanding of the connection between ‘paddock and plate’. Our extensive horticultural facilities include a hydroponics unit, nursery, modern glasshouses, orchard and the Bannockburn Road vineyard and give you the opportunity to incorporate locally grown and harvested herbs, vegetables, fruit, berries, salad and wine into your cooking and chef training.

One of the highlights of the programme is the opportunity to showcase your culinary talents at the annual Autumn Plant and Food Fair in Cromwell where you have the chance to create and sell your food to the public. During the course, you will also benefit from the input of knowledgeable guest lecturers. 

Further study options

After successfully completing this Certificate, you will be in a great position to apply for the New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5) (Cookery) offered in Central Otago, the New Zealand Diploma in Hospitality Management (Level 5) offered in Dunedin or the Bachelor of Culinary Arts offered in Dunedin.

Programme specific risks

Dunedin

There are a number of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) issues associated with practical work in areas specific to a commercial hospitality environment. These include, but are not limited to, burns from hot liquids or hot objects and cuts from sharp instruments. You will have access to an orientation booklet which covers the programme specific risks in more detail.

Central Otago

You will be advised of all risks associated with this programme in the covering letter that is enclosed with all enrolment packs. Parental consent must be obtained if you are under 18.

Your workload

You will spend the majority of your time in the training and production kitchens. You will be required to participate in classroom and online learning. You will undertake work placement which is a vital component of this programme as you will be expected to compare Otago Polytechnic procedures and standards with what occurs in your placement.  

Graduate outcomes and qualification structure

Upon successful completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • Monitor and maintain health and safety, food safety and security practices to ensure your 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. 

SMS Code

Course Title

Level

OP
Credit

 

 COMPULSORY 

 

 

CO420101

Introduction to complex cookery

4

45

CO420201

Complex cookery

4

45

CO420301

Work experience

4

15

CO420401

Capstone

4

15

Programme Total

 

 

120

 

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. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.

If you plan to study this programme in Dunedin, please enquire at the Food Design Institute. Phone 0800 762 786 or email info@op.ac.nz.

If you plan to study this programme in Central Otago, please enquire at our Central Otago campus. Phone 0800 765 9276 or email centralotago@op.ac.nz.

Links to useful websites

Discover what's on the menu at our Dunedin Technique and Central Otago Molyneux training restaurants.

Disclaimer

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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