Search the Otago Polytechnic website

New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3) (Café Services) (Bar Services)




One semester full-time

On campus with work experience 

February and July
By 30 November and 30 April. Late applications will be accepted based on availability of places.
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2021
    19 April 2021 - 30 April 2021
  • Dunedin
    26 July 2021
    11 October 2021 - 15 October 2021

Energy and enthusiasm are essential qualities when you work in the hospitality industry. 

This hands-on programme is your first step towards a career in the largest industry in the world, with endless job opportunities across New Zealand and the globe. You'll gain valuable work-ready skills for front-line service in the café and bar sector and join the Hospitality industry at entry level as a qualified food and beverage attendant.

Skills required
  • Good communication
  • A good work ethic
  • Maturity and honesty
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Confidence when dealing with customers.
Entry requirements
  • Open entry.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study.  
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

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


Selection procedure

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

Additional costs

During your induction day, you have the opportunity to purchase your full uniform from Otago Polytechnic's preferred supplier. You should expect to spend approximately $500 on additional programme-specific equipment. This will be covered by the 'Course-Related Costs' section of your student loan (if you are eligible). 

Programme-specific risks

There are a number of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) issues associated with practical work in areas specific to a commercial kitchen and café environment. These include, but are not limited to, burns from hot liquids or hot objects and cuts from sharp instruments.

Alcohol tasting and consumption may be a risk for some individuals. In compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, parental consent for alcohol consumption as tastings in line with curriculum specifications must be obtained if you are under 18 years of age. Risks will be outlined in more detail during the programme.

Please note: Consumption of alcohol is NOT a compulsory part of the course and other methods of identifying and obtaining knowledge of products can easily be employed on request.

Programme content

You will spend 70% of your time in an applied, directed learning situation and 30% with self-directed study.

You will learn how to describe and apply basic service operations in the food and beverage sector to meet industry requirements and understand the hospitality work environment. This covers professional café and bar service, including counter and table service, food preparation, cocktails and bar service with barista knowledge, and you'll train in real and simulated work experience situations.

Our on-site training facilities include Manaaki—our training restaurant, Eden Café, and AKO—our student-operated café. You'll also do an industry work experience placement.

Further study options

Progress into our New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 4) (Restaurant Services) - (Semester Two only) to advance your skills and increase your employment opportunities. Another option is the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3).

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. 

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 Otago Polytechnic.. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification. Phone 0800 762 786 or email


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.

Apply Now