Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) (Level 5) (Cookery)


Central Otago 

One year full-time

On campus with a work placement at a local business 

  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    18 February 2019
    1 July 2019 - 19 July 2019
    15 April 2019 - 26 April 2019
    30 September 2019 - 11 October 2019
  • Central Otago
    17 February 2020
    13 May 2020 - 31 May 2020
Begin your journey from cook to chef.

This practical qualification includes lots of hands-on cooking in our training kitchens and a work placement in a local business. 

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. 

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 events created by you, where you have the chance to showcase and sell your food to the public. During the programme, you will also benefit from the input of knowledgeable guest lecturers and conversations within the culinary community. 

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
  • The New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4), or equivalent, OR evidence of at least one year of relevant industry experience.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you meet the entry requirements. Click here for your country's equivalent entry criteria. 

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:

  • must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.0 OR
  • must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.

Please note: All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills. 

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

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 

You will need to purchase your own knife kit, knives, uniform. Please contact us for more information. Email central@op.ac.nz

Further study options

Upon successful completion of this Diploma, you'll be in a great position to apply for our Bachelor of Culinary Arts (offered at our Dunedin campus).

Programme specific risks

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 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, 
    • range of hot kitchen dishes, and a 
    • range of patisserie and desserts
  • employing complex preparation and presentation techniques.
Course name Level OP Credit
Introduction to Advanced Cookery 5 45
Cookery 5 45
Work Experience 5 15
Capstone 5 15
Programme total   120


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 at our Central Otago campus about our recognition of prior learning process. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification. Phone 0800 765 9276 or email centralotago@op.ac.nz.   


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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