Otago Polytechnic

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


Central Otago 

One year full-time

On campus, 3 days per week. 

February, July and October
30 June for July start
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    15 February 2021
    28 June 2021 - 16 July 2021
    5 April 2021 - 16 April 2021
    27 September 2021 - 8 October 2021
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2021

Embrace the world-renowned Central Otago food and wine experience and enjoy the chance to use local, fresh produce in your dishes.

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

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 – a unique ‘paddock to plate’ approach.

As well as developing a range of cookery skills enabling you to prepare, cook and present a variety of dishes, you will also learn how to develop communication, leadership and critical thinking skills. The work experience element will allow you to apply your hands-on learning outside of the classroom and this, along with the input of knowledgeable guest lecturers and conversations within the culinary community, will enable you to increase your knowledge, develop real-world skills and to forge important connections and contacts.   

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. 
  • 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.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APEL)

Have you been working in a supervisor position within a kitchen and want your skills formerly recognised? 

We offer a APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) process which matches your existing experience and knowledge against this Level 5 Diploma.

This process will drastically reduce the time taken to gain this qualification. It is especially valuable for those who are currently employed as you don't have to leave your job to achieve this qualification.

If you have experience in staff development, purchasing, operating procedures, finance, and creating dishes and menus, please send your email to Tony Heptinstall (heptin@op.ac.nz) or give him a call to discuss your situation - 021 735 229). 

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. This will cost approximately $600. 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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