Otago Polytechnic

Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3) - Plasterboard Fixing and Stopping



12 weeks full-time (22 August-9 November)

On campus (classes will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)

22 August, 2017. Please note: this programme is subject to minimum numbers.
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    22 August 2017
The art of plasterboard fixing and stopping is essential to the building trades. It's what makes interiors elegant and desirable, and allows other decorating effects to succeed. In fact, the goal of a good tradesperson in this area is to make their work invisible!

This pre-trade programme trains you in the key trades skills needed to work as an assistant to a plasterboard fixer or finisher. With experience, you can progress to a leading hand in a team or become self-employed. Other building industry jobs such as carpentry are also an option.

Youth Guarantee Scheme

If you are a 16-19 year old and feel that school didn’t work out for you, you may be able to study this programme via our Youth Guarantee Scheme and pay no fees. This also applies if you are going to be 15 years old at the time that this programme starts and you have an early exemption from school.

Please note that there are limited Youth Guarantee places available for this programme and therefore funding cannot be guaranteed.

Please note: From 2018, this programme name will change to the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3). This is due to a national review of qualifications that is being carried out by NZQA across all New Zealand tertiary institutions.

Entry requirements
  • Open entry.
Youth Guarantee Scheme information

To be eligible for Youth Guarantee funding, you must:

  • Be a domestic student between 16-19 years old
  • OR be 15 years of age at the time when you commence the programme AND have an early leaving exemption from your school
  • Not already hold a Level 3 qualification in any subject 
  • Have been thinking about leaving school and getting a job OR prefer to be working towards a career rather than staying at school OR have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment
  • Want to learn practical skills
  • Be more motivated in a non-school setting and be prepared to enrol in a full-time programme.

Fees and allowances

The Youth Guarantee Scheme will cover tuition fees, material and equipment costs of your programme of study. 18-19 year olds enrolled in fees-free Youth Guarantee qualifications will now be able to access the course-related costs part of the student loan and student allowances if they meet the eligibility criteria. Those under 18 years old will not be able to access any part of the student loans. Funding for travel is available, conditions apply. Please visit the Studylink website for full details. We strongly recommend that you read this carefully prior to applying for this programme.  

The process

  • There is not a separate Youth Guarantee application form. Please apply for this programme by using our standard Otago Polytechnic application form. To apply online, or to download a paper version, click the apply button at the top right hand corner of this page.
  • If you meet the criteria for Youth Guarantee funding you will be offered the funding if it is available. We will ask you to let us know within two weeks if you do not wish to take up the funding.  
  • If there is no Youth Guarantee funding available, we will send you a letter advising you of this. Along with this letter, you will receive an invoice, terms and conditions, a Studylink brochure and an equipment list advising what you will need to purchase before starting your programme. 
Selection procedure

On application or by interview. If applicants exceed the number of spaces available, a wait-list will be put in place.

Additional costs

Hand tools are included in the programme fee, however the hand tools will remain the property of Otago Polytechnic. Students are required to provide their own safety footwear and overalls. Assistance with personal equipment is available through WINZ under Course Related Costs.

Further study options

This programme prepares you for an apprenticeship position, where you will gain further on-the-job training. Unit standards included within this programme form part of the National Certificate in Plasterboard (Level 4), and you may apply for further study towards this qualification through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

Programme specific risks

Students are alerted to the requirement that they must be able to demonstrate an ability to work safely in all practical situations.

You will study

The programme covers skills in industrial safety, basic scaffolding, surface preparation and application techniques, plus introductory skills such as the use of materials and simple measuring and quantity.

Qualification structure

Students will learn via workshop practicals and theory-based courses.

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. 


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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