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Otago Polytechnic


Otago Polytechnic

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New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Key information

Level of study:
Tuition fees:
2 years
Start date: Expected February-2022
Otago Polytechnic
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Course details


Shape the world. Become a Civil Engineering Technician.

Civil Engineers work on the design, construction management and maintenance of civil works such as roads, dams, earthquake engineering, water and sewerage systems. Civil engineering graduates are responsible for the project management of these jobs and often work internationally as New Zealand graduates have a good reputation worldwide.

During this programme, you will gain a sound knowledge, understanding and practical appreciation of civil engineering processes and theory by developing your ability to apply learning in a practical and innovative way.

There is presently a significant shortage of trained civil engineer technicians, particularly in roading. This shortage is expected to become more acute in the short term so your skills and experience will be highly sought after.

Graduates of this qualification may find career opportunities with local authorities, construction companies, mining companies or civil engineering consultancies. Employers often seek new staff directly from our programme.

This Diploma is recognised by Engineering New Zealand and internationally under the Dublin Accord.
Skills required:

  • A passion for civil engineering and working outdoors
  • Spending time on large construction sites
  • Good problem-solving ability
  • People skills
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to plan, organise and adapt.

Further study options:

Upon successful completion of this qualification, there are opportunities for you to move in to the Bachelor of Engineering Technology at Otago Polytechnic or engineering degree programmes at either Canterbury or Auckland Universities. Completion of the New Zealand Diploma in Civil Engineering can reduce the length of these degrees by a year and a half, or with appropriate experience, two years on application.

Your workload

Your workload will be significant as assessment is continuous throughout the year with assignments issued regularly and end of semester exams. If you are studying full-time, you will be expected to undertake approximately 40 hours per week of civil engineering study which consists of formal lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials and your own study time.

Entry criteria

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.

International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet diploma-level entry requirements.

If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in any band.

TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT): Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18)

Cambridge English Qualifications: B2 First, or B2 First for schools, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill;

Pearson Test of English (Academic): PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42

Language Certificate: C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill


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