Certificate in IT Essentials

Learn the fundamentals of Information Technology fees-free in just 18 weeks.

The Certificate in IT Essentials has a practical, hands-on focus which will provide you with the transferable skills and knowledge to be employed in a range of entry-level support roles in an organisation.

Study this programme without paying fees as part of the Government TTAF initiative.

Key dates

February 2022 Intake 21 • 02 • 22
July 2022 Intake 25 • 07 • 22

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18 weeks, full-time in Auckland + Manukau + Wellington + Christchurch


Pre-degree certificate, 60 credits


Domestic $3,300 + $150 Student Services Levy
International $12,000 + $150 Student Services Levy
Fees Free Applies
All 2021 fees are subject to change and regulatory approval

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Certificate in IT Essentials Course Outline

This programme has a practical, hands-on focus which will provide you with the transferable skills and knowledge to be employed in a range of entry-level support roles in an organisation, that may include business support and retail roles and some roles in the IT profession under broad guidance. Successful completion of this qualification also provides automatic entry to Whitecliffe’s Information Technology programmes at Level 5 and the Level 7 Bachelor of Applied Information Technology programme.


Why choose Whitecliffe Technology?

Whitecliffe, formerly known as Computer Power Plus, is one of New Zealand’s leading providers of IT and professional skills training.

  • Focused on our students' success, Whitecliffe consistently strives to see our students and graduates excel in the IT industry by applying modern teaching/adult learning techniques and industry-relevant courses.
  • Students work towards seven NZQA approved IT qualifications in our blended learning environment.
  • Dedicated, highly-qualified, and experienced lecturers offer support through both campus-based and online teaching.
  • Whitecliffe has a proven track record of working with industry and a multitude of New Zealand companies and industry professionals.
  • Our programmes are aligned to industry vendor certifications recognised worldwide.

Our Blended Learning Environment

At Whitecliffe, we offer a blended learning environment where students learn both face-to-face and through online learning experiences.

The blended model includes compulsory face-to-face tutor-led learning sessions, focused on specific concepts, skills, or learning problems; workshops, labs, and demonstrations; and online study.

All of the learning materials are delivered through a digital platform that is accessible from Desktop PCs, Laptops, and Tablets, both on and off-campus. This enables students to work independently and have direct access to one-on-one lecturer support. Other benefits of this blended approach include learning skills such as digital fluency, confidence using online technologies, and self-motivation. Online learning activities and channels also offer opportunities for project work and collaboration, skills students will need in their professional IT career. It also allows you to develop valuable time-management, self-management, and problem-solving skills that IT employers are looking for in graduates.

All of our programmes of study are structured in a manner that enables students to progress through each course following a detailed study plan. Some resources that students require to complete their learning, including course learning resources and access to software and hardware, are supplied and are covered in their course fees.

The Programme Structure and Learning Process
Each of our programmes is made up of a number of courses. The majority of courses are offered over a nine-week quarter requiring a total of approximately 16.5 hours per week, per course. In each course, there are modules containing learning activities, resources, and assessments. These learning activities and experiences may include:

  • Tutor-led learning sessions
  • Tutor-led group-based workshops
  • Industry speakers and visits
  • Supervised labs
  • A range of online learning activities including quizzes and videos
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Programme Structure

The Level 4 NZ Certificate in IT Essentials is a 60-credit programme, consisting of four x 15 credit courses. This is a six-month programme (18 weeks excluding study breaks), intended to educate students on the basics of Information Technology.

Each of our programmes is made up of a number of courses, which are nine weeks in duration. Weekly, each course requires up to ten hours of learning with your tutor and other students, along with six and a half hours of self-directed learning.


Qualification Outcomes

  • Apply essential knowledge and concepts of computer hardware, operating systems, applications, and networks to provide support for hardware and software resources.
  • Apply knowledge and concepts of business analysis, database, and user experience to provide a foundation for supporting organisational information systems requirements; and they can contribute to a user interface design using web design concepts and knowledge.
  • Apply software development knowledge to provide a foundation for developing applications, and apply project management and planning tools to meet the requirements of specified IT briefs.
  • Communicate clearly and professionally to maintain relationships and achieve objectives in a range of contexts within the IT industry; including applying appropriate professional, ethical, and legal principles and practices to comply with legal and organisational requirements. This helps provide a foundation for an IT career.
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Key Information for Students

NZ Government key information link for students, that provides more information to support your decision making for this programme

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Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF)

The Level 4 Certificate in IT Essentials is offered fees-free to all Domestic Students as part of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) is a Government initiative making all sub-degree vocational and apprenticeship programmes free for learners. It is targeted towards industry skill needs where demand from employers for these skills will continue to be strong or is expected to grow, during New Zealand’s recovery period from the impacts of Covid-19.

The TTAF fund will cover fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.

To find out more, check out the FAQs on the Tertiary Education Commission website here.

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Admission Requirements

Domestic Student Entry Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Minimum Age: Students must turn 17 within their first year of study at Whitecliffe

International Student Entry Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy
  • Minimum Age: Students must turn 18 within their first year of study at Whitecliffe
  • IELTS Academic overall score of 5.5 with no band less than 5.0 or equivalent English proficiency as follows:
    • TOEFL paper-based minimum score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE) Test (pBT) where the test was carried out prior to 01 October 2017; or
    • TOEFL internet-based test minimum score of 46, with a writing score no lower than 4.5 TWE; or
    • Cambridge English qualifications with B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 162, no less than 154 in each skill
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Where could this programme take you?

Successful completion of this qualification also provides automatic entry to Whitecliffe’s ICT programmes at Level 5 and new Bachelor of Applied Information Technology (Level 7) (subject to NZQA approval and accreditation).

Jobs related to this programme

• Programming

• Web Developer

• Systems Analyst

• Network/Systems Administration

• Hardware Technician

• Computer Engineer

• Help Desk/Technical Support

Find out more about career opportunities

Talk to our team

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If you would like to ask us a question or request more information, please detail your enquiry using the form below. If you would like you can contact us directly on 0800 800 300, email us or use the contact us form.

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