UCOL - Universal College of Learning

UCOL campuses are based right where you want them. With three campuses serving the region, the Universal College of Learning or UCOL is a popular choice for students in the lower half of the North Island. The steadily growing institute of technology and polytechnic has more than 6,000 students working across over 100 programmes, from entry level certificates and foundation courses to diplomas and degrees (which 1/3 of students are doing).

UCOL’s campuses in Palmerston North, Masterton, Wanganui, and in 2014 the institution established an Auckland campus, which is home to the UCOL Commercial Institute of Photography in Auckland. The original technical institute was established in Palmerston North in 1902 and the Wairarapa Regional Polytechnic and Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic were moved into UCOL in 2001 and 2002.

Technology means that students in the Wairarapa and Wanganui areas can take courses based in Palmerston North through the likes of video conferencing and shared resources.  Support staff at each campus ensure you don’t miss a step along the way. UCOL allows you to train or study the programmes you want, where you want.

Check out all the UCOL campuses

Trades and services training at UCOL features innovative technology and a range of specialised equipment that surpass industry standards. The huge UCOL Regional Trades and Technology Centre in Palmerston North provides enough room for you to combine traditional skill training with hands-on project-based learning. There is even enough room for students to build houses inside, and a 3D printer is available to use and train on.  

UCOL trades programmes cover a wide variety, from automotive engineering, automotive panel and paint, carpentry, architectural technology, construction, joinery, furniture making and design, to electrical & mechanical engineering. Modern technology with practical, hands-on courses and employer-focussed training means you are able to hit the ground running when you graduate.

Read more about the wide range of trade training and study options available at UCOL

Palmerston North is a sophisticated student city with good accommodation options, based in a strong agricultural and scientific research region. Massey University and the Crown Research Institutes based in the city bring a strong focus on training in this field. More than half of the 82,000 people who live around Palmerston North are aged between 15-29 years old, creating a student-friendly vibe in a city where rent is a whole lot cheaper than other student study cities.

Here's five good reasons to study in Palmerston North

Interested in studying at UCOL but don't think you have the grades? Check out their Foundation programmes and other pathways to get you started.

UCOL Programmes you can consider include:

UCOL website

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New Zealand Polytechnics

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