Certificate in Fitness Certificate in Fitness

Qualifications and courses A-Z study guide
A phot of a gym instructor with a lady tarining.

CertificateFull time - 6 months, part time also available

Annual Fees(indicative 2018)

Programme code



$3,100 - $3,900


February, July





Course related costs

Advised before enrolment



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

20 January for February start; 23 June for July start


Christchurch - Madras Street


Turn your passion of exercise and sport into a profession with our programme and gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge for a career in the fitness industry.

Our Certificate in Fitness programme will give you a sound theoretical and practical base for working in the fitness industry.

You will study exercise physiology, fitness assessment, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, exercise prescription, performance training and professional practice.

The workload is high with regular tests and assignments and you will benefit from previous study in a science related subject at the equivalent of NCEA Level 2.

In our most recent graduate survey, 75% of 2016 Certificate in Fitness graduates were in employment (Ara Graduate Outcome Survey, 2016).

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

Programme structure

To complete this Certificate you are required to complete a minimum total of 60 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • 12 credits in NCEA English Level 1 and 36 credits in NCEA Level 2. (Including a minimum of 12 credits in a science related subject).
Alternative requirements
  • Evidence of literacy, numeracy and an ability to study at the appropriate level. This can be through study, work and/or life experience. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

    If you do not meet the entry requirements for this programme, pathways are available through New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation Level 3.

  • Applicants without a minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 2 in a science-related subject must complete CSCP401 Essentials of Human Body and Microbial Science.

Additional requirements
English requirements
  • If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.

    • For acceptable alternatives refer to the English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.
      Note: If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements you are not required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Preference will be given to applicants who are aged 18 years or older.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an fitness domestic application pack or an fitness international application pack.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Career opportunities

With this qualification you will be ready for a number of employment opportunities and career pathways within the fitness industry such as a personal trainer, gym trainer, group exercise instructor and sales and marketing roles.

As a successful fitness industry employee you will have well developed social skills which are also relevant to many other occupations.

Graduates will be eligible for registration with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) at the personal trainer level.

Study pathways

As a Certificate in Fitness graduate you can progress to our Bachelor of Applied Science (Sport and Exercise Science) or Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellness).

Further study in physical education, recreation, massage therapy, physiotherapy, sports coaching and teaching is also an option.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Physics