Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer


This online course will help you develop a sound basic knowledge of thermodynamic principles - including gas laws, measurement of pressure and temperature, mass and energy conservation and energy sources in the New Zealand context - and the mechanisms of heat transfer including the uses of heat exchangers.

The course will cover the following:

  • Temperature and pressure measurement
  • Gas laws and gas processes
  • Thermal expansion
  • Mass and energy conservation
  • Change of phase Ice/water/steam
  • Heating of solids, liquids and gases, specific heat
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Refrigeration
  • Heat exchangers
  • Heat Transfer
  • Energy sources, generation in NZ

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of thermodynamics principals for temperature, pressure, gas laws, thermal expansion, conservation of energy, change of phase, heating and thermal efficiency
  • Apply thermodynamics principals to practical applications for air compressors, refrigeration, heat exchanger, and solar collectors
  • Calculate rates of heat transfer through multiple layers and combined modes
  • Evaluate and compare the sources on energy in NZ


  • Internal assessment 50%
  • Examination 50%

For more information and a full list of exam times see our examinations page.

Examination information

Assessments for this course include an examination that you need to attend in-person.

Learn more


Labs requirements

 A 2 1/2 day Laboratory is a requirement for this course.
The venue for these Laboratories may be either Christchurch, Wellington or Hamilton.

For courses starting in February, laboratories will be held during the term 1 school holidays,  

For courses starting in June, laboratories will be during the term 3 school holidays.

Your course leader will confirm the actual dates within the first week of the course, however you can click here for school holiday dates to give you a guideline for planning.

Computer and internet requirements

To complete this course you will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, reliable broadband internet connection and a data plan able to support online learning such as streaming of videos (including YouTube), downloading content, and writing and submitting online assessments. If you are unsure if your current computer or internet access allows you to complete your online learning with us, please contact us before applying to enrol.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • choose the qualification you will study the course under
  • check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses and apply tab on the qualification page.

Work towards

You can do this course as part of these qualifications:

Certificate of Proficiency

Course availability over the next 12 months


March enrolment dates

Enrol by -
Course starts -
Course ends -
25 Feb 2025
10 Mar 2025
29 Jun 2025