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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Infrastructure) (Level 3)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


Central Otago Campus


Do you want to gain work-ready farming skills?

Farming careers are fun and rewarding and there is strong demand nationally for passionate people who want to work with livestock in the farming industry. This Central Otago-based qualification is the only farming training programme in New Zealand with a high country flavour.

With an emphasis on the ‘hands on’ approach to learning, this outdoors-based programme will prepare you for a career in agriculture. Covering a wide range of skills, you also have the added benefit of on-farm practical assessments, as well as work placements on local high country stations. Upon successful completion, you will be able to be employed in pastoral farming/rural-based workplaces under limited supervision.

Successful graduates of this programme will gain the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) AND the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3).
Work experience:

In Term Four, those who are ready are able to participate in a farm-based, work placement experience to apply their skills in a real-world environment. This also provides an opportunity for gaining valuable contacts in the farming industry. To be eligible for work experience, you must be competent in core areas such as health and safety, quad bike use and basic stock handling. You must have also demonstrated a passionate attitude towards working in the agriculture industry.

Further study options:

After successful completion of this programme, you can continue studying farming at Level 4 or diploma-level whilst working on the job.

Entry criteria

There are no academic entry criteria for this programme.

If English is not your first language, you must provide:

New Zealand University Entrance OR

IELTS test: Overall Academic IELTS 5.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

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