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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki
Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki logo

New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming systems) (Level 3)

This course is available


Level of Study



28 weeks

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki


The purpose of this qualification is to provide the pastoral farming sector with graduates who have a broad theoretical understanding of New Zealand pastoral farming systems and practical capability in the pastoral farming sector.

You will learn how to:

  • apply theoretical knowledge of key farming inputs to pastoral farming systems.
  • assist with key livestock production tasks in a pastoral farming context.
  • use appropriate technology within a pastoral farming system.
  • assess and minimise risk to self, others and equipment.
  • apply knowledge of sustainable practices to pastoral farming systems.

Programme Specific Information

Graduates will benefit by having a breadth of pastoral farming knowledge and skills valued by employers in the pastoral farming sector which will facilitate improved performance in the workplace and career progression. The pastoral farming industry will benefit from being able to identify and recruit graduates who have an understanding of the key inputs into farming systems, and the wider context of the pastoral farming industry in terms of environmentally and financially sustainable farming practices.

Employment/Cultural/ Community pathway

Graduates of this qualification may be employed in a range of roles in pastoral farming enterprises requiring limited supervision, for example milk harvester, shepherd, dairy farm assistant or general farm hand.


  • AFS3.001 - Utilise Technology
  • AFS2.032 - Safety in the Workplace
  • AFS3.003 - Environmental Financial Sustainability
  • AFS3.026 - Feeding and watering livestock
  • AFS3.027 - Soil Management
  • AFS3.028 - Management of Pasture Plants

Dairy Strand (New Plymouth intake)

Strand Compulsory – Dairy (MUST complete the following courses)

  • AFS3.029 - Milk Cows
  • AFS3.030 - Treat Dairy Cattle

Sheep Strand (South Taranaki intake)

Strand Compulsory – Sheep (MUST complete the following courses)

  • AFS3.031 - Treat Sheep
  • AFS3.019 - Move and Muster Sheep

Entry criteria

Open entry.

Students must also meet the English language proficiency requirements as below:

  • General or Academic IELTS score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL (pBT) score of 500 (with an essay score of 4.0 TWE)
  • TOEFL (iBT) score of 35 (with a writing score of 20)
  • FCE, or FCE for schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill. OET at Grade C in all sub-tests.
  • PToE (Academic) score of 36
  • City & Guilds IESOL B1 Achiever with a score of 43
  • NZCEL Level 3 General
  • LanguageCert - B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS

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