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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology logo

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3)

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study



60 credit hours

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology


If you like working outdoors, love variety and don't want to work in an office, this programme is for you, and offers skills to work outdoors while learning the feeling of accomplishment by growing things well.

You will learn about soils and how best to manage them to improve your growing, and how to identify and understand pests and diseases and their management.

You will:

  • Propagate plants in the nursery
  • Make compost
  • Carry out pruning, training and grafting of plants
  • Learn to monitor the weather
  • Manage your water needs.

We also have regular field trips to local growers to apply practical skills.

The Nelson programme is taught at the Richmond campus where this is an onsite garden, propagation house and amenity plantings.

The Marlborough programme is taught on the Budge Street campus where these is a shade house and a propagation house.

With the knowledge you learn on this programme, get work in the horticulture industry, go on to study at level 4 or you can put it into practice on your own land or business, if you are a small block owner.

Career opportunities and pathways

This qualification can lead onto Level 4 study in horticulture or employment in a range of horticultural enterprises.

Work can be at a wide range of levels and in different areas such as the amenity, orchard, vegetable and flower industries or nursery sector.

Positions can be seasonal to permanent. They can include nursery propagator, horticultural consultant, crop manager, cool store manager or science technician.

You could be supervising workers or leading teams or self employed growing your own crops.

The programme is also suitable for small block owners and learners wishing to gain knowledge in horticultural science in a range of general horticulture growing systems and practices for their own businesses.

The horticultural industry is growing and exciting, with a lot of potential to match your passion and enthusiasm.


Flexible online intake dates every 8 weeks

Entry criteria

No minimum academic requirements.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills as listed below. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.
IELTS 5.0 Academic (no lower than 5 in any subtest).

  • General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • 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) - PTE (Academic) score of 36 with no band score lower than 36

Special entry

Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

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