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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) - Te Pukenga
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) - Te Pukenga 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 2024


Richmond Campus


Dig deep and grow your skills in horticulture, on campus, online, and on the job.

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.

An example of the type of career path you can have in horticulture is beginning as a nursery assistant, moving up to seed source propagator, becoming production coordinator and then a manager.

Entry criteria

No minimum academic requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS test: General or Academic score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5. TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14). PTE (Academic) score of 36 with no band score lower than 36; Cambridge English Qualifications: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill. OET: Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests. NZCEL - Level 3 (General). Language Cert - B1 Achiever International ESOL Written (LRW) PASS with no less than 25/50 in each skill and Spoken (S) PASS.

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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