Grow your career in horticulture

Horticulturists help with the design, production and maintenance of plants, food crops, flowers, gardens and landscapes. This industry is diverse, extends globally, and has plenty of specialisation areas.

From maintaining fruit orchards to botanical gardens, there are many areas you can work in.

Qualified horticulturists are in demand across New Zealand. And our courses can prepare you for a range of roles in the industry, delivered on-campus and online. Explore the many subject areas to choose the right course suited to you. 

 

Amenities

Studying amenities is all about making gardens and green landscapes look pleasing. And yes, a lot of planning goes behind structuring a garden to make it look attractive. Our amenities qualification will teach you how to plan a landscape and then grow and maintain plants in a sustainable way.

The best part about studying amenities at Otago Polytechnic is the practical way we teach.
You will learn heaps while using our nursery facilities, permaculture garden, living campus garden and even the Dunedin Botanic Gardens. We will also help you connect with those already working in the industry through field trips and internship experience.

 

> Study Level 3 General and Amenity Horticulture (on campus)

During this course, you will learn about sustainable growing methods, permaculture, plant propagation, plant and soil science, and how to identify and grow healthy plants. In addition, this is combined with the opportunity to develop your skills in amenity horticulture (the care and maintenance of plants in parks and gardens). Plus, this programme is free for domestic students due to the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) (although you’ll need to pay for any additional course-related and living costs).

Graduates will receive both the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Level 3) (Amenity).

Location: Dunedin

 

 

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> Study Level 4 Amenity Horticulture (on campus or industry-based)

This programme is ideal for you if you’ve completed the level 3 Amenity Horticulture qualification, or have relevant work experience. From this course, you will gain supervisory skills and the qualification to advance your career.

Location: Dunedin

 

Apply now

 

Gardening

We know gardening is great as a hobby and surprisingly therapeutic but did you know it is also great as a career!?
Qualified gardeners are in demand across New Zealand. From our courses, you’ll learn the ins and outs of planting, growing and caring for a range of plants, crops, flowers and gardens. And our experienced lecturers are always there to help you out with your learning.

Pursue gardening as a hobby or weave in a qualification around your everyday life - both choices are great!

Gain practical planting experience in our campus living garden, grow your own plants in our nursery or learn online from your own home. Explore the option that suits you.

 

> Study Level 3 General Horticulture (online)

This programme is all online so that you can learn horticulture from the comfort of your home. If you need to understand the horticultural science which underpins the growing of crops, this programme is perfect for you. Apply your learning as a hobby or work, you will learn plenty to fulfil your heart’s desire. It provides a great pathway into further study and careers in the horticulture industry such as orchards, vineyards, plant nurseries and garden centres.

 

Apply now

> Study Level 3 General and Amenity Horticulture (on campus)

During this course, you will learn about sustainable growing methods, permaculture, plant propagation, plant and soil science, and how to identify and grow healthy plants. In addition, this is combined with the opportunity to develop your skills in amenity horticulture (the care and maintenance of plants in parks and gardens). Plus, this programme is free for domestic students due to the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) (although you’ll need to pay for any additional course-related and living costs). Graduates will receive both the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Level 3) (Amenity).

Location: Dunedin

 

Apply now

 

Nursery

A Nursery qualification from Otago Polytechnic will further build on your current horticulture skills, with a focus on growing plants for commercial sale. Learn to grow young plants, shrubs, trees and crops from seed, right through to sale.

 

> Study Level 3 Nursery Production (industry-based)

If you’re already employed in the nursery production industry, this programme is for you.
With a 50/50 mix of theory and practical, you’ll learn online whilst using your workplace as a setting to practise your developing skills. Courses include Nursery Plant Care, Plant ID and Selection, Propagation, Plant Science, and Communication.

Career potential:
Nursery Plant Care, Commercial Plant Grower, Garden Attendant.

Location: Online and in your workplace

 

Apply now

> Study Level 3 and 4 Nursery and Fruit Production (on campus)

Develop your green thumb skills and get paid for doing what you love. Based at our Central Otago Campus, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge that horticulturists need when employed in orchards, vineyards, nurseries or any other major commercial operation. Embrace the opportunity to use our campus nursery and our ten-hectare crop production facility.

Career potential:
Irrigation Technician, Fruit Grower, Plant Propagator, Vineyard Supervisor, Plant Care Business Owner.

Location: Central Otago

 

Apply now

 

Orchard

Study one of our orchard programmes and get out in the field building your experience and knowledge of the techniques required to grow commercial fruit or wine grapes. Whether you’re new to large gardens, or already have work experience on an orchard, you’ll graduate with specialised knowledge in orchard development, protection, soil dynamics, and pest control.
The best part of studying an orchard qualification at Otago Polytechnic is our flexible learning options. You can gain practical growing experience on our ten-hectare crop production facility in Central Otago, care for trees from your own workplace, or learn online from your own home.

 

> Study Level 2 Primary Industry Skills (Fruit Production)

If you’re interested in a career in the fruit production industry, but don’t know where to start, this qualification will ease you in with introductory horticulture skills and experience working in fruit production. Regular field trips and work experience will give you a chance to learn in a practical way and you’ll also learn introductory health and safety skills which are necessary in this industry.

Career potential: 
Gardener, Orchard Hand, Crop Worker.

Location: Central Otago

 

Apply now

> Study Level 3 and 4 Nursery and Fruit Production (on campus)

A step up from level 2, you’ll gain the functional skills and knowledge that horticulturists need when employed in orchards, vineyards, nurseries or any other major commercial operation. A 50/50 mix of theory and practical, you’ll develop real-world skills and important contacts during your work experience in Central Otago’s extensive horticulture industry.

Career potential:
Fruit Production, Orchard Hand, Harvester, Vineyard Farmer.

Location: Central Otago

 

Apply now

> Study Level 4 Fruit Production (industry-based)

This programme is for those already working in the fruit production or viticulture industry.
A 50/50 mix of theory and practical, you’ll learn online whilst using your workplace as a setting to practice your developing skills. Courses include Soils and Water, Plant Science, Seasonal Tasks, Communication, and Pests, Weeds and Agrichemicals.

Career potential
Fruit Production, Orchard Farmer, Harvester, Vineyard Farmer, Orchard Manager.

Location: Online and in your workplace.

 

Apply now

> Level 5 Fruit Production (online in your workplace)

Progress your career in the national or international horticultural communities by gaining the knowledge and skills to become a competent leader in the stone fruit, pip fruit, berry, or wine grape production industries. Your learning will be centred around sustainable growing principles, and you will gain plenty of invaluable work experience and industry contacts.

Career potential: 
Fruit Production Manager, Orchard Manager, Harvester, Vineyard Manager, Crop Quality Assurance.

Location: Online and in your workplace.

 

Apply now

 

Sustainable practice

Gain experience with traditional Māori food horticulture and harvesting with a qualification in Te Whakamahi Whenua. You will learn the value of food resources and their ecosystems from our natural environment, with a tailored, hands-on approach to study.

 

> Study Te Whakamahi Whenua (Level 3)

 

A Te Whakamahi Whenua qualification from Otago Polytechnic can build on your existing traditional Māori knowledge, while leading you through the old ways of food harvesting, production and management methods. As well as practicing Te Whakamahi Whenua, you’ll gain an understanding of Te Pono me te Tika, Whanaungatanga, Kaitiakitanga, Pukengatanga and Rangatiratanga.

Our Te Whakamahi Whenua programmes are taught through the Arai Te Uru Kokiri Centre. You’ll gain a mix of practical experience through face-to-face in class learning, wananga and field trips.

Location: Dunedin

 

Apply now

 

 

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.

 

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