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



One year full-time; part-time options available

On campus with hands-on training in the field and four weeks of work experience 

Until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    9 February 2021
    5 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
    19 April 2021 - 30 April 2021
    27 September 2021 - 8 October 2021
  • Dunedin
    8 February 2022

Do you want to enter the horticulture industry?

New Zealand’s diverse and robust horticulture and related industries have experienced steady growth over recent years and this looks set to continue in the future. This means that qualified and experienced horticulturalists are in demand across the country.

Based in Dunedin, this qualification will give you the work-ready skills needed to enter a range of sectors in the horticulture industry.

During this programme, 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). 

You will receive a mix of hands-on and theoretical learning using our nursery facilities, permaculture garden, Living Campus grounds and other sites such as the beautiful, internationally-acclaimed Dunedin Botanic Garden.

Field trips and work experience are important parts of the programme; these will help you to connect with those already working in this dynamic industry.

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

Skills required
  • Physical fitness
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Good communication and team work skills
  • A good work ethic
  • An eye for detail
Entry requirements

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

You will study   
Courses Credits

Plant and Soil Science (Understand and apply knowledge of plant and soil structure and processes in horticulture)

  • Describe plant structure and processes and apply these to the growing of plants.
  • Describe soil properties and processes and apply these to the growing of plants.


Plant Identification and Selection (Identify, describe, select and name plants in horticulture)

  • Identify and describe plants and their characteristics and uses.
  • Identify and apply plant naming conventions.
  • Select plants for use in specific horticulture contexts.


Plant Health (Identify and control a range of common pests, diseases, disorders and weeds in horticulture)

  • Identify and describe common pests, diseases, disorders and weeds in horticulture.
  • Describe and apply solutions to plant health problems in horticulture.



Sustainable Growing (Understand and apply the principles and practices of sustainable growing systems) 

  • Describe the features of natural systems.
  • Apply sustainable techniques to the growing of plants.


 Communication (Work as effective team members in the horticulture sector) 

  • Cooperate and participate within a horticulture team.
  • Communicate effectively using a range of techniques.
  • Listen and respond appropriately to team members and colleagues.


Health and Safety, Machinery and Lawn Care (Establish and maintain lawns, use machinery and apply health and safety procedures in horticulture)

  • Apply health and safety procedures in horticulture.
  • Use and maintain horticultural machinery and equipment. 
  • Establish and maintain amenity lawns.



Plant Propagation (Propagate plants for use in amenity horticulture)

  • Apply a range of plant propagation techniques to the growing of amenity plants.
  • Select and use appropriate media for the propagation and growing of plants.
  • Maintain plant propagation records.



Planting (Plant and establish plants in gardens and open spaces) 

  • Plant and establish a range of amenity plants in gardens and open spaces.
  • Plant and establish indigenous plant communities.


Maintenance of Amenity Areas (Care for, and maintain, parks and open spaces)

  • Develop, care for, and maintain amenity horticulture areas.


Selection procedure 
  • Applications are processed on a first come-first served basis until the programme has reached capacity. 
Your workload 

On average you will undertake four days a week of practical instruction and theoretical teaching. In addition to this you will carry out your own self-directed study. It is expected that you will participate in four weeks of work experience during your programme.  

Programme specific risks 

There are a number of health and safety issues associated with the practical delivery of horticulture training. You will be advised of the physical risks and requirements of the programme either in person or by telephone before you enrol. You will be advised of the need to purchase the listed personal protective clothing and equipment and the reasons for this. 

Risks include injury to the body due to the physical nature of horticultural work (manual labour, lifting, bending, uneven terrain, falls from working at heights, eyesight) and from using sharp tools and equipment (secateurs, hand saws, spades, lawnmowers) and small machinery. There is a risk from poisonous plants, insect stings, the physical environment (excessive heat or cold, wet weather), working in isolation, chemical handling (limited) and machinery noise. 

Additional costs

You are required to buy some items of personal protective equipment, personal stationery and textbooks. All costs below are approximate only. 

  • Steel toecap boots ($100 - $200)
  • Secateurs ($40 - $120)
  • Gloves ($15 - $25)
  • Class 5 earmuffs ($40 - $50)
  • Safety glasses ($15 - $25)
  • Camera ($100 - $200)
  • Printing and photo printing ($30)
  • Textbooks ($300)
  • Stationery ($25) 

Financial assistance is available through StudyLink under Course-related Costs. See Student Loans and Allowances section below for more information.

Please note that many suppliers offer student discounts once you have enrolled and it is preferred that you wait until the first week of your programme before purchasing these items.

Student loans and allowances
Student loans and allowances are for domestic students who have lived in New Zealand for three years. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 
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