New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture General Level 3 (Full time and part time)

Strategic Purpose Statement

The purpose of the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3) is to provide the horticulture sector with graduates who have a theoretical knowledge of plant and soils science, and growing systems and environments, to underpin practical capability in a range of horticulture sectors.

Graduates will benefit by having a breadth of horticulture knowledge and transferable skills valued by the horticulture community which will facilitate improved performance in the workplace and career progression, including to higher levels of study.

The horticulture sector will benefit from being able to recruit graduates who have an understanding of the underpinning science and growing practices used in a wide range of horticulture contexts. This programme focuses on the nursery production and landscape construction sectors.

Graduates will be capable of working under limited supervision in the horticulture community with responsibility for work outcomes.  


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Graduate Profile


A graduate of the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3) will be capable of building on their basic skills and knowledge in the area of horticulture that they are either employed in or seeking employment in. It is a qualification for people with some experience in the horticulture industry, and on completion they will be capable of working under limited supervision in the horticulture community with responsibility for work outcomes.

An important aspect of basic skills acquisition is gaining knowledge of the associated safety requirements applicable to horticulture situations.

Education Pathways

Learners may pathway to further study to achieve the following qualifications:

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Level 3) with strands in Amenity, Arboriculture, Cemetery, Fruit production, Indoor crop production, Outdoor vegetable production, Landscape construction, Nursery production, Post-harvest, Sports turf 

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production (Level 4) with strands in Fruit production, Indoor production, Outdoor vegetable production, Nursery production, Post-harvest 

Employment Pathway

Graduates of this qualification may be employed or self-employed, and/or move flexibly between a range of horticulture enterprises.

This qualification will also be suitable for small block owners or for mature learners who wish to gain knowledge of horticultural science in a range of general growing systems and practices.

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Entry Criteria


Domestic Students:

  • Age: Must be at least 16 years old or 15 years of age with a Ministry of Education early leaver exemption.
  • Academic: Open entry
  • Physical: Must have the physical capability to cope with the practical demands of the qualification – able to work with shovels, wheelbarrows, lifting, and similar.

International Students:

  • Students must have a background or interest in Horticulture in their own country.
  • International students for whom English is a second language must attain an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 or equivalent with no band score lower than 5 or any other acceptable evidence of English language proficiency requirements as listed under Rule 18 English language requirements for international students.

Distance learners:

  • Distance learners will either be employed in the horticulture industry or have an interest in horticulture and have access to suitable facilities to complete the practical learning and the work experience. Distance learners will have full access to the horticulture facilities at NTA if they do not have other access to suitable facilities.


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We have many excellent land-based farming, agriculture, horticulture, equine, animal care and other courses to choose from.