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

This fully supported online qualification gives you a well-rounded education on the fundamentals of growing plants. The four courses that make up this qualification include plant soil and science, plant identification and selection, plant health and sustainable growing.

About the programme

Take your green fingers online!

Whether you enjoy gardening, want to grow food for the family or are already working in the horticulture industry and need to understand the horticultural science which underpins the growing of horticultural crops, this fully-supported online programme is perfect for you.

It provides a great pathway into further study and careers in the horticulture industry such as orchards, vineyards, plant nurseries and garden centres.

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

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time, studied over one year with an intake in February. Our July intake is only available full-time.


Courses Credits
Plant Soil and 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  

Further study options

Our Level 3 and 4 Nursery and Fruit Production programme would be the perfect next step.

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.