Otago Polytechnic

National Certificate in Horticulture (Level 4) Viticulture, Landscaping, General Horticulture or Fruit Production

Looking for a way to transform your enjoyment of working outdoors into a career? Use this qualification to develop your green fingers and get paid for doing what you love!

This is an industry-standard qualification covering the fundamental skills and knowledge required of horticulturists in orchards, vineyards, nurseries or any other major commercial operation. You may specialise in viticulture (wine-making), landscaping or fruit/nursery production, and an option exists to complete a general horticulture qualification. Employment opportunities are extremely diverse in this industry and, with motivation and hard work, you may find yourself working as an irrigation technician, fruit grower, plant propagator, vineyard supervisor or even at the head of your own business!

This qualification is a 50-50 mix of theoretical and practical studies and you will make use of the campus nursery, hydroponics unit and the ten-hectare Otago Polytechnic crop production facility where winegrapes, stonefruit, pipfruit, olives, flowers and berries are grown. You will also undertake work experience within Central Otago's extensive horticulture industry, enabling you to develop real-world skills and forge important relationships. The viticulture, landscaping and fruit production options of this programme offer you the opportunity to 'earn as you learn' through paid work experience.

Please note: Applications will be accepted until the start date if places are available.

All certificate and diploma qualifications are currently being reviewed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Qualification titles and content may be altered as a result of the review but any changes will be introduced and communicated over a transitional period so that there is minimal impact on students. 

Skills required
  • An enjoyment of working outdoors
  • Physical fitness
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • An eye for detail.
Entry requirements
  • Open entry.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score less than 5.0.
Additional documentation

You need to provide academic records, proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Selection procedure

Applications will be processed as they are received. If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list in the order that they applied.  

Additional costs

You must have clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors.

Further study options

Advance your knowledge with the Diploma in Horticulture (Level 5) or Diploma in Viticulture (Level 5). Horticulture may also be studied at degree-level in New Zealand.

Programme specific risks

All prospective students are advised of the physical risks and requirements of the programme.

You will study

Lifestyle/General Horticulture

This option is based entirely in our unrivalled Central Otago campus practical horticulture facilities which include the propagation nursery, hydroponics unit, modern glasshouses, 7-hectare crop production unit and vineyard. You will gain experience of the techniques required to grow a wide range of crops including hydroponic herbs and vegetables, native plants, saffron, apples, apricots, wine grapes, figs, and cherries.

Viticulture/Fruit Production/Landscaping

The practical components of these specialities are learnt on campus and with experienced growers and landscapers. You will be placed in practical situations 2 days a week and these important links can lead to a career in the industry.

Your workload

You should expect to spend a minimum of 30 hours a week on this programme.

Qualification structure

 

VITICULTURE OPTION
Core Units:

LANDSCAPING OPTION
Core Units:

FRUIT PRODUCTION
OPTION Core Units:

GENERAL HORTICULTURE
OPTION Core Units:

  • Soils
  • Botany
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Irrigation
  • Weed Management
  • Tractor Skills
  • Weather and Frost
  • Soils
  • Botany
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Irrigation
  • Weed Management
  • Tractor Skills
  • Weather and Frost
  • Soils
  • Botany
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Irrigation
  • Weed Management
  • Tractor Skills
  • Weather and Frost
  • Soils
  • Botany
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Irrigation
  • Weed Management
  • Tractor Skills
  • Weather and Frost

Specific Units:

Specific Units:

Specific Units:

Specific Units:

  • Canopy Management
  • Pruning Vines
  • Training Vines
  • Vine Botany and Physiology
  • Soil Management
  • Vineyard Yield
  • Grapvine Disorders and
  • Vine Health
  • Organic Certification
  • Concreting
  • Laying Tiles and Pavers
  • Stone Features
  • Drystone Walls
  • Drawing Skills
  • Landscape Design
  • Plants and Landscaping
  • Plant Identification
  • Fruit Production in
  • New Zealand
  • Orchard Machinery
  • Pest and Diseases of Fruit
  • Pruning
  • Grafting
  • Managing and Fruit Crop
  • Organic Certification
  • Plant Propagation
  • Pruning
  • Tools
  • Hydroponics
  • Grafting
  • Plant Identification
  • Fruit Crops
  • Vines
  • Organics

 

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. 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. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.

Disclaimer

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.

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