Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Land Based Sustainability Practices (Level 3) - TTAF funded



15 weeks (including two vacation weeks)
April 2021
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Distance
    19 April 2021

Already keen on conserving our environment? 

Learn to identify and apply sustainable practices associated with water, riparian margins, native plants, composting and conservation.

This programme is the ideal way to develop your sustainable practice to gain a better understanding of the life cycle of sustainable food growing…online! Within an interactive community of learners, you’ll be encouraged to share your growing experiences while gaining a range of practical and theoretical skills.   

The demand for people with skills in sustainable food production is steadily increasing and this qualification may lead to job opportunities in orchards and nurseries. With motivation and hard work, you may set your sights on self-employment or use this qualification as a springboard into further study.

Entry requirements 
  • Open entry. 
  • This programme is not available for international students. 
Additional costs 

You will need a laptop/computer and to have access to the internet to be able to study this programme online. This cost is not covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) as it only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. 

You can either pay for this yourself or apply for a student loan (course-related cost component) through Studylink.      

It is important to apply for your student loan at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

You will study 

This programme is made up of online modules to allow for self-paced study. The content of the online courses is delivered by a mix of practical activities, videos, notes and recommended readings. 

You will interact with other learners and lecturers via the online discussion groups and are encouraged to interact within your community of learners to share your growing experiences. You will need to pass one 10-credit and two 15-credit modules in order to complete the qualification. 

Core compulsory module 

Introduction to Sustainability (10 credits) 

All learners must study this module.

It focuses on sustainability from a New Zealand perspective, highlighting vital issues for New Zealand. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your current practices and identify areas for change. 

Elective modules (you must study two of these) 

Native Plant Propagation (15 credits) 

Learn about a range of New Zealand plants and explore eco-sourcing. A practical seed collection and propagation exercise will enable you to apply your learning. 

Composting (15 credits)

Learn about the benefits of composting and explore a range of techniques and processes used to successfully produce compost. You will apply this learning to actually make your own compost.

Sustainable Water Use (15 credits) 

Explore water in a global and local context and the techniques for efficient and sustainable water use in a land-based context. 

Riparian Planting (15 credits) 

Learn about the factors influencing waterway quality in New Zealand and explore the reasons and techniques for effective riparian planting. You will apply this learning to prepare a riparian planting plan. 

Your workload 

You will be expected to undertake approximately 30 hours of study per week, for 15 weeks (this includes two vacation weeks).

Further study options 

Upon successful completion of this programme, you will have developed a range of practical and technical skills required in core areas of growing sustainably. You could expand your employment potential by studying the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (General) (Level 3) or our Level 3 and 4 Nursery and Fruit Production programme.  


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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