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Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology


Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

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New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production (Nursery Production) (Level 4)

Key information

Level of study:
Tuition fees:
46 weeks
Start date: 14-February-2022
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
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Course details


Learn the skills needed to work in today's commercial nurseries.

This programme is for you if you are already working in the nursery industry, or you are looking to gain skills for employment in this field.

A stepping stone into a career growing plants and trees, and a job that could range from fruit growing or vegetable production, landscaping for homes or parks, a plant nursery enterprise, to tree production and revegetation to enhance our environment in line with the one billion trees programme. Learn the skills needed to work in the Nursery Industry growing plants for food production and forestry, plants for our landscapes and for native revegetation, to enhance our natural environment.

You can also progress from the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Level 3 (General) to this programme.

You will have the opportunity to gain your forklift license and GROWSAFE certificate both great additions for your CV to work in the horticultural industry.
* conditions apply

You will learn advanced propagation and managing root stocks for grafting and budding, as well as understanding plant hormones and how to manage plant growth and health.

You will gain a working knowledge of water, nutrient and climatic needs of your plants, operating irrigation systems, and developing a plant crop protection programme for your plants to manage any pest disease and weed issues.

Part of the programme is the development of a planting plan, for a growing project of your choice. You will also set up your own soil-less media experiment to trial soil mixes, learn to produce a scale drawing for a landscape, and plan, plant and monitor a revegetation project.

You will also learn about the machinery and equipment of a nursery, and will look at the business side of running a nursery and supervising others.

The programme includes courses on:

  • Nursery Environment including soils and soil less media, nutrient management, mist units and an understanding of other systems, irrigation, managing temperature and the weather
  • Nursery Operations covers the practical side of advanced propagation, seed sowing and producing plants from cuttings, grafting and budding. An understanding of cultivars and PVR’s is covered as well as stock management, stool beds, and understanding how to grow plants through all stages of production. Relevant plant science and the influence of plant hormones is also covered.
  • Nursery Crop Protection that covers dealing with pests, diseases and weeds, identification and management in the nursery.
  • Plant Selection and Planning includes plant identification, and landscape design and planting plans, for amenity areas and revegetation projects.
  • Nursery Equipment that covers growing houses, fork lift training, shade houses, potting machines, packing and dispatch.
  • Business Management and Marketing compares a range of marketing strategies and writing a business plan for a nursery enterprise.
  • Human Resources covers supervising and managing others, time management, communication skills and conflict resolution.

Entry criteria

Students are required to complete international qualifications equivalent to New Zealand NCEA Level 2. Entry requirements vary from country to country.


A qualification at Level 2 or above or

Evidence of relevant knowledge and experience in a primary industries environment, including literacy and numeracy abilities equivalent to NCEA (Level 1). (In this case, the applicant may be required to participate in an enrolment interview with the purpose of verifying the evidence.)

English language requirements

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must have an acceptable level of English language fluency prior to enrolment in the programme.

Ways, in which English language fluency may be demonstrated include: successful study of a programme in which English was the language of instruction (conditions apply); completion of a New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 3 with any endorsement); approved scores on IELTS tests (Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5); or completion of accepted international equivalents.

  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)
  • Cambridge English Examinations - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36


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