Fees-FREE | NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) [Level 3]

Study Options

Full-time, Part-time


28 weeks


Level 3

Professional Skills for Primary Industries

Become a sought after employee in agriculture through a qualification that will broaden your knowledge and practical capability in the pastoral farming sector. On completion of this qualification you will be able to assist with key components of day to day operation of a farming business.  Expand your career opportunities by acquiring skills that are essential in the sector and sought after by employers.

This programme is delivered through our partners at Smedley Station, Pukemiro and Waipaoa, Rural Studies Unit at Tairāwhiti and Taradale, Hawke’s Bay.

In this qualification you will develop skills and knowledge covering:

  • Soil and plant nutrients
  • Livestock biology
  • Livestock handling
  • Livestock health
  • Sustainable farming systems
  • Safe work practices

Career Opportunities and Outcomes

On successful completion of this qualification you can pursue employment as a:

  • General Shepherd
  • Assistant Herd Manager
  • General Farmhand 
  • Contractor
  • Sales Representative


Academic Requirements

  • NCEA Level 1, OR
  • A qualification at Level 1 or above, with evidence of literacy and numeracy abilities equivalent to NCEA (Level 1), OR
  • Evidence of relevant knowledge and experience, 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 Entry Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must have an acceptable level of English language fluency prior to enrolment in the programme.  This may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including schooling in New Zealand, completion of the relevant New Zealand Certificate in English Language, approved scores on IELTS tests or completion of accepted international equivalents. Specific scores for IELTS and New Zealand Certificates in English Language are as follows:

  • IELTS score of 5.0 (General or Academic) with no band score lower than 5;
  • NZCEL Level 3 with an endorsement

Other Requirements

  • 16 years of age at the time the programme commences
  • Be physically able to complete the programme specific outcomes



The purpose of this qualification is to provide the pastoral farming sector with graduates who have a broad theoretical understanding of New Zealand pastoral farming systems and practical capability in the pastoral farming sector.

As a graduate you will benefit by having a breadth of pastoral farming knowledge and skills valued by employers in the pastoral farming sector which will facilitate improved performance in the workplace and career progression.

The pastoral farming industry will benefit from being able to identify and recruit graduates who have an understanding of the key inputs into farming systems, and the wider context of the pastoral farming industry in terms of environmentally and financially sustainable farming practices.

This qualification is designed to be flexible enough to reflect regional and industry variations in demand for skills.

Upon graduating you will be capable of working under limited supervision in the pastoral farming sector.

You will be able to:

  • Understand the key farming ideas
  • Assist with key livestock production tasks
  • Utilise technology
  • Assess and minimise risk to self, others and equipment
  • Apply sustainable practices

Also offered in conjunction with:

  • NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Specialist Equipment and Infrastructure) [Level 3]
  • NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Skills [Level 2]

Please feel free to make an appointment to discuss your study options. You can meet with our staff in person at our Tairāwhiti Gisborne or Hawke’s Bay campus, or simply give us a call on 0800 22 55 348. And you’re most welcome to visit EIT to view our facilities at any time.



There is one entry date per year:

  • February

Study Pathways

On successful completion of the NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) [Level 3] you may choose to continue with your studies by enrolling in:

  • NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Livestock Breeding Farming) [Level 4]
  • NZ Diploma in Agribusiness Management [Level 5]

Academic Learning Services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT. Our aim is for you to become confident, competent and independent learners.

We have dedicated advisors who can assist with your learning.

Find out more:

Hawke’s Bay Campus


EIT offers a variety of scholarships across various subjects and programme levels.  Some scholarships are based on your age, some are specific to the subject you want to study.  Not all scholarships are based on your academic ability and anyone wanting to study should investigate what scholarships are available to them.  

You can find a list of EIT scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact scholarships@eit.ac.nz or call in for a chat.