What will I learn?

If you enjoy the outdoors and rural life, try farming as a career with UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems). There are good job prospects in the pastoral farming industry for those 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.

UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) provides students with practical competencies required for agricultural employment and further studies within the primary industry sector. The focus is on pasture, fertilisers, lambs/sheep, calves/cattle, farm dogs, soils, nutrition, hazards and injury, weather and rural employment.

Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of this qualification will be able to work under limited supervision in the pastoral farming sector in a range of roles including milk harvester, shepherd, dairy farm assistant or general farm hand. You'll be able to:

  • Apply theoretical knowledge of key farming inputs to pastoral farming systems
  • Assist with key livestock production tasks in a pastoral farming context
  • Utilise technology within pastoral farming systems
  • Assess and minimise risk to self, others and equipment
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of sustainable practices to pastoral farming systems.

Course Information

  • Pastoral farming, agricultural systems and technology
  • Sustainable practices
  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Land and water quality and use
  • Fertiliser use and implications
  • Soil properties
  • Farm practices and farm animal behaviour
  • Assist with livestock grazing management and sale
  • Assist with handling cattle in yards
  • Assist with the preparation and handling of lambs for docking
  • Handling livestock, recognise and assist health problems
  • Farm dogs
  • Calf rearing from birth to weaning
  • Health and safety

Study options

Full Time (26 weeks)

Tuition fees
Please enquire for details
Start date

To be confirmed


Palmerston North Campus (Main Campus)

Universal College of Learning (UCOL),

18 Princess Street,

Palmerston North,

4422, New Zealand

Full Time (26 weeks)

Tuition fees
Please enquire for details
Start date

To be confirmed


UCOL Wairarapa Campus

143-159 Chapel Street,


5810, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For international students

NCEA Level 1 (including Literacy 10 credits and Numeracy 10 Credits at Level 1) or equivalent.

International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5. TOEFL (iBT) score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge B2 First (for Schools), C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency: B2 with score of 154; no less than 154 in each skill; OET: Minimum Grade C or 200 in all subtests; PToE (Academic) score of 36 with no band less than 36. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age

For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply (Entry requirements vary from country to country). For more details, please visit the institution website.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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