“I especially enjoyed the practical, hands-on experience that gave me a head start on the real life of the industry”

Angela Nicholson - Telford Certificate in Equine (Level 4) and Telford Certificate in Agriculture (Level 3)


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Other Courses

Telford Certificate in Agriculture (Level 3)

Why study with Telford?

Modern farming requires a blend of practical on-farm skills with up-to-date knowledge of farm management and industry practices. Telford’s 37 week programme is designed to give you the skills to be a modern progressive farmer.

Telford offers small classes with a hands on training emphasis. On average, two out of three weeks will involve farm placements or workshop modules.





Programme Content

Studying agriculture at Telford gives you the opportunity to learn a variety of farming skills that will serve you well in your career as a farmer. This programme places significant emphasis on developing practical skills, with at least 65% of course content involving hands-on learning. Field trips are always an enjoyable part of the year and add another valuable dimension to the course.

Throughout the year you will also study sheep, beef, dairy and deer farming systems.

During regular work experience at Telford, you will either work on one of our farm units or on other farms in the Otago/Southland regions. Many students are offered employment through their work experience.

Telford has 30 dog kennels, so you may have an opportunity to bring a heading dog in the second semester.

You can expect to cover topics such as:

  • Livestock 1 - Shearing, milking, livestock handling, butchering, livestock healths, behaviour and welfare, and work skills
  • Land Skills 1 -  Hazard management, quad bikes, tractors, water supplies and work skills
  • Agronomy -  Pastures, crops, climate, soils, fertilisers, agrichemicals and work skills
  • Workshop Skills 1 - Fencing 1, mechanics 1, welding, farm forestry, life skills 1 and work skills
  • Livestock 2 - Livestock health, livestock handling, livestock production, feeding and nutrition, and work skills
  • Livestock 4 - Livestock breeds, livestock breeding and reproduction, livestock handling, livestock butchering, and work skills
  • Workshop Skills 2 - Fencing 2, mechanics 2, workshop project and calculations, and workshop skills

Practical Projects

As part of the programme you will have an opportunity to integrate your learning and interests into various projects, e.g. design and build farm equipment, livestock production project, weeds and grasses project.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Telford Certificate in Agriculture (Level 3), you will be able to confidently undertake a variety of agriculture related tasks, using your knowledge of agricultural practices and animal husbandry. Shepherds, contractors, farm assistants, shearers, stock agents, wool handlers, sharemilkers, and relief milkers are just a few of the positions in which our graduates are employed.


Telford Certificate in Agriculture (Level 3)


One academic year (37 weeks), beginning each year in February.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be aged 16 years or over
  • Have completed at least three years at secondary school, and achieved the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (Level 1), or equivalent
  • Be confident they can succeed at Level 3 and have the physical ability to manage the work without putting themselves or others at risk
  • Have adequate literacy and numeracy skills.

If English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence of competency, for example an overall IELTS test score of 5.5 overall band score, with 5.5 for reading and writing, and with no individual component less than 5.0.


Opportunities to gain your First Aid Certificate, Heavy Traffic and Firearms Licences are available through third party providers.

Second Year Option

For those who qualify, it is possible to continue your studies with the Diploma in Agriculture (Level 5). 


Telford Campus – Balclutha, South Otago

Accommodation –Telford Campus

Five and seven day boarding is available in our on-campus hall of residence.

Course Fees

Domestic students 


Correspondence Courses

Telford has a wide variety of part-time correspondence courses

Visit us at an expo, or come for a campus tour or enrol in Telford’s Taster Week

For more information please call us on 0800 835 367 (0800 TELFORD)