Foundation Certificate in Agriculture – FoundCertAg

Take the first step towards a career in agriculture. Gain an understanding of key aspects of agriculture within New Zealand.

Type of qualification


Level of study

Pre-degree study

Pre-degree study lets you gain skills so you can study another certificate, diploma or degree.

More about study levels

NZQF level 4

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

6 months full-time (60 credits)
Up to 2 years part-time
Part-time available
Note: Offered at the Telford campus of the Southern Institute of Technology.

Study a Foundation Certificate in Agriculture – FoundCertAg

The Foundation Certificate in Agriculture is for those who are interested in studying agriculture, but do not have the entry requirements to be accepted directly into the Diploma in Agriculture.  

To enrol

Call Telford Campus of the Southern Institute of Technology Freephone in NZ: 0800 835 367 or +64 3 419 0300. Apply now!

What will you learn?

You’ll gain knowledge and appreciation of pasture and crop production and management. Animal production, health and management as well as soil management are some of the skills you’ll learn in this qualification.

When you graduate, you’ll have the ability to communicate about practical agriculture.

You’ll also gain an appreciation of agriculture’s role in the New Zealand economy.

Future learning opportunities

This qualification is for those who have not met the entry requirements for the Diploma in Agriculture. You may gain entry to the Diploma once you have successfully completed the qualification. You will receive credits for Part One.

Both the Diploma in Agriculture and this Foundation Certificate is available at the Telford campus of the Southern Institute of Technology.

Further study

If you successfully complete this qualification you may progress to studying the Diploma in Agriculture.

A FoundCertAg is a good fit if you:

  • are interested in studying agriculture
  • do not have the entry requirements for a diploma.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Foundation Certificate in Agriculture you will have successfully completed one of the following:

  • 12 weeks of farm employment, or
  • a level 3 NZQF Certificate that is agriculture-related.

You may also be required to attend an interview.

To enrol or find out more about the courses

Call the Telford Campus of the Southern Institute of Technology on +64 3 419 0300.

English language requirements 

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Foundation Certificate in Agriculture

The Foundation Certificate in Agriculture follows a fixed programme of study. You’ll take 60 credits of specific courses.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

60 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 60 credits

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Course code: 117006 Animal Production and Health 15 credits

An overview of the sheep, dairy and beef cattle industries in New Zealand, and an introduction to the deer and intensive livestock industries. Topics covered include: principles of reproduction, genetics, nutrition, welfare and health of farmed livestock.

View full course details
Course code: 119106 Farm and Industry Study 15 credits

An introductory study of farm inputs and products such as meat, milk and wool, and the application of farm practical experience, technical data, and industry procedures and practices, to contemporary issues facing farmers. Focused both within and beyond the farm gate, this course involves individual and group learning and expression.

View full course details
Course code: 189006 Soil Productivity 15 credits

A study of the soil as a resource in farming systems. Modification of soil conditions by various agricultural practices such as fertiliser use, liming, drainage and irrigation. Maintenance of the soil through conservation practices and use of soil and land resource information.

View full course details
Course code: 283006 Pasture and Crop Production 15 credits

An introduction to the importance of pastoral farming to New Zealand agriculture and the role of legumes in pastures. The identification, selection, and establishment of pasture species and crops, including weed control. The seasonality of pasture growth and matching pasture growth with animal requirements, through monitoring of grazing systems, supplementary feeding, and crop management.

View full course details

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The Foundation Certificate in Agriculture is ideal for you if you are interested in the following careers:

  • shepherd
  • farm assistant
  • farm manager
  • sharemilker
  • equity partner
  • livestock agent
  • fertiliser rep
  • sales rep.

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