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Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
Personalised for INTERNATIONAL students.
International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Certificate III in Horticulture

Free TAFE Jobtrainer Code: AHC30716

Sorry, this course is not available for international students.

If you are a local student you may be eligible.

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Fairfield, Epping


12 months full time / 18 months part time

Next Intake

Ongoing, February, July

Next Intake

February, July

Expand your green thumb

Nurture your love of greenery with the Certificate III in Horticulture AHC30716 at Melbourne Polytechnic. Working within a lush and broad field, you will receive state-of-the-art hands-on training in modern horticultural skills. With over 6.54 million tonnes of horticultural products produced within Australia every year, you’ll enter a booming industry at the completion of your diploma. You’ll learn everything you need in order to develop your knowledge of the flora and fauna maintenance of which continues to be pivotal in conserving the environment for years to come.

Highly regarded experience and expertise

You’ll take part in important training from an array of experienced trade professionals in our industry replicated working environments. Melbourne Polytechnic is equipped with state of the art purpose-built horticulture workshops, run by qualified, industry-based teachers who will share industry insights and expertise throughout the course. You’ll learn the fundamentals of plant recognition and nutrition, pest, disease and weed control, critical skills in maintaining plant life. Melbourne Polytechnic’s extensive industry connections and partnership with the Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria, will allow you to apply your new skills at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, granting your qualification invaluable real-world experience and a unique credibility.

Flourishing career opportunities

As a fully qualified horticulturist, you’ll have the advantage to work within a range of horticultural practices. An array of opportunities to maintain your love for greenery awaits, including landscape construction and design, contract maintenance, consultancy services, or management of botanic gardens and horticultural enterprises.

Career Pathways

Where will this take me

Successful completion of this traineeship will see you more accomplished in your job and may make you eligible for other opportunities in the Horticultural field
  • Landscaping Business Operator
  • Community Facility Groundskeeper
  • Nursery Retail Salesperson
  • Nursery Maintenance Assistant
  • Groundsperson
  • Community Landscape Officer
  • Labourer
  • Nursery Plant Propagator
  • Landscape Gardener


This qualification may lead to further study - the Certificate IV in Horticulture AHC40416, or other streams, and/or into the Diploma of Horticulture AHC50416

Course Details

Delivery methods

  • Practical Work
  • Blended: remote online delivery and learning
  • Classroom

Class Schedule

part-time (Fairfield only): 18 months delivered 1 night 5:30pm-9pm and Saturday 9am-4pm weekly

full-time: 12 months full-time delivered 3 days per week 9am-4:30pm

Assessment Methods

Competency assessment based on your abilities to achieve unit outcomes. There will also be workplace delivery and assessment of competencies and demonstration of skills, tests and assignments, folios, oral activities, and third party reports

Units of Study

The hours displayed are nominal, actual classroom hours delivered may differ. Please contact us for the latest student contact hours information.

Code Subject Elective Hours
AHCCHM304 Transport and store chemicals Elective 50
AHCCHM307 Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weed and disease Elective 70
AHCIRG306 Troubleshoot irrigation systems Elective 50
AHCMOM304 Operate machinery and equipment Elective 40
AHCNSY306 Implement a propagation plan Elective 90
AHCPCM301 Implement a plant nutrition program Elective 60
AHCPCM302 Provide information on plants and their culture Core 70
AHCPCM303 Identify plant specimens Elective 80
AHCPGD301 Implement a plant establishment program Elective 80
AHCPGD303 Perform specialist amenity pruning Elective 65
AHCPGD304 Implement a landscape maintenance program Elective 100
AHCPMG301 Control weeds Core 70
AHCPMG302 Control plant pests, diseases and disorders Core 80
AHCSOL303 Implement soil improvements for garden and turf areas Core 60
AHCTRF302 Establish turf Elective 60
AHCWHS301 Contribute to work health and safety processes Core 50

Attend an Info Session

Now’s the time to register for our information and enrolment sessions. We give you an in-depth look at your chosen area of study and a tour of our department facilities.

Fees & Costs

Tuition Fees
Free TAFE Job Trainer Concession Government subsidised fee Non-subsidised fee
Tuition fee $0 $0 $1060 $5300 $9900
Materials fee $150 $150 $150 $150 $150
Maximum annual amenities $250 $250 $175 $250 $250
Total payable $400 $400 $1385 $5700 $10300
Per year $
Per semester $

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment.

Displayed course fees are indicative only. There are many variables that impact the total amount of your full course costs including qualification for government subsidies, concessions or recognition of prior learning. Tuition fees do not include the cost of student amenities or material costs.

Contact us to find out if you’re eligible for a Government subsidy.

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a range of payment options to help you pay your tuition fees, so you can get on with your studies.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1 November 2021. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.

Fees explained

The State Government’s Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative covers the cost of tuition (excluding Amenities Fees and Materials Fees) for students who are eligible for government subsidised training and enrol into one of the Priority listed course.

Free TAFE is available to eligible students for one course enrolment in a lifetime.

Free TAFE places are limited. Please call 9269 8400 and we can advise you whether Free TAFE places are still available.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative covers the cost of tuition fees for students who are eligible. Materials and amenities may still apply.

The Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative will pay your tuition fees for only one course. Once you have commenced in a tuition-free priority course, you are not eligible for further tuition-free places again, even if you do not finish your first tuition-free priority course.

Check your eligibility

Eligible students will pay 20 per cent of the standard Government subsidised tuition fee. Students can access up to one full qualification and one short course or skill set under the JobTrainer fund, including Free TAFE courses.

Who is eligible for JobTrainer?

To qualify for a non-traineeship JobTrainer course, you must

  • be aged 17 – 24 at the time of commencement of training, or
  • be a Job Seeker of any age, where a Job Seeker is defined as a person who holds a valid and current Commonwealth Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran’s Gold Card; or unemployed. 

To qualify for a traineeship JobTrainer course, you must

  • be aged 17 – 24 at the time of commencement of training, or
  • be a Job Seeker of any age, where a Job Seeker is defined as a person who holds a valid and current Commonwealth Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran’s Gold Card; or
    have been unemployed at the commencement date of the Training Contract; or became employed within 31 days before the commencement date of their Training Contract

To find out if you are eligible for Job Trainer or Free TAFE, call us on 03 9269 8400.

The fees for those ineligible for a government-funded enrolment. 

Check your eligibility here.

The cost of tuition for those eligible for government funding.

Check your eligibility here.

Concession fees are charged at 20 per cent of the standard fees for enrolments in Certificate I to IV courses. To be eligible students must meet Skills First eligibility criteria and present a valid:

  • Commonwealth Health Care card, or
  • Pensioner Concession card, or
  • Any dependent spouse or dependent child of one of the above cardholders, or
  • Veterans Gold card.

The following groups are eligible for concession fees from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma level:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Asylum Seekers and victims of human trafficking

Additional expenses

Amenities fees are used to improve non-academic services including libraries, counselling services, student support, and recreational activities.

Amenities must be paid each academic year you are enrolled.

A list of equipment and reference material (which you will need to provide) will be distributed at the start of the course. Reference material is also available for loan in our libraries.

Necessary items may include your own:

  • safety boots (steel capped)
  • Hi-Vis vest
  • good quality secateurs
  • sunscreen
  • USB flash drive
  • one textbook and suitable writing materials

Scholarships on offer

'We’d been discussing what projects we had coming up that we needed to go and buy materials for.  And so then the scholarship came and it was just a sigh of relief.'

See what scholarships are available


  • Direct entry - no formal entry requirements
  • Traineeship - you will be eligible for this course if you are employed in the horticultural industry and have a signed Training Agreement with your employer and Melbourne Polytechnic

Next Steps

We're really excited for you to join the Melbourne Polytechnic community and we look forward to supporting you on your education journey.

The first step to enrolling is completing the application short form from the Apply Now page.

You'll then receive a link to complete a few more personal details.

It is a mandatory government requirement for all prospective students to complete an online literacy and numeracy assessment.

Once you are ready to enrol, you will be invited to attend our Skills and Job Centre, or come to campus to complete your enrolment in person.

For certificate-level courses, you can pay by weekly or fortnightly direct debit using our Tuition Payment Plan. Read more about TPPs here.

If you need assistance with your application and the next steps, you can contact one of our Education and Course Advisors on 03 9269 8400 or follow a step-by-step guide to enrolling for vocational education local students.

Application procedure

Recognising Organisations