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AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture

Free TAFE Horticulture

Next intake February 2024
LocationsEast Geelong Campus
DurationFull-time: 12 months
Part-time: 2 years (industry experience)
TraineeshipFull-time: 2 yrs

Course description

If you enjoy being outdoors, have an interest in plants and gardens, and are looking for a hands-on career, then horticulture could be for you. 

This generalist course will equip you with comprehensive skills and knowledge to enter the industry. You will learn about plant identification, pest and disease, weeds, propagation, soils and plant nutrition, customer service, turf establishment, plant establishment, drainage and irrigation, retaining walls and paving and OHS matters.

Possible career outcomes

  • Horticulturalist
  • Nursery worker - retail/wholesale
  • Landscaper
  • Groundsperson
  • Parks and gardens assistant

Wondering if this industry will suit you?

We have created a very short course quiz to help you gain a little more understanding of what is required and whether you might enjoy a role in this industry. Take the quiz here.

Applications & attendance

How to apply

  1. Follow our instructions for how to apply for a course.
  2. Apply online by selecting an intake from the Applications & attendance table below.

If you need help, visit Customer Service or request application support via email.
Submission of an application does not guarantee a place in the course.

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants

To become an apprentice or trainee, you will first need to find an employer willing to employ you. An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider can assist you with this and will also start your application and enrolment process. Find a local provider here

Contact us

Are you ready to start an aged care traineeship or want to find out more?


2023 Ongoing
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2022
Close: 15 Dec 2023 
Class DayOne day a week
Traineeship:Full-time: 2 yrs    
2024 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2023
Close: 1 Feb 2024 
Class Day  Full-time: 12 months  Apply  
2024 February
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2023
Close: 1 Feb 2024 
Class Night   Part-time: 2 years (industry experience)  Apply  
2024 Ongoing
East Geelong Campus 
Open: 1 Aug 2023
Close: 15 Dec 2024 
Class DayOne day a week
Traineeship:Full-time: 2 yrs    


Students may need to complete some self-paced learning and assessment activities outside class time. This will be different for each course and will depend on a student’s level of skill and experience.

Class days and times in the above table are indicative. Prior to course commencement, changes may be necessary. Follow the link for more information on Attendance mode definitions. When you submit your application, please make sure you answer all the questions. Only successful applicants with complete applications will receive an offer. We issue offers as soon as possible. Follow the link for more information on Offer timing.

Many courses have limited places and high demand. We may close an intake before the date above. We recommend you apply early. If student numbers are insufficient we may cancel an intake or a course.

Additional attendance information

There are various ways to study Certificate III in Horticulture, including full-time, part-time, day or evening classes and landscaping or horticulture streams. How you undertake your study depends on whether you are working in the industry. See the Applications and attendance table for specific class days and times, or contact Customer Service to discuss.

  • Applicants must be 16 years and over at the time of course commencement.
  • Applicants are expected to have literacy and numeracy skills at Year 11 or Year 12 or Australian Core Skills Framework Level 3.
  • Any student under the age of 17 must provide an Exemption from School form prior to undertaking the course.

  • Applicants must be working in the industry or have experience in horticulture or Landscape or associated trade to attend part time for 2 years. Experience must cover a range of horticultural areas and existing knowledge. For example, some basic understanding in the following areas.
    • plant nomenclature
    • soils and nutrition understanding
    • pruning principles
    • pest, disease and weeds
  • You must reside in Victoria to access Victorian Government Subsidised Fees and any incentive such as Free TAFE. Full fees apply to all non-Victorian residents.

Apprenticeship and traineeship requirements

Apprenticeship and traineeship applicants must be currently employed under a training contract and referred by their employer.

Pre-training review

Each student must complete a pre-training review as part of their application. The outcome of your pre-training review assists our teachers and trainers to better understand your capabilities prior to training and enables you to be matched to the right program. Your literacy and numeracy skills will be evaluated and you may be required to undertake a separate assessment. Follow this link for more information about literacy and numeracy skills .

In order to prepare for your LLN, you may wish to attempt some practise tests in which you will find similar questions (with solutions too). These practice tests are not VSL approved but may be similar in question type and level of difficulty to what may be asked in the VSL approved LLN. Click here for practice tests. Please note, the VSL approved LLN cannot be resat within 3 months of undertaking it.

Personal Learning Requirements

There are personal learning requirements for each qualification at The Gordon. These are essential personal capabilities and skills required to successfully complete the course and be ready to work in the industry.

Please review the requirements here and consider any challenges you may have in meeting them. When applying for your course, please let us know what support you may need.

Selection mode

Core Units Code Hours
Contribute to work health and safety processes AHCWHS301 50
Control plant pests diseases and disorders AHCPMG302 80
Control weeds AHCPMG301 70
Implement soil improvements for garden and turf areas AHCSOL303 60
Provide information on plants and their culture AHCPCM302 70
Elective Units Code Hours
Deliver and promote sales of plants AHCNSY304 40
Identify plant specimens AHCPCM303 80
Implement a plant establishment program AHCPGD301 80
Implement a plant nutrition program AHCPCM301 60
Implement a propagation plan AHCNSY306 90
Install pressurised irrigation systems AHCIRG331 70
Maintain nursery plants AHCNSY301 40
Perform specialist amenity pruning AHCPGD303 65
Plan and maintain plant displays AHCPGD302 50
Prepare specialised plants AHCNSY305 50
Receive and dispatch nursery products AHCNSY302 40


Please note that the listed electives are delivered by The Gordon but you may not need to complete all of these units to successfully complete this qualification. If you have previously completed any of the units of competency relevant to this course, you may be eligible for Credit Transfer (CT). Any previous relevant experience may qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Find out more about CT or RPL here.

Assessment is based on:

  • Hands-on projects
  • Written assignments
  • Team projects

This course is eligible for Free TAFE!

Eligible Victorian students who elect to use their one Free TAFE opportunity will not incur any tuition fees. Material and resources fees still apply. Follow the link for further information and to check the eligibility criteria.

FeesRateUnitIndicative Course HoursIndicative Tuition Payable by StudentMax. Indicative Government Subsidy Total
Concession Tuition AUD $1.69 per hour 995 AUD $1,682.00 AUD $7,650.00
Standard Tuition AUD $8.47 per hour 995 AUD $8,428.00 AUD $7,650.00
Full Fee Tuition AUD $9.74 per hour 995 AUD $9,691.00

Add the costs below to your relevant tuition fee

Materials AUD $640.00 Once
Education Levy AUD $149.25
Resources AUD $60.00 Once
Excursion fee AUD $120.00 Once


All fees and charges are correct at time of publication but may change without notice. The student tuition fees are indicative only. Additional fees may apply. Where GST is applicable to any courses or materials, the fee displayed is inclusive of the GST.

Which fee will I pay?

Your fees will be charged according to your eligibility for government funding. For more information, visit our Fees & Payments pages.

Fee help and student loans

VET Student Loans are available for eligible students for tuition fees ONLY.
The current years maximum VET Student Loan Course Cap is $

Payment plans may be available for eligible students who need assistance to manage their fee payments.

Many Gordon courses offer pathways to higher qualifications within The Gordon and in some cases, to university degrees. Your Gordon course may provide credit points which could reduce further study time. Follow the link to find more information about pathways, or contact Customer Service.

Date published: 20/11/2023 4:16:31 PM