About this course

Get started at Tocal in a career that will grow with you. A career that will challenge and reward you. A career doing the most important work you can do: growing food. Tocal’s AHC30122 Certificate III in Agriculture blends practical skills with underlying knowledge to give you a head start in your agricultural career.

The course aims to develop knowledge and skills in:
  • livestock husbandry (beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep and poultry), crop and pasture production, precision farming, machinery operation and general farm skills
  • a wide range of farm skills that make students highly employable in farm and agribusiness jobs
  • safe working practices, including WHS, First Aid, emergency response and AQF3 chemical use accreditation.

At a glance:

Location: Paterson campus
Course duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: February - applications close December/January
Number of units: 16
Indicative fees: Refer to Fees page
Accredited Course: Yes


In order to achieve this qualification, students must complete sixteen (16) units made up of two (2) core units and fourteen (14) elective units.

The electives chosen must include:

  • a minimum of five (5) competencies from Group A,
  • an additional five (5) from Group A or B, and
  • a maximum of four (4) Group C units or units from elsewhere in Cert II, III or IV.

You must complete 16 units of study to complete the course. Details of the available units are provided in the Student handbook.

This course trains students for entry into a wide range of agricultural industries including beef, horse, cropping, sheep, poultry and dairy industries. The skills and knowledge obtained also allow graduates entry into agribusinesses, such as Stock and Station Agency, rural merchandise sales and farm contracting and servicing. Most students continue onto the Certificate IV in Agriculture course before seeking employment in these industries. Go to our page on careers or refer to the Tocal College Prospectus (PDF) for more career prospects available to students following graduation.

Students must have Year 10 or equivalent. Some students may benefit from completion of  year 12, particularly if intending to progress to further studies.

One year, full-time.

The course is delivered at Tocal College, which has up-to-date training facilities and equipment, as well as commercial and demonstration farm enterprises including beef, dairy, sheep, horses, poultry and cropping.

These enterprises invest in the latest technologies such as individual cow activity and health monitors, irrigation scheduling, and soil moisture probes; GPS / autosteer tractors and variable application rate equipment and automatic livestock ID, recording and drafting.

As a NSW DPI Research Centre, the College has had recent upgrades to many of its livestock handling facilities.

Fees are charged for board and lodging (includes room and all meals), tours, student association fees, equipment and resources used in the course. They also include the Smart and Skilled Student Fee. Fees are payable at the start of each term or by fortnightly instalments. Further information is available from the current year's Student Handbook (PDF, 6704.71 KB), and our Course fees page.

There are a large number of scholarships available for students enrolled at Tocal. Information about these, and the relevant application forms, are available from our Financial Assistance page.

Many students also qualify for Youth Allowance or Abstudy which may allow concessions or exemptions from the NSW Smart and Skilled Student Fee, fortnightly support payments or coverage of other fees (contact Centrelink for more information).

Additional information

For information on students rights and responsibilities, and the Tocal College Code of Practice see Student policies.

Tocal students have the opportunity to complete more than the minimum number of units required at no extra charge. These extra units provide students with a broader range of skills and experience and are based on feedback from industry and the employers of Tocal graduates. Completing these extra units increases a student’s employability skills and industry readiness, making them more desirable to potential employers.

Tocal also has articulation (credit for study at Tocal) arrangements in place with a number of Australian universities. Further information is available on our University pathways page.

Support is available via email, phone, face to face on-campus, and through Canvas (the online learner management system).