Royal Horticultural Society courses

‌The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) courses will help you develop your horticultural knowledge and skills. Whether you are a keen gardener or someone wishing to pursue a career in horticulture these are thorough and recognised qualifications throughout the horticultural world.

The Botanic Garden runs 8 RHS courses from our fully equipped Linnaeus study room, Devers room and, for the practical course, full use of Botanic Garden potting shed, reserve glasshouse and student plots.


NB February 2019 Level 2 Examinations - We are now only able to offer examination places for the L2 Certificate of Garden Planning (R2111 - R2114). There is no availability for places now for students wishing to sit their L2 Certificate in Plant Growth (R2101 - R2104) until June 2019.

Level 2 qualifications provide a route into the horticultural profession, they also support career development for those already working in the field of horticulture or they can provide a foundation for further learning or training.

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture consists of two separate certificates, the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development and the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.

You will undertake both of these in the same year and they will together, make up the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture.

The course runs on Monday, Wednesdays or Thursdays term time (9.30 am to 3 pm) and Tuesday or Thursday evenings (7 pm to 9.30 pm) between September and June. 

Read about the difference the course made to ‌Debi Holland (PDF, 867kB) (left) who now runs a gardening business.

2018 - 2019 Waiting List open! -  Please email or call the Botanic Garden office (0117 4282041) for more information.


RHS Level 3

Level 3 qualifications not only offer opportunities for employment, but also enable you to begin to specialise in your area of interest.

They offer proficiency for those looking for employment in horticulture, they can support further career and professional development for

‌those already working in the field, or they can provide a basis for continued learning or training.

We run three RHS 3 qualifiacations, two theory based and one practical based.

Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation runs on Wednesdays from 7pm until 9:30pm between September and June.

Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting runs on Mondays from 7pm until 9:30pm between September and June.

Certificate in Practical Horticulture runs on Saturdays with twenty study days spread between February and October. This is a practical qualification that does test underpinning knowledge and horticultural best practice through completion of a considerable number of written assessment proforma, short reports and risk assessments.

Completing all three of these modules will give you the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

To apply for any of the RHS courses, or if you have any questions regarding the qualifications please contact us.

 RHS Level 3 Practical

‌The RHS Level 3 Practical Course at the Botanic Gardens takes place on 20 Saturdays from the end of February to the beginning of October. The next course is due to begin on 23 February 2019 and enrolment is now open. Here are some comments from the 2018 Cohort, who are already missing their Saturdays.

Experienced professional gardener, Jeremy: “I have found the RHS Level 3 practical course a great way to learn more and gain qualification all in the fantastic environment of the botanic garden. There is helpful support all the way from the staff and tutors during the year. I would recommend it to gardeners young and old as a solid foundation for employment and to become a more all round gardener

Enthusiastic allotmenteer, Louise: “Doing the course helped me take my gardening to a new level. I plan to transfer my allotment using what I have learned. It has made me bolder overall. Now I am likely to try things I wouldn’t have done before” One of the highlights was being taken around the botanical gardens through the seasons and shown the plants we needed to learn for the ident tests. It helped me be more decisive about planting and changing plants. You, Andy and Neil were so supportive and helped me get the most out of the course

To apply for a place, for further information or to arrange a discussion or meeting, regarding the course content, schedule or suitability please contact the Practical Co-ordinator, Mrs Chris Radford at or



RHS logo

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) qualifications approved centre.