Royal Horticultural Society courses

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) courses will help you develop your horticultural knowledge and skills.

Although they are aimed at those wishing to pursue a career in horticulture, the qualifications are also ideal for the keen gardener.

Teaching takes place in our fully equipped Linnaeus study room.

RHS Level 2

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.

Principles of Horticulture

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. 

This theory based qualification consists of eight units:

  1. Plant classification, structure, and function
  2. Plant nutrition and the root environment
  3. Maintaining plant health
  4. Understanding plant propagation
  5. Understanding garden features, plant selection and planning
  6. Understanding the choice, establishment and maintenance of garden plants and lawns
  7. Understanding the production of outdoor vegetables and fruit
  8. Understanding protected environments and their use in plant cultivation

Course days

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

2017 Recruitment -  Please email or call the Botanic Garden office (0117 4282041) for more information. (Please note, Monday level 2 now full).

2017 - 2018 Waiting List open!

Qualification specification

‌RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

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.

Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation

This theory based qualification consists of four units:

  1. Plant taxonomy, structure, and function
  2. The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems
  3. The management of plant health
  4. Understanding applied plant propagation

Course days

The course runs on Wednesdays (7 pm to 9.30 pm) between September and June. It is sometimes possible to join the course in February.

Qualification specification - please contact us if interested

RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation (PDF, 308kB)

Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting

This theory based qualification consists of four units:

  1. Understanding garden survey techniques and design principles
  2. Understanding the selection and use of landscaping elements in the garden
  3. Understanding the setting out and construction of landscaping in the garden
  4. Understanding a range of specialist elements in the establishment of garden and urban plantings

Course days

The course runs on Mondays (7 pm to 9.30pm) between September and June. It is sometimes possible to join the course in February.

Qualification specification - Please contact us if interested

RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (PDF, 295kB)

Practical Horticulture

While there are no pre-requisites for entry, it is strongly recommended that participants have obtained a RHS Level 2 Certificate before they commence the course.

The practical based qualification consists of four mandatory units:

  1. Soil testing and specifying adjustments for horticulture
  2. Collecting, preparing and propagating seed
  3. Establishing and maintaining a range of plant types and forms
  4. Identification of a range of common garden plants, weeds, pests, diseases and disorders

And two optional units:

  1. Planning, collecting, preparing and establishing propagation material
  2. Management of green spaces, landscaped areas and ornamental gardens

Course days

The course runs on Saturdays with twenty study days spread between February and October.

Qualification specification

RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Practical Horticulture (PDF, 311kB)

This is a practical qualification that does test underpinning knowledge and horticultural best practice through completion of a considerable number of written assessment proform, short reports and risk assessments.

Download our frequently asked questions (PDF, 266kB) regarding this qualification.

Students who successfully complete all the necessary units for the Level 3 qualifications listed above will gain the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture (PDF, 164kB).

How to apply

To apply for the RHS courses please contact us.

RHS logo

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) qualifications approved centre.