Education and tours

The Botanic Garden is used extensively by the University for teaching, research and as a venue for events. The following range of courses and tours are available to members of the public.

RHS Courses

Anemone pavonina

Students will have access to thousands of plants while learning at the Botanic Garden

These courses enable students to develop their 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.

The courses have proved popular with this years students:

"Excellent course delivery with good group interaction and plenty of exciting learning"

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"I am very impressed (and grateful) for the length our tutor goes to make the learning accessible, and appeal to a variety of learning styles"

"The Garden is a great resource and it's good to have the chance to see them and chat to staff and volunteers working in them."

RHS 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.

RHS 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 offer both the RHS 3 theory and RHS 3 practical qualifications at the Botanic Garden.

If you have any queries regarding the RHS courses please fill out the form below or phone 07854 105050.

Garden Design

Courses for those seeking a career in garden design are held at the Botanic Garden and run by the Garden Design School’s professional Garden Design Diploma led by highly accomplished, passionate designers and equips students with all of the practical, technical and commercial knowledge needed to become confident, successful garden designers.

For further information email or telephone 01380 728788.


Tours of the Botanic Garden are a popular way for groups of ten or more people to visit and learn more about the garden. These can be enjoyed throughout the year and outside normal opening times by prior appointment. 

Tours are hosted by the garden’s team of trained volunteer guides who explain about the history and work of the garden and introduce the plant collections. The garden has a primary path network built to the latest disabled access standards allowing access to all the main collections. Toilets (including disabled) are available on site. Refreshments can be available by prior arrangement.

Tours take around 1h 30m, require a mininmum of 10 people and cost £6.00 per adult (which includes the normal £4.50 adult entry fee).

Book a Tour

To make a tour booking please contact the Garden Administrator or telephone 0117 3314906.

Summer Evening Tours:

There will be a number of evening tours throughout the summer, go to events to find out more.

Study tours

In May 2015 the curator led a garden and landscapes tour of Sicily where an enthusiastic group visited public and private gardens, some not usually open to the public.

Watch this space for information regarding curator Nick Wray's next study tour to South Africa in 2016. The tour will be open to all and is meant as a general introduction to the diverse and stunning flora of South Africa. The tour is to be arranged with travel provider World Odyssey.


School visits

School visits are popular and are made throughout the year, but primarily in the summer term.

Primary and secondary schools use the garden each year with staff and volunteers guiding school groups around the garden. We work closely with schools with a range of themes and ideas (PDF, 89kB) to ensure that we deliver a tour that is relevant and inspirational in support of your studies towards the National Curriculum.

Arrange a school visit

For more details on arranging a school visit please contact the Garden Administrator: , telephone 0117 3314906,or download a School booking form (PDF, 182kB). Before booking please read our guidance notes (PDF, 180kB).

Prior to visiting the Botanic Garden with your group you must complete a garden risk assessment with a member of the Botanic Garden staff. This is normally done a week before the visit. A sample of this risk assessment is available here (PDF, 277kB). Schools should complete their own school trip risk assessment prior to their visit. This is normally done by  the member of your team responsible for the group visit.

Chinese herb garden

Courses on traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Herbs are run by The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine utilising the Chinese Medicinal Herb Collection (part of the Useful Plants Collection). The Chinese Herb Garden is unique and attracts students from all over Europe.

More details on courses provided can be obtained from the Register.