RHS Level 3 Certificate Courses

The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting

This certificate covers garden planning, construction and planting and builds on the current RHS Level 2 certificate. The course delivers a broad-based understanding of garden design, construction and planting is the second of two theory certificates that go together with a practical certificate to make the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture. The first theory certificate is RHS Level 3 Part 1 which covers botany, plant health and propagation and RBGE plan to offer this course starting in 2017.

The RHS Level 3 Part 1 and Part 2 certificates are stand-alone qualifications so you don’t need to have completed Part 1 before you do Part 2.

Please note we are unlikely to run the RHS practical courses, if your ultimate aim is a Diploma.

The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting is made up of four units:

  • Understanding garden survey techniques and design principles (4 credits)
  • Understanding the selection and use of landscaping elements in the garden (4 credits)
  • Understanding the setting out and construction of landscaping elements in the garden (4 credits)
  • Understanding a range of specialist elements in the establishment of garden and urban plantings (3 credits)

This course will combine supported self-study (online via PropaGate Learning) and a series of four taught study weekends at RBGE. This blended format means that you will be able to study at times that suit you while also having the opportunity to learn in our beautiful garden here in Edinburgh.

How to Apply

You can download the Applicant's Handbooks from the 'Downloads' box on the right. These contain further information on the courses as well as an application form.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal requirements however we would recommend studying the RHS level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture before taking on this course, but it is not always necessary. Feel free to get in touch if you are unsure about the level of the course. 

Examinations and Assessment

Each certificate course involves 150 hours teaching and home study and is assessed through the formal RHS exams in February and June.

The award of these Certificates is based on written examinations that are externally set and marked by the RHS. The certificate is accredited by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) in England and Wales. 

Please note we are unlikely to run the RHS practical courses, if your ultimate aim is a Diploma.

What’s Next?

On completion of the certificates, students can opt to take their studies further by joining RBGE’s Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Horticulture with Plantsmanship, The Level 3 is comparable in level to some elements of the first year of the RBGE diploma in Horticulture with Plantsmanship, or the larger BSc (Hons) degree in horticulture with Plantsmanship offered by RBGE and the Scottish Agriculture College and awarded by the University of Glasgow. You can find out more about these qualifications by clicking here.

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PropaGate Learning is RBGE’s Virtual learning environment, helping you to explore the world of plants through distance and blended learning programmes

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