RHS Level 3 Certificate Courses

The handbooks for both RHS Level 3 courses will be published on Friday 21st March 2014.

Please come back to download them or email education@rbge.org.uk to be added to the waiting list. You will be sent the handbook as soon as it is ready.

This year we are running both of the RHS level 3 theory certificates. These certificates are ideal if you have a real passion for plants and gardens. 

These courses offer students expert input and tuition from specialists in every branch of horticulture and botany. The opportunity to study in and behind the scenes of RBGE is an enjoyable and rewarding one for all of our students As well as taught sessions and garden walkrounds we spend time in the potting shed and lab. 

These certificates do involve significant self-study, and some homework and class exercises. They cover the following topics:

Certificate 1: Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation – Monday Afternoons

  • Plant taxonomy, structure, and function (5 credits)
  • The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems (5 credits)
  • The management of plant health (3 credits)
  • Understanding applied plant propagation (2 credits)

This is the first 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 RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation replaces a part of the old RHS Advanced Certificate in Horticulture. The course builds on the current Level 2 certificate and delivers a broad-based understanding of horticultural techniques and plant biology. If you are based in Scotland, it is equivalent to something between a higher and an advanced higher.

It provides students with a qualification that is recognised internationally by the horticulture industry. This broad base makes it the ideal starting point or first qualification for those wishing to pursue a career in any branch of horticulture or garden design. It is also perfect for leisure gardeners who would like to expand their horticultural knowledge, and to have it formally assessed. 

Certificate 2: Garden Planning, Construction and Planting – Running on Monday Afternoons

  • 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)

The second certificate is the RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting replaces a part of the old RHS Advanced Certificate in Horticulture. The course builds on the current Level 2 certificate and delivers a broad-based understanding of garden design, construction and planting. If you are based in Scotland, it is equivalent to something between a higher and an advanced higher, or to an English A-Level. It provides students with a qualification that is recognised internationally by the horticulture industry.

How to Apply

You can download the Applicant's Handbooks for both certificates from the 'Downloads' box on the right. These contain further information on the courses as well as an application form. Candidates will be selected on a first come first served basis.

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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