RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

About the Course

What does the course cover?

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture is the most widely regarded entry-level horticulture course. It consists of two Certificates:

  • Certificate 1: Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development
    Comprised of 4 units: Plant classification, structure and function, Plant nutrition and the root environment, Maintaining plant health and Understanding plant propagation
  • Certificate 2: Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance
    Comprised of 4 units: Understanding garden features, plant selection and planning, Understanding the choice, establishment and maintenance of gardens plants and lawns, Understanding the production of outdoor vegetables and fruit and Understanding protected environments and their use in plant cultivation

The full course delivers a broad-based understanding of horticultural techniques and plant biology, and provides you with a qualification that is recognised internationally by the horticulture industry.

What is the format of the course?

The RHS Level 2 course is aimed towards the examinations set by the RHS, so the content is predominantly theory. We provide you with a complete set of information and learning support to help you pass the exams.

The course is broken down into two separate certificates that are designed to stand alone. When combined, they make up the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture.

This year we will only be offering the RHS Level 2 as an Online course. Our online course allows students a flexible way to study: You can choose to study the full course (all 8 units over 18 months) or an individual certificate (4 units over 9 months).

Do I need any prior knowledge?

The RHS Level 2 Certificate does not require any existing qualifications or experience. All you need is an interest in the subject and a willingness to set aside several hours a week for study. Overall we are looking for keen, enthusiastic ‘plants people’ of all ages, who would value the opportunity to study at RBGE and will contribute to the programme.

We do advise that you should have some very basic confidence with computers, as the attended and online courses both make use of PropaGate Learning, our online learning environment. There is further information on this in the handbook.

What support will I get with online learning?

We encourage everyone to make the most of the forums on the course. These provide a way for students to talk to one another and to ask questions to fellow students and tutors. Our PropaGate Learning team are always available so if you ever feel you are stuck with technical problem, they can be contacted via the forums or by email.

What do I need to study online?

You should be competent computer user with a basic understanding of standard computer applications such as using an internet browser, email and word processing.

Experience of participating in online forums would also be a benefit, but not essential.

Our ‘Digital Skills Check’ to help you to identify any areas of IT you may need to brush up on.

When can I start?

Applications are open from Monday 6th July 2020 until Friday 4th December 2020. 

You can apply any time during this time. 

Your application will be processed within 5 working days of receipt. Once your payment has been received your PropaGate Learning account will be activated and course joining instructions will be sent by email.

How much does the course cost?

£400 for full course, includes 18 months access to our online learning materials, PropaGate Learning and tutor support; or £250 per Certificate, includes 9 months on PropaGate Learning and tutor support.

How do I apply?

To apply all you have to do is complete the Online Application Form.

Can I join the waiting list for the attended course?

In light of the uncertainty which continues to surround social distancing and the return to onsite teaching at RBGE, we have taken the difficult decision to not offer an attended version of the RHS course in 2020/21.

We appreciate the disappointment this may cause, however we must ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff, students and volunteers. We will endeavour to return to an attended version of the programme as soon as is safely possible, however at this time it is impossible to provide definitive dates of when this may be.

To be added to the waiting list for details about future attended level 2 courses please email rhslevel2@rbge.org.uk with your name and RHS Attended Waiting List.

Sitting the RHS Exams as an External Candidate

Being able to run the RHS exams at RBGE in September is dependent on lockdown continuing to ease in Scotland and on Scottish Government Regulations at the time of the exams. However as things are moving in the right direction we now feel we are in a position to open registrations.

There is still a very real chance we may have to cancel if lockdown is not eased any further or if restrictions are reintroduced. We will be monitoring the situation very carefully and making sure we have provisions in place to ensure the safety of all students and staff that will be onsite including use of PPE, hand sanitiser stations and maintaining surface cleanliness etc. where appropriate. In the event of cancellation RBGE will refund all exam fees paid, but will not be liable for any additional costs incurred by students.

Due to the social distancing and the safety measures we will have in place for the exams, RBGE will be operating with reduced capacity and will therefore be taking a phased approach to registrations.

Phase 1 – Monday 20th July
Registration will open on Monday 20th July at 9.00am for RBGE students within the catchment area (if you are based in Scotland, Northern Ireland or north of Newcastle) that started the course before 23rd March 2020 (the start of lockdown).

Phase 2 – Monday 27th July
If we still spaces on exams we will open registration on Monday 27th July at 9.00am to all students within the catchment area, including external students and those who have started the course since 23rd March 2020.

Phase 3 – Monday 3rd August
If we still have spaces on exams after phase 2 we will open registration on Monday 3rd of August at 9.00am for anyone in the UK or Ireland wishing to sit exams at RBGE.

Registrations close on Tuesday 11th August 2020. 

Registrations will be via an online form and will be processed on a first come first served basis. A reminder of the dates and the new times for the exams can be found in the attached document.

RHS Exam Registration Forms:

REMINDER: Applications are only open for Students in our catchment area at this time.