RHS Level 3 Certificate Courses

Online courses

About these certificates

Certificate 1


The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation

The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation builds on the current RHS 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 or to an English A-Level.

It provides students with a qualification that is recognised internationally by the horticulture industry. This broad base makes it ideal for those wishing to pursue a career in any branch of horticulture.

  • Plant taxonomy, structure and function
  • The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems
  • The management of plant health
  • Understanding applied plant propagation

Certificate 2


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

This 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.

It is also perfect for leisure gardeners who would like to expand their horticultural knowledge, and to have it formally assessed. It is an ideal precursor to relevant diploma and degree programmes here at RBGE.

Units covered:

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

What is the format of the course?

RHS Level 3 is available as a Distance course. It is available as a full course (both certificates with 18 months access to course materials) or an individual certificate (with 12 months access to course materials).

Do I need any prior knowledge?

Although the RHS Level 3 Certificates do not require any prior qualifications the RHS Level 2 Certificate is a valuable starting point. Fundamentally, however, all you need is an interest in the subject and a willingness to set aside time for home study. We are looking for keen, enthusiastic ‘plants people’ of all ages, who would value the opportunity to develop their knowledge in a structured and supported learning environment and will contribute to the programme.

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. There is also an email option so you can contact tutors directly. 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?

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. There is also an email option so you can contact tutors directly. 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.

When can I start?

Applications are open now 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 do I apply?

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

Please read the course handbook before applying.

How much does the course cost?

£525 for full course, includes 18 months access to our online learning materials, PropaGate Learning and tutor support; or £270 per Certificate, includes 12 months on PropaGate Learning and tutor support.

Sitting the RHS Exams as an External Candidate

Registration for the September exams has now closed. We are unable to accept late applications.

Registration details for the February 2021 Exams will be released later in the year.