Professional courses

Royal Horticultural Society courses

We run eight Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) courses at the Botanic Garden. Suitable for keen gardeners or for those looking for a career in horticulture. These recognised qualifications will help you develop your horticultural knowledge and skills.

Alternatively, you may be interested in studying with Garden Design School, based in the Botanic Garden.


RHS Level 2

RHS Level 2 (L2) qualifications provide an entry route into the horticultural profession. They are a foundation for further learning or training.
They also support career development for those working in the field of horticulture.

Timings and duration

PLEASE NOTE: All our RHS Level 2 courses are now full for September 2021. We have now had to close our waiting list due to the large number of applicants for this course. If you would like to be notified when bookings open for September 2022, please email botanic-gardens@bristol.ac.uk.

We run five separate Level 2 courses, all leading to the Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture:

  • Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday daytime (9:30 am to 3 pm) between September and June (term time only).
  • Tuesday or Thursday evening between September and June (7 pm to 9:30 pm).

What you will study

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture consists of two parts:

  • L2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development
  • L2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance

You will undertake both certificates in the same year. The daytime courses study the Plant Growth certificate from September to February and the Garden Planning certificate from February to June. The evening courses study the Garden Planning certificate from September to February and the Plant Growth certificate from February to June.

Examinations

Examinations are in February and June each year. There are four modules in February and four in June.

Find out more about the RHS Level 2 Certificate on the Principles of Horticulture on the RHS website.

The cost of the 2021/22 daytime course is £1450, plus examination fees and the evening course is £900, plus examination fees. The difference in price between daytime/evening classes reflects the number of guided learning hours on each course. A non-refundable deposit is required to secure a place on the course. The payment schedule is as follows:

Daytime courses:
£450 deposit to secure your place (please note this is non-refundable)
First instalment £400 due June 30th 2021
Second instalment £300 due August 31st 2021
Third instalment £300 due October 31st 2021
In addition to the course fee, examination fees are £30 per module and are due when you register for exams. There are 8 modules in total (4 taken in February and 4 in June).

Evening courses:
£250 deposit to secure your place (please note this is non-refundable)
First instalment £350 due June 30th 2021
Second instalment £150 due August 31st 2021
Third instalment £150 due October 31st 2021
In addition to the course fee, examination fees are £30 per module and are due when you register for exams. There are 8 modules in total (4 taken in February and 4 in June).

RHS Level 3

It is recommended that learners have completed a Level 2 horticultural qualification or have equivalent experience before starting Level 3.

RHS Level 3 (L3) qualifications offer further opportunities for employment. You can begin to specialise in your area of interest.

What you will study

We run three separate RHS L3 qualifications, two theory based and one practical based.

Theory based

  • L3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation
  • L3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting

Practical based

  • L3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

Completing all three of the L3 courses will achieve the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

Find out more about the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture and Level 3 courses on the RHS website.

Timings and duration of L3 theory courses

  • L3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation runs on Wednesdays between September and June (7 pm to 9:30 pm).
  • L3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting runs on Mondays between September and June (7 pm to 9:30 pm).

Examinations

Examinations are in February and June each year.

Apply to study

Contact us at botanic-gardens@bristol.ac.uk to find out about availability.


RHS Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

As well as forming part of the RHS Level 3 Diploma, you can take this practical certificate separately.

The RHS Level 3 certificate in Practical Horticulture is a practical-based qualification to improve the horticultural skills needed for career development to supervisory or management roles, or to further develop your interest. Each unit will be assessed by means of a range of practical activities. You will learn in study rooms at the Garden and use the Botanic Garden potting shed, reserve glasshouse and student plots.

What you will study

  • L3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

Find out more about the Certificate in Practical Horticulture on the RHS website.

Timings and duration

L3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture runs on Saturdays with 20 study days spread between February and October.

Apply to study

For more information about the next L3 Practical course in 2022, contact us at botanic-gardens@bristol.ac.uk.