Skip to main content

Horticulture Advanced (Level 3)

Shuttleworth College Horticulture Students


Horticulture Advanced (Level 3)

The Extended Diploma is a two-year full-time study programme in horticulture. You will study 15 units, three of which are externally assessed. This study programme includes a broad range of units to enable you to develop the knowledge and technical skills required to work this area. This study programme focuses on the horticulture and landscape industries. Areas of study include plant and soil science, plant management, plant propagation and estate skills. Horticulture is a diverse sector and includes nursery work, garden maintenance, landscaping, garden design, plant production, sports turf and groundsmanship and plant research and education.

Course information

Need to know

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need…

  • 4 GCSEs grades 9- 4 or equivalent, ideally including English & maths


  • Relevant Level 2 qualification
What qualifications will I gain?

Horticulture BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • English and maths qualifications if required

Additional qualifications (at an additional cost) include:

  • NPTC Level 2 Award Chainsaw & Related Operations
  • NPTC Level 2 Award Safe Use of Pesticides

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed continually on the study programme. A variety of assessment methods will be used, including presentations, case studies, portfolios and practical assessments.

There are also externally set assessments for professional working responsibilities, planted soil science and contemporary issues in the land based sector. These are written examinations lasting 1 hour 30 minutes each.

Course content

What will I study?

The Programme focuses on horticulture with a strong focus on identification, planting and care of plants throughout the programme, and in addition you will develop practical skills involved in landscape and garden design and developing business enterprise.

Subject units:

Mandatory units include:

  • Professional Working Responsibilities
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Contemporary Issues in the Land-based Sectors
  • Work Experience in the Land-based Sectors
  • Identification, Planting and Care of Plants
  • Routine Plant Management
  • Plant Propagation Activities
  • Tree and Shrub Pruning and Maintenance
  • Participating in Horticultural Tasks at Events
  • Resource and Operations Planning for Event-based Horticultural Activities

You will also study a number of specialist units, which may include:

  • Land-based Machinery Operations
  • Zoological Horticulture
  • Developing a Land-based Enterprise
  • Landscape and Garden Design Pests and Disease in Plants

English and maths:

If you don’t already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills.

Work experience:

You will be required to find a work placement in both year 1 and 2 of the study programme to achieve the industry experience unit.

Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills

Additional vocational learning and qualifications:

  • The study programme will give you the opportunity to take part in a number of trips organised both in the UK and abroad
  • You will also be given the opportunity to enter competitions and design gardens for shows
  • The College also works closely with the local community to give you the experience of the working environment

You could also study to achieve the following additional qualifications:

  • Tractor driving
  • Chainsaw & related operations Level 2 Award
  • Safe use of pesticides Level 2 Award

Next steps

As a result of studying this study programme you will have gained the skills and knowledge required to progress onto a university degree in a related field, or to find employment in the horticultural industry.

Additional information

If commuting to Shuttleworth College will be difficult for you, then you can choose to live in our halls of residence on campus. Priority is given to those who live the furthest distance from the College so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. Visit our accommodation page for more information –

You will also have the opportunity to gain additional qualifications as part of the programme, including: Health and Safety in Horticulture; the Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 or Level 2 Practical Certificates; Certificates in employability skills and pesticide application.

Please note that if you are over the age of 19 then you may be required to pay for some of the additional qualifications. The study programme will also give you the opportunity to take part in a number of trips organised both in the UK and abroad. You will also be given the opportunity to enter competitions and design gardens for shows.

The College also works closely with the local community to give you the experience of the working environment. In order to take part in this study programme you will be required to wear clothing appropriate for working outdoors, including steel toe-capped boots to take part in practical sessions.

There will be a range of study tours, some of which will be free, and payment plans are available for those that have a cost. (Advanced notice of trips is given).

Any questions?

If you would like to find out more about this or other courses, please use our Livechat below, or contact

Available Courses
Shuttleworth College
Starts: 11/09/2023
Type: Full Time
Length: 2 years
Day(s): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Time(s): 9:00am - 4:30pm
Apply now
Fees: 16-18 Yrs: Fully Funded 19+ Yrs: This course could be funded, for more information call us on 0345 658 8990 or use the Livechat below.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information on the Website is correct, some details may be subject to change. The Bedford College Group reserves the right to make amendments to the courses, dates, fees or other details, and to make cancellations or changes if numbers are insufficient. In the unfortunate situation that we have to cancel a course we will refund your fees in full, but we regret we are not able to offer any refund if you withdraw from your course or fail to start, and you will be liable to pay any outstanding fees that may be due.

Funding Information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19 years and above, and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 19 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at: or view the Full-time Fee Flow Chart below.

If you are unsure whether you need to pay or not then please contact our Customer Contact team on 0345 658 8990.

Full-time Fee Flow Chart

If you are aged 19 or over and want to achieve your first full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to an advanced technical certificate, diploma or A-Levels) then this course is free.

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Find out more

If you live in any of the following areas and wish to apply for or enrol onto one of our courses, please contact our Customer Contact team on 0345 658 8990 to check if your course is funded or not (Please note that if your course is not funded then you will pay a higher fee than what is listed, please contact our Customer Contact team for more information):

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Greater London
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Tees Valley
  • West of England
  • West Midlands
  • Sheffield
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Barnsley and Doncaster
  • West Yorkshire
Find out more
Shuttleworth College Horticulture Level 3


When I left school I went to Bedford College to study Music, which is my number one passion in life. At the same time I had a part-time job at a local garden centre; potting up, weeding and pruning during the week, and serving customers at weekends.  

When I finished the Music course, I decided to come to Shuttleworth to study Horticulture in order to extend my options working in the industry. I had a head start having worked at the nursery for a while, and could see a clear career path in the horticulture industry. I have learnt so much in the past six months, and I am already much more independent at work. 

I’ve learnt about plant identification, plant science, turf maintenance and more. I’m not the best at the theory side, but I have really enjoyed learning about plant science and how plants work.  

When I finish College I want to get into garden design and landscaping; I’m currently doing some landscaping work for a company outside of College. I’ve also designed a garden in College for the Woburn Garden Show and am now working on the build with my team. There is a lot of wild flowers and planting involved.   

As well as these big projects, we get to go on lots of trips. We’ve been to Kew Gardens, to the Cambridge Labs and we’re going down to Cornwall later this year.

Additional Learning Support

If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.


Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support

We are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.



We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 or 01536 413123 for more information.


Additional formats

Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on 01234 291000 to order your copy.