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Principles of Plant Growth, Garden Planning & Applied Propagation RHS Level 3 Certificate

Shuttleworth College Horticulture Students


Principles of Plant Growth, Garden Planning & Applied Propagation RHS Level 3 Certificate

The horticultural industries span many disciplines, from the production of plants for planting through to the production of fruit, salads and vegetables. An important sector of this industry is the management of gardens and designed landscapes. The horticulturists who work in such settings are involved in the scientific study of plants, the preservation of heritage, the propagation of new plant material, and the pursuit of best practice to inform their management decisions.

The World Health Organisation report Urban Green Spaces and Health highlights the importance of such gardens and designed landscapes in the promotion of mental health and wellness. Put simply people need plants. Plants need horticulturists.

The purpose and content of the Level 3 supports specialist / industry-specific pathways informed by the findings of the Ornamental Horticultural Round Table Group (OHRG). It is aimed at those progressing in horticultural roles or having a specialist personal interest in the supervision and development of gardens and landscapes, for example public gardens, botanical gardens, heritage gardens, private gardens, maintenance and landscaping along with community green spaces. This qualification thus meets the needs of the amateur gardeners and professional horticulturists alike.

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Course information

Need to know

Entry requirements

Essential: An RHS level 2 certificate in horticulture (Practical and Theory).

Desirable: Knowledge of laws relating to horticulture including Health and Safety.

What qualification will I gain?

RHS Level 3 Certificate in Garden and Designed Landscape Management.

How will I be assessed?

There are formal exams in both February (Unit 1) and June.(Unit 2).

Course content

What will I study?

Unit 1

Topic: 1.Horticultural Heritage


  1. The history of horticultural space
  2. Key influences on the development of horticultural space
  3. The importance of horticultural heritage
  4. The impact of horticultural heritage on gardens management

Topic: 2. Plant Knowledge


  1. The role of exploration on plant diversity
  2. Plant information sources
  3. Applied plant knowledge
  4. Managing paths within botanic and other gardens

Topic: 3. Plant Selection and Cultivation


  1. Selecting plants for a purpose
  2. Plant procurement
  3. Combining plants
  4. Planning plant maintenance

Topic: 4. Plant propagation:


  1. Propagation facilities
  2. Planning propagation
  3. Advanced propagation techniques
  4. Development of propagation protocols


Unit 2

1. Garden Styles and Specialist Areas

  1. Garden styles and areas
  2. Planting styles
  3. Hard landscaping elements
  4. Management of trees

2. Productive growing

  1. Growing systems
  2. Selection of crops and planning growing
  3. Maximising yield
  4. Research and development in productive growing

3. Gardens Management

  1. Managing people in a garden
  2. Managing resources in a garden
  3. Planning projects
  4. Maintenance standards

4. Gardens, People and Places

  1. Gardens and Visitors
  2. Gardens and their communities
  3. Wellbeing
  4. Feedback and evaluation

Next steps

Course progression:

RHS – Level 4 Master of Horticulture – (Run at Wisely gardens, Surrey)

Career progression:
  • Running your own horticultural business
  •  Garden maintenance, public gardens and Landscaping,
  • Plant grower – all at a supervisory level when you have received experience

Additional information

You will need:

  • Method of making notes in lessons
  • A calculator

Any questions?

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

Interested in this course?

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Available Courses
Shuttleworth College
Starts: 25/09/2024
Type: Part Time
Length: 1 year
Day(s): Wednesday
Time(s): 9:30am - 12:30pm
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Fees: £724.00

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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.

Any questions?

If you would like to find out more about this or other courses, please use our Livechat below, email or call us on 0345 658 8990.


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 or 01536 413123 to order your copy.