How long does the course take?
The course can be studied either one day a week or two days a week. If you choose to study two days a week, each stage (Certificate and Diploma) will take a year to complete; if you study one day a week, each stage will take two years to complete
Who will teach me?
You will taught by award winning Garden Designers with a proven track record of success at RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court and who have professional expertise in their field. You will get in-depth insight into the industry and benefit from their vast and considerable experience.
How is it assessed?
One of the key features of the industry is that it recognises a student’s competence in practice rather than academic achievement. As such, there are no formal exams but the assessment strategy is designed to evidence a benchmark of professional competence rather than academic rigour. This involves utilising assessment strategies such as presentation skills, drawing techniques, practical plant identification tests and portfolio development.
The Certificate and Diploma can both be achieved at Pass, Merit or Distinction and tutors will provide supportive feedback to assist learner achieve to their highest potential.
What will I study?
Year One – Certificate
- Site Surveying and Site analysis
- Design Skills and Graphic Techniques
- Intro to CAD (Vectorworks/SketchUp)
- Design with Materials (including practical construction techniques)
- Plant and Soil Science
- Plant Selection and Use
Year Two – Diploma
- Business and Contracts
- Design Theories and History
- Planting Choice and Design
- Project Specification and Contractor Liaison
- Advanced CAD modelling
- Portfolio development
Certificate – a passion for plants, design and a will to succeed!
Diploma – the Certificate or relevant industry experience with a proven ability to study at this level
What will the qualification allow me to do?
The qualification is designed to provide the skills necessary to either work towards being a practising Garden Designer, or simply enhance the skills and appreciation of those passionate gardeners. It will deliver the key information you will need to create beautiful green spaces and enhance the environment: from plant identification, drawing techniques and an understanding of plant growth to liaising with clients and constructing detailed scale drawings.
What will I need?
Students will need appropriate clothing for outdoor practicals. Many of the teaching resources will be on-line so access to a computer will be beneficial.
Students will have access to discounted memberships of the Society of Garden Designers which provides a wealth of materials to support and enhance understanding of the industry. Students also have discounted access key CAD software VectorWorks.
Students will also benefit from being in an environment that will provide them with the opportunity to make industry links and expand their confidence. The department also runs study trips at the end of each academic year which are delivered at an extra cost but provide a wonderful opportunity to meet new people that share your passion and feel part of the learning community of the College.
Meet the Lecturers
Click the names to find out more about our expert lecturers: