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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Start your own Hydroponics business or work in a management role in the industry


  • Horticultural Management and Hydroponics - a course developed and taught by experts in the field.
  • Train to supervise people in the hydroponics industry.
  • Learn about horticulturally valuable crops, such as cut flowers and vegetables.
  • Improve your knowledge on plant breeding.
  • Learn business and management skills required to make a success of a horticultural technology business. 



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Learn Horticultural management and hydroponics

  • Developed and taught by experts - this course has been developed by an international team of industry professionals including: John Mason, author of Commercial Hydroponics (now in its 8th printing) and Dr Lyn Morgan, author and commercial hydroponic consultant.
  • The course will develop your business, management and marketing skills.

  • You will learn the basics of hydroponics - the systems and how to culture and grown specific plants and crops.

  • This Advanced Certificate involves 3 areas of work - a combination of Core and Elective Modules plus a Workplace Project which will give you practical experience of what you have learned.

  • Full Certificate Duration – 900 Hours

This Advanced Certificate is structured in 3 parts:

4 modules of compulsory subjects for all students.

There are 3 Stream Modules to complete.  These are specific to this Advanced Certificate promoting the development of knowledge in this specialisation.

A workplace project.  This is on the subject of management in the workplace and will require approximately 200 hours to complete.  The project will involve approved work experience in a small business. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

More detailed information on the elements of the Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horticultural Technology) is shown below.

The 4 Core Modules and lessons structure for each are shown below.  Further details on each of the modules can be found by clicking on the module title. 

1. Office Practices VBS102 
This is a foundation in office practices which will help you develop basic office skills covering the use of office equipment and office procedures.  The module is comprised of 8 lessons:

  1. The Modern Office
  2. Communication Systems
  3. Interpersonal Communications
  4. Phone Skills
  5. Writing Letters and Other Documents
  6. Computer Applications
  7. Office Organisation and Procedures
  8. Health and Safety in the Office

2. Business Operations VBS0006  
This modules seeks to provide you with a sound basic knowledge in Business Operations and looks at areas such as business law, finance - including liquidity and the money market, financial records and management and preparing a business plan.  The module consists of the following 6 lessons:

  1. Introduction
  2. Finance
  3. Financial Records
  4. Financial Management
  5. Business Planning
  6. Mistakes to avoid

3. Management VBS105  
This module looks at management theories and procedures and includes areas such as staff management and problem solving.  There are 7 lessons to complete:

  1. Introduction and Organisational Structures
  2. Management Theories and Procedures
  3. Problem Solving and Decision Making
  4. Management Styles and External Influences
  5. Employing People and Interview Skills
  6. Staff Management
  7. Ethics and Equity

4. Marketing Foundations VBS109  
This is a broad module covering the basics of what marketing is through the marketing mix, promotion and pricing and market research.  There are 10 lessons:

  1. Marketing and the Business
  2. Scope of Marketing
  3. Target Marketing
  4. The Marketing Mix and Managing Marketing
  5. Product Presentation and Packaging
  6. Promotion Communication Skills
  7. Product Pricing and Distribution Pricing
  8. Customer Service
  9. Market Research

The Stream Modules are specific to the Adanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horticultural Technology).  Please click on the title of each module for further details.

Hydroponics I BHT224   
This module provides an introduction to Hydroponics and includes areas such as nutrition, vegetable production and cut flower production.  There are 10 lessons in the module.

  1. Introduction
  2. How a Plant Grows
  3. Hydroponic Systems
  4. Nutrition & Nutrition management
  5. Plant Culture
  6. Hydroponic Vegetable Production
  7. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production
  8. Solid Media vs Nutrient Film
  9. Greenhouse Operation & Management
  10. Special Assignment

Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213  
This module looks at key issues which have been identified as recurrent problems for experienced growers and will develop your capacity to make informed decisions regarding the management of commercially significant hydroponic crops.  There are 11 lessons in this module.

  1. How the Crop Plant Grows
  2. How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial
  3. Harvest and Post Harvest
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Capsicum
  6. Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops
  7. Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)
  8. Strawberries
  9. Roses
  10. Carnations
  11. Orchids

Protected Plant Production BHT223 
The module looks at the protected cultivation of plants, i.e. growing plants in a sheltered or closed environment for the purpose of improving plant growth/yield.  The module comprises 10 lessons.

  1. Structures for Protected Cropping
  2. Environmental Control
  3. Cladding Materials and their Properties
  4. Irrigation
  5. Nursery Nutrition
  6. Relationship between Production techniques and Horticultural practices
  7. Horticultural Management in a Greenhouse: Pests and Diseases
  8. Harvest and Post Harvest Technology
  9. Greenhouse Plants
  10. Risk Assessment

Industry Project or Work Experience
This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.

There are 2 options available to the student to satisfy this requirement:

Option 1
If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry/workplace projectrequirement; on the basis of RPL (i.e. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.  The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Option 2
If you do not work in the relevant industry, there are other options such as doing volunteer work, underaking formal research paper, or attending industry seminars, conferences or trade shows.


So ... Why should I take this course?

Most people who take this course do so to progress their career to a management level, or to start their own business.

You will -

On the business side:

  • Develop business skills.
  • Develop Management skills
  • Develop marketing skills.

On the Hydroponics side:

  • Learn the basics of hydroponics
  • Learn to formulate and manage nutrients
  • Learn about the various types of hydroponic systems
  • Learn about media and plant culture
  • Learn to grow specific crops
  • Learn to manage hydroponics systems 
  • Learn to manage a greenhouse





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Meet some of our academics

Dr Lynette Morgan (Horticulture)Lyn worked with Rivendell Mushroom Farm between 1986 and 88; and then as a research assistant and technician for a few years while undertaking university studies. In 1991 she graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Horticultural Science (Hons) which covered broad horticultural sciences, as well as nursery vegetable and fruit production. Throughout the 90's she worked in both the nursery industry and horticultural crop production, before establishing her own business "Suntec" which has built an exceptional international reputation providing consulting services; particularly in hydroponic crop production. Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
John MasonWriter, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsA text book for business students, or a guide book for anyone operating a business. Six chapters: Daily Challenges of Running a Business, Managing People, The Law, Fiance, Product Management and Risk Management.
Modern MarketingThis book explores new approaches to marketing, how to adapt to a continually changing world both through online marketing, and more. Some aspects of marketing never change; but many of the well established approaches used in the past simply do not work any more. This book lays a foundation for thinking about marketing in a different way
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.