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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Succeed in the Retail Nursery sector.

Manage or Supervise within the nursery industry! A must for any serious student in this field.

  • Develop skills required to manage a retail business.
  • Acquire knowledge in plant identification.
  • Develop care and plant handling skills.
  • Develop both practical knowledge and application of that knowledge.

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Manage or Supervise Within the Nursery Industry.

This course is a must for any serious student in this field!

  • This course trains managers or supervisors rather than workers.
  • The course has been written to teach horticulture in a way that is relevant to all parts of the world. It puts aside regional techniques, and teaches you principles and concepts that can be applied anywhere.
  • There are 7 units plus a 200 hour workplace project in this course. These are the 4 core units common to all streams of this Advanced Certificate (plus three specialist units of study relating to the management and operation of a retail nursery).

Course Structure and Content

This course is comprised of:

Core Studies - Four units (400 hours) of compulsory subjects for all students.

Stream Studies – Three stream units for the development of knowledge in a chosen industry sector.

Project - Elective Modules Students are to complete a workplace project of 200 hours relevant to their field of study. 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.

Core Studies

Totalling 400 hours of study, all four of these modules must be studied and passed.

Office Practices VBS102
For a business to function correctly on a day to day basis, it is vital that offices and departments operate efficiently, with well- motivated staff who can provide the appropriate support for the business.  This 8 lesson module looks at core areas which contribute to the smooth running of an office.  Lessons include verbal and instant communications – face to face, inter-employee and with clients, and electronically; written communications – such as the writing of business letters and reports, and memorandums; the use of electronic mediums – organising data, and use of software; how to make the best use of office space; health and safety considerations.  This module will provide the student with practical skills and knowledge that they can apply directly to their work.

Business Operations VBS006
Through 6 lessons, this module aims to provide the student with the building blocks in business planning and operations.  The module covers areas of business law, finance and financial management, business planning, and mistakes to avoid in business.  The module is driven from a financial perspective as this is primarily what business is about – making the investment, planning the financial outlay balanced against expected income, and making a profit on your activities.  The process of considering a business from a financial and operational perspective, coupled with students developing a (real or hypothetical) business plan will focus the student on the key areas which enable a business to maintain viability.

Management VBS105
A lack of good management can seriously impact upon the viability of a company or enterprise.  This 7 lesson module explores the facets that contribute towards good management.  Students will consider the structures of different organisations and look at different theories and practices of management.  Managers will face different challenges and the module will take them through different styles of management and how to address, resolve, and act upon problems.  From taking the decision to employ the people most suited to roles and the company culture, to determining the best ways to managing staff, this module aims to provide a complete overview of the critical elements of management.

Marketing Systems BBS303
Marketing Systems is a 10 lesson module which looks at the stages involved with marketing products or services to retail and wholesale markets.  The module looks at the different channels available to market a product and students will learn to evaluate and assess the most effective methods to achieve the required sales.  As well as looking at the different marketing systems and strategies that can be used, areas such as product presentation and packaging are considered, and the areas where products should be marketed – might they be suitable for exporting to other markets?  There are two lessons which consider international marketing, strategies to use in new markets, and potential restrictions which may impact on these.  Lessons on Market Analysis and the Marketing Mix provide the additional concepts to provide students with a good grounding of knowledge in the approaches to marketing products or services.

Stream Studies

The Stream Studies comprise three modules representing around 300 hours of study.

Horticulture I BHT101
This 13 lesson module provides students with an all-round introduction to Horticulture.  Students will gain a solid grounding in the principals and good practices of horticulture, whilst also developing practical skills which will enable them to apply what they have learned.  The module covers core areas of the subject including plant identification, planting, soil types and soil nutrition, plant nutrition, water management, pest and diseases, landscaping, and maintenance.

Garden Centre Management BHT255
This is a 12 lesson module which will provide students with a thorough insight into the management of a garden centre.  Students will learn about how to set up and display products and plants, and will learn to understand how to maximise not only sales, but also staff productivity.  Understanding the products on sale is important, and accordingly the module focuses on the central topic of plants, teaching students about such important aspects as plant health and maintaining and extending stock life.

Sales Skills VBS108
This 12 lesson module looks at different sales propositions – from selling yourself to selling a product.  Students will look at the different elements involved in the selling process, how to communicate, planning, creating the right environment for a sale and how to conclude it.  As well as the opening a closing of a sale, the course includes lessons on stress management, the law and selling, and concludes with a look at how to produce accurate and convincing reports.

How The Advanced Certificate Is Assessed

The Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Retail Nursery) requires approximately 900 hours of study. It is made up of seven 100 hour modules and a workplace project lasting 200 hours.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the seven 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass seven examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete a Workplace Project.  The project should last around 200 hours.  There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way.

Why Study With ACS

  • Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online or eLearning (USB Memory Stick) options of study offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.

The Benefits Of Studying This Course

This is an extremely comprehensive course. Through the Stream Studies, it covers a relevant selection of horticulture based modules under the elective component, but being a management based course the key focus in the Core Studies is on developing a thorough understanding of how to run a business and promote it.  The Project - Elective element of the course applies a students learning in real world situations through research, work experience or other such activity. This both strengthens what they have learned and expands their awareness and builds a greater relevance into the whole course.

Who Is This Course For?

The Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Retail Nursery) will appeal to owners and operators of nurseries as well as to key staff in those operations.

  • Take this course to bring success to a retail nursery or related business.

Those completing this course are likely to be working or looking to work in the following fields:

  • Nursery and Propagation.
  • Nursery Management.
  • Horticulture Management.
  • Supervisory and Foreman roles.
  • Retail Nursery owner/operator.
  • Market Gardening.
  • Crops Management.
  • Hydroponics Management

Learn More

Enrolling is easy - just go to the box at the top right-hand side of this page; you can enrol today.

If you have any questions, or need help in choosing the right course for you please do get in touch with us -

by phone on (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Connect with our expert tutors, use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

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 Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
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.
Organic GardeningFor decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
Garden Design Part 1The Garden Design ebook part 1 is an essential handbook for students and landscape professionals. A foundation guide to garden design, this book provides stunning full illustrations to demonstrate tips and examples on garden design, functional uses and aesthetics. Some topics that are covered in this ebook include 1/ Introduction to Garden Design, 2/ Appropriateness of garden design, 3/ Creating an impact, 4/ Designing to a budget, 5/ Choosing plants, 6/ Using the garden, 7/ Where the garden meets the house, 8/ Making the winter garden more comfortable, 9/ Gardens for children, 10/The secure home and garden, 11/ Lighting a garden, 12/ Dealing with shade, 13/ Garden Art, 14/ Pots and planters, 15/ Colour in the garden, 16/ Applications for colour and 17/ Garden furniture.
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.