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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Study this advanced horticulture course to learn more about horticulture, botany, soil management, propagation and much more.

  • Study with highly qualified and internationally renowned horticultural tutors in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
  • ACS Distance Education has been teaching horticulture for over 38 years.
  • ACS offers a range of unique services – unrestricted access by phone or email to highly qualified and experienced horticulturalists.





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.

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Advanced Certificate In Horticulture - A Qualification Well Worth Having!

Learn a valuable trade and gain a respected qualification.
  • Learn to identify and grow a wide range of different plants.
  • Study the science that underpins all knowledge of horticulture.
  • Enrol anytime, study from anywhere, learn at your own pace.
  • Interact one on one with highly qualified and experienced tutors.
  • Access tutors whenever you need them - our faculty of horticulturists are accessible 5 days a week, 50 weeks of the year by phone or email.


Study this advanced level qualification in horticulture to learn:


Horticulture - Botany - Propagation - Soil Management ... and a whole lot more!


In a Changing World - Keep Your Options Open

Horticulture is a large, diverse industry, that impacts in every corner of our lives, from the gardens that surround our homes, and the street trees and parks we pass on the way to work, to the food we eat for lunch and the flowers we bring home for a loved one at the end of a day.

The horticulture industry is not the same today as it was last year, and it is almost certainly going to continue changing well into the future. One thing won't change though. People will always grow plants, not just because they need to, but also because they want to.

There will always be business and work opportunities for people who know how to grow plants. Those opportunities will change though; and the most successful horticulturists will be those with a very broad based knowledge, and an ability to adapt to different jobs in different sectors as the industry continues to evolve.

This course is designed to be broad based; in order to keep your options broad. You can't go too far wrong, by starting your horticultural education here. 

Study in your own home with support from our highly experienced, highly qualified and friendly, helpful tutors.

Duration: The course requires approximately 800 - 900 hours of study.

Start Date: Start at any time - to suit you.

This course gives you greater depth of knowledge and horticultural skill, and if you want to go even further, it forms the first stage of the Associate Diploma in Horticulture (VHT005).


Course Structure

Module A

Part 1: Propagation I (100 hours)

Part 2: Soil Management (Horticulture)

Module B
Part 3: Botany I (100 hours)

Part 4:  Horticulture III (100 hours)

Module C

Part 5: Practical Horticulture I (100 hours)***


plus Elective Modules (select from either D, I or J)

Module D

Crops 1 (100 hours),  Protected Plant Production (100 hours) plus one other crops module of your choosing.

Module I

Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens (100 hours), Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens (100 hours) plus one other landscaping module of your choosing.

Module J

Turf Care (100 hours) Plant Selection & Establishment (100 hours), Wholesale Nursery Management (100 hours)


Study Mode: These modules may be taken either by standard distance education, or by online study. Fees and most services are the same either way. Online studies deliver your notes over the internet, and provide some additional services such as automated self tests. Normal distance education supplies you with printed notes through the mail or by courier, but does not have access to the self tests. Both require you to submit similar assignments and sit the same exams.


What do our students think of our horticultural courses?
"I have found the course to be interesting and challenging, with great learning materials that really make you research the industry and get involved. It has been a great way to study because it has allowed me to work in the industry and study at the same time. I have found the online resources to be fantastic, the tutors feedback constructive and the fact that assignments can be submitted online makes the process so easy." Tom Wood - Diploma in Horticultural Science course. 


Where This Course Could Lead You

Our advanced certificates provide industry qualifications that demonstrate commitment, perseverance and a level of knowledge which most employers respect. Graduates from this course have sufficient horticultural knowledge to take responsibility in many areas of horticulture from hands-on teamwork to self-employed, and elementary to supervisory roles. Use this as a foundation upon which to build a career or a platform to further study. The course will have great appeal to people looking to work in the following areas:

Parks & gardens

Horticulture management

Supervisory & foreman roles

Garden maintenance

Horticulture retail

Nursery work


If you have any questions, our farming tutors are here to help you - please get in touch with them by using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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Meet some of our academics

Timothy WalkerB.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed. Former Director, Oxford Botanic Gardens.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
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.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

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.
WeedsThis book helps you understand different types of weeds, and how to control them. Many of the more commonly occurring weeds around the world are both illustrated and described.
Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...