Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

"Take Your Research Skills to the next level".

  • Learn more advanced research skills to enable you to contribute new insights into the field of horticulture.
  • Understanding issues affecting horticulture today.
  • Develop your ability to research and present a critical, written and numerical assessment of information affecting horticulture.
  • Learn from industry experts – our tutors!
Prerequisite: Horticultural Research I

It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan:  

Select a learning method  


Advances your researching skills

  • 100 hours of self-paced study
  • Start any time, work at your own pace
  • Relate your work to any branch of horticulture



There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Identifying research issues and determining research priorities
  2. Acquisition of technical information
  3. Specialised research techniques
  4. Research planning and designing
  5. Statistics
  6. Conducting research
  7. Writing reports.

Research can be valuable, contributing to our understanding of what factors are influencing observed outcomes, which need changing, and what specific changes may be needed. On the other hand, irrelevant or needless research, no matter how well done or how detailed, can waste time, energy and money that could have been much better applied elsewhere.

Therefore, the first step in doing relevant, worthwhile research is to identify areas, social groups, markets, or organisations that might benefit from research, and the kind of information that might be useful. This is a vital step as much of the governmental and private funding today is tied to these constraints.

The second step is to arrive at a specific topic for research, one that clearly articulates the aim of the research, and defines the focus for the research. It defines clearly the goals: what are we doing the research for?

The third step is to consider whether the proposed research is realistic. This is a necessary step on the analysis as it will help determining the strategies, how we will approach and study the problem. Can it be done in a realistic time frame? Has it already been thoroughly researched by someone else? Are there still important questions to be asked? Is there enough information? Steps two and three may need to be repeated several times before the final research topic is identified.


  • Determine areas where there is a valid need to research processes relevant to horticultural research in today’s social, economic, political and environmental context.
  • Acquire and demonstrate skills in locating and reviewing scientific and technical information.
  • Develop and explain alternative research and observational techniques for a particular Horticultural research study.
  • To design a quality and focused research project addressing a social, technological, environmental and/or economic issues that impact on Horticulture today. The research component must allocate resources needed (time, financial and human resources).
  • Demonstrate and explain basic statistical knowledge used for research with emphasis on your ability to present and monitor given data.
  • Conduct a quality and focused research project addressing a social, technological, environmental and/or economic issue that impact on Horticulture today.
  • Demonstrate skills in report writing
What is in each lesson?

1. Identifying Research Issues and Determining Research Priorities

  • Introduction: first, second, third steps
  • Finding research ideas
  • Brainstorming
  • Steps to brainstorming Mind maps
  • How to mind map
  • Concept mapping
  • Determining research priorities
  • Beginning your research
  • Formulating a research topic
  • Is the research feasible
  • Formulating a hypothesis
  • Terminology

2. Acquisition of Technical Information

  • Literature review
  • Research methods
  • Basic methods of collecting information: experimental, correlation, questionnaires, surveys, tests, document review
  • Naturalistic observation
  • Focus groups
  • Case studies

3. Specialised Research Techniques

  • Selecting a research method
  • Fishbone diagrams
  • Applications for cause and effect diagrams
  • Lateral thinking
  • Lateral thinking techniques
  • Pareto analysis
  • Observations
  • Root cause analysis

4. Research Planning and Designing

  • Project planning
  • Defining the problem, possible solutions and objectives
  • Problem tree analysis tool
  • SWOT analysis
  • Prioritise objectives and define activities
  • Allocate resources
  • Results and assessment

5. Statistics

  • Introduction
  • Data presentation
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Distributions

6. Conducting Research

  • Collecting and logging data
  • Developing a data base structure
  • Data transformations
  • Analyzing data
  • Managing data
  • Analytical procedure

7. Writing Reports

  • Reporting results
  • Report structure
  • Contents of a research report (example)
  • Pitfalls to avoid

How This Course Can Help You
This course builds on our Horticulture Research I module. It goes deeper into research methods and statistical analyses but also incorporates some new areas. Graduates completing this course will have a solid understanding of different approaches to research methods and design. The course is of most value to those looking to work in the following fields:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Horticultural Science
  • Garden History
  • Botany
  • Plant Breeding
  • Botanic Gardens





Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


Get Advice –  Email us at  OR

Use our FREE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact a tutor





Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)A graduate of Burnley Horticultural College; Rosemary has over 30 years of experience in horticulture. Her training was extensive covering both amenity and production horticulture; developing pactical skills and a deep understanding of the sciences that underpin horticulture. She worked with the Agriculture Dept in Victoria as a consultant or advisor to both farmers and home gardeners. Over the years, her experience has been as broad as her training, working on radio with ABC radio, a garden editor (with several major publications) and as a teacher, writer, garden designer and consultant. Rosemary has led several garden tours to the UK and Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has written six gardening books and collaborated on many others. Rosemary brings a unique personality, knowledge base and passion to the school; an an infectious love of horticulture in support of our students. She holds a B.Sc Hort,, Dip.Hort.Sc., Dip. Advertising & Marketing and B.Ed.
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.