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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Online Studies in Aromatherapy

Study Aromatherapy and learn more about growing and using essential oils

  • This course is a safe introduction to the use of aromatherapy oils.
  • Suitable for anyone wanting to use aromatherapy in the home or to use herbal oils for work.
  • Study the course in your own home with support from our highly experienced and friendly tutors. They are there to guide you all the way.
  • Enrol today and take a step toward better understanding herb oils and their uses.

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A distance learning course in Aromatherapy

Learn about growing and using essential oils in your own home or at work.

  • Learn about essential oils, herb oils and their uses.
  • Learn about plant names and classifications, and the importance of identifying these.
  • Learn about different essential oils.
  • Study different methods of extraction.
  • Develop your knowledge of hazardous herbs and oils.


Lesson 1. Plant Identification

Understand the classification system used for naming plants and the importance of this to an aroma therapist.

  • Importance of Correct Plant Identification
  • Plant Name Changes
  • Common Names
  • Scientific Names
  • Levels of Classification in Plant Taxonomic System
  • Plant Families
  • Pronunciation of Plant Names
  • Introduction to Chemistry of Herb Plants
  • Parts of a Compound; Biochemical Groups, Chemical Names
  • What is an Acid or Base
  • Alkaloids
  • Tannins
Lesson 2. Introduction to Aromatherapy

The history of aromatherapy.  How aromatherapy actually works.  Basic chemistry of essential oils.

  • Origins of Aromatherapy
  • Top Notes, Middle Notes
  • Aromatherapy Consultations
  • Natural Chemicals in Plants
  • Saponins; Phenolglycosides; Anthraglycosides; Flavonoids; Mustard Oils; Polysaccharides; Prussic Acid; Glycosides; Coumarin; Essential Minerals, etc
  • Resources
Lesson 3. Essential Oils

The therapeutic benefits of oils and how to use them.

  • Introduction
  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Cedar Wood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Juniper
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Rose Otto
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Australian Bush Flower Remedies
Lesson 4. Safe Use of Essential Oils

Learn to use essential oils safely, in a controlled manner.

  • How Essential Oils Work
  • Inhalation
  • Absorption
  • Quantities to Use: Recommended rate, oil type, smell
  • Blending Oils
  • Children
  • During Pregnancy
  • For Animals
Lesson 5. Carriers

Learn about the properties of carriers and how to use them.

  • Using Carriers
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Burners
  • Inhalation
  • Spray, Basin, Hands, Bath
  • Carrier Oils, Creames and Lotions
Lesson 6. Growing and Harvesting Herbs for Essential Oil

Methods of growing plants for essential oil extraction.  When, what, and how to harvest.

  • Herb Cultivation
  • Harvesting different plant parts
  • Harvesting different types of Herbs
  • Expected Yields for Different Herbs
  • Harvesting for Essential Oils; Tea Tree, Lavender
  • Post Harvest Handling of Herbs; temperature, moisture loss, physical damage ethylene, pathogens
  • Post Harvest Preservation: Fresh, Modified Atmosphere Packaging
Lesson 7. Methods of Extraction

Learn extraction methods and how to evaluate to economic viability of producing your own essential oils.

  • Introduction
  • Water Distillation
  • Steam Distillation
  • Maceration
  • Effleurage
  • Expression
  • Fixatives
  • Herbal Preparations
  • Preparing Teas, Rinses and Baths
  • Preparations using different herbs
  • Decoction
Lesson 8. Hazardous Herbs and Oils

Become aware of the danger of some oils.  Safe practice. 

  • Introduction
  • Carcinogens
  • Photosensitisers
  • Allergens
  • Hormone Like Affects
  • Teratogens
  • Cellular Respiratory Inhibitors
  • Cathartics
  • Abortifacients and Irritants
  • Alkaloids; types
  • Toxic Amino Acids
  • Glycocides
  • Terpenes
  • Plant Acids
  • Poly-ynes
  • Furanocoumarins
  • Proteins


Below are some of the exercises you will do in this course.

  • Give the scientific names (genus, species and variety names) of ten different plants from which essential oils are derived.
  • Research an essential oil of your choice.  Find out as much as you can about the oil including:
  • Suggest different blends that can be used for treating a head cold.
  • List a range of oils that would be considered safe to use for children.
  • List a range of types of vegetable oils appropriate for use in massage and indicate what types of skin the oils are good for.
  • Explain why some herbs tend to be collected in the morning, some before flowering, some during flowering, and others at various times of the year.
  • Submit your detailed costing for processing herb materials to produce essential oils.
  • Discuss which essential oils may not be safe for use during pregnancy. 


All kinds of chemical compounds occur in plants. Some are toxic, some may be toxic in high quantities, and others may be required in high concentrations to be of any use. Knowledge of these chemicals, and an understanding of what effect they may have, is imperative for aromatherapists.

Chemicals in aromatic plants can penetrate the body as a smell drifting through the air; or through the skin it comes in contact with. Either way, the wrong chemicals can be bad for the body, but the right chemicals can have a very positive effect.

Most people know essential oils by their common names, such as Lavender, Thyme or Eucalyptus; however, unless you are aware of the botanical names, you cannot be sure of the source of the oil you are using.

Learning about the differences between the good and bad, is pivotal to any use of aromatherapy.


"This course was very interesting, challenging and very worthwhile"
N. Mills, Aromatherapy


You can enrol on Aromatherapy at any time - the course is studied by distance learning. Students are supported in their studies by our excellent, highly knowledgeable tutors.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please get in touch with our specialist Horticulture tutors today - they will be pleased to hear from you.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

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

RosesThere are few things as uplifting as being greeted by the sweet fragrance of roses from your own garden. If you have always wanted to grow roses, or perhaps improve an established rose garden, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge! Learn from the masters in horticulture. This wonderfully colourful ebook will teach you everything you need to know about the passion of growing roses.
Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
Starting a BusinessBusinesses don't need to fail! This is concise, easy to read, and alerts you to all of the things that commonly make a difference to business success or failure. Seven chapters are: “A Reality Check”, “The Product or service”, “Managing a Business”, “How to Find Customers”, “How to Make a Sale”, “Delivering the Product or Service”, “Pitfalls to Avoid”.
HerbsLearn to identify and grow dozens of commonly grown herbs. Explore how to use them. Herbs have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more.