Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award
Study playground design and learn more developing a concept, materials and structures, child psychology, the environment of play, green walls and roofs and landscaping. The course requires around 500 hours of study. Work through the course by distance learning supported by our excellent playground design and development tutors.

It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan:  

Select a learning method  


An in-depth course into playground design.

Learn more about

  • green walls and roofs
  • landscaping
  • playground philosophy
  • concept plans
  • playground planning
  • design playgrounds for parks, schools, home gardens etc.
  • child development
  • the importance of play
  • creating environments to meet a child's needs
  • materials and more.

The course was developed by John Mason and an international team of experts. John has over 35 years experience as a playground designer. 

This course develops a sound understanding of the design and construction of small community parks and playgrounds. A valuable course for parks managers or designers. The course covers playground philosophy, design of play structures (for function and safety), materials selection, community participation and park design.

If you want to set up your own business or further your career in playground design and construction, this is the course for you.


To complete the course, you are required to complete three 100 hour modules -

Playground Design

Playground design is an eight lesson course covering topics such as parks and playgrounds, playground philosophy, preparing a concept plan, materials, parks and playground structures, local and neighbourhood parks and community participation. There is also a final special assignment looking at playground design and bringing the course together.

Green Walls And Roofs BHT256

Green Walls And Roofs is a 9 lesson module looking at the exciting approaches of introducing greenery into residential, commercial, or public landscapes where space may be at a premium or to improve the aesthetic of environments.  Students will learn about the construction of vertical and roof gardens, the materials to use and which plants are most suited to these applications.  The module includes a lesson on maintaining these – how plants may be provided with water and the appropriate nutrients, as well as the control of pests or diseases.

Landscaping I (or your choice of another relevant module - we have lots)

Landscaping I is an in depth introductory course to landscaping. Over the course of ten lessons, you will learn more about design procedures, history of gardening, draughting and contracting, landscape construction, surfacings, furnishings and features, park designs, home garden design, park design and more.

You are also required to complete a 200-hour industry experience/project relating to playground design.

Workplace Project
To complete this qualification, you are also required to complete a workplace project lasting 200 hours.  

There are 4 options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  The options will be different dependent upon whether or not you currently work within the industry. The project can be work experience, voluntary experience, a project you carry out, other training you have already undertaken and there are other options. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to proceed at this stage, as your tutor will be there to discuss how to proceed and help you every step of the way.

Is this the course for you?  If you would like to learn more about playground design, then yes, this is just the course for you. Learn more about playground design, materials and child psychology. Develop your own business or improve your career prospects.

Any questions about the Playground Design course? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our tutors are always happy to help with any questions or advice about the course.



Or Email Us:

Or give us a ring: Phone (UK) : 01384 442752


Stay in Touch   




Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Timothy WalkerB.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed. Former Director, Oxford Botanic Gardens.
Jacinda ColeJacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.
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

Climbing PlantsClimbing Plants is an excellent reference for professionals in the landscaping/ gardening industry, for students or for the hobby gardener. Explaining which climbers can be used for specific situations, this ebook is a great starting point using climbing plants in the garden. Topics within this book include Introduction and growing climbers, directory of climbers, how to use climbers, bougainvillea and clematis.
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.
Garden Design Part 2Part 2 of the Garden Design Series is an inspiring accompaniment to the first book, but works equally well in its own right. The Garden Design Part 2 ebook is ideal for students and landscaping professionals. Brimming with ideas and practical advice for designing a wide variety of different gardens. You will learn about different styles of gardens and how to create a style to suit a site or client. Topics covered in this ebook include 18/ (Continuing on from Garden Design 1) Surfacing ideas, 19/ Garden arches, pergolas & pavilions, 20/ Dealing with confined spaces, 21/ Water gardens, 22/ Using plants in the garden, 23/ Formal gardens, 24/ Natural gardens, 25/ Rainforest gardens, 26/ Coastal gardens, 27/ Cottage gardens, 28/ Late Victorian/Edwardian gardens, 29/ Oriental gardens, 30/ Mediterranean gardens, 31/ Mexican style, 32/ Minimalist landscape design and 33/ Eclectic gardens.