Diploma in Horticultural Practice

Learn everything you need to know about horticulture as you rotate through 10 departments at RHS Garden Wisley

Applications are now closed

Applications for the RHS Diploma for a September 2022 start have now closed.

  Diploma students

About the diploma

The diploma is made up of two levels (known as Level 3 and Level 4) and can only be studied at RHS Garden Wisley. As part of this two-year course, Level 3 is studied in year one, and Level 4 in year two.

Want to know more?

Hear first-hand from our current Diploma students about what’s involved in the two-year programme.
 
 

What you will learn and when

RHS Level 3 & 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice

We teach our RHS Diploma in Horticultural Practice as a two-year course at RHS Garden Wisley.

Year 1 – Level 3 

You will learn about the following areas of horticulture:
  • Horticultural operations
  • Plant care
  • Establishment and maintenance
  • Horticultural taxonomy
  • Botany and plantsmanship
  • Horticultural history
  • Philosophy and design
  • Productive growing propagation
  • Soils and growing media

You will have the opportunity to design and tend your own allotment and visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Year 2 – Level 4

You will study:
  • Horticultural management
  • Ornamental planting
  • Horticultural taxonomy
  • Botany and plantsmanship II
  • Plant health II
  • Garden design
  • Landscape construction
  • Propagation and protected growing environments
  •  Research project
  • Manage and build project
Diploma student in the garden

Programme of work

Diploma students rotate through 10 departments in the Garden. The course also comprises a detailed lecture and masterclass programme, and students complete various pieces of assessed coursework.

Additional qualifications

Diploma students also complete a number of short practical-based national qualifications, which include:

  • FEPA PA1 & PA6aw (pesticides)
  • Tractor driving
  • Strimming and brush cutting
  • Using a hedge trimmer
  • Tree assessment course
  • Manual handling course 

Applications and entry requirements

Applicants are expected, as a minimum, to hold a Level 2 horticultural qualification such as a National Certificate in Horticulture, Horticultural Operative Apprenticeship or RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

Applicants should have

  • GCSE qualifications in English and maths (or equivalents)
  • At least six months of practical work experience in a professional horticultural environment
  • Experience using basic horticultural machinery, equipment and/or tools
  • Enjoy working on own initiative as well as part of a team
  • An openness to working with new individuals across the garden on a regular basis
  • Experience of working with customers/visitors in a professional environment, and of giving good customer service
  • A flexible approach to working (e.g. weekend work will be required on a regular basis, and evening work will be required from time-to-time)

Please take a look at the job description on our recruitment site for full applicant criteria.

Please note: You must have the right to work in the UK to apply. The RHS is unable to sponsor any visa applications. A good working knowledge of the English language is essential and evidence to that effect will be requested.

Applications are now closed

Applications for the RHS Diploma for a September 2022 start have now closed.

 

Learner life at RHS Gardens

Training away from home can be daunting but we’re here to help you. We can support you with:
  • Finding local accommodation
  • Getting free access to our amazing libraries
  • Connecting you with new friends from across the world
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Got a question?

Email our dedicated team and they’ll help you get your learning under way.

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Application dates

Applications are now closed for Students (Diploma), Specialist Horticultural Placement’s (SHPs) at all RHS Gardens and Apprenticeships.

While applications are closed, see what our current and past learners have to say about their training at the RHS.

Find out more

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Carrying hellebores in the gardenJoin one of the largest industries in the UK – working in horticulture is a great way of life and has opportunities for everyone.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.