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Diploma in Horticulture - Level 2Apply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Broomfield Hall

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture places an emphasis on learning by doing. You will complete practical assignments; learn about plants, their botanic names and growth requirements; and gain skills in both production and amenity horticulture.


This course includes:

  • Hard landscaping (construction and planning)
  • Propagation
  • Turf care (grass installation and maintenance)
  • Planting of shrubs, bedding and trees
  • Maintenance of herbaceous beds and shrub areas

It will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to find employment in the horticultural sector or to progress to a Level 3 course.

Entry requirements

You need to be highly motivated and demonstrate a keen interest in gardening, landscape or production horticulture.  Offers of a place on the course are dependent on your qualifications. You will need:

  • A minimum of two GCSEs at grade 3 or above including English and/or Maths


  • An Introductory Diploma in a land-based subject

You will have an interview and initial assessment. Parents and carers are welcome to attend the interview but not the initial assessment. You will also need to show an example of some horticultural experience (grass cutting, garden maintenance, seed sowing etc.) at interview.

If you are a mature learner, we may be able to take into consideration your previous experience in horticulture.

It is possible to progress to the Advanced Diploma in Countryside, a Level 3 Landscape and Design College Certificate or an RHS Level 3 course if you achieve a Merit grade or above.

Course Content

The course units are:

  • Propagation
  • Setting out from plans
  • Turf care
  • Landscape construction
  • Horticultural industry
  • Plant establishment
  • Plant identification

You will also be required to study Maths and English if you have not obtained a minimum grade 4 at GCSE.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed continually during practical sessions, on your written assignments, on plant identification and on course work.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be required to supply your own:

  • Derby College Group coveralls
  • Steel toe-capped boots or wellingtons
  • Derby College Group uniform
  • Writing materials to include a lever arch file and dividers
  • Secateurs

What can I do after this course?

After this course, you can progress to the Advanced Diploma in Countryside or Arboriculture, a Level 3 Landscape Design and Construction College Certificate, or an RHS Level 3 course if you achieve a Merit grade or above.

Derby College Group offers a range of one-day, weekend and evening courses relating to horticulture as well as a wide range of other land-based topics - please see the Derby College Group Part-time Prospectus for a full list and details.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Broomfield Hall Campus

broomfiled hall campus

About Broomfield Hall »

Stuart Thom

Stuart Thom

Stuart shelves the bookshop for a high level gardening career

Former mature horticulture student Stuart Thom has reinvented his entire career through hard work and the support of Derby College. Just over ten years ago, Stuart was unhappy in his work at bookshops in Ashbourne and Derby. He decided he needed a change – to find a career where he could see the seasons change and work outside. Stuart attended an open evening at Broomfield Hall, where tutors pointed him towards Level 2 National Certificate in Horticulture.
He liked the course and enrolled. Nervous about "going back to school", Stuart said the environment was welcoming and encouraging. The course provided "tasters" of the sector and helped him decide which areas he wanted to pursue. At an early stage he found the "plant side" of horticulture really appealed, as opposed to other areas such as hard landscaping.
His tutors encouraged him to go on to take the two year Level 3 Diploma. And seeing his potential, they supported his application to study for the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey. He was one of just ten people accepted on the course in his year.
Now aged 41, Stuart has worked for the Crown Estate as a fulltime gardener at the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park. He and his gardener wife Nadine are now working in Scotland, where Stuart is RHS co-ordinator at the National Trust for Scotland-run Threave Garden in Dumfries and Galloway.

Derby College was invaluable, and I wouldn't be where I am now without it. Being a mature student, I was quite nervous because you are going back to school, effectively 10 years or something after leaving for the first time. But everybody was so welcoming, and so encouraging. If you put in the effort you get it returned.

I can't thank the tutors enough: I'm so happy with my career now. It was a bit of gamble to change career but I worked hard and college really supported me and it paid off.


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