Arboriculture Courses at Derby College

Are you interested in conservation and environmental issues? Do you enjoy working outdoors? Are you physically fit with a good head for heights? Derby College will put you on the ladder to a successful career in arboriculture.

Strong roots for a rewarding career

Around 12% of our entire country is made up of trees, so there is a lot of potential if you’re keen to work in arboriculture. From felling dangerous trees to diagnosing common diseases, arboricultural workers carry out wide-ranging jobs to care for both countryside and urban environments.

To give you a foothold in the industry – and help you progress to more demanding and technical roles – Derby College offers a Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture, together with apprenticeship opportunities.

Is this you?

  • Enjoy working outside
  • Enthusiasm for the countryside, conservation and recreation issues
  • Practical and mechanical skills
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Effective communication and ‘people’ skills
  • If going into arboriculture – a head for heights and physical fitness
  • If promoting environmental conservation – the ability to explain technical and scientific issues to various audiences

Getting into environmental careers

  • Full time at College You will find a full range of Conservation, Countryside and Arboriculture courses at Derby College.
  • ApprenticeshipsDerby College offers an intermediate and an advanced apprenticeship in Arboriculture. These give you the opportunity to gain practical experience in this field, alongside a recognised qualification
  • Higher education To do some roles in this sector – such as countryside officer – it is an advantage to have a relevant degree as competition for jobs is strong. You can take a full-time course or study part time alongside a job. Possible degree subjects might include Environmental Management, Ecology and Geography. It’s always helpful to get some work experience in your chosen area as well as gaining qualifications.
  • Jobs You can go straight into a post such as field, estate or forestry worker, then train on the job and complete work-based qualifications. Although there are no set academic entry requirements for a role such as arboricultural worker, employers might prefer people with some GCSEs. For many jobs in the sector, emphasis for entry is based on your skills, qualities and, importantly, any relevant experience you’ve had. You can gain such experience through taking a fulltime course or an apprenticeship. It is also helpful to build up practical experience by seeking out volunteering opportunities with organisations such as the National Trust, the Wildlife Trust and Groundwork.

Why choose Derby College?


  • You’ll hone your skills in the ancient woodlands, farmland and gardens of our Broomfield Hall Campus, which features a variety of rare trees.
  • Every day is different on our courses: you’ll be challenged to use your initiative to solve real problems in the environment.
  • We offer opportunities for work experience in the land-based industries to give you even more hands-on estate skills.
  • Our expert team delivers full training in the safe use of specialist equipment such as chainsaws, ropes, ladders and harnesses.
  • You’ll gain enterprise skills and business know-how which could help you set up your own venture.

At Derby College, you’ll gain a thorough grounding in both the science and practice of arboriculture and forestry management. You’ll be equipped for roles with contractors, landscaping firms, local authorities, and private estates.

Maths and English

You need English and maths skills to get on in life. They will support your studies at the College, help with everyday tasks and pave the way to future career success.

If you don’t already have a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and Maths – or equivalent qualifications – you will continue studying these subjects as part of your course at Derby College.

We’ll support you all the way: working with you on the right programme of development throughout your time with us.

You might also be interested in ...

When you’ve completed your course, why not broaden your horizons further still at Derby College? Additional qualifications in subjects such as Agriculture, Animal Care, Horse Care and Horticulture are exciting choices. Or check out our courses in Business, Enterprise and Management if you would like to set up a venture of your own.

Andrew Fretwell

Andrew Fretwell

Award-winner Andrew hails lecturers as career change takes root

An award-winning mature student says he felt a sense of "privilege" to be trained by lecturers at Broomfield Hall. Andrew Fretwell, 39, took redundancy from his supervisor's job at Tesco in Alfreton and decided to relaunch his career in arboriculture. He completed his one year Level 2 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture as the only student to gain a Distinction* – and was named Arboriculture Student of the Year. Andrew said he felt proud to gain the accolade and gave particular praise to lecturer Simon Hunt, who he said had contributed hugely to his achievements. Now Andrew has set up Green Line Tree Services with his friend Mark Hall, who also took taking redundancy from Tesco. Mark joined Andrew in retraining at Broomfield where he gained a Distinction.

I loved the course from start to finish. Every aspect of each section had somebody knowledgeable. It felt like a privilege having the chance to get trained by them, and especially by Simon Hunt who gave us a lot of attention. Simon is trained to a really high level and he'd come in once a week to help with practical training.

Did you Know?

  • 75% of the conservation and countryside workforce has a degree
  • The trees and timber industry contributes more than £286 million to the UK economy
  • There are more than 3,000 forestry businesses across the UK, employing nearly 20,000 people
  • There are approximately 190,000 volunteers contributing to conservation projects in the UK
  • 44% of the trees and timber industry workforce is self-employed

Examples of recent vacancies locally

Tree surgeon
£16,000 per year starting salary.
Maintaining and protecting trees

Senior ecologist
£30,000-£40,000 per year.
Working on land management projects

Head forester
£31,000+ per year.
Managing forest operations

Experienced countryside ranger
Up to £30,000 per year.
Managing and promoting public access to the countryside

Site Information

Broomfield Hall

Courses in this area are run at our Broomfield Hall campus. About Broomfield Hall »

Useful Websites
Sector skills council for the land-based and environmental sectors
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Accommodation for Learners

We offer residential accommodation at Broomfield Hall for DerbyCollege learners. Find Out More »

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.


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