Horticulture Courses at Derby College

The UK is celebrated worldwide for its excellence in horticulture.
Jobs within this rewarding sector include gardener, groundskeeper, garden centre assistant, parks manager or horticultural therapist.

Is this you?

  • A willingness to work outdoors in all weathers
  • An enjoyment of practical tasks
  • An interest in plants and nature
  • Creative flair
  • A good level of physical fitness
  • An awareness of health and safety
  • A willingness to work long hours at certain times of the year

Getting into horticulture


  • Full time at College At Derby College you will discover Horticulture courses offering different entry points to set you on your career pathway.
  • Apprenticeships Giving you the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience alongside a recognised qualification, intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in Horticulture are offered through Derby College.
  • Higher education Most jobs within horticulture do not require a specific higher education qualification for entry. However, there are university level degrees, foundation degrees and HNDs available in subjects like Horticulture, Garden Design and Landscape Design which could lead to roles such as landscape manager or self-employment as a garden designer.
  • Jobs You can enter this sector with no qualifications through jobs such as garden centre assistant or assistant groundskeeper. These roles usually provide on-the-job training and, in some cases, the opportunity to work towards relevant qualifications. For many jobs within horticulture, 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 apprenticeship or by undertaking voluntary work in this field.

Why choose Derby College?

  • Our Broomfield Hall campus – with its extensive landscapes and glasshouses, ornamental gardens and rare plant specimens – is the ideal learning environment for horticulture enthusiasts.
  • You can gain vital work experience at the Broomfield Plant Centre, selling plants grown on campus to the public and giving gardening advice.
  • Our expert team of teaching staff will inspire and motivate you. They are joined by industry specialists who deliver regular talks and demonstrations.
  • You could showcase your talent in national competitions: our learners have shone at events ranging from Gardeners World Live and WorldSkills UK to Harrogate Flower Show..
  • Exciting projects in the wider community will improve your design, planning and practical skills – and look great on your CV.
  • We have close links with employers, which open the door to work-related projects and placements. Our learners even have the chance to go on work experience exchanges to countries such as Greece, Finland, Croatia and France.
  • To see some of our learners in action check out our Broomfield Hall Gardens and Plant Centre Facebook page.

Sow the seeds of success at Derby College. Our courses prepare you for all the challenges, rewards and career opportunities that the highly varied and fulfilling horticulture industry can offer.

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 C 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, Arboriculture, Conservation, Countryside Management and Floristry 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.

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Dan Brennen

dan brennen

Set to flourish in landscape gardening

Former Horticulture learner Dan Brennen flew the flag for Broomfield Hall by scooping a gold medal in the WorldSkills UK final – after building a garden in just 18 hours.

Dan, now studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, impressed industry experts who judged his efforts at the Skills Show held at the NEC.

There to represent Derby College, he was part of a team which built a garden from scratch, including laying block paving and slabs, building raised beds, installing a water feature and planting.

Dan’s success gave him the chance to work with a specialist training team to prepare for a further WorldSkills challenge in Northern Ireland – so he gained even more skills to take forward into his working life.

Being part of WorldSkills was a fantastic experience and I’ve learnt so much. The additional training I’ve done as part of the competition will earn me a Level 4 qualification which, along with my degree, will hopefully greatly improve my job prospects after university.

Did you Know?

  • Up to 2020, the industry will need around 120,000 new entrants
  • The sector needs highly skilled technical people for research and development
  • Horticulture contributes £9 billion to the UK economy each year
  • There are some 27,000 public parks covering 143,000 hectares
  • 72% of horticulture firms say they struggle to fill skilled vacancies

Recent Vacancies

Landscape Gardener
£16000 per year starting salary.
Maintaining gardens, parks and other outdoor areas

£22000 per year starting salary.
Researching plant life

Garden Designer
£25000+ per year.
Designing planting schemes and garden features

Experienced Grounds Manager
£50000+ per year.
Designing planting schemes and garden features

Site Information

Broomfield Hall

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

Useful Websites

The sector skills council for the land-based and environmental sectors

For information on a range of careers within horticulture

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Accommodation for Learners

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

Are you an Employer in this Industry?

You could be part of our Employment and Skills Academies

Find Out More »

Career Pathways

Do you need help choosing a course/career pathway?

Find Out More »

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