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 Students 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 Students even have the chance to go on work experience exchanges to countries such as Greece, Finland, Croatia and France.
  • To see some of our Students 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.


Derby College Course Listings - Horticulture


FT Diploma in Horticulture - Level 2: Site Broomfield Hall

FT Level 2 Horticulture and Landscape Operative Apprenticeship - Standard: Site Workplace


PT Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture day-time (College certificate): Site Broomfield Hall

FT Level 3 Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship - Standard: Site Workplace

PT Pruning College Certificate : Site Broomfield Hall

PT Pruning College Certificate : Site Broomfield Hall

PT RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture - Daytime: Site Broomfield Hall

PT RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture - Evening: Site Broomfield Hall

PT RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance: Site Broomfield Hall

Full Time Courses Full Time Courses Part Time Courses Part Time Courses

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.

Steve Williams

dan brennen

Top level garden designer Steve thanks Derby College for 'joining the dots'

Former Horticulture learner wo Derby College courses 10 years apart helped Steve Williams to "join the dots" and create his own high end garden and landscape design practice. Initially Steve, 33, took the college's Art Foundation course at Mackworth, where he found he had a flair for photography. Encouraged by his tutors, he passed with a distinction and went on to gain a degree in photographic art, at the University of Wales in Newport. Steve pursued a career as a photographic artist but "fell out of love" with the genre. Unsure where his future lay, he began doing garden maintenance for his parents and then his grandmother... and then, by word of mouth, other people on her street.

Dan, now studying Landscape Steve said the more garden work he did the more he realised "I didn't really know what I was doing" and should learn more about it. After an interview, he enrolled at Broomfield Hall where he took Level 3 in Horticulture, which he passed with a distinction. Steve said that he made the link between his artistic-creative side and horticulture while at Broomfield.

Steve relocated to Bristol, which he knew as a "green" and creative city, having studied across the Severn in Newport. He undertook a course at the Cotswold Gardening School, finishing first in his group. During that period he had "an epiphany" as he realised "the concepts I had explored in my art work were now completely relevant in my garden and landscape design practice." Two pieces of his work have been shortlisted in the student category in the prestigious Society of Garden Designers (SGD) awards, which are judged in the New Year.

Steve has now been in business for six years, going from basic maintenance to top level design and "hopefully show gardens in the future." He said his journey illustrates how "the more you learn, and if you keep on learning", the more you can "join the dots" in ways you may not have planned.

Doing my Horticulture Level 3 at Broomfield really opened up the industry – and I made the obvious connection between my creative background and the design side of the industry. I tried to figure out what I wanted career and lifewise, and when I'd finished at Broomfield I'd decided. My tutor Mike Baldwin was a real inspiration. He was very motivational and pushed me to go for it in my business. The more I learned, the more I gained the confidence to branch out and do more.

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 »


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