Qualification - Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horticultural Technology)

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Learn to Manage Hydroponics Enterprises

Develop the principles required to produce plants in a hydroponic system. This course is designed for anyone wanting to start a hydroponic business. The structure of the course can be broken into two parts.

The first, developing business, management and marketing skills and knowledge. The second part, teaching how to grow plants hydroponically, and developing an understanding of the different structures used to grow plants in a controlled environment.    


Students must complete and pass all of these core units.


Office Practices
Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc. 

Business Operations
Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.

Marketing Foundations.
Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.



There are ten lessons as follows:

1. Introduction

2. How a Plant Grows

3. Hydroponic Systems

4. Nutrition & Nutrition management

5. Plant Culture

6. Hydroponic Vegetable Production

7. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production

8. Solid Media vs Nutrient Film

9. Greenhouse Operation & Management

10. Special Assignment


There are eleven lessons in this module as follows:

1.  How the Crop Plant Grows: Understanding how a plant grows in hydroponics, plant growth factors, manipulating and controlling growth, plant troubleshooting, resources, fruit set management, pollination issues, flower initiation, flower and fruit development etc.

2.  How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial

3.  Harvest and Post Harvest

4.  Tomatoes

5.  Capsicum

6.  Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops

7.  Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)

8.  Strawberries

9.  Roses

10. Carnations

11. Orchids


There are seven lessons in this module as follows:

1.   Structures for Protected Cropping

2.   Environmental Control

3.   Cladding Materials and their Properties

4.   Irrigation and Nutrition

5.   Relationship between Production techniques and Horticultural practices

6.   Harvest and Post Harvest Technology

7.   Risk Assessment


This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.

Here are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.

Procedure for a Workplace Project

This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.

This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.

For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.

Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.

If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horticultural Technology).
 Business Operations VBS006
 Management VBS105
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Office Practices VBS102
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 6 modules.
 Robotics BSC116
 Greenhouse Management BHT257
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Hydroponics II - Hydroponic Management BHT213
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
 Hydroponics III BHT321

Note that each module in the Qualification - Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horticultural Technology) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

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