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Qualification - Associate Diploma in Horticulture

Course CodeVHT005
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours

Learn to be a Professional Horticulturist

Based on the old RHS diploma in horticulture, this course has an emphasis on horticulture science, as well as practical aspects of plant establishment and selection. It is a superb all-round introduction to horticulture for anyone wishing to get a foothold in this rewarding industry.  


Course Structure

The Associate Diploma has two parts to it:

Stage 1: Eight Modules

Seven of these are available either online or by Distance Education. One of these eight (Practical Horticulture I) may only be taken online.

These eight modules form the Advanced Certificate in Horticulture. If you simply complete these eight modules and go no further you may attain an Advanced Certificate. Each module takes approximately 100 hours to complete, so the estimated duration for the eight modules is 800 hrs (minimum).

Stage 2: Seven Modules

All of these are available online, or by distance education. Once again, each module takes approximately 100 hours to complete, so the estimated total duration of the seven modules is 700 hours (minimum).


Associate Diploma Award Options

In order to obtain this ACS Associate Diploma in Horticulture, you need to:

- Show proof of a prerequisite certificate (e.g. provide a certified copy of an acceptable horticulture certificate obtained prior to these studies)
- Satisfactorily complete all set assignments
- Successfully complete exams with ACS in all of the 15 modules

ACS Advanced Certificate

If you want to achieve an ACS Advanced Certificate, you can simply complete the modules listed below and undertake an ACS practical examination in your home locality. 


Plant Propagation I

Soil Management (Horticulture)

Botany I

Horticulture II

Practical Horticulture I

Plus 3 electives:

Crops I

Protected Plant Production

and one other crops module


Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens

Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens

and one other landscaping module


Turf Care

Plant Selection and Establishment

Wholesale Nursery Management

(See Advanced Certificate Outline for more details)


The Advanced Certificate is considered to be the first half of this Associate Diploma; and as such you are expected to have studied everything in that course before commencing the subjects below.

To complete this you must under take all modules listed below. 

To gain the ACS Associate Diploma, you must first complete the Advanced Certificate, and then the following additional modules.






Meet some of our academics

Dr. Lynette MorganBroad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.