Qualification - Associate Diploma in Horticulture

Course CodeVHT026
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma

Nurture Your Horticulture Knowledge

This is a great course for anyone wishing to enhance their skills and knowledge as a horticulturist. If you are looking at starting a business, or to build a career in horticulture in areas such as production horticulture, arboriculture, turf management, landscaping, or landscape maintenance, then this is an excellent starting point.




Either Year 12 (passed), an acceptable certificate (e.g. completed apprenticeship) or over 21 yrs of age.

Stage 1 Core Studies

The following six modules are undertaken first as a foundation for further studies:

Exemption is granted for this stage to anyone who has the following:

  • Any Certificate or Advanced Certificate from ACS
  • Horticultural studies of 600 hrs or more class contact duration from another approved institution (Approved institutions include universities, IARC recognized institutions, institutions with a teaching approach that have a strong emphasis upon foundation science and plant knowledge)

Note: Modules from either stages II & III may be undertaken after stage I is complete.

Stage II Electives

Six modules chosen from the following:

Other options may be considered, though the above are generally considered the better options for this particular course.

Stage III Compulsory Modules

The following should all be completed


Horticulture I

There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:

1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.

2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.

3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.

4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.

5. Water Management: Irrigation systems – characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; waterwise gardening.

6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.

7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.

8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.

9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.

10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.

11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.

12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.

Horticulture II

The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:

1. The Groups of Plants ‑ Identification of plants from a wide range of taxonomic and cultural groups, using a range of different techniques.

2. Use of Plants ‑ plant selection, soils.

3. Australian Native Plants

To determine techniques for the growing of native shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.

4. Exotic Ornamental Plants

To determine techniques for the growing of exotic ornamental shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.

5. Indoor & Tropical Plants -growing of indoor plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties

6. Bedding Plants - techniques for the growing of bedding plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties.

7. Vegetables

Learn to develop techniques for the growing of edible crop plants, including selection, culture and use of vegetables, fruit, berries and nuts (Part A).

8. Fruits, Nuts & Berries

9. Herbs

10. Alternative Growing Techniques ‑ hydroponics, container growing, terrariums. Determine appropriate applications for a range of alternative growing methods

Horticulture III (Plant Health)

There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:

1. Introduction

2. Overview of Preventative Controls

3. Insecticides

4. Other Pesticides

5. Spray Equipment

6. Insect Biology

7. Fungal Biology

8. Environmental Problems

9. Viruses

10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans

This course provides a broad based foundation to allow you to adapt to and work in different sectors of the industry, as a technician, business owner, consultant, etc.

Horticultural staff need to have a strong foundation in both science and plants. They need to know:

  • What affects plant growth (Soils, nutrition, water, temperature, pests etc)
  • Cultural Techniques (Propagation, pruning, planting, shelter, etc)
  • Plant Knowledge (Plant family characteristics, classification system, etc)

This course is internationally accredited through I.A.R.C


What's Different About this Diploma?

  • Options to choose electives that you don't find in similar diplomas elsewhere.
  • A longer, more in depth diploma than what is offered at many other colleges (Compare the duration -2100 hours -here with elsewhere). Study more, learn more, go further in your career or business.
  • A stronger focus on learning (some colleges focus more on assessment than we do -but we believe that what you learn is what makes the difference)
  • Exceptional tutors...compare the qualifications and experience of our staff (see staff profiles at ... http://www.acsedu.com/about-us/our-staff.aspx)  ....after all, it doesn't make sense to choose where to study if you don't first know who will be teaching you.


Some of our Horticulture Tutors

Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Higher Dip. (Garden Design), RHS Advanced Cert. Horticulture, Cert Admin.Mgt., Dip. Inst. Personnel Management

In addition to her RHS horticulture, garden design, City & Guild construction, NPTC pesticide/legislation and business/management qualifications, Diana has a variety of skills drawn from setting up Arbella Gardens, a landscape gardening business. She also has administrative, management and training delivery experience drawn from her employment in other organisations such as the NHS and other educational institutions such as schools & universities. She has augmented her training expertise having gained the Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector qualification. She also has experience gained through working as a volunteer in a number of different roles including amenity style gardening in parks and practical conservation work.

Maggi Brown Cert.Ed.(Environment)
Maggi is regarded as an expert in Organic Growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic). She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more them three decades.

Yvonne Sharpe RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt.
Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne hastravelled 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.

John L. Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Sup'n Cert., FIOH, FPLA, FAIH, MACHPER, MASA
Mr Mason has had over 40 years experience in the fields of Horticulture, Business, Education and Journalism. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. He has held positions ranging from Nurseryman and Landscape Designer to Director of Parks and Recreation (City of Essendon) and magazine editor.
John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over forty books and of over two thousand magazine articles. Even today, John has written a number of best selling reference texts used by horticultural courses at universities and colleges internationally. His publishers include Simon and Shuster, and Landlinks Press (CSIRO Publishing 

Dr. Lynette Morgan B. Hort. Tech., Ph.D. in Horticultural Science   Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. 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.

Gavin Cole B.Sc., Psych.Cert., Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Gavin has over 20 years of industry experience in Psychology, Landscaping, Publishing and Education. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own firm. He spent the best part of three years working in our Gold Coast office, partly as a writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine), and partly as a tutor in both psychology and horticulture.

Martin Powdrill, Bsc (Hons) Applied Science (Resources Option), MSc Computer Studies, Permaculture Design Certificate. Martin’s goal as a catalyst for sustainable change brings together his strengths and experience in his environmental, project management, and business backgrounds. For 25 years, Martin has been involved in Telecommunications, IT, Organisational Development, and Energy Conservation & Efficiency, prior to setting up his own Permaculture consulting business. He wishes to make a real difference to people and the planet, by actively bringing new perspectives to current challenges and exciting opportunities. To realise this, he enables diverse groups of people to flourish and release their untapped potential, by re-igniting their passion and creativity. Additionally, Martin volunteers with many local environmental and community groups, and facilitates discussions on climate change, peak oil, and transition towns. Martin has an allotment, and is currently enrolled in the Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Award programme.

Rosemary Davies Dip Hort Sc.   Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

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$3,806.00Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!
Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

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