RHS Practical Horticulture Level 2

Course overview

This qualification has been designed to provide learners with the breadth of horticultural knowledge and skills required to carry out routine tasks proficiently in a variety of contexts. It supports progression to employment within areas of the horticultural industries (such as professional gardening, landscaping, plant production and garden retail), as well as supporting learning in entry level roles in the early stages of a horticultural career.

It is also designed to meet the needs of the amateur gardener. It also provides learners with the opportunity for personal development, including changing careers and engaging in their learning, and offers an opportunity to develop transferable skills such as problem-solving, implementing management plans/programmes, and communication as part of their applied learning.

Instruction is carried out by highly qualified tutors in the extensive ornamental grounds, plant nursery, woodlands and sports turf areas at the College. Merrist Wood has developed a considerable reputation for horticulture and for its award-winning gardens designed and built at RHS Flower Shows.

The diverse range of plants in the College’s 400-acre estate, together with purpose-designed buildings, including lecture rooms, laboratories, library facilities and computer suites, all provide an ideal environment for horticulture students.

Please note: This course is supported by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Eligible learners working towards the certificate may receive funding for some or all of their fees. If funding is received, it will be a compulsory requirement for those learners to sit the exams/assessments. Learners who are not eligible for funding and will pay full fees are still welcome to join the course and will be given the option of sitting the exams/assessments for the certificate.

Units covered include:

  • Plant Identification
  • Plant Establishment
  • Plant Propagation
  • Plant Health
  • Plant Care
  • Plant Pruning
  • Garden Features and Grassland Areas


This course will be taught using workshop and outside practical activities on site with some lessons in the classroom.

Assessment windows are between Jan–March and May–July with the online assessment in June.

There are no qualification entry requirements for this course.

For admission to the RHS Certificate Practical Horticulture course at Merrist Wood College, applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

Physical Fitness: Prospective students must be physically fit to proficiently complete tasks within allocated timeframes. The course involves practical work, including lifting, digging, and prolonged outdoor activity. Please note that extra time as an exam consideration cannot be granted.

Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 19 years of age to enrol in the course.

Educational Qualifications: While there are no formal academic requirements, a basic level of literacy and numeracy skills is beneficial for successfully completing the course. It’s important to note that common terms cannot be used for plant identification, emphasising the need for precise botanical terminology and understanding.

Interest in Horticulture: A genuine passion for plants, gardening, and the natural environment is essential. Applicants should demonstrate enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and engage in horticultural activities.

You could move onto other related horticulture courses for example, RHS Level 2 Principles of Horticulture or RHS Level 3 Practical Horticulture.

For prospective students considering enrolment in the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture at Merrist Wood College, here are additional details relevant:

Schedule: The Level 2 Certificate course is designed to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Classes are conveniently held one day per week during the academic year’s term time. This flexible format enables students to balance their studies with other commitments, making it accessible to working professionals and individuals with diverse lifestyles.

Accreditation: The Level 2 Certificate is accredited by RHS, a renowned awarding organisation. This accreditation ensures that the qualification aligns with industry standards and is widely recognised by employers in the horticulture sector, enhancing students’ employability upon completion.

Practical Emphasis: Due to the volume of practical tasks that may arise during assessments, students will need to seek additional practice to refine skills in their own time to supplement the course.

With the practical approach, industry accreditation, and flexible scheduling, the Level 2 Certificate offers a valuable pathway for individuals seeking to advance their careers in horticulture.

The course will run from 9:30 to 15:00.

Delivery Day: Monday 23-24. Disclaimer – please note the delivery day of a program can change each academic year, therefore we will not be able to confirm the delivery date for the following academic year until the summer term.

Course Starts in 52 Days
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