RHS Certificate Practical Horticulture Level 3

Course overview

Qualification is subject to centre approval.


The Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture focuses on developing the essential basic horticultural skills. These not only offer opportunities for employment, but provide the foundation for further skills development at other levels. By carefully focusing on key essential skills, it has been possible to develop a practical qualification that can be studied on a part-time basis, either during the day or in the evening.


RHS theoretical and practical qualifications are offered separately in order to provide maximum flexibility to candidates, providers and employers.
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.
Mandatory Units
  • Collecting and testing of soil samples and specifying adjustments for horticulture
  • Collecting, preparing and propagating from seed
  • Establishing and maintaining a range of plant types and forms
  • Identification of a range of common garden plants, weeds, pests, diseases and disorders
Optional Units
  • Planning, collecting, preparing and establishing propagation material
  • Management of green spaces, landscaped areas and ornamental gardens 
A range of methods will be used to assess this qualification. They include formative assessment of skills by tutors at college, and a range of summative short answer tests as well as direct observation by RHS Assessors.
All assessments must be conducted in accordance with the RHS requirements.

 Whilst there are no formal pre-requisites for entry to the qualification, it is strongly recommended that students who undertake this qualification have obtained the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture or equivalent before they commence on the course.

You could progress to the new RHS L3 Principles certificate. These courses are recognised nationally and internationally and offer routes into a range of careers in the Horticulture Industry.

Steel toe-capped boots are required for outdoor sessions. Current students have found that a camera is useful for keeping records of plants and techniques studied on the course.

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

Delivery Day: Thursday 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 103 Days
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We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.