Course overview

Practical Horticulture Skills Diploma City of Bristol College

A part-time, one-year practical horticulture course within the Bristol area.

This course will give you knowledge and essential practical skills in horticulture.

When you complete the course you may progress to other related qualifications, enter a profession in horticulture, or use your skills at home or in your community.

This horticulture course is for adults aged 19+ and is a full qualification.

Additional information

Who is this course for?

This course is for adults aged 19 and over.

It will suit people who enjoy working outdoors with plants and green spaces. It is suitable for people who want to begin a career in the horticultural industry as well as people who want to explore their personal interest in gardening.

What you'll learn


  • Prepare ground or area for planting
  • Plant out container-grown plants
  • Plant a tree
  • Apply fertiliser to plants
  • Prune deciduous spring-flowering shrubs
  • Plant out plants in rows by hand
  • Propagate plants indoors from seed
  • Sow seeds outdoors by hand
  • Propagate plants by stem cuttings
  • Propagate plants by leaf cuttings
  • Identify plants by botanical name

Course entry requirements

This is an intensive course which requires excellent attendance and commitment to study, at college and at home.

To join the course, you must have an interest in working with plants and soil outside in all weathers, and a good level of physical fitness as the course involves physically demanding tasks.

You also need GCSE English Language at Grade 3 (D) or above or an equivalent.

How is the course delivered and assessed?

You will attend college one day a week and for one year during term time the course will be taught through Blended Learning – a combination of on-site delivery in the classroom and the Horticulture gardens plus home study each week.

This is a very practical course with some classroom-based sessions to provide necessary theory to enhance your learning.

You will be taught by experienced horticulture teachers at our specialist centre at South Bristol Skills Academy.

You will undertake a variety of activities at the college. Each topic you study on this course will be assessed separately throughout the year by practical course work and some short knowledge assessments. You must pass all practical assessments to achieve this qualification.

Future career and study opportunities

There are many organisations looking to employ people with horticulture knowledge and skills including:

  • garden centres
  • public and private gardens
  • parks and green spaces
  • leisure venues
  • garden design and maintenance companies.

You may prefer to set up your own business, for example, as a gardener, a specialist plant grower or an organic vegetable producer, as a landscape designer or in garden maintenance.

Alternatively, you may want to put your knowledge to good use at home in your garden.

Additional costs

As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel, your own safety boots, gloves and suitable wet and cold weather clothing and you will need your own writing materials and folders.

If you are on a limited income, you may be able to receive help from our Learner Support Funding Bursary.

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