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Course Title: RHS Level 3 Garden Planning, Construction & Planting VHT042

RHS Level 3 Garden Planning, Construction & Planting VHT042

Horticulture Course
Price:£415 Qualification: RHS Certificate

This well written and easy to follow RHS course teaches you about garden planning, construction and planting. Develop your ability to describe the principles of using landscaping and other specialist garden elements in the garden, landscape construction, garden design, survey techniques, specialist garden and urban planting.

Find a job, start a business, work in landscaping, As part of this RHS course you will receive unlimited support from an international team of highly qualified horticulturists and landscape professionals based both in the UK and Australia.

To obtain the RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting, you will need to pass four unit exams, held by the RHS in February and June annually. It is important to register for them before the set deadline and exam fees are payable separately to the center when booking. You will need to register as an external candidate with an RHS Approved Centre, or contact qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details. To help fully prepare you for the exams, past test papers are readily available.

The four unit exams are:

Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles
Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantings

Course Duration:

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) for the courses is 202. We encourage our learners to work at their own pace and so there are no assignment deadlines or end date, by which the course must be completed by. Apart from the RHS exam dates deadlines, you are in control. If you start and then something happens in your life that stops you from continuing, don’t worry. Just take a break and recommence your studies for the following year’s exams or even for the year after that.

Learning Materials:

You can be assured that all of the course work and resource materials (revision workbook, PowerPoint presentations etc.), have been written by experienced professionals who have prepared everything in line with up-to-date RHS guidelines for learning providers.The syllabus is broken into the four units and because many people choose to spread their exams over the two examination months available, it means you can target your learning to those you want to take first. Please contact us if you just want to take one unit at a time.

Everyone gets online access to ADL’s learning platform and the learning materials, which can be downloaded in a pdf. format to study offline and to print off for making notes and highlighting particular sections of interest. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick.


At ADL we pride ourselves on the quality of the unlimited admin and tutor support we provide to our students. Our support team are there to help you with anything they can, whilst our tutors are seasoned industry related professionals, suitably qualified in horticulture and very happy to share their wealth of experience.

Studying from Abroad:

If you are intending to study from abroad (other than Ireland), you will need to email qualifications@rhs.org.uk to request an exceptional supervision form before applying to take the exams. This means that you can complete the course from abroad and get an internationally recognised qualification from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Tuition Fee Includes:

All course learning materials
Mentor support from horticultural Professionals
Marking and grading of up to four past RHS exam papers per course taken
Free student membership of the RHS for 12 months

We will also include our online 20 Hour course in Plant Taxonomy worth £99.00 free of charge.

This course is crucial for the correct scientific identification of plants. Please note: Without this level of taxonomic knowledge, you risk mis-identifying plants. This can mean growing a less productive species, or even worse growing a plant with higher levels of toxins and being unaware you are doing so.

Key Facts:

  • Ideal qualifications for entry into horticultural employment, improving practical skills or further study
  • Course covers a range of wide range of horticultural topics and up-to-date working practices
  • Appropriate for career change or to gain a better knowledge
  • Suitable for part-time study
  • Each unit is assessed by examination
  • Examinations take place in February and June
  • No entry requirements
  • Qualification consists of four mandatory units

Important Links:

RHS Website please click here
RHS Examination dates for 2019 please click here                      RHS Examination fees please click here                                            RHS approved UK Examination Centers please click here
RHS Level 3 Qualification Specification for this course (last update (January 2018) please click here
RHS Statement of Qualification Purpose please click here

Previous Student Comments:

“I am delighted to report that I passed the exam and received a “Pass with Commendation.” I appreciate very much the detail that you went into, in the the correction of my assignments and I found your advice and extra subject information invaluable in advancing my interest and knowledge in horticulture”. Go raibh mile maith agat! (a thousand thanks!) Colin, RHS Certificate II , Ireland.

UNIT 1 Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles

Outcome 1: Understand how to develop a client brief

1.1 Identify the information which needs to be gathered from the client.
1.2 Describe how information is gathered to develop the client

Outcome 2: Understand how to carry out a site appraisal

2.1 State what existing features and characteristics need to be recorded.

2.2 State what methods are used to collect and record site information.
2.3 Explain the influence of features and characteristics on choice of design

Outcome 3: Understand a range of basic surveying techniques

3.1 Describe the linear surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
3.2 Describe the level surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
3.3 Interpret survey measurements from standard documentation.
3.4 Describe scale drawings produced from survey data

Outcome 4: Understand the principles of garden design

4.1 Explain the principles of garden design.
4.2 Describe examples of the application of the elements in 4

Outcome 5: Understand the historical development of garden design styles

5.1 Describe representative characteristics of the following garden design styles:
Medieval, Moorish, Renaissance (Italian,French and Dutch), English Landscape,
Victorian, Modernist, Japanese
5.2 Review the factors that influence the design of domestic

UNIT 2 – Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden

Outcome 1: Understand the Contribution made by Hard Landscaping Features to Garden Design

1.1 Identify how hard landscaping features may contribute to garden design.
1.2 Describe a range of materials suitable for these hard landscaping features to meet aesthetic, functional and sustainable design requirements.
1.3 Evaluate the suitability of hard landscaping materials and features to ensure accessibility for all garden users.
1.4 Review how considerations of safety may influence the choice of structures and materials used in the garden

Outcome 2: Understand the Contribution made by Soft Landscaping Features to the Design of a Garden

2.1 Describe soft landscaping features that contribute to garden design
2.2 Select plants suitable for a range of soft landscaping situations
2.4 Describe the design possibilities of grassed areas ( including mowing effects and heights, turf mazes)
2.5 Describe the use of planting plans

UNIT 3 – Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden

Outcome 1: Understand the Planning Involved in the Realisation of a Garden Design

1.1 Explain the need to plan landscape works

Outcome 2: Understand the Practical Procedures for Setting out a Site

2.1 Describe how to set out the major features of a design on the ground
2.2 Describe how to set out the required levels on site

Outcome 3: Understand the Reasons for Correct Groundwork Procedures

3.1 Describe the correct handling, storage and reinstatement of soil during site construction
3.2 Select the type of drainage system required in various situations
3.3 Describe the foundations for hard landscaping

Outcome 4: Know Materials and Construction Procedures for Garden Surfaces

4.1 Describe a range of appropriate materials for garden surfaces
4.2 Describe the procedures for laying the surface materials mentioned in 4.1

Outcome 5: Know materials and construction procedures for garden walls, fences and pergolas

5.1 Describe materials that are suitable for the construction of garden walls
5.2 Describe materials suitable for garden fences
5.3 Describe materials suitable for pergolas and arches
5.4 Describe the construction of walls, fences and pergolas

UNIT 4 – Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantings

Outcome 1. Understand the Practices of Establishing and Maintaining Planting in a Range of Specialist Areas

1.1 Describe the characteristics of a range of specialist areas
1.2 Identify establishment and maintenance issues associated with specialist areas
1.4 Understand how water conservation can be applied in soft landscaping

Outcome 2. Understand Pruning in the Establishment and Maintenance of Specialist Plantings

2.1 Describe the use of specialist pruning techniques

Price: £395
Qualification: Certificate
Estimated Course Duration: 150 hours
Available Learning Methods: Online, USB (+£10) and Correspondence (+£100)
Enrolment Dates: Our courses are self-paced and you can start at anytime

Enrol today and get a recognised qualification from the RHS

Enroll Now

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As soon as payment has been confirmed you will be able to access your course materials online within 24 hours. Any further correspondence will arrive at your address between 3-4 days.

For any Questions or to Enrol please call 01227 789 649

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