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Horticulture (Level 3)

The Extended Diploma is a two year full-time study programme in horticulture. You will study 15 units, three of which are externally assessed. This study programme includes a broad range of units to enable you to develop the knowledge and technical skills required to work this area. This study programme focuses on the horticulture and landscape industries. Areas of study include plant and soil science, plant management, plant propagation and estate skills. Horticulture is a diverse sector and includes nursery work, garden maintenance, landscaping, garden design, plant production, sports turf and groundsmanship and plant research and education.


Shuttleworth College has always been on my radar and when I finished school I knew I couldn’t be in a classroom any longer. I love being outside and want to get into landscape gardening, so this study programme was an obvious choice.

It’s such a lovely environment here at College and it doesn’t matter that I’m the only girl on the programme; everyone is so nice. The tutors will go out of their way to help you, as well as all other staff and even tutors on different courses! We’re like one big family.

I really enjoy propagation as it is fascinating to see things grow, as well as plant science, which involves work in the onsite lab. The walled garden is very smart and we have our own space for theory and practical work.

My work experience placement with a landscaping company will give me the opportunity to transfer my skills in machinery maintenance and knowledge of plants and safety procedures in a commercial environment.

After College I hope to either study Garden Design at university or start work straight away.

Imogen - Horticulture Level 3

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need... 

Duration: 2 Years

  • 4 GCSEs grades 9–4 ideally including English & maths OR 
  • Relevant Level 2 qualification

Course content

The Programme focuses on horticulture with a strong focus on identification, planting and care of plants throughout the programme, and in addition you will develop practical skills involved in landscape and garden design and developing business enterprise.

Subject units:

Mandatory units include:

  • Professional Working Responsibilities
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Contemporary Issues in the Land-based Sectors
  • Work Experience in the Land-based Sectors
  • Identification, Planting and Care of Plants
  • Routine Plant Management
  • Plant Propagation Activities
  • Tree and Shrub Pruning and Maintenance
  • Participating in Horticultural Tasks at Events
  • Resource and Operations Planning for Event-based Horticultural Activities

You will also study a number of specialist units, which may include:

  • Land-based Machinery Operations
  • Zoological Horticulture
  • Developing a Land-based Enterprise
  • Landscape and Garden Design
  • Pests and Disease in Plants
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience: 
    You will be required to find a work placement in both year 1 and 2 of the study programme to achieve the industry experience unit.
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • The study programme will give you the opportunity to take part in a number of trips organised both in the UK and abroad. 
    • You will also be given the opportunity to enter competitions and design gardens for shows. 
    • The College also works closely with the local community to give you the experience of the working environment.

    You could also study to achieve the following additional qualifications:

    • Tractor driving
    • Chainsaw & related operations Level 2 Award
    • Safe use of pesticides Level 2 Award

Assessment methods

You will be assessed continually on the study programme. A variety of assessment methods will be used, including presentations, case studies, portfolios and practical assessments. There are also externally set assessments for professional working responsibilities, planted soil science and contemporary issues in the land based sector. These are written examinations lasting 1 hour 30 minutes each. 


Horticulture BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • English and maths qualifications if required 

Additional qualifications (at an additional cost) include: 

  • NPTC Level 2 Award Chainsaw & Related Operations 
  • NPTC Level 2 Award Safe Use of Pesticides

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points.

Further study and career options

As a result of studying this study programme you will have gained the skills and knowledge required to progress onto a university degree in a related field, or to find employment in the horticultural industry.

Additional information

If commuting to Shuttleworth College will be difficult for you, then you can choose to live in our halls of residence on campus. Priority is given to those who live the furthest distance from the College so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. Visit our accommodation page for more information -

You will also have the opportunity to gain additional qualifications as part of the programme, including: Health and Safety in Horticulture; the Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 or Level 2 Practical Certificates; Certificates in employability skills and pesticide application. Please note that if you are over the age of 19 then you may be required to pay for some of the additional qualifications.

The study programme will also give you the opportunity to take part in a number of trips organised both in the UK and abroad. You will also be given the opportunity to enter competitions and design gardens for shows. The College also works closely with the local community to give you the experience of the working environment. In order to take part in this study programme you will be required to wear clothing appropriate for working outdoors, including steel toe-capped boots to take part in practical sessions. There will be a range of study tours, some of which will be free, and payment plans are available for those that have a cost. (Advanced notice of trips is given). 

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Shuttleworth College SOB399

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Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.