Top navigation bar Bottom navigation bar

Leisure courses

Access courses

Principles of Plant Growth, Health & Applied Propagation RHS Level 3 Certificate

Designed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) this course provides a route to employment in professional horticulture as well as supporting career development for those already working in the profession. This course can be combined with the RHS Level 3 practical qualification in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting to form a full Level 3 qualification.  It will help you to develop the skills and knowledge desirable to the horticulture industry.  The RHS is an internationally renowned organisation and has developed these courses to promote the professional skills of horticultural enthusiasts and professionals.

RHS Approved Centre


I chose to study at Shuttleworth College because of the wonderful surroundings and brilliant facilities. It has one of the biggest walled gardens around, and really is a College with a soul to it.

I run my own small gardening business, do some gardening work for Age UK and give talks on horticultural topics to various gardening clubs. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) courses are something I have always wanted to do, as I would like to set up my own plant nursery.

My tutors are very knowledgeable and patient, and they often go beyond the mandatory units to teach us relevant things outside of the curriculum. One thing we have learned about is grafting, which is a very niche skill to have. You can email the tutors whenever you need to ask them something; they are very supportive.

Particular elements of the course that I have enjoyed include; micro-propogation in the laboratory (lab-based plant growing) which has been eye opening, and pruning – the walled garden has so many different and rare plants to learn about. You have everything you need here, all within a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.

I am thinking of doing my Master of Horticulture, M Hort (RHS) through the RHS, but I will need a few more years’ experience before I can start. 

Peter - Practical Horticulture RHS Level 3 Certificate,
Principles of Plant Growth, Health & Applied Propagation RHS Level 3 Certificate

Entry requirements

There are no formal qualifications required but you must be able to undertake written assessments and an external examination.  It is recommended that you study on the RHS Level 2 qualification before applying for this Level 3 course.

Course content

The course will focus on more advanced principles of horticulture and the skills and knowledge needed to become an experienced horticulturist.  The majority of the learning is classroom-based teaching.

The course will cover the following:

  • Plant classification, structure and function
  • Plant nutrition and the root environment
  • Maintaining plant health
  • Understanding plant propagation.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed via end of course examinations set by the RHS.

Further study and career options

On completion of this course you could progress on to another RHS course.

Funding information

Course Information & How to Apply

The deadline has now passed and we are no longer accepting applications. Please register your interest here for our part-time courses starting from September 2021.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)FeesLocationCourse Code
32 week(s) 23/09/2020 Wed 9.30 am - 12.30 pm £362 Shuttleworth College SOB918 Course in progress

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

Shuttleworth College Enquiry Form


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

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

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information