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Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture (60 or 180 Credit)

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Course Description

Now you’re serious about gardening! The green fingered bug has bitten and through this Level 3 industry recognised course you could progress to university or a higher paid job within the industry. Over 1-2 years you could work with staff and students at Hopwood Hall Kitchen Gardens learning about garden restoration, design and environmental impacts in a changing and vibrant industry. Our six acre kitchen garden supplies the highest quality food to the college, we even have plans for a box scheme and all run on organic principles! Learn about how animals can help us garden from pigs who dig to the uses for wool.

Our kitchen gardens sit within 70 acres of beautiful land at our Middleton campus where students have the chance to supervise others in landscape management. This hidden gem within striking distance of Manchester city centre runs the only Level 3 extended diploma in Horticulture in the area with students from a far afield as Todmorden, Saddleworth, Rawtenstall, Oldham and Bury. You will have the chance to learn about the history of gardening; how it became a force for political change and how it continues to change communities across the North. You will have the chance to work with soil science, hydroponics and work within areas of sustainability. This is a real opportunity to get into a growing and thriving area of learning.

You could progress into plant and soil science, botany, arboretum work, land management, commercial food growing, plant production and community gardening. Through theory, field trips, guest speakers, employer visits and working in the kitchen gardens you will build up your knowledge and skills to learn about plants, food production and how to manage others in a growing industry.


Awarding body: City & Guilds

Award: Subsidiary Diploma in Horticulture (60 Credit)/Extended Diploma in Horticulture (180 Credit)

Entry Requirements

Students need a minimum of 4 GCSEs grade C/4 or above to include English and Mathematics to begin this course. A BTEC Level 2 qualification, NVQ Level 2 or VRQ Level 2 or Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture are also accepted.


This course is an opportunity for those who either wish to begin a career in horticulture or for those who currently work in the plant production, community gardens, wildlife reserves, agricultural and land management industries to achieve a nationally recognised vocationally-specific qualification.

Topics on this course include:

  • Business Management in the Land-based Sector
  • Land-Based Machinery Operations
  • Horticultural Production Techniques - Outdoors/Indoors
  • Retail Merchandising for the Land-Based Sector
  • Organic Crop Production and Sustainable Development
  • Historical Influences on the Development of Gardens
  • Landscape Restoration
  • Computer Aided Design in Horticulture
  • Blacksmithing
  • Wildlife Population Surveys
  • Ecology and Conservation

Work Experience

Students on the Level 3 course undertake 300 hours of appropriate work experience off site within the industry or on site within the kitchen gardens.


Level 3 students have numerous progression options including employment, an apprenticeship or a Higher Education HNC/HND/Foundation and Honours degrees in many land-based qualifications. Possible Careers are: Agricultural, Arborist, Land Management, Garden Writer, Organic Gardening Consultant, Crop Grower, Tree Surgeon, Plant Scientist, Botanist, Garden Centre Manager, Nursery Manager, Parks Manager, Community Outreach, Growing Lead, Sustainability Manager and Hydroponics Grower.

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