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RHS Level 3 Certificates

RHS Level 3

Part 1: The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation (from September 2018)

The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation builds on the current RHS Level 2 certificate and delivers a broad-based understanding of horticultural techniques and plant biology. If you are based in Scotland, it is equivalent to something between a higher and an advanced higher or to an English A-Level.

It is made up of 4 units:

  • Plant taxonomy, structure and function (5 credits)
  • The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems (5 credits)
  • The management of plant health (3 credits)
  • Understanding applied plant propagation (2 credits)

Please note that the 4 units will be released gradually between September 2018 and February 2019. This means you will have access to Unit 1 on the 3rd September, Unit 2 in November, Units 3 by Christmas and Unit 4 in February 2019.

Part 2: The RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (from September 2018)

This certificate covers garden planning, construction and planting and builds on the current RHS Level 2 certificate. The course delivers a broad-based understanding of garden design, construction and planting.

It is made up of 4 units:

  • Understanding garden survey techniques and design principles (5 credits)
  • Understanding the selection and use of landscaping elements in the garden (5 credits)
  • Understanding the setting out and construction of landscaping elements in the garden (3 credits)
  • Understanding a range of specialist elements in the establishment of garden and urban plantings (2 credits)

The RHS Level 3 Part 1 and Part 2 certificates are stand-alone qualifications so you don’t need to have completed Part 1 before you do Part 2.

What are the study options/fees?

You can choose to study Part 1 or Part 2 as individual stand-alone courses and you will have access to the online course materials and tutor support for 18 months. If you choose to do both certificates you will have access to the online course materials and tutor support for 24 months.

The fee for a single certificate is £400 and the fee for both is £700. This is payable on application and includes:

  • 18 months Access to course materials on PropaGate Learning for a single certificate / 24 months for both certificates
  • Tutor support for any study questions
  • Access to discussion forums with other students

It is also possible to extend your online access for an additional 6 months for a fee of £50 should you need a little bit longer to complete the course

How do I apply?

You can apply using the online application form or the application form at the back of the handbook (available to download in the box on the right). Applications are accepted for a start between 3rd September 2018 and 31st May 2019.

What are the Entry Requirements?

There are no formal requirements. We would recommend studying the RHS level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture before taking on this course, but it is not always necessary. Feel free to get in touch if you are unsure about the level of the course by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How are these certificates assessed?

Each certificate course involves 150 hours teaching and self study and is assessed through the formal RHS exams in February and June.

The award of these Certificates is based on written examinations that are externally set and marked by the RHS. The certificate is accredited by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) in England and Wales. 

The two theory certificates go together with a practical certificate to make the RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture. Please note we are unlikely to run the RHS practical courses, if your ultimate aim is a Diploma.


Course Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails below to view screenshots of some of the course activities (you can scroll through them once you have opened one by hovering over the screenshot and clicking on the right arrow, or by clicking play on the small toolbar above the gallery)

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Find out more - RHS Level 3

Any questions about the RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture course or application procedure? Submit your query here.

Please read through the Applicant's Handbook to find out more information.

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