Practical Horticulture Skills (Professional Pathway) L2 Diploma

Whether you’re pursuing a career in gardening or nursery management, this course sets the foundation for a flourishing career in horticulture.

Gain hands-on expertise in horticulture with our Level 2 Diploma at Merrist Wood College. Designed for aspiring horticulturists, this comprehensive horticulture course equips you with practical skills essential for success in the industry.

Delve into plant propagation, soil management, and garden maintenance techniques under expert guidance. Explore the principles of plant biology, pest and disease control, and sustainable gardening practices. Through a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application, you’ll develop a deep understanding of horticultural principles and techniques.

Whether you’re pursuing a career in gardening or nursery management, this horticulture course sets the foundation for a flourishing career.

Age requirement:Applicants must be at least 19 years old.

Please note:This course is supported by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Eligible learners working towards the certificate may receive funding for some or all of their fees. If funding is received it will be a compulsory requirement for those learners to sit the exams/assessments. Learners who are not eligible for funding, and will pay full cost fees, are still welcome to join the course and will be given the option of sitting the exams/assessments for the certificate.


Plant propagation techniques: Explore methods for propagating plants, including seeding, grafting, and cuttings.

Soil management: Understand soil composition, improvement, and maintenance for optimal plant growth.

Garden maintenance: Learn essential skills for maintaining gardens, including pruning, weeding, and lawn care.

Plant biology: Gain insights into plant structure, growth patterns, and physiological processes.

Pest and disease control: Identify common pests and diseases affecting plants and explore effective control measures.

Sustainable gardening practices: Discover eco-friendly approaches to gardening, such as composting and water conservation.

Practical skills: Develop hands-on expertise through practical sessions and real-world projects.

Health and safety: Learn about safe working practices and regulations relevant to horticultural environments.

The course is designed to evaluate your understanding and practical application of horticultural concepts. Assessment methods include:

Practical demonstrations: Showcase your ability to perform horticultural tasks such as planting, pruning, and propagation.

Written assignments: Demonstrate your knowledge of horticultural principles, plant biology, soil management, and pest/disease control through written assessments.

Portfolio: Compile evidence of your practical work, including photographs, reports, and reflective journals.

Observations: Your instructor will observe your practical skills during workshops and fieldwork sessions.

Multiple-choice exams: Test your understanding of theoretical concepts and principles related to horticulture.

This Level 2 qualification serves as a solid foundation for further advancement and success in the dynamic field of horticulture, leading to a wide range of opportunities that include:

Employment opportunities: Seek employment in various sectors of the horticultural industry, including gardens, nurseries, local authorities, or educational institutions.

Specialised certifications: Obtain certifications in specific areas of horticulture such as organic gardening, permaculture, or floral design to enhance your credentials and marketability in niche markets.

Advanced horticulture courses: Consider enrolling in higher-level courses such as Level 3 or Level 4 qualifications to deepen your knowledge and skills in specialised areas like garden design, arboriculture, or plant science.

Apprenticeships: Explore apprenticeship programmes that offer on-the-job training combined with further education, providing a pathway to becoming a skilled horticulturist while earning a wage.

University degrees: Pursue a degree in horticulture, botany, landscape architecture, or related fields to expand your expertise and open doors to advanced roles in research, education, or management (subject to further entry requirements).

Age requirement: Applicants must be at least 19 years old.

Educational qualifications: While there are no formal academic requirements, a basic level of literacy and numeracy skills is beneficial.

Interest in horticulture: A passion for plants, gardening, and the natural environment is essential.

Physical fitness: The course involves practical work, so applicants should be physically able to undertake tasks such as lifting, digging, and prolonged outdoor activity.

In addition to the entry requirements, here are some additional details about the Level 2 Diploma in Practical Horticulture Skills (Professional Pathway) at Merrist Wood:

Schedule: The course is structured to accommodate students’ schedules, with classes held one day per week during the academic year’s term time. This format allows students to balance their studies with other commitments.

Accreditation: The course is accredited by City & Guilds, a respected awarding organisation known for its high standards in vocational education and training. This accreditation ensures that the qualification meets industry standards and is recognised by employers in the horticulture sector.

Practical emphasis: With a focus on practical skills, students will have ample opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world horticultural settings, enhancing their learning experience and preparing them for future employment.

Explore your career progression options

If you are considering applying for this programme, why not explore your potential career progression routes using our handy tool.

You can explore live job vacancies, next level qualifications and apprenticeship standards in your local area. Not only this but you can also watch videos of real people talking about their experiences of working in your specific industry or occupation of interest.

Why not visit us at an Open Event and find out more about this pathway.


Dawn Rigby

Tutor Dawn Rigby I believe that young children need a special environment in which to grow and deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and passionate about their learning.
Read Dawn's full story here

Why Merrist Wood College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 100+

    different courses

  • 50+

    years of experience in teaching land-based subjects

  • 400

    -acre campus specialising in the land-based industries

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