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RHS Principles of Garden Planning, Planting & Construction
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)
Learn About RHS Principles of Garden Planning, Planting & Construction
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)
Having successfully completed the RHS Level 2 Certificates, you’re now ready to progress to this more advanced Level 3 programme. On successful completion of this Level 3 certificate course, you will have acquired more skills covering:
- in-depth garden design
- garden construction an landscaping
- planting skills
To obtain this RHS qualificatione you will need to pass four unit exams, held by the RHS in February and June annually. You must register for them before the set deadline. Exam fees are payable direct to the RHS . Free Past exam papers are readily available from RHS.
What Our Students Say!
“I just thought I ‘d let you know that I passed all my exams! I got one Commendation out of the four. I am completly shocked as it was far too much to do all four in one day and I found it quite a challenge. Thank you for your encouragement and support.” Jayne M, RHS Certificate II, UK
The four unit exams are:
- Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles
- Selection and Use of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
- Setting out and Construction of Landscaping Elements in the Garden
- Specialist Elements in the Establishment of Garden and Urban Plantings
The Total Qualification Time (TQT) given for this course is 202 hours.
UNIT 1 – GARDEN SURVEY TECHNIQUES AND DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Outcome 1: Understand how to develop a client brief
- 1.1 Identify the information which needs to be gathered from the client.
- 1.2 Describe how information is gathered to develop the client
Outcome 2: Understand how to carry out a site appraisal
2.1 State what existing features and characteristics need to be recorded.
- 2.2 State what methods are used to collect and record site information.
- 2.3 Explain the influence of features and characteristics on choice of design
Outcome 3: Understand a range of basic surveying techniques
- 3.1 Describe the linear surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
- 3.2 Describe the level surveying of a site using appropriate equipment.
- 3.3 Interpret survey measurements from standard documentation.
- 3.4 Describe scale drawings produced from survey data
Outcome 4: Understand the principles of garden design
- 4.1 Explain the principles of garden design.
- 4.2 Describe examples of the application of the elements in 4
Outcome 5: Understand the historical development of garden design styles
- 5.1 Describe representative characteristics of the following garden design styles:
- Medieval, Moorish, Renaissance (Italian,French and Dutch), English Landscape,
- Victorian, Modernist, Japanese
- 5.2 Review the factors that influence the design of domestic
UNIT 2 – SELECTION AND USE OF LANDSCAPING ELEMENTS IN THE GARDEN
Outcome 1: Understand the Contribution made by Hard Landscaping Features to Garden Design
- 1.1 Identify how hard landscaping features may contribute to garden design.
- 1.2 Describe a range of materials suitable for these hard landscaping features to meet aesthetic, functional and sustainable design requirements.
- 1.3 Evaluate the suitability of hard landscaping materials and features to ensure accessibility for all garden users.
- 1.4 Review how considerations of safety may influence the choice of structures and materials used in the garden
Outcome 2: Understand the Contribution made by Soft Landscaping Features to the Design of a Garden
- 2.1 Describe soft landscaping features that contribute to garden design
- 2.2 Select plants suitable for a range of soft landscaping situations
- 2.4 Describe the design possibilities of grassed areas ( including mowing effects and heights, turf mazes)
- 2.5 Describe the use of planting plans
UNIT 3 – SETTING OUT AND CONSTRUCTION OF LANDSCAPING ELEMENTS IN THE GARDEN
Outcome 1: Understand the Planning Involved in the Realisation of a Garden Design
- 1.1 Explain the need to plan landscape works
Outcome 2: Understand the Practical Procedures for Setting out a Site
- 2.1 Describe how to set out the major features of a design on the ground
- 2.2 Describe how to set out the required levels on site
Outcome 3: Understand the Reasons for Correct Groundwork Procedures
- 3.1 Describe the correct handling, storage and reinstatement of soil during site construction
- 3.2 Select the type of drainage system required in various situations
- 3.3 Describe the foundations for hard landscaping
Outcome 4: Know Materials and Construction Procedures for Garden Surfaces
- 4.1 Describe a range of appropriate materials for garden surfaces
- 4.2 Describe the procedures for laying the surface materials mentioned in 4.1
Outcome 5: Know materials and construction procedures for garden walls, fences and pergolas
- 5.1 Describe materials that are suitable for the construction of garden walls
- 5.2 Describe materials suitable for garden fences
- 5.3 Describe materials suitable for pergolas and arches
- 5.4 Describe the construction of walls, fences and pergolas
UNIT 4 – SPECIALIST ELEMENTS IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GARDEN AND URBAN PLANTINGS
Outcome 1. Understand the Practices of Establishing and Maintaining Planting in a Range of Specialist Areas
- 1.1 Describe the characteristics of a range of specialist areas
- 1.2 Identify establishment and maintenance issues associated with specialist areas
- 1.4 Understand how water conservation can be applied in soft landscaping
Outcome 2. Understand Pruning in the Establishment and Maintenance of Specialist Plantings
- 2.1 Describe the use of specialist pruning techniques
- 2.2 Describe establishment and maintenance pruning
To view the Learning Goals for this course, please view the Unit Outcomes as listed on the Lesson Content page.
The syllabus is broken into the four units and because many people choose to spread their exams over the two examination months – February and June, it makes the workload easier.
Please contact us if you want only to take one unit at a time.
Everyone has access to the online course material via ADL’s learning platform. Learning materials can be downloaded in a pdf. format in order study offline and to also print-off as your own printed copy.
You also have the option to receive your course material on a USB stick.
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Ideal qualifications for entry into horticultural employment, improving practical skills
- or further study
- Course covers a range of wide range of horticultural topics and up-to-date working
- Appropriate for career change or to gain a better knowledge
- Suitable for part-time study
- Each unit is assessed by examination
- Examinations take place in February and June No entry requirements Qualification consists of four mandatory units
Important RHS Links: RHS Website – please click here The information listed below can be found on the RHS Qualifications FAQ’s page.
- Examaination Dates
- Exam Deadlines
- Exam Fees
- Exam Centres
Free Past Papers available from RHS
Your tutor for this course is:
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983. City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984) Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world. Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love – plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design. In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture. Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction.
RHS qualifications are awarded upon completion of the following criteria:
Assessment for RHS courses is based upon completing and passing the 4 Unit RHS Exams for each Level 3 certificate.
Although there are assignments to complete for many of the units, the grades awarded do not count towards the final examination. Tutors provide feedback – an essential element in the learning process.
Course material includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course material.
Past exams papers are available for free from RHS.
How our courses work
Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, or USB. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What Your Tuition Fees Include:
- Learning Materials for both the RHS Level 2 and Level 3 courses
- RHS Student Membership for the first 12 months
- RHS Past Exam Papers
- All Course Material via Online or USB
- Outcomes Marked
- Suggested Reading List
- Professional Tutor Feedback
- Unlimited Personal Tutor Support – via our student classroom
- Committed and Friendly Admin Support – vital to your success
- An ADL Official Transcript upon completion of course workPlus FREE
- RHS Membership for the First 12 months
- Academic Writing course (optional – 10 hours only)
- Critical Thinking course (optional – 10 hours only)
- Job Seekers Careers Guide
- Study Tips on How To Study Better
- Career Counselling by ADL Staff
- CV Writing Help, Tips and Advice
RHS Examination and Registration Fees – please click here
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,