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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture (Package of Both L2 Courses)


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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture (Package of Both L2 Courses)

Price: £680.00Course Code: RHSL2Package
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( Susie, 15/03/2017 ) Q:

Where do we sit the exams for this course? Do we sit them at your offices?

( 23/03/2017 ) A:

Hello Susie,

Thank you for your interest in the Academy for Distance Learning and our RHS Level 2 Package.

Exams are taken at a RHS centre near to where you live. When you feel you are ready, you will need to arrange to attend them and pay the exam fees to them.

I hope that this helps

( Bethany farren, 05/01/2017 ) Q:

Hi I was wondering if any payment plans are available for the level 2 and 3 rhs course? Thanks Bethany

( 10/01/2017 ) A:

Hello Bethany,

Thank you for your question.

The RHS level 2 Package course was created to offer students the opportunity to save money, if they enrolled for both courses at the same time and paid for in one upfront fee.

However, you can take the two Level 2 courses separately and split the payments of each one into 2 x monthly payments. The total fee for this option is £650.00.


( Victoria Davies, 31/05/2016 ) Q:

I am interested in becoming a gardener and starting my own gardening business, will the RHS Level 2 Certificate help me do this?

( 31/05/2016 ) A:

The RHS courses are internationally recognised and respected, plus very sought after. They are ideal for anyone looking to work in the Horticultural industry. Therefore, we can certainly recommend the Level 2 Package to give you the tools required to be a self-employed or employed horticulturist. After level 2, you can move on to the RHS level 3 package for £630.00 if you wish. Alternatively, you can enrol for the level 2 and level 3 packages together for just £900.00, a saving of £260.00 on the cost of taking the two packages separately. Please click on the following link for more information:

RHS Combination Package

Please be aware that you have to pass the RHS exams in order to receive your qualification. If this worries you, we have many other Horticultural courses which will teach you what you need to know, but where the qualifications don't just depend on the final exam.  Your assignments through the course are also taken into consideration.

RHS exams are held twice a year, in February and June and the fees are not included with the course. They have to be paid directly to the RHS and there are 4 exams per course, i.e. 8 for the package option. Currently, level 2 exams are £14.00 each and level 3 exams are £20.00 each.

We are an approved learning provider for the RHS.

( Ryan, 10/06/2015 ) Q:

If for some reason, I don't have time to prepare for an exm - illness/injury something,ike that. Is there a procedure for deferring til the following year? Or must the entire course be completed within the first 12 months? Thaks

( 10/06/2015 ) A:

Hi Ryan.
Courses with us have no completion deadline. The way our RHS courses work is you study until you feel ready to take the exam. Then once you are confident you can sit the exam with them, you can apply with them through their site, calling them up etc. They will direct you from that point on. The RHS have their exams in February and June of any given year.

( Paul, 09/04/2015 ) Q:

While awaiting the RHS exams, is a certificate issued for completion of the online course? Also, can the course be staggered so that some exams are done in July and the remainder in February? Thank you

( 16/04/2015 ) A:

Hello Paul,


Yes, ADL can issue you a Letter of Achievement, but it is not an RHS qualification. It will state the course you did and you will obtain a transcript with your assignment grades. Ultimately, the RHS gives you your qualification once you complete the exam. You can also stagger the exams as you say, some in June and some in February. ADL encourages this in students as all 8 exams in one lump can be tought for a part time student.

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RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture (Package of Both L2 Courses)

The RHS Level 2 Combination Package Certificate in the Principles of Horticultureis awarded to all learners who have completed both the level 2 theory principles courses and passed the eight unit exams. You can study this accredited and globally recognised qualification online, from the comfort of your home and gain the knowledge and skills you need to forge a successful career in horticulture. Distance learning is a very good and popular way to gain the qualifications needed to change your career, or undertake continuing professional development.

With home study, you can work at your own pace; you're not forced to learn at the speed of others who may be faster or slower than you. You are in control of your learning, both of how quickly you progress through the course and the depth to which you study. Due to the respect that RHS qualifications command within the gardening industry, they should be viewed as a desirable addition to your CV, if you either work in horticulture or intend to do so, maybe as a school leaver or someone looking to change careers.

To obtain the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture, you will need to pass the eight unit exams, not included in your course fee, spread over the two courses below. Students need to register as an external candidate at an RHS Approved Centre to take these, or contact qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details. Exam fees are payable to the RHS Centre when booking your seat. To help fully prepare you for the exams, there are past test papers readily available.

By enrolling and paying for both courses in full, you will save 10% on the individual fees that apply when taking the courses separately.

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development (Theory)

  1. Plant Classification, Structure and Function
  2. Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment
  3. Maintaining Plant Health
  4. Understanding Plant Propagation

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory)

  1. Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning
  2. Choice, Establishment and Maintenance of Garden Plants and Lawns
  3. Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit
  4. Protected Environments and their use in Plant Cultivation

The course and/or units can completed in any order and exams are held by the RHS in February and June every year. Please note that there are deadline dates by which you have to apply to take them and exam fees are paid to the test center when booking your seat.To help fully prepare you for the exams, there are past test papers readily available.

Course Duration:

The course takes approximately 280 hours to complete but this is given as a guide only. We encourage our learners to work at their own pace and so there are no assignment deadlines or end date, by which the course must be completed by. Apart from the RHS exam dates deadlines, you decide how and when you study. If you start and then something happens in your life that stops you from continuing, don't worry. Just take a break and recommence your studies for the following year's exams or even for the year after that.

Learning Materials:

You can be assured that all of the course work and resource materials (revision workbook, PowerPoint presentations etc.), have been written by experienced professionals who have prepared everything in line with up-to-date RHS guidelines, for learning providers.The syllabus is broken into the four units and because many people choose to spread their exams over the two examination months available, it means you can target your learning to those you want to take first. Please contact us if you just want to take one unit at a time.

Everyone gets online access to ADL's learning platform and the learning materials, which can be downloaded in a pdf. format to study offline. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick and/or opt for the correspondence add-on option, if you would like the learning materials in book form.


At ADL we pride ourselves on the quality of the unlimited admin and tutor support we provide to our students. Our support team are there to help you with anything they can, whilst our tutors are seasoned industry related professionals, suitably qualified in horticulture and very happy to share their wealth of experience.

Studying from Abroad:

If you are intending to study from abroad (other than Ireland), you will need to email qualifications@rhs.org.uk to request an exceptional supervision form before applying to take the exams. This means that you can complete the course from abroad and get an internationally recognised qualification from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Tuition Fee Includes:

  • Learning materials for all four units
  • RHS student membership for the first 12 months

Key Facts:

  • 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 practices
  • Appropriate for career change or to gain a better knowledge
  • Suitable for part-time study
  • Each unit is assessed by examination or set practical activities
  • Examinations take place in February and June
  • Practical courses provide hands-on experience of practical skills
  • No entry requirements
  • Qualification consists of mandatory units (for theoretical and practical-based qualifications) with some optional units to develop specialist practical skills

Important Links:

  • For RHS Website please click here
  • For RHS Examination dates for 2018 please click here
  • For RHS Examination fees please click here
  • For RHS approved UK Examination Centers please click here.
  • For RHS Level 2 Qualification Specification September 2017 please click here
  • For RHS level 2 Statement of Purpose click here

Previous Student Comments:

'Thanks a lot for your help. I'd like to say that I'm very pleased and feel that I made the right choice in choosing ADL. I have found your customer service to be excellent, friendly and professional. The course I have started is also extremely well written and is very effective at 'commiting' the lessons to memory. So once again many thanks to yourself and your team!'  Michael Allen - RHS Combined Package


Lesson Structure: Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development (Theory)

Unit 1 - Plant Classification, Structure and Function:

  • Outcome 1. Know the characteristics and the naming of the main groups of plants and their life cycles
  • Outcome 2. Know the structure and function of plant cells, tissues and vegetative organs
  • Outcome 3. Understand the structure and function of flowers, fruits and seeds
  • Outcome 4. Understand the importance of photosynthesis, respiration, the movement of water and minerals through the plant

Unit 2 - Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment:

  • Outcome 1. Understand the physical and chemical properties of soils
  • Outcome 2. Know the importance of organic matter in the root environment
  • Outcome 3. Understand plant nutrition provided by soil and other growing media
  • Outcome 4. Understand the uses of growing media

Unit 3 - Maintaining Plant Health:

  • Outcome 1. Understand the importance of using safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable practices for the maintenance of plant health
  • Outcome 2. Understand the problems posed by weeds in horticulture and how these problems can be minimised
  • Outcome 3. Understand the problems posed by pests and methods by which these can be minimised
  • Outcome 4. Understand the problems posed by diseases in horticulture and methods by which they can be minimised
  • Outcome 5. Understand the problems caused by plant disorders and methods by which they can be minimised

Unit 4 - Understanding Plant Propagation:

  • Outcome 1. Understand the role of seeds in plant propagation
  • Outcome 2. Understand methods of propagation from seeds and spores
  • Outcome 3. Describe the role of Vegetative Reproduction in Plant Propagation
  • Outcome 4. Understand methods of vegetative propagation

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance (Theory)

UNIT 1 - Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

  • Outcome 1. Know How to Carry out and Record a Garden Survey
  • Outcome 2. Know How to Carry out a Site Appraisal and Record Essential Data
  • Outcome 3. Understand Basic Garden Planning Principles and the Elements that Contribute to a Good Design
  • Outcome 4. Understand the Characteristics of Accepted Garden Design Styles
  • Outcome 5. Understand the Effective and Appropriate use of Hard Landscaping Materials
  • Outcome 6. Understand the Effective use of Soft Landscaping Elements
  • Outcome 7. Understand how to Incorporate Key Elements into a Cohesive Design
  • Outcome 8. Understand the Importance of Safe, Healthy, Environmentally-Sensitive and Sustainable Development of Garden Sites

UNIT 2 - Garden Features, Plant Selection and Planning:

  • Outcome 1. Understand the choice of plants for seasonal display and their establishment and maintenance
  • Outcome 2. Understand the Choice of Herbaceous Perennial Plants and ‘bulbs’ for Display, and how to grow them
  • Outcome 3. Understand the choice of Woody Plants for Display and their Establishment and Maintenance
  • Outcome 4. Understand the Choice of Alpine and Rock Garden Plants and how to Grow Them
  • Outcome 5. Understand the Planting and Maintenance of a Garden PoolOutcome 6. Understand the Establishment and Maintenance of Lawns

UNIT 3 - Understanding the Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruit:

  • Outcome 1. Importance of site selection for Outdoor Food Production in a Garden or Allotment
  • Outcome 2. Cultural operations used to produce outdoor food crops in a garden or allotment
  • Outcome 3. The principles of vegetable crop production
  • Outcome 4. The Production of top and soft fruit for a garden or allotment

Unit 4 - Understanding Protected Environments & their Use in Plant Cultivation:

  • Outcome 1. A Range of types of Protected Structure, and their use in Growing Plants
  • Outcome 2. The Environment provided by a range of Protected Structures
  • Outcome 3. Structural and Cladding Materials used for a range of Protected Structures
  • Outcome 4. The Control of the Environment in Protected Structures
  • Outcome 5. Types of Container and Growing Media Used for Production and Display in Protected Structures
  • Outcome 6. Horticultural uses of the Protected Environment
  • Outcome 7. Care of Plants in an Interior Situation


Optional Recommended books:

For the RHS Level 2 Certificate Courses as a whole:

  1. Principles of Horticulture 6th Edition by CR Adams, KM Bamford and MP Early
  2. New RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques, Mitchell Beazley ISBN 978184533408
  3. RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers, Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 9781405314541
  4. RHS Botany for Gardeners: the Art and Science of Gardening Explained and Explored, Mitchell Beazley, ISBN 9781845338336.

Other Useful Books:

  1. The Green Garden Expert by Dr D G Hessayon, Expert Books, ISBN 978090350563   
  2. RHS Plant Finder ( use the current edition only), £15.99 Dorling Kindersley   
  3. Plant Names Simplified: Their Pronunciation Derivation and Meaning, AT Johnson and HA Smith, old Pond Publishing, ISBN 1905523823   
  4. RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 plant names explained and explored, Lorraine Harrison and the RHS. Mitchell Beazley ISBN 184533731X

Additional Additional Books for the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

  1. Botany for Gardeners Revised edition Brian Capon, Timber Press £14.99 088192 6558
  2. Practical Science for Gardeners Mary Pratt, Timber Press £17.99 088192718X
  3. Green Plants: The Inside Story CJ Clegg. John Murray 0719575532

Additional Additional Books for the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance:

  1. The Essential Garden Design Workbook, Rosemary Alexander 2nd edition, paperback Timber Press 0-881-92975-1
  2. John Brookes’ Garden Design Book, John Brookes 2nd edition Dorling Kindersley 0-75130-981-8
  3. RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design, Chris Young (ed) Dorling Kindersley 1-40932-574-1
  4. The Garden DIY Expert, Dr D. G. Hessayon Expert Books 0-903-50537-1
  5. How to Garden: Garden Design, Alan Titchmarsh BBC Books 1-846-07397-9
  6. The Garden Planner, Robin Williams Frances Lincoln 0-71121-218-X
  7. Joe’s Small Garden Handbook, Joe Swift Quadrille Publishing Ltd 1-849-49367-7

For professional designers:

  1. An Introduction to Landscape Design and Construction
  2. James Blake, Gower 0-566-07775-2
  3. Plant User Handbook: a guide to effective specifying, James Hitchmough and Ken Fieldhouse (eds) Blackwell Publishing 0-632-05843-9


Course Info
Course StartAnytime, Anywhere
Course Hours280
Recognised Issuing Body
Course CodeRHSL2Package
Course PrerequisiteNo
Course QualificationRHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture
UK Course Credits28 Credits
Study SupportUnlimited support by tutors who are professional horticulturists experienced in preparing students for the RHS examinations.



Previous Customer Experiences with our Courses

"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Tree for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

"It exceeded my expectations. It was more comprehensive than I expected and the assignments really stimulated deep study of the subject. Thank you for your guidance. I am delighted with my certificate and will recommend this course and ADL to my friends and colleagues."  G Flaherty, Ornithology BEN102, Ireland

"I want to thank you for  the course - Hotel Management- I've just finished now. The course was comprehensive and well edited. For sure it can give a new worker in the hospitality industry the basic theoretical and practical knowledge required".  Daniel K, Hotel Management, Romania

"Upon completing the Interior Plants Course I was offered my dream job.  Taking this class was one of the best decisions I've made, the information I received was invaluable.  Thank you ADL". Meg V,  Interior Plants, Florida, USA.

“I am delighted to report that I passed the exam and received a “Pass with Commendation”. I appreciate very much the detail that you went into, in the correction of my assignments  and I found your advice and extra subject information  invaluable in advancing my interest and knowledge in horticulture”.   Go raibh mile maith agat! (a thousand thanks!) Colin, RHS Cert II, Ireland

"Although my main interest in Earth Science is Geology I found this course excellent. The course notes were very interesting and useful throughout the course. Thank you to the ADL staff for their excellent service" Barry. Earth Science

"I received good feedback, and had an efficient turnaround of assignments, useful comments and grades to analyse." Andrew, Calf Rearing

"I enjoyed the course and developed a good understanding of learning and behaviour disorders. I feel this will be helpful in my role as a Clerk at a local primary school". The course met my expectations and I enjoyed the challenge of learning about conditions i knew little about. The presentation of the course and the opportunity to communicate with my tutor was valuable. I enjoyed the course so much , I am planning to do another! Jennifer C, Developmental Learning and Behavioural Disorders in Children and Adolescents, UK

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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.