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RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)


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RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)

Price: £395.00Course Code: RHSL302
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( Lisa Outhwaite, 04/04/2018 ) Q:

Hi. My company would like to pay for me to do the RHS level 3 course, is it possible for them to be invoiced? Many thanks Lisa

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Hello Lisa,

Thank you for getting in touch. We will be happy to send your company a pro-forma invoice. Please can you email the following details to info@adlhomestudy.co.uk:

Your name, date of birth, contact number and email address.

The company name, address, contact person name, contact number and email address.

Name of course you wish to study.

We will email the pro-forma invoice within 24 hours.

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RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)

RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting (Theory)

Continue your RHS Garden Planning studies with this course and build upon what you have already learned.RHS Logo

Having successfully completed the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance, you're ready to progress to this more advanced level 3 programme. It is also accredited and recognised throughout the world and will help you become even more in demand with employers or your own customers. On successful completion, you will have acquired more in-depth garden design, garden construction and landscaping, plus planting skills.

To obtain the RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting, you will need to pass four unit exams, held by the RHS in February and June annually. It is important to register for them before the set deadline and exam fees are payable separately to the center when booking. You will need to register as an external candidate with an RHS Approved Centre, or contact qualifications@rhs.org.uk for details. To help fully prepare you for the exams, past test papers are readily available.

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

Course Duration:

The Total Qualification Time (TQT) given for this course is 202.

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 and to print off for making notes and highlighting particular sections of interest. You can also choose to have the course posted to you on a USB memory stick.


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
  • neat and tidy lawn 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 
  • Examinations take place in February and June
  • No entry requirements
  • Qualification consists of four mandatory units 

Important Links:

  • For RHS Website please click here
  • For RHS Examination dates for 2019 please click here
  • For RHS Examination fees please click here
  • For RHS approved UK Examination Centers please click here
  • For RHS Qualification Specification for Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planning, updated January 2018 please click here
    For  RHS Level 3 Statement of Qualification Purpose please click here

Previous Student Comments:

"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 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 Certificate II , Ireland.   


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

classical garden design2.1 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 Sitecart with with various flower pots

  • 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


The quality of this course is second to none, from the in-depth learning you will get to the expert individual mentoring you will receive throughout your studies. The mentors for this course are: 
Yellow roses tutor Susan StephensonSusan Stephenson
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. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. 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. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Steven Whitaker tutorSteven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 

Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite Level 2 Garden Planning is advised, as level 3 will assume you have knowledge from level 2.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Recognised qualification from the RHS. N.B. Course fee does not include exam fees.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 15 - Regulated Qualification
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Your qualification is recognised in its own right on the Ofqual Register
Recognition of Your Course By Universities
Designing Your Own Qualification
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

                       Learn, Progress, Change, Achieve                                                     


Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"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 Trees 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

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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.