Associate Diploma in Horticultural Studies

Course CodeVHT008
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma

An ideal broad based and flexible qualification for anyone seeking to make a career of horticulture, and looking to study beyond certificate level. 

Jump-start Your Career in Horticulture from home.

This course can be undertaken anywhere in the world. It is self-paced so you can start at any time of the year and study around any prior commitments.

The course covers a vast range of Horticultural strands such as:

Plant Propagation
Plant Ecology
Turf Care
Soil Management
Plant Selection and Establishment
Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens and much more.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Associate Diploma in Horticultural Studies.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Horticultural Research A BHT118
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Plant Health (Horticulture III) BHT116
 Plant Identification and Knowledge (Horticulture II) BHT102
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 10 of the following 26 modules.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Landscaping I (Introduction to Design) BHT109
 Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105
 Turf Care BHT104
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
 Culinary Herbs VHT242
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Cutting Propagation BHT211
 Fruit Production -Temperate Climate BHT218
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Hydroponic Management - Hydroponics II BHT213
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Irrigation - Gardens BHT210
 Landscaping III (Landscaping Styles) BHT235
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
 Seed Propagation BHT237
 Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
 Biophilic Landscaping BHT343
 Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Interior Plants (Indoor Plants) BHT315
 Tissue Culture BHT306
 Turf Grasses BHT342
 Water Gardening BHT307

Note that each module in the Associate Diploma in Horticultural Studies is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Working as a Professional in Horticulture

Will doing a course get me work? No not always! Many people study just to get a qualification and having a qualification may be no guarantee for work. What will get you work, is studying the right subjects and retaining, but more importantly being able to recall and apply your knowledge and skills later (even years later). Not all courses set you up for this – some people are rushed though courses, rather than studying at a self-paced speed, they need to fit in with course deadlines. This makes people rush and rushing does not allow you to truly absorb information – lack of absorption means an inability to recall and apply knowledge. What you learn from a good course does greatly increase your employment opportunities.

What do I need to Get Work as a Horticultural Graduate?

Sound demonstrable knowledge and skills across horticulture industry sectors but also pertinent to the job; a qualification is just one part of that, many people have qualifications but it is how you are able to apply and demonstrate your knowledge that will count most to your potential employer. In horticulture you will not only know the basics of horticulture such as plant identification, plant culture, soil management, propagation and so on you will also need to have a sound grounding in other subjects that will expand your basic knowledge – this course allows you to do this.

Good communication skills: verbal, written and IT skills are the very basis of a professional in any industry and horticulture is no exception. You need to be able to communicate effectively at all levels – with workers, your peers, your employers and importantly your clients.

Problem solving skills: In the work place, and as a professional, you will need to problem solve all the time – you need to be able to think on your feet, come up with quick solutions and make sure that those solutions are carried through and actually work. Problem solving skills are encouraged in ACS courses because your set tasks and assignment are based on Problem Based Learning – a system which is proven to produce graduates that have advanced problem solving capabilities and there is nothing an employer likes more!

Efficiency: Efficient workers know how to plan, organise, have logic and be able to apply it to work load and production (doing the things in the right order in an organised way). Efficient don’t need to do this quickly they should be adept at applying skills and expertise.

Professional attitude: employers prefer people with good personal presentation and the ability to work cooperatively within a team environment.

A passion for the industry: Employers also prefer those that show a passion for their work and you can demonstrate this by being across the latest developments pertinent to your industry sector, you can do this throug networking within the industry: volunteering to gain experience, memberships to clubs, societies and associations.

What Else?

See study as a first step - continue studying and learning throughout your career - reading literature from a variety of sources will all help you to gain a good profile and make you stand out from others applying for the same positions.

Have a well written, concise CV and written to current conventions - ACS tutors will help you with your VC free of charge.

Recognise your weaknesses (academic and other) and work on them but also know your strengths and don't be afraid to demonstrate them.