Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance

Theory Course

A level 2 qualification from the RHS can be the first step in changing to a career in horticulture. It is an accepted route into the horticultural profession for the National Trust and many other  employers. This is also an ideal course for adult beginners or keen gardeners who want to broaden their knowledge.

Choisya ternata aand hostas in a raised bed

Course content:

  • Garden features, plant selection and planning
  • Choice, establishment and maintenance of garden plants and lawnshoice
  • Production of outdoor vegetables and fruit
  • Protected environments and their use in plant cultivation


Distance learning: please see the Distance Learning leaflet for details of how the course works.

You can study individual units, or enrol for the complete Certificate.

Online: the  full certificate course costs £264  (£220 + VAT), or  £72 (£60 + VAT) for a single unit

Correspondence: the course costs  £444 (£370 + VAT)  or £126  (£105 + VAT) for each unit.

Each of the four units is assessed by a short written examination set by the Royal Horticultural Society in February and June each year.

There is no compulsory course work, but you will be given the opportunity to try sample examination questions if you are going take the examination. RHS exam fees are £14 for each unit,  in September 2018 rising to £16. This is paid to the RHS by the centre where you take your exams.

Achievement: When you have passed exams in all the units, the Royal Horticultural Society will award a Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.

Combined with the other theory Certificate, you will be awarded the  RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture; and when you complete the final Practical unit,  the RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

Note: If you have opted not to undertake the examinations for either course but work through all the exercises and practice questions we will issue a certificate of attendance.