Correspondence Courses

RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation

Full CourseLocationPrice
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied PropagationHome£576.00
Course ModulesPrice
(DC) Level 3PG Individual unit 1: Plant Taxonomy, Structure and Function£150.00
(DC) Level 3PG Individual unit 2: The Root Environment, Plant Nutrition and Growing Systems£150.00
(DC) Level 3PG Individual unit 3: The Management of Plant Health£150.00
(DC) Level 3PG Individual unit 4: Understanding Applied Plant Propagation£150.00

Enrol for this course or module

A level 3 qualification from the RHS can help you to move upwards in your horticultural career. The National Trust and many other employers require level 3 qualifications for supervisory roles, and the RHS qualification builds on Level 2 skills to focus on a deeper understanding of horticulture, and on more professional techniques. Keen gardeners can challenge themselves, and develop their skills to a professional level. 

This course looks at taxonomy and the evolutionary hierarchy of plants; the plant biology and soil science needed to understand and manipulate plant growth, and professional methods of managing plant health and propagation systems.  

Note: This course can also be studied at our Ryton and Bampton centres and as an online course.

What will I study?

Each RHS Certificate is made up of four individual units: you can work through them in turn, or you can just study single units that interest you.

  • Plant Taxonomy, Structure and Function
  • The Root Environment, Plant Nutrition and Growing Systems
  • The Management of Plant Health
  • Understanding Applied Plant Propagation

What is covered?

Click here for the RHS Level 3 Syllabus which provide you with a complete overview of the course.

How is it delivered and assessed?

Correspondence course 

If you prefer to work from printed course material, we will send you full-colour printed course materials for each unit. Your tutor can be contacted via email to support you in your studies, marking your revision workbook and mock examination papers to give you feedback and help you to prepare for examinations. You will also have access to the online classroom.


The theory Certificates are assessed by national exams set by the RHS each year in February and June. Each unit has its own  short written exam.

We do not enter you for the examinations, but we will make you aware through the online classrooms of exam dates and deadlines.

Online study through a “virtual classroom” 

There is a dedicated online space for each unit, which you share with other students on your course. 

You can download all your notes and presentations to read on or offline, view interactive materials and ‘self-test’ quizzes, contact the course tutor by internal messaging for feedback and support, upload practice exam papers and questions for marking, and get in touch with other students. 


What qualification will I get?

When you have passed exams in all the units, the Royal Horticultural Society will award a Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation.

If you successfully complete the other theory Certificate, and the RHS Level 3 Practical Certificate in Horticulture as well, the RHS will award you a Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

Note: it is not compulsory to take examinations if you are following the course for your own interest.  However if you want a Certificate to demonstrate that you have followed the course to a successful completion you will need to enter and pass the examinations. THe RHS will no longer  allow to us to provide any evidence that you have studied the course without taking examinations.

What is the cost and venue(s)?


Individual units are  £150 each (£125 + VAT) or the full Certificate is  £576 (£480 + VAT)


You can buy each unit separately at £99 (£82.50 + VAT), or the full Certificate (four units) is £372 (£310 + VAT)

These course costs do not include RHS examination fees  (currently £26 per unit): these are paid to the RHS by the centre where you choose to take your exams, and while we offer our Ryton and North Moreton Centres to our students these may not be the most convenient  for you.

Study at home, or whenever and wherever it suits you. You can download most of the course materials, print them out if you prefer, or take them with you on a tablet on your daily commute.


What is the enrolment process?

You can enrol and buy your chosen units on the website using PayPal.

For online courses, your username and password will be emailed to you within three working days; correspondence materials will be sent out within a week. 

We use the information you give us on PayPal to set up your enrolment  - if you buy a course for someone else, or your PayPal uses an old email address, please contact us.  

What else do I need to know?

There is no compulsory course work, but you will be given the opportunity to try practice examination questions if you are going to take the examinations.

Our candidates enjoy a high level of success in RHS examinations, with over 90% passing on the first attempt and approximately half of those, passing with commendation (that means they achieve 70% or more in the exam).

What can I do after completing this course?

You can go on to study the second theory Certificate, the RHS Level 3 Certificate in Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance. Alternatively, you could undertake the RHS Level 3 Practical Certificate in Horticulture, which is assessed rather than examination- based qualification,and work towards the  full RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture. 

An RHS Level 3 qualification is well respected in the horticultural industry and can help with career progression to a supervisory role for National Trust and many other employers.

After completing your studies at Level 3 you might want to consider the RHS’s own Master of Horticulture, a degree-level qualification which is suitable if you are already employed in horticulture with supervisory experience, or a horticultural degree at a British university.

We also offer you the opportunity to pursue an interest in a garden design with our Practical Garden Design Course. Click here