RHS Theory

New RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development

Course dates at BamptonTimePlacesPrice
16th September 202413.30 pm12£1090.00
Course dates at North MoretonTimePlacesPrice
18th September 202413.30 pm12£1090.00
Course dates at RytonTimePlacesPrice
17th September 202413.30 pm12£1090.00
21st September 202409.30 am12£1090.00

Enrol for this course

This course runs at Ryton on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, at Bampton on Monday afternoons, and at North Moreton on Wednesday afternoons. Courses will start in the week beginning 16/9/2024.

The new Level 2 Practical Certificate which completes the Level 2 qualification also runs at these centres. 

The RHS puts it simply: ' All life on earth is directly or indirectly reliant on plants either from a nutritional perspective or increasingly ... through a deeper connection linked to mental health and wellbeing. People need plants. Plants need horticulturists.'

This new Level 2 Certificate covers the core scientific principles underpinning horticultural practices, and looks at how horticulture benefits society. It also considers horticulture's role in preserving biodiversity, introducing more sustainable practices and reducing our carbon footprint to protect the natural environment.

The qualification is designed to help you develop the level of knowledge of plants and horticultural practices which is considered essential by the horticultural industries,  and equip you for employment within the horticultural sector. It can help with career development if you already working in the profession, but also provides a springboard for a change of career into horticulture.

The course gives you an opportunity to develop transferable skills such as problem solving, implementing management plans / programmes, and communication as part of your applied learning,  and to progress to further learning opportunities at Level 3, and then to higher education, career advancement or entry in the horticultural industries at a more advanced, technical level.

There are no pre-requisites for entry to this qualification.

Click here for a link to the RHS website which explains more about their new qualifications from September 2022.

What will I study?

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development (2022) consists of two units, each covering 4 topics:

Unit 1: Plant Science I, Plant Health, Plant Nutrition, Plant Specification

Unit 2: Plant Science II, Planting Styles, Horticulture and Society, Biodiversity.

What is covered?

The syllabus for the new RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development (2022)can be downloaded  here.

Clickhere for a link to the RHS website which explains more about their new qualifications from September 2022.


How is it delivered and assessed?

This qualification is classroom based; teaching consists of lectures and practical demonstrations with outdoor discussions where relevant.

In line with all of the new RHS qualifications, the requirements in each topic of the syllabus are now constructed around ‘assessment outcomes’ (AOs) which define the way in which you will demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills of making links between relevant topic areas,  under test conditions.

The AOs use a ‘progressive mastery’ model for each topic area. These qualifications have three broad categories of assessment outcomes, which are:

  • AO1 – knowledge recall of scientific ideas, processes, techniques, procedures, and making correct use of terms, symbols and units of measurement
  • AO2 – application of knowledge and understanding of concepts, theories, facts to different situations and contexts through presentation of reasoned explanations and analysis and interpretation of information and ideas
  • AO3 – application of knowledge and understanding in an integrated and holistic way in order to reach conclusions and make judgements and recommendations

Course notes will provide the underpinning information required for the assessment outcomes, and examine their progressive applications in aspects of horticulture.

Sample assessments will be used for practice.

If you prefer, you can watch/listen to a short voiced powerpoint on Youtube on how our course for the new Certificate is arranged, and on how the exams work.


The two units will each be assessed by a separate examination:  examination 1 will cover Unit 1 (topics 1.1-1.4) and examination 2 will cover Unit 2 (topics 2.1-2.4). 

For each examination there will be 100 marks available and each will take 120 minutes to complete.

The exams will consist of three sections: section A , 15-20 questions, 20 marks; section B, 12-15 questions, 50 marks; section C, choice of 2 from 4 questions, 2 x 15 marks.

You must achieve at least 50% in each unit and pass both unit 1 and 2 in order to be awarded the qualification. A final grade for the overall qualification will be calculated by amalgamating the marks for each unit and expressed as a percentage. Learners will be awarded the following grades for the complete qualification:
50-64% Pass
65-79% Merit
80%+ Distinction.

Examinations will be in February and June, with an opportunity for retakes or deferred examinations in October.

What qualification will I get?

When you have passed exams in both units, the Royal Horticultural Society will award you the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture - at either Pass, Merit of Distinction.

If you combine this with the RHS Level 2 certificate in Horticultural Principles, The RHS will award you with an RHS L2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

What is the cost and venue(s)?

Important note on RHS fees : The RHS have made a decision that a Centre can only accept you on an RHS course if you commit to the complete assessment process when you start. Their fees for the new Level 2 theory qualification are  £20 for registration  and £160 for examination  and assessment;  additional charges for the online examinations are £20 per examination which will make the total £220.  As soon as we register you in the first week of the course the RHS will invoice us for these fees,  so these RHS fees are now due at the beginning of the course as an itemised part of the initial payment.

Tuition fees: £870, RHS fees £220  = total payable £1090.

You will be  able to prepay  £1090 for your complete course; or you will be able to secure your place on the course with a non-refundable booking fee, payable on enrolment, of 25% of the full cost of the course plus an administration fee (£277.50) towards initial RHS registration costs.  Please note: In the event of a place not being available or if the course does not run, the booking fee will be returned to you. 

The remainder of the course fees can be paid in three equal instalments of £277.50 on weeks 8, 16 and 24  (this includes an administration fee of £5.00 for each instalment).

You will receive statements of account during your course but we do not sent  out specific reminders for staged payments.
You can ask us to set up a direct debit mandate when you book the course by saying 'yes' to this on the enrolment form: we will be pleased to send you a mandate form by email. Once this has been returned to us we can request payments from your bank on or about weeks 8, 16 and 24 .

Venue: Courses will take place at our North Moreton, Bampton and Ryton Centres.

The course will run at Ryton on Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning, at Bampton on Monday afternoon and at North Moreton on Wednesday afternoon. Courses will start in the week beginning 16/9/2024.

What is the enrolment process?

You can complete the online enrolment form and pay a deposit to secure a place.

Please note course places will be limited;  if no course places are showing, please contact our administrator about a waiting list.

Once a booking has been made,  you will receive a confirmation of your place.  Shortly before the course begins you will be sent joining instructions.

What else do I need to know?

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

What can I do after completing this course?

You can go on to study the RHS Practical Certificate, and work towards the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

An RHS Level 2 qualification is well respected in the horticultural industry and can be the first step in changing to a career in horticulture.