RHS Theory

RHS Level 2 Certificate in Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

Sorry, there is currently no availability for this course, for further information on when there will be availability for this course, please feel free to contact us.

Enrol for this course

 After 2021-22 the Level 2 Certificate in Plant Growth will be replaced by the new RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture at our centres. This will be the final year that we can offer the Plant Growth Certificate, but there are transition arrangements in place for those who wish to complete an RHS Level 2 Diploma to have time to complete all three Certificates using current or new Qualifications.

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 National Trust and many other employers. This is also an ideal course for adult beginners or keen gardeners who want to broaden their knowledge. 

This course introduces you to botanical names and the terminology of horticulture, and to the basic science behind plant growth which underlies how you can keep plants healthy and propagate them; it  also gives you an outline of the relationship between plants and the soil and how nutrients are supplied.  

Note: This course will be available as a Distance Learning and Distance Correspondence options until March 2022; click  on the course tabs below to find out more.

What will I study?

Each  current RHS Certificate is made up of four individual units:

  • Plant Classification, Structure and Function
  • Plant Nutrition and the Root Environment
  • Maintaining Plant Health
  • Understanding Plant Propagation

What is covered?

Click here for the RHS Level 2 Syllabus which provides you with a complete overview of the course.

How is it delivered and assessed?

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

Each unit 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 frequent opportunities to try sample examination questions to help you to prepare for examinations.

What qualification will I get?

When you have passed exams in all the units, the Royal Horticultural Society will award a Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development.

If you successfully complete the other theory Certificate, you will be awarded the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture; and when you successfully complete the RHS Level 2 Practical Certificate in Horticulture as well, the RHS will award you a Level 2 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 but the RHS now requires you to register and pay for examinations at the beginning of your studies. If you do not take the exams you cannot be awarded an RHS qualification.

What is the cost and venue(s)?

Tuition fees are £525.00, the RHS examination fees are £72.00, total payable £597.00 plus VAT @ 20% is £716.40. 

You can prepay £716.40 for your complete course, or you can secure your place on the course with a non-refundable booking fee, payable on enrolment, of 25% of the full cost of the course. This is payable as the first instalment of £184.10 (including VAT) and covers the registration and certification fees.

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 (£552.30 including  VAT and administration fees) should be paid by week 8 of the course; or if preferred in three equal instalments of £184.10 on weeks 8, 16 and 24 of the course.

You can ask us to set up a direct debit mandate when you book the course by saying 'yes' on the form and 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.

The course takes place at Bampton on a Tuesday afternoon, and at Ryton on a Saturday afternoon.



What is the enrolment process?

Complete the online enrolment form.

Please note course places are limited; completing the form does not guarantee that a place is available on the course you have chosen, our administrator will contact you to confirm your place. Shortly before the course begins you will be sent joining instructions.

What else do I need to know?

Our candidates have in the past enjoyed 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 2 Certificate in Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance. Alternatively, you could undertake the RHS Level 2 Practical Certificate in Horticulture, which is assessed rather than examination-based qualification.

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. It is an accepted route into the horticultural profession for National Trust and many other employers.  After completing your studies at Level 2 you can progress on to an RHS Level 3 qualification.

From 2021 we also offer the chance to combine studying the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Garden Planning Establishment and Maintenance with a City & Guilds Certificate giving you more practical experience in the design process: our new Diploma in Garden Planning and Practical Garden Design; or you can add to your theoretical knowledge from the level 2 Certificate in Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance with a practical City & Guilds qualification, our new Practical Garden Design Certificate.