RHS Theory

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

Course dates at RytonTimePlacesPrice
25th September 202113.30pm14£840.00

Enrol for this course

The RHS are in the process of introducing new qualifications at level 2 and 3, for first teaching in September 2021.

We do not have details for the new level 3 qualifications yet.  We do know that the new format for Level 3 will include one theory Certificate (from a choice of two paths, relating to garden design or heritage gardening) and a practical Certificate, which together will form an Advanced Certificate. There is currently no proposed Certificate in Plant Science. A research project can be added to achieve a Level 3 Diploma. Also it will normally be necessary to complete the two level 2 Certificates before starting level 3.

Details of the new Level 3 and the transition for students on the current Diploma are due to be released to us sometime before Christmas. 

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. 

The current 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: The current course is also available as Distance Learning and Distance Correspondence options but students are advised to consider that there is now a limited time in which to achieve their qualification; click on the links below to find out more. 

What will I study?

You will study four units, which make together make up this certificate, these are:

  • 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 provides you with a complete overview of the course.

How is it delivered and assessed?

This qualification is classroom based; teaching consists of lectures and practical demonstrations 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 practice examination questions are used extensively in class  to help prepare for the RHS exams.

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.


What is the cost and venue(s)?

Tuition fees are £588, the RHS examination fees are £112.00, total payable £700 plus VAT @ 20% is £840.00. 

This can be paid in four instalments of £213.25, which includes an overall administration fee of £13.

Courses will take place at the Ryton Centre

The course runs on Saturdays for 28 weeks, from 13.30 pm to 16.30 pm

What is the enrolment process?

Click on the green 'enrol on a course' button above and complete the online enrolment form; please fill in all the information required.

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 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.

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 develop your interest in a garden design with our Practical Garden Design Course. Click here