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Horticulture students examining flowers at the Eden Project

Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development

We are now offering the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development course. It is ideal for those looking to pursue a career in horticulture or stretch and challenge skills for personal interest.

If you would like to discuss the course with a member of our team before enrolling, please email

Course overview

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Highly valued by employers, the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture consists of two individual qualifications; a practical-based and theory/knowledge-based qualification.

The well-rounded learner, in particular those seeking employment, will achieve both elements to demonstrate the vital skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the modern day workplace. 

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development, provides learners with a solid theoretical grounding. Click the ‘Enrol Now’ button above. 

There are no pre-requisites for entry to this qualification level. The RHS state that Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 or grades A*, A, B, C or an intermediate apprenticeship.

The RHS Level 1 Certificate in Practical Horticulture is run by our Therapy Garden. More information can be found here.


Student testimonial

“ Being a mature student, with a job and family, it is really refreshing to find a course that works around your life commitments. The encouragement and support from the tutors is always at hand and really appreciated. ”

South African Veld garden at Eden

What you'll learn

The course is completely distance learning based and will be taught using a combination of different resources and activities via our online Moodle site.

Some of the topics covered include Plant Science, Plant Nutrition, Plant Health, Plant Specification, Planting Styles, Biodiversity, Horticulture & Society.  You will also cover Sustainability, Health & Safety, Equality & Diversity and Horticultural Best Practice, these are vital aspects of the course. 

You will gain an understanding of the science of plants, such as how they function, nutrition, health, adaptations and various planting styles. You'll develop an understanding of the horticultural industry and current best practices and the vital role plants play in enhancing biodiversity.

Eden horticulturalist holding pitcher plant

How the course is delivered

The course is designed to be studied on a part-time basis allowing you to learn alongside other commitments. You can start at any point of the year, moving through the structured content at your own pace.

It takes about 180 hours to complete the course and you should aim to do this within a year. Each topic can be covered over 1-2 months, or 3.5 hours per week. This will prepare you for two exams throughout the course. 

The course is delivered through an online platform, using a variety of tools - interactive presentations, videos, quizzes, discussions and further reading. 

Pink flowers in Therapy Garden

How you'll be assessed

In order to achieve this qualification, you must complete  two examinations. These exams are offered online and are available in February, June and October each year.  

You should expect to be ready to sit the two hour exams 4-8 months after starting each unit. To pass, you need to achieve at least 50%, but will receive a Merit for 65-75% and a Distinction for 80% or over. 

RHS Level 2 Qualifications are assessed externally by the RHS, but the results and certification will be issued by The Eden project Horticulture Learning Team. Exam dates and times are set by the RHS and can not be changed. 

A Eden employee gardening looking to the camera surrounded by sunflowers

How much it costs

The full course of two units, each containing four topics, is £995. Eden Project Members receive a 5% discount off course fees. 

Please note that new Eden Project Members need to wait up to 24 hours after joining, in order for the 5% discount to be applied automatically when booking this course.


Student testimonial

“ I encourage anyone interested in expanding their horticultural knowledge, either for personal enhancement or career opportunities, to do this course. ”

Enrol on the course

Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development

£995 (5% discount for Eden Project Members)

Meet the tutors


Course terms and conditions

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