Level 3

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Building on all of the skills and knowledge that you already have, you’ll get to spend lots of time understanding tree and woodland care at our excellent facilities here at Plumpton. With over 800 hectares of land for you to explore, you’ll be choosing the perfect location.

These are a suite of level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A level) which can be studied in a variety of combinations to allow flexibility and to help you to develop your arboricultural and forestry skills along with increasing your underpinning knowledge and understanding of tree and woodland care.

This course is designed to prepare people for entry to the forestry or arboriculture industries as an operator and includes a wide range of skills and knowledge.

Year 1 of the programme will cover primarily arboricultural and tree care skills and will also include plant and soil science and machinery operation.

Year 2 will cover forestry skills, estate skills and more advanced arboricultural skills and knowledge. There will generally be more theory based sessions in the second year.

Work experience is undertaken throughout the programme as it is ideal preparation for employment on completion as well as being a core module for the course. There will be the opportunity for students to access external assessment to gain chainsaw and tree climbing certificates of competence (NPTC) as additional qualifications.


Matt Moss

Qualifications Gained

  • Chainsaw and related operations certificates of competence (NPTC): L2 20/202, 203, 206, L3 306, 308 (Additional charges for assessment and registration fees will apply)
  • Health and safety qualifications
  • Plumpton College Certificate in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • College award, Functional Skills or GCSEs in English and maths
Entry Requirements:


  • You’ll need to have achieved 4 or more GCSEs between Grade 9-4 (previous grade structure A-C) including English, Maths and a Science
  • Successful completion of a related Level 2 qualification

Mature students without the above requirements will be considered 

Dates & Location:

September 2018


2 years full time

4 days per week

During my course I really enjoyed all the climbing and learning new techniques to access the canopy.

The classroom side of the the course was really good too; I gained a great deal of knowledge to support my practical skills.

Noah Tremaine

Level 3 Diploma Foresty


We’re pretty proud of our facilities here at Plumpton. In fact in the land-based sector, we’ve got some of the leading college facilities in the UK – the perfect natural location for our forestry and arboriculture courses for you to develop your skills.

  • Discover the latest equipment for your course

You’ll work on various equipment such as tractors, a WoodMizer saw mill plus a range of wood chippers.

  • Extensive grounds for you to develop your skills

You’ll need to be able to work in a variety of locations, build your knowledge by discovering our farmed land, hedgerows and streams.

  • Experience our fantastic modern facilities

Our superb site at Flimwell features our working commercial woodland plus modern workshop – an ideal base for your studies 

  • Benefit from our excellent local connections

You’ll be able to gain practical experience and knowledge of the tree-based sector thanks to our links with local land owners and estates.

Future Opportunities

After completing your course, you can choose to go on to study a Foundation Degree in Forestry and Arboriculture.

Alternatively you’ll have the skills to find employment as a skilled Arborist or Forester in a local authority post, National Trust or in the private sector.


Year 1

  • Plant and soil science
  • Tree planting, identification, and care
  • Work experience
  • Tree felling and chainsaw use
  • Forest and woodland skills
  • Specialist forestry & arboricultural machinery
  • Arboriculture skills
  • English & Maths

Year 2

  • Work experience
  • Specialist investigative project
  • Pests and diseases
  • Tree surveys, inspections and data analysis
  • Timber conversion and use
  • Advanced arboricultural skills
  • English & Maths

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