Foundation Degree

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You will have the opportunity to develop the horticultural knowledge, design ability and business skills required to become a professional garden designer.

Course Structure

Studio-based activities are a significant feature of this course, where staff and students can share experiences in the process of learning individually and as a group. Project work, group critiques and individual tutorials promote reflective learning and the development of generic drawing skills. Practising garden designers contribute to the course as visiting tutors.

Areas of Study

There is a balance between theoretical and practical subjects offered, from Plant Knowledge and Use, and History of Garden Design, to more general modules which include Entrepreneurship and Career Development.

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and delivered by Plumpton College.

Entry Requirements:

2 A-levels (grade D) BTEC Extended Diploma (MPP)

Dates & Location:

September 2017


Full-time: 2 years 
Part-time: 4 years

UCAS Details:

UCAS code K300

Zaidee Penhaligon

Zaidee Penhaligon

Level 3 Diploma

I was really keen to take this course as it covered so many areas of horticulture and I wasn't sure which area I wanted to follow as a profession.

One of the investigative projects that I really enjoyed was managing the application, design and construction of a show at RHS Hampton Court Flow Show. 


Our horticulture facilities at Plumpton are pretty impressive. In fact you’ll get to experience one of the finest natural locations in the country, perfect for developing your creativity. Whether indoors or outdoors, you’ll be able to build your skills in an excellent environment.

  • Discover our extensively planted areas on-site at Plumpton

As you build your knowledge, you’ll be able to gain a wide experience of being able to identify and maintain different plants.

  • Experience our endangered plant collections at first hand

You’ll be able to experience our Black Poplars and National collection of Hebes, in addition to our endangered plant network connection with Kew Gardens.

  • Grow plants all year round here

We’ve got an excellent large area under glass where you’ll be able to grow plants without the risk of the weather, up to a commercial level.

  • Build even more skills at Plumpton

You’ll be able to develop your brickwork skills and paving at our large landscaping centre.

Future Opportunities

Successful completion of the course enables graduates to enter the horticultural industry: some as practising garden designers, others are employed in established studios while some find other niches within a more general area of horticulture.

Graduates may also progress to further study on a related course at a higher academic level.


Year 1

  • Garden Plant Identification
  • History of Garden Design
  • Site Surveying & Analysis
  • Plant Establishment & Maintenance
  • Hard Landscaping
  • Garden Design & The Arts
  • Planting Design 
  • Entrepreneurship 1
  • Soil Science

Year 2

  • Exterior Spatial Design
  • Introduction to Computer Aided Design
  • Project Management for Garden Designers
  • Garden Design Major Project
  • Show Garden Landscaping
  • Garden Design Promotion

Optional modules

  • Plant Portfolio
  • Natural Planting
  • Advanced Computer Aided Design
  • Career Development
  • Work Placement 2
  • Nature Photography

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