City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate

Apply for 2024

This is for you if you are looking to start a career within the horticultural sector. The horticulture sector is made up of many diverse industries delivering the science, art, technology and business of ‘growing plants’.

Achievement of this qualification demonstrates to an employer that you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge they are looking for when recruiting for a trainee horticulture operative. Opportunities will be given to impress potential employers during our workdays towards the end of the course so that you may succeed in finding employment.

You will gain an understanding of the skills and knowledge that are important when you are working in a horticultural setting, or progressing to further learning and training in this area. You will get lots of practice and support to enable you to develop as a horticulturalist.

Course Content

This course primarily focuses on production of fruit, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs and glasshouse crops.

You will learn:

  • Production techniques in horticulture
  • Health and safety for the land-based industries
  • Working in the horticulture industry
  • Plant naming, identification, selection and science
  • Establishment and maintenance of plants outdoors
  • Care, maintenance and use of tools and machinery
  • Horticulture business skills

Work Experience

Study programmes include a minimum of compulsory work experience hours achieved through one day a week or block placements. The amount of hours required is dependent on the study programme. 

Careers Hub

We offer impartial careers guidance to all of our students, email careers@plumpton.ac.uk to explore your next step or to book an appointment – we’re here to help.

Industry Work Placement

All students aged 16-18 on our Level 2 & Level 3 programmes will now have to take part in an exciting and compulsory 50-day industry placement programme alongside completion of their vocational course. The programme will give you the chance to gain valuable skills in a real working environment whilst being paired with your ideal employer.

Our mission is to pair students with their ideal employer and to support them continuously during the placement.

There is flexibility on how students complete the placement; it can be during non-college weekdays, weekends, in blocks or over the holiday period. You will receive all of the necessary information during your interview, and if you have any queries in the meantime please contact workexperience@plumpton.ac.uk


  • Synoptic assignment: requires you to identify and use effectively in an integrated way an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories, and knowledge from across the course content area.
  • 1.5 hours theory exam: assesses your depth and breadth of understanding across content in the qualification at the end of the period of learning, using a range of question types and will be sat under invigilated examination conditions. Units 202, 203, 204, 205 and 206.
  • Health and Safety theory exam: This exam is designed to assess your depth and breadth of understanding of the “Health and safety for the land-based industries” 201 unit.
  • Assignment: The assignment requires you to identify and use effectively skills, knowledge and understanding from across the content of the unit 210 “Production techniques in horticulture”.
  • Grading: Assessment and exams will be graded Pass, Merit and Distinction.

Course details

Dates & Location

(Exact dates TBC) - September 2024 - June 2025 (Mondays)

09.30 - 16.00


1 year, full-time

3 days per week plus 1 day work experience

Entry Requirements

  • 4 GCSE's at Grades 9-3 inc. English & maths (Science at grade 3 is recommended)

Mature students without the above requirements will be considered. 




If you're thinking of horticulture, Plumpton is one of the finest locations for you to enjoy developing your creativity We've got the amazing backdrop of the South Downs just waiting for you to discover. Our extensively planted areas make sure that you get the chance to gain a broad experience in plant identification and plant maintenance. You'll be able to experience our endangered plant collections of Black Poplars and National Collection of Hebes, plus our connection with Kew Gardens and the endangered plant network. you'll be able to use our large area under glass which means that you'll be able to grow plants all your round to a commercial level. We also have a large landscaping centre where you'll be able to develop your brickwork and paving. 

Future Opportunities

By completing this course, you'll be able to go on to complete on of three Level 3 Horticulture programmes or into employment as an Estate Gardener, Grounds Maintenance Contractor, Groundsman, Landscaper or Nursery Worker.


Health and safety for the land-based industries
  • Impact of legislation
  • Risk assessment requirements
  • Safe working practices
Working in the horticulture industry
  • Structure of the horticulture industry
  • Employment rights and responsibilities
  • Organisation of business
Plant naming, identification, selection and science
  • Naming of plants
  • Identify and select plants
  • Plant growth and development
Preparation, planting and maintenance of plants
  • Principles of soil and growing media
  • Soil cultivation
  • Planting and potting plants (shrubs/trees)
  • Establish and maintain grassed areas
Care, maintenance and use of tools, equipment and machinery
  • Safe working principles
  • Maintain, prepare, use and operate tools, equipment and machinery
Horticultural business practices
  • Business practices and sales skills
Production techniques in horticulture
  • Carry out crop production techniques,
  • Focusing on fruit, vegetables, flowers, and glasshouse crops

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