City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma

Apply for 2024

This qualification is for you if you are aged 16-19 or 19+, and want to work in horticulture. It is designed to provide you with a very wide range of specialist technical practical skills and detailed knowledge and understanding which will equip you to seek a diverse range of employment opportunities, or to further learning and training within the horticultural industry.

This qualification gives you the opportunity to learn about and build on the essentials of working in horticulture such as safe working, using equipment and machinery, plant identification, maintaining turf, plant health, pests and diseases and pruning and maintaining trees and shrubs. You will also learn about plant and soil science and business skills, and specialise in professional horticulture with regard to the optional units.

Course content 

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.

Work experience

Each learner is expected to complete a 180 hours evidenced work experience placement as part of the programme. This work placement should be with an employer that will provide you with structured opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge that are relevant to the qualification.

This aspect of the course will be discussed at greater depth during the induction period.

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 assessments/assignments where a candidate is given a problem to solve or an outcome to achieve. An example of this would be to plan and maintain a vineyard area.
  • Theory examination (2-hour) each academic year
  • Portfolio of evidence for work experience undertaken
  • Optional unit assessments


Course details

Dates & Location

September 2023


2 years, full-time

3 days per week plus 1 day work experience

Entry Requirements


  • You'll need to have achieved 5 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 and GCSE maths or English at grade c/4 or above

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

Sufficient UCAS points can be attained through academic achievement. Higher grades will allow entry into more prestigious universities.

  • Foundation or Bachelor’s Degree in related field e.g. Horticulture / Viticulture


Principles of Health & Safety
  • Legislation
  • Risk assessment & first aid
  • Manual handling
  • Fire prevention
Undertake and review work related experience in the land based industries
  • Employment opportunities
  • Prepare and review a work-based experience
  • Interpersonal skills
Identification, selection and planting of plants
  • Plant classification & Identification
  • Factors affecting plant selection
  • Planting and aftercare
Maintain turf in parks and gardens
  • Maintenance and repair of established turf
  • Maintenance programme for a high quality turf area
Land based industry machinery operations
  • Purpose of machinery
  • Prepare & operate machinery
Principles of plant health and protection
  • Pests, diseases, disorders & weeds
  • Identify, classify, control
  • Safe use of pesticides
Plant and soil science
  • Plant structure & function
  • Plant physiology, growth & development
  • Effect of soils on plants
Tree and shrub maintenance
  • Pruning of trees and shrubs
  • Prune and maintain trees and shrubs
  • Potential problems associated
Undertake estate skills
  • Construct, repair or maintain boundaries, structures and surfaces
  • practical habitat management work
Business management in the land based sector
  • business resources, structures and marketplace
  • financial and physical record keeping systems
Undertake a specialist project in the land based sector
  • Develop proposals, Plan, Carry out and Evaluate specialist project
Construct horizontal landscape surfaces
  • Form ground profiles for landscape works
  • Construct horizontal surfaces and simple steps
  • Maintenance of horizontal surfaces and simple steps
Horticultural Production Techniques (Protected environments) (Optional)
  • Production of crops in protected growing environments
  • Maintain, harvest, grade and store crops
Horticultural production techniques (outdoors) (Optional)
  • Site selection and planning
  • Preparing and planting & management
  • Harvesting & grading
Site surveying, levelling and setting out (Optional)
  • Site survey equipment and techniques
  • Measuring site dimensions and levels
  • Presentation of survey data
Principles of advanced horticultural science (Optional)
  • Plant adaptations in response to environment
  • Principles and processes of plant growth regulation
  • Physiology of flowers, buds and seeds
  • Plant breeding and genetics
Manage plant propagation activities (Optional)
  • Propagation schedules
  • Management of vegetative and seed propagation activities
  • Seed treatments and supply
Establish and manage exterior plant displays (Optional)
  • Plan and establish annual and herbaceous plant displays outdoors
  • Plan, establish and maintain plants in outdoor containers
  • Establish and manage shrubs and hedges
Construct and maintain timber landscape features (Optional)
  • Construct, maintain and repair timber features

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