Forestry & Arboriculture

City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma

Apply for 2024

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

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 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

Course details

Dates & Location

September 2023


2 years full time

3 days per week

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 at merit or above and GCSE maths or English at grade c/4 or above

Mature students without the above requirements will be considered 

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

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.


Indicative Programme Content

You can look forward to a varied programme of modules that also includes a work placement. You’ll also continue your English and Maths up to GCSE level. Modules include:

  • Principles of Health & Safety
  • Work Experience
  • Machinery Operations
  • Plant & Soil Science
  • Estate Skills
  • Identification of pests, diseases and disorders of trees
  • Arboriculture Skills
  • Equipment used for timber processing and conversion
  • Support arboriculture operations from the ground
  • Principals of tree felling and chainsaw use

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Ready to take the next step?