RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture - King's College Cambridge

About the Course

Focusing on developing the essential basic horticultural skills, this qualification will give you the foundation for future development as well as offer opportunities for employment. You will learn how to care and prune plants, understand the reasons behind soil testing and be able to identify a range of common plants, weeds, pests and diseases. Underpinning the whole course is an appreciation of health and safety.

Course Content

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture - King's College Cambridge is divided into eight topics, each made up of elements covering a specific aspect of practical horticulture, as follows:



1. Plant Identification

Provides the skills and knowledge to enable learners to identify a wide range of plants

  1. Plant identification

2. Plant Establishment

Provides learners with the skills involved in the establishment of plants in containers and the open ground

  1. Site-based assessment
  2. Preparing a site for planting
  3. Position plants prior to planting
  4. Seed sowing in the open ground
  5. Establishing new hedge plantings
  6. Planting in containers
  7. Planting and staking standard trees
  8. Labelling

3. Plant Propagation

Provides learners with the skills and underpinning knowledge to propagate plants professionally

  1. Environmental conditions
  2. Selection and suitability of propagation equipment
  3. Selection and sustainability of growing media
  4. Propagating plants by seed in containers
  5. Propagating plants by vegetative means
  6. Equipment for propagation

4. Plant Health

Provides the skills to be able to identify and prevent a range of threats to plant health

  1. Ensuring plant health
  2. Nutritional deficiencies
  3. Monitoring, identifying and controlling pests, pathogens and diseases
  4. Implementation of IPM/Garden Health Plans

5. Plant Care

Equips learners with the skills and knowledge to be able to implement garden maintenance plans

  1. Following maintenance plans
  2. Water management
  3. Fertiliser application
  4. Staking and supporting
  5. Promoting plant health
  6. Mulching
  7. Weed control
  8. Potting off and potting on
  9. Green waste management

6. Plant Pruning

Equips learners with the horticultural skills and knowledge to be able to prune a range of plants

  1. Principles of pruning
  2. Pruning practices
  3. Pruning hedges
  4. Use and maintenance of hand tools and hedge trimmers

7. Garden Features

Provides learners with the skills and underpinning knowledge to be able care for and maintain a wide range of garden features

  1. Principles of maintenance of garden features
  2. Timber elements
  3. Paved and hard surfaces
  4. Plant supports
  5. Pond maintenance

8. Grassed Areas

Provides learners with the skills required to establish and maintain grassed areas in private and public garden settings

  1. Turf species and seed mixes for different purposes
  2. Establishing grassed areas
  3. Mowing grassed areas
  4. Scarifying/aerating
  5. Weed control
  6. Maintaining turf health
  7. Repairing turf

Entry Requirements

There are no pre-requisites for entry to the qualification.

A keen interest in horticulture is crucial, you must also be able to demonstrate suitable levels of numeracy and literacy.

Useful Information

How course progress is tracked

The college uses an electronic assessment tracking system where students can access current progress online from home.

How the course is graded

Each unit studied comprises of a series of learning outcomes. Successful completion of the assessment requires a pass grade for each assessment criteria.

Additional costs (to tuition and miscellaneous fee) specific to course

Study equipment (pens and a note pad), PPE/ PPC— Steel Toe Capped boots, High Visibility vest / jacket (supplied), gloves, appropriate work wear for practical sessions.