RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development

About the Course

The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development, provides learners with a solid theoretical grounding. The course offers an understanding behind the science of plants, such as how they function, nutrition, health, adaptations and various planting styles. Writtle University College offers this theory based qualification on a part-time basis, one day per week. The course is made up of two units, each of which has a exam on finishing the content.

Course Content

The course is divided into two units, each made up of four topics covering several elements of practical horticulture, as follows:




1. Plant Science 1

provides underpinning knowledge of the plant, its structure and function

  1. Scientific and common plant names
  2. Lifecycle adaptations
  3. External parts of the plant
  4. Internal plant structures
  5. Pollination and fertilisation
  6. Photosynthesis and respiration
  7. Movement of water through the plant

2. Plant Health

provides underpinning knowledge and understanding of the effect of a range of factors on plant health.

  1. Environmental conditions
  2. Plant nutrition and plant health
  3. Impact of competition on plant health
  4. Pests and pathogens
  5. Biosecurity and plant passports
  6. Maintaining plant health

3. Plant Nutrition

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

  1. Soil types and profiles
  2. Role of nutrients
  3. Soil-based nutrition
  4. pH and nutrient availability
  5. Bulk constituents for growing media

4. Plant Specification

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

  1. Site-based criteria
  2. Plant-based criteria
  3. Plant specifications
  4. Receiving plant material on site
  5. Planting and post-planting care
  6. Maintaining new plantings




1. Plant Science II

provides an understanding of the range and role of plant adaptations.

  1. Leaf adaptations
  2. Stem adaptations
  3. Root adaptations
  4. Flower adaptations
  5. Seed adaptations
  6. Growth habit adaptations

2. Planting Styles

provides horticultural knowledge of the factors involved in creating a wide range of different horticultural plantings.

  1. Historical contexts
  2. Formal planting
  3. Informal planting
  4. Plant associations
  5. Plant uses
  6. Edible landscapes
  7. Short-term plantings

3. Horticulture and Society

allows learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of horticulture's contribution to society, including social, environmental and economic.

  1. Wellbeing
  2. Environment
  3. Economy
  4. Community

4. Biodiversity

provides an applied knowledge of the roles of plants in creating habitats to encourage biodiversity.

  1. Plants and biodiversity
  2. Impact of climate change
  3. Creating habitats
  4. Citizen science and species surveys
  5. Biodiversity Action Plans

Entry Requirements

There are no pre-requisites for this course. A keen interest in horticulture is crucial

Assessment Methods

Each unit will be assessed by a written examination covering all learning outcomes specified in the unit. Examinations will be offered twice a year in February, June and October.

Useful Information

How course progress is tracked
Writtle College will contact the students when they receive the exam results from the RHS.

Additional costs (to tuition and miscellaneous fee) specific to course
Study equipment (pens, note pads, calculator, dictionary), PPE/ PPC — Steel Toe Capped boots, High Visibility vest / jacket, gloves, appropriate work wear for practical sessions.