Study Horticultural Science from Home
Student Comment: "I have found the course to be interesting and challenging, with great learning materials that really make you research the industry and get involved. It has been a great way to study because it has allowed me to work in the industry and study at the same time. I have found the online resources to be fantastic, the tutors feedback constructive and the fact that assignments can be submitted online makes the process so easy." Tom Wood, Australia - Diploma in Horticultural Science course.
This is an exceptional foundation for a career in horticulture. Applied biological science is integral to good horticulture; and all too often under taught in today's "fast tracked" qualifications. Long term though, the horticulturist who has a stronger foundation in science will have an edge over those who don't.
This course will open possibilities for a career in virtually any area of the horticulture profession: either production or amenity horticulture.
Note that each module in the DIPLOMA IN HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE VHT027 is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
How is this Course Structured?
Stage 1 Core Studies
The following six modules are undertaken first as a foundation for further studies:
- Horticulture I
- Horticulture II
- Horticulture III
- Plant Selection & Establishment
- Botany I
- Biochemistry I
Note: Modules from either stages II & III may be undertaken after stage I is complete.
Stage II Electives
Ten modules chosen from any relevant modules not studied elsewhere.
Other options may be considered, though the above are generally considered the better options for this particular course.
Stage III Compulsory Modules
The following should all be completed
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry II
- Horticultural Research I
- Horticultural Research II
- Industry Meetings or Workshop I (Note: This can be completed without difficulty anywhere in the world).
Course Duration: 2100 hours (Self paced: commonly 2 years or more full time; 4-5 years part time)
Prerequisites: Either Year 12 (passed), an acceptable certificate (eg. Completed apprenticeship) or over 21 years of age.
Building a Career
Getting a Job is one thing, keeping it and thriving in it is another!
Generally the first step to gaining employment is gathering appropriate skills to be able to complete the tasks required of you, or at least a sufficient level of awareness and knowledge about the industry so you will be able to be trained by your employer. Most people will learn a significant amount during their school years, then on finishing school will look to undergo more training to specialise in a particular area, or develop abilities that are applicable to a range of areas.
Tips to keeping a job:
- Work to your best ability.
- Keep an open and friendly demeanour.
- Always step-up to meet a challenge when it is offered; recognise opportunities. This will usually ensure that you are noticed.
- Learn new skills and be open to change.
Your health, physical abilities and fitness plus your attitude all contribute to your ability to retain and advance in a job.
Establish good habits:
- Work on your physical fitness – exercise regularly. Physical fitness is important for any job not just those that require physical labour. Physical fitness goes hand in hand with mental fitness.
- Eat well and sleep well – what you eat and how you sleep (a tired person cannot focus on their work) both affect your mental state and physical state.
- Remember to have a realistic life/work balance – this means different things to different people; some people can work long hours and cope well and even enjoy it. Others find that they burn out quickly and then they become stressed and cannot continue in their role. It is important to understand your limitations and to have a healthy approach to the amount of hours you work compared to the hours you ‘play’.
- Try to establish good habits before you start a job – even if it means you need a few days between jobs to reenergise and retrain yourself!
Getting work is a matter of finding the possibilities, then convincing someone to use the services you offer. You need to “sell” your services to one of the following:
- An employer
- A client
- A customer
The first step is to discover opportunities.
In the past, employers had a limited range of ways to find staff, and work opportunities were found advertised in newspapers, or through employment services. Today’s world is not quite as simple as it was – it used to be newspapers, now it is internet and networking, what will it be in the future?
Keep your options broad. Decide on an industry, but don’t focus on a particular job in that industry until you have got some knowledge and experience in that industry. You may decide on an industry such as construction, health, finance or agriculture. You might consider doing a broad based foundation course while undertaking some work experience, perhaps for six months or a year. That approach will allow you to get started, raise your awareness and allow you to make better informed decisions about your next step. It also gives you a bit of experience in the workplace and employers look favourably on that – even if it is limited.
Try to get leverage from experience or skills you already have. If you have operated a business in a different industry - you can bring those skills across to run a business in a new industry. If you have been involved in something as a volunteer, or as a hobby - this should be viewed as a personal strength; experience is always transferable and it can help you get started in a related industry.
This course has been designed, and is managed by John Mason, our principal. Since graduating in horticultural science (1971), John has worked as a landscape designer, nurseryman, parks manager and research officer working with field crops, prior to establishing this school in 1979. Since then, apart from managing this school he has been editor of 4 national gardening magazines, written over 40 books and maintained a small practice as a horticultural consultant.
John has been made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture (UK) and the Parks and Leisure Institute (Australia).
All teaching staff are highly qualified and experienced professional horticulturists. Most hold both degrees an post graduate qualifications. On average, their industry experience exceeds 20 years.
A unique aspect of this course (and others through ACS) is that tutors and course developers come from both northern and southern hemispheres, and from both warm and cool climates. The content and delivery of the course aims to prepare you to work in any climate, country or social situation. We consider this aim to be exceedingly important in a world that is changing so rapidly. We aim to provide a foundation that will serve you wherever you find yourself in the future.
See profiles on the staff at http://www.hortcourses.com/info/staff.aspx
- Recognised by International Accreditation and Recognition Council
- Highly qualified, experienced and respected staff
- A range of memberships and affiliations in the UK, Australia and elsewhere.
- Affiliations and articulation arrangements with a range of other colleges in the UK and Australia.
OUTLINES OF KEY CORE MODULES
There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:
1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.
2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
5. Water Management: Irrigation systems – characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; waterwise gardening.
6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.
11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.
The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:
1. The Groups of Plants ‑ setting a framework for the whole subject.
To identify plants from a wide range of taxonomic and cultural groups, using a range of different techniques.
2. Use of Plants ‑ plant selection, soils.
3. Australian Native Plants
To determine techniques for the growing of native shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
4. Exotic Ornamental Plants
To determine techniques for the growing of exotic ornamental shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
5. Indoor & Tropical Plants
To determine techniques for the growing of indoor plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties
6. Bedding Plants
To determine techniques for the growing of bedding plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties.
To develop techniques for the growing of edible crop plants, including selection, culture and use of vegetables, fruit, berries and nuts (Part A).
8. Fruits, Nuts & Berries
10. Alternative Growing Techniques ‑ hydroponics, container growing, terrariums. Determine appropriate applications for a range of alternative growing methods
Horticulture III (Plant Health)
There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:
2. Overview of Preventative Controls
4. Other Pesticides
5. Spray Equipment
6. Insect Biology
7. Fungal Biology
8. Environmental Problems
10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans
OTHER DIPLOMA OPTIONS
ACS operates a student bookshop that supplies a range of horticulture texts to supplement our courses.
Many are written by the principal (well known gardening author John Mason), or other staff. All have been reviewed and approved by our academic experts (to be accurate and relevant to students studying our horticulture courses).
- Student discounts are available to anyone studying with ACS Distance Education.
- Both printed books and ebooks (as downloads) available
GARDEN DESIGN Part I by John Mason (publisher ACS) EBook
GARDEN DESIGN Part 2 by John Mason (publisher ACS) EBook
GROWING TREES and SHRUBS for SMALL GARDENS by John Mason
TROPICAL and WARM CLIMATE GARDENING
by John Mason (publisher Bay Books) Printed Book
ORCHIDS: A BEGINNERS GUIDE by John Mason (publisher: Highland House) Printed Book
GROWING CONIFERS by John Mason (publisher: Kangaroo Press) Printed book
by John Mason (publisher: Kangaroo Press) Printed book
NURSERY MANAGEMENT 2nd Edition by John Mason (publisher :andlinks Press) Printed Book
GROWING AUSTRALIAN NATIVES 2nd edition Printed Book
COMMERCIAL HYDROPONICS 3rd Edition by John Mason (publisher: ACS) Ebook
- Click on above link for info
- Sample pages available to download for all ebook
- E Books can be purchased online for immediate download (Can be read on a computer, ipad, iphone, lap top, most book readers or similar devices).
- GO TO www.acsbookshop.com for more titles