Advanced Certificate in Horticultural Science

Course CodeVHT084
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Develop Your Passion for Science

Science underpins so many of our industries and horticulture is no exception. Gain professional skills in applied horticultural science.

This course gives opportunities to the students looking 'outside of the square' and expand their careers in horticulture. Opportunities exist in management, teaching, research etc. Very appealing to those that have already worked in the field for many years and are looking for a new challenge. Also as relevant to those interested in horticulture but wanting to broaden their options.

Study Horticultural Science from Home

This provides learning for 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.

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 - ACS 2100hr learning bundle in Horticultural Science course.

How is this Course Structured?

Stage 1 Core Studies

The following six modules are undertaken first as a foundation for further studies:

  • Horticulture I

  • Biochemistry I

  • Tissue Culture

  • Plant Selection & Establishment

  • Botany I

  • Botany II

Note: Modules from stage II may be undertaken after stage I is complete.

Stage II Electives

Three 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.

Course Duration:   900 hours (Self paced: commonly 1 year full time; 2-3 years part time)

Prerequisites:   Either Year 12 (passed), an acceptable certificate (e.g. completed apprenticeship) or over 21 years of age.





Horticulture I

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.

Horticulture II

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.

7. Vegetables

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

9. Herbs

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:

1. Introduction

2. Overview of Preventative Controls

3. Insecticides

4. Other Pesticides

5. Spray Equipment

6. Insect Biology

7. Fungal Biology

8. Environmental Problems

9. Viruses

10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans


Who will benefit from this course?

Anyone wanting more technical knowledge of horticulture with a stronger emphasis placed on science in this area. Students will learn about
Botany, Tissue Culture, Plant Pathology, Cell Biology as some examples. This is a great course for people wanting to get into consultancy,managing staff or training and assessing.


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