Advanced Certificate in Applied Horticulture

Course CodeVHT079
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Learn to achieve More through Horticultural Applications to Real World Problems

An opportunity to learn to:

  • Identify lots of different plants
  • Understand the differing requirements of different species
  • Choose appropriate plants for different situations
  • Have a positive impact on the environment
  • Better manage a horticultural enterprise



But there are always solutions

That is why learning is so important. People who work in horticulture after studying a course such as this, can foresee and understand problems -formulating an appropriate response before the problem gets too large.

Learning in advance allows you to avoid serious costs, reduced quality and diminished productivity that so often arises when unprepared staff attempt work tasks that they are not really capable of doing.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Applied Horticulture.
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Plant Health (Horticulture III) BHT116
 Workshop I BGN103
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
 Biophilic Landscaping BHT343
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 13 modules.
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Natural Garden Design BHT215
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens BHT243
 Sustainable Farming (Agriculture) BAG215
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Reforestation) BHT205
 Workshop II BGN203
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Professional Practice for Consultants BBS301
 Soil and Water Chemistry BSC307

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Applied Horticulture is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Plants are the "basic" tools a horticulturist works with. If you know plants well, you will have far greater chances to succeed in horticulture. The person who has good plant knowledge will:

  • Have a better chance of getting a job in a nursery, landscape business, parks department, or even a private garden;
  • Be able to give far better advice to clients, customers, fellow workers or anyone else you deal with;
  • Be able to understand how to deal with plants, even though they might not be familiar with the plants.

Many employers place a very high priority on their staff's ability to identify plants.  In order to identify plants accurately, a horticulturist needs to know about the structure of a plant: the leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruits.
If you have good plant knowledge you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify the family a plant belongs to, even if you can't identify the actual plant.
  • Describe how the plant you identify grows – its size, shape, soil and water requirements, time of flowering time, flower shape and colour, etc.
  • Explain how to propagate plants shown to you, whether you can identify them or not.
  • Suggest the likely pest and disease problems which might cause problems on the plant shown to you, whether or not you can name the actual plant.


No matter how skilled and knowledgeable you might be as a horticulturist, your career prospects will be severely limited if you don't have some sound management skills. If you plan to establish your own business, whether a nursery, landscaping or garden maintenance business, you need both the ability to manage and market your business.

Management is the process of completing tasks efficiently with and through other people. It is about control, and achieving better results by exercising control. 

Many aspects of nursery management have little to do with horticulture. Both wholesale and retail nurseries are often successfully managed by people with backgrounds in a variety of industries.

Managers must understand and appreciate their own role as being the person who controls what happens, not the person who actually does the work.  A manager who spends a lot of time potting up, weeding plants or talking with customers may find that too little time is being spent managing the nursery, resulting in a loss of control.  In a small nursery, however, where these jobs must be part of his or her routine, a delicate balance between the various tasks must be maintained.

Good management only occurs when the manager is well informed; hence the first task for any manager is to get to know the organisation for which they are responsible. 


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