Qualification - Associate Diploma Horticulture

Course CodeVHT026
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Take the First Step to Become a Fully Professional Horticulturist

Study full time for up to 2 years, before launching a career or business or study while you work.
This course provides an excellent foundation for working in any area of horticulture; and that places you in an excellent position to move between sectors over the decades, as you career develops and opportunities shift as the industry changes over the decades to come.
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
  • Outdoor Plant Production
  • Garden Maintenance

Exemption is granted for this stage to anyone who has the following:

  • Any Certificate or Advanced Certificate from ACS
  • Horticultural studies of 600 hrs or more class contact duration from another approved institution (Approved institutions include universities, IARC recognized institutions, institutions with a teaching approach that have a strong emphasis upon foundation science and plant knowledge)

Note: Modules from either stages II & III may be undertaken after stage I is complete.

Stage II Electives

Six modules chosen from a large variety of other options (see below)

Stage III Compulsory Modules

The following should all be completed

  • Horticultural Resource Management
  • Horticultural Research I
  • Industry Meetings or Workshop I (Note: This can be completed without difficulty anywhere in the world).



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Associate Diploma Horticulture.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Crops I (Outdoor Plant Production) BHT112
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Horticultural Research A BHT118
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Plant Health (Horticulture III) BHT116
 Plant Identification and Knowledge (Horticulture II) BHT102
 Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 6 of the following 49 modules.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Australian Natives I BHT113
 Cacti And Succulent Culture VHT108
 Carpentry BSS100
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Machinery and Equipment BSC105
 Propagation I BHT108
 Turf Care BHT104
 Amenity Horticulture I BHT234
 Amenity Horticulture II BHT235
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Culinary Herbs VHT242
 Cut Flower Orchids VHT240
 Cutting Propagation BHT211
 Fruit Production -Temperate Climate BHT218
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Greenhouse Cut Flowers VHT239
 Hydroponic Management - Hydroponics II BHT213
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Irrigation - Gardens BHT210
 Landscaping II BHT214
 Landscaping III (Landscaping Styles) BHT235
 Medicinal Herbs BHT227
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens BHT242
 Plant Protection BHT207
 Practical Horticulture 1 BHT238
 Project Management BBS201
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
 Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens BHT243
 Seed Propagation BHT237
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Reforestation) BHT205
 Tropical Plants BHT234
 Viticulture BHT220
 Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
 Advanced Permaculture BHT301
 Berry Production BHT309
 Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Hydroponics III BHT319
 Interior Plants (Indoor Plants) BHT315
 Irrigation Management (Horticulture) BHT305
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Perennials BHT316
 Practical Horticulture 2 BHT323
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303

Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma Horticulture is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Working in Horticulture May be Different in the Future

For a sustainable career in horticulture, you need to know how to identify and grow plants, have an attitude that embraces change, and a capacity to adapt to change. 
This is an industry that has been constantly and rapidly adapting for decades, and is likely to contine along the same path for a long time into the future.
If you understand the fundamentals skills needed - across all sectors of horticulture - you will be able to see opportunities as they arise and confidently move from one sector to another, throughout your career. As an example,  anyone with underpinning knowledge of plant science and plant cultural practices:  plant growth and identification, soil management, pruning and pest control and the associated technologies,  will be able to work in landscaping for a few years, then move to turf management or nursery production and later work in crop production.  
Sound, broad based training in the fundamentals of horticulture is a good starting point for entering this industry. However not all courses on offer will be broad enough or in-depth enough to set you up for a sustainable, lifelong career – so you need to understand the fundamentals required in horticulture (in general) and then choose a diverse course, that enables you to achieve these aims.
Choose to Learn -Qualifications are not as important, but learning is!
Qualifications may have once guaranteed a successful career in horticulture; but that is no longer the case. 
Knowledge however is more important today than ever. Wheras in the past, the people with the highest qualifications tended to be the more successful; today it is the people with the most knowledge, combined with creativity and good management skills, that will distinguish the leaders in horticulture.
If you focus more on learning things that matter, rather than collecting qualifications; your chances of success will be better.
Many "old school" horticulturists are relatively set in their ways, running nurseries, landscaping businesses and farms, much the same way as they have for decades. These are not the enterprises that are flourishing though. 
Some old businesses have reinvented themselves; adopted mechanisation to increase productivity at the same time as reducing staff; or using other technologies (eg. the internet) for management and marketing. New enterprises are emerging all the time, often pushing out the old ones. 
This is a dynamic industry; full of opportunity.
People will always grow plants and want gardens -but the world is changing, and the way these things are provided has changed and will continue changing.
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 ‑ Identification of 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  - techniques for the growing of native shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
  4. Exotic Ornamental Plants   - techniques for the growing of exotic ornamental shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
  5. Indoor & Tropical Plants -growing of indoor plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties
  6. Bedding Plants - techniques for the growing of bedding plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties.
  7. Vegetables  Learn 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
Broader Studies give Greater Career Security
This course provides a broad based foundation to allow you to adapt to and work in different sectors of the industry, as a technician, business owner, consultant, etc.
Horticultural staff need to have a strong foundation in both science and plants. They need to know:
  • What affects plant growth (Soils, nutrition, water, temperature, pests etc)
  • Cultural Techniques (Propagation, pruning, planting, shelter, etc)
  • Plant Knowledge (Plant family characteristics, classification system, etc)
This course is internationally accredited through I.A.R.C


Who Will Benefit From This Course?

This course provides a broad based foundation to allow you to adapt to and work in different sectors of the industry, as a technician, business owner, consultant, etc.


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