The diploma is made up of two levels (Level 3 and Level 4). Level 4 is studied as the second year of a two year course, with Level 3 making up year one, this two year diploma can only be studied at RHS Garden Wisley.

RHS Level 3 & 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice

We teach our RHS Diploma in Horticultural Practice as a two-year course at RHS Garden Wisley

Year 1 - Level 3

You will learn about the following areas of horticulture:

  • horticultural operations,
  • plant care,
  • establishment and maintenance,
  • horticultural taxonomy,
  • botany and plantsmanship,
  • horticultural history,
  • philosophy and design,
  • productive growing propagation,
  • soils and growing media.

You will have the opportunity to design & tend your own allotment and visit RHS Chelsea Flower show.

Read the Level 3 DHP Factsheet (944kB pdf)
Read the Level 3 DHP Qualification Specification (278kB)

Year 2 - Level 4

You will study;

  • horticultural management,
  • ornamental planting,
  • horticultural taxonomy,
  • botany and plantsmanship II,
  • plant health II,
  • garden design,
  • landscape construction,
  • propagation and protected growing environments,
  •  research project
  • manage and build project.


Students rotate through 10 departments in the Garden. The course also comprises a detailed lecture and masterclass programme, and students complete various pieces of assessed coursework.

Additional qualifications

Students also complete a number of short practical-based national qualifications, which include:

  • FEPA PA1 & PA6aw (pesticides)
  • Tractor driving
  • Strimming & brushcutting
  • Using a hedge trimmer
  • Tree assessment course
  • Manual handling course

Read the Level 4 DHP Factsheet (1.1MB pdf)
Read the Level 4 DHP Qualification Specification (259kB)

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected, as a minimum, to hold a Level 2 horticultural qualification such as a National Certificate in Horticulture or RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

In addition to this, applicants must:

  • Have six months practical horticultural experience in a professional environment, this must be six months in total, rather than one day a week for six months.
  • Be computer literate with the ability to produce word-processed coursework.
  • Be able to work with digital images.
  • Be able to access the internet and use email.
  • Hold a full driving licence.

Applicants from overseas are considered, where, if non-EU nationals they are able to obtain an appropriate work visa. Please note that the RHS is unable to sponsor any visa applications. A good working knowledge of the English language is essential and evidence to that effect will be requested.

How to apply

Applications open on 1 December and close in February.

For further information, an application form and a job description see the RHS Vacancies site.

Accommodation and facilities for students

Learn more about student life while studying in one of the RHS Gardens.

Stories from previous students

Our previous RHS students have found themselves positions working in a wide range of activities such as publishing, botanical and private gardens, local authorities, horticultural science, advice and education.

Read more about the students who have studied with us.

Thank you to our supporters

Our work-based training programmes are only possible with funding from our supporters. We are very grateful for the help we have received so far.

RHS Books and more

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