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Level 2 RHS Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth & Development

  • LEVEL 2
Students caring for plants

Course Overview

This course provides a route to employment in professional horticulture by assessing knowledge of the principles underpinning horticultural practices and supports career development for those already working in the profession. It can provide a foundation for further learning or training in the field of horticulture.

The course is also ideal for those wishing to develop and strengthen their horticultural knowledge and is therefore suitable for keen amateur gardeners. It is also useful for individual professional development for those employed within the industry.

The course is run face to face onsite at BCA. Please see details of the topics covered under the ‘What will I study’

Your place on this course won’t be secure until you have completed and submitted an application form and made payment over the phone with our admissions team.

Course Code


Course Fee
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End Date

Tue, 01 Jul 2025

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements but we would recommend that anyone wishing to enrol for this course has a minimum of English & Maths at Grad...

Course information

UNIT 1 Plant Science 1: provides underpinning knowledge of the plant, its structure, and function.

Scientific and common plant names Lifecycle adaptations External parts of the plant Internal plant structures Pollination and fertilisation Photosynthesis and respiration Movement of water through the plant Plant Health: provides underpinning knowledge and understanding of the effect of a range of factors on plant health.

Environmental conditions Plant nutrition and plant health Impact of competition on plant health Pests and pathogens Biosecurity and plant passports Maintaining plant health Plant Nutrition: provides horticultural knowledge of plant nutrition and growing media. Soil types and profiles Role of nutrients Soil-based nutrition pH and nutrient availability Bulk constituents for growing media Plant Specification: provides horticultural knowledge to make recommendations for planting based on matching plant needs and site requirements.

Site-based criteria Plant-based criteria Plant specifications Receiving plant material on site Planting and post-planting care Maintaining new plantings.

UNIT 2 Plant Science II: provides an understanding of the range and role of plant adaptations.

Leaf adaptations Stem adaptations Root adaptations Flower adaptations Seed adaptations Growth habit adaptations Planting Styles: provides horticultural knowledge of the factors involved in creating a wide range of different horticultural plantings.

Historical contexts Formal planting Informal planting Plant associations Plant uses Edible landscapes Short-term plantings Horticulture and Society: allows learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of horticulture’s contribution to society, including social, environmental, and economic.

Wellbeing Environment Economy Community Biodiversity: provides an applied knowledge of the roles of plants in creating habitats to encourage biodiversity.

Plants and biodiversity Impact of climate change Creating habitats Citizen science and species surveys Biodiversity Action Plans.

36 weeks

Face to face in the classroom

The new RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture is wholly assessed externally by RHS Qualifications in a formal examination format. Each unit will be assessed by a separate written examination covering all learning outcomes specified in the unit.

Examinations must be taken at BCA and will be conducted in accordance with the RHS Regulations for the Conduct of Examinations. Examinations will be offered twice a year in February and June. Exam Dates for 2024-2025 have not yet been published by the RHS.

All resits will be at an additional cost.

On successful completion of the course you will have obtained an RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development

From this course, you will gain a range of horticultural skills and knowledge relevant to employment in various roles in the horticultural sector.

The qualification also supports progression to level 3 courses in horticulture or entry onto various horticultural training programmes.

Please note that whilst there are no formal prerequisites for entry to the RHS Level 3 qualification it is strongly recommended that students have studied the content covered by the Level 2 Certificate.

Level 2

Full details of the course contents are available on the RHS website.