2019 RHS Qualifications

Winterbourne Centre for Horticulture offers RHS Level 2 and 3 qualifications, with vacancies on Level 2 Garden Planning qualification from October 2019.  Suitable for enthusiastic amateurs and those seeking a career in horticulture, these professional qualifications will help you to develop skills and knowledge.

RHS Level 2

Level 2 qualifications are intended for those that have a general interest in horticulture or wishing to work in professional horticulture in a variety of roles.

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance – SPACES AVAILABLE

This theory course provides the underpinning scientific knowledge of garden planning, selecting and establishing a range of garden plants. Also covered are the principles behind growing food crops outdoors and growing under protection: house plants, glasshouses and conservatory growing. To achieve the qualification you will sit exams in February and June. The qualification is suitable for those who are working in the industry and wishing to study part-time in order to progress their careers or prepare for further study at level 3.

This course will be offered on Thursdays from 3rd October 2019, from 10.15am to 2pm.  The cost of tuition is £525 and the RHS examinations fee is £64.  Further information is available here.

RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

This practical certificate is ideal for the keen amateur gardener and for those wishing to work in professional horticulture in a variety of roles. It is an in-depth practical course designed for those that wish to gain a range of practical horticultural skills including propagation, establishing and maintaining plants. You will also identify garden plants, pests and diseases.

This course will be offered on Fridays from 4th October 2019 and Saturdays from 5th October 2019.  Classes will usually take place from 10.30am to 3.30pm.  The cost of tuition is £770 and the RHS examinations fee is £112.  Further information is available here.  Please Note: The Level 2 Practical courses are now Fully Booked.  We are still accepting applications for the waiting lists, in case spaces become available later.

RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture/Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture

Learners who successfully complete all of the necessary units for both theory Certificates (Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance as well as Plant Growth, Propagation and Development) will be awarded the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture.  Learners who successfully complete both theory Certificates and the Certificate in Practical Horticulture will be awarded the RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.  More information can be found at the RHS website.

RHS Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are intended for those with existing Level 2 qualifications looking for further development.

RHS Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

This practical certificate gives you a chance to build on your existing practical horticultural skills including soil testing, propagating from seed, maintaining plants, and identifying a range of plants, weeds, pests and diseases.  It is an in-depth practical course suitable for career development or the dedicated amateur gardener.

This course will be offered on Saturdays from 5th October 2019.  Classes will begin at 12.30pm and end at either 4pm or 5pm, depending on the month.  The cost of tuition is £1,095 and the RHS examinations fee is £105.  Further information is available here.  Please note that this course is over-subscribed but any new applications will be added to a waiting list in case space becomes available later.


You can apply for any of our courses by completing the Application Form which should be returned by email if possible.  It is also possible to apply by post or in person.


Each qualification listed above has a link to further information, which you should read before applying.  If you have further questions, please click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

You can also find out more details of all RHS Qualifications on the RHS website.

Practical students at work in the teaching garden

Practical students working in the teaching garden photographed by Maggie Bucknall

Our Tutors

Darren Rudge BSc (Hons) Hort, Cert Ed

Darren has spent his career delivering and managing horticultural and other land based qualifications as well as running a successful garden design consultancy.  He was one of the first recipients of the City and Guilds medal of excellence, awarded for his teaching and training.  He works as a quality assurance coordinator for a number of organisations, ensuring standards are maintained.  Darren regularly has articles published in the gardening press and is the permanent gardening expert for BBC WM 95.6 in the West Midlands, and was nominated for a garden media guild award in 2016.  Darren’s enthusiastic approaches to teaching and garden design aim to inspire and motivate, and are developed to make learning both enjoyable and progressive.

Helen Wood BSc (Hons) Hort, PGCE, MCIoH

Helen has over 18 years of experience of maintaining and designing gardens, alongside a dual career teaching horticulture and garden design.  Helen is an experienced and enthusiastic horticulturalist and teacher, always ready to share her interest, expertise and knowledge about plants and gardens.  She has run a successful garden design consultancy for 9 years, working on private and commercial gardens to the highest standards.  Helen also works with Royal Horticultural Society Qualifications as an examiner and has an in-depth knowledge of RHS courses and qualifications.

Helen and Darren have worked in partnership for many years.  They have designed and built domestic and commercial gardens and exhibited show gardens winning 5 medals at BBC Gardeners World Live; 1 bronze medal, 3 silver medals and in June 2011 won Gold and Best in Show for their natural playground, Naturally Playful.  They have also worked together to design innovative and inspiring teaching programmes, including RHS Certificates and even degree level study.  Both enjoy imparting their substantial knowledge using a range of teaching methods; for them there is no compromise when it comes to quality and enjoyment.

Winterbourne Centre for Horticulture is a RHS Qualifications Approved Centre.

RHS Approved Centre

Our Students

Read about some of our previous students’ experiences by visiting the Winterbourne blog posts by Charlotte Allen, Cath Fletcher and Lolly Gautier-Ollerenshaw.


Once you have enrolled on your course you will be entitled to obtain student membership of the RHS for just £10; further information can be found on the RHS website.  Winterbourne students will also enjoy free access to Winterbourne House and Garden for the duration of your study, excluding ticketed events.  Practical activities will take place in both our teaching garden and the public Winterbourne Garden.

The teaching garden in June, photographed by Maggie Bucknall