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Horticulture Garden Design – Award – Sparsholt qualification



Type of study



  • 10/09/2024 - 03/06/2025 (VQAGDES/FC01)




Sparsholt College, SO21 2NF


09:00 - 16:30

What will I learn?

The Award in Garden Design is aimed at those passionate hobbyists who want to develop and refine their skills. It is a practical based course designed to deliver the skills required to get up and running as a garden designer. It utilises resources, method of delivery and style of teaching from expert staff.

The course is aimed at learners who are either new to the industry or simply want to enhance their skills. While the Award provides a base of information useful for either domestic or professional use, the Award is designed to build on this and deliver the business acumen required should students want to pursue a more ‘professional’ career in the Garden Design industry.

The course is studied one day a week.

You will taught by award winning Garden Designers with a proven track record of success at RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court and who have professional expertise in their field. You will get in-depth insight into the industry and benefit from their vast and considerable experience.

One of the key features of the industry is that it recognises a student’s competence in practice rather than academic achievement. As such, there are no formal exams but the assessment strategy is designed to evidence a benchmark of professional competence rather than academic rigour. This involves utilising assessment strategies such as presentation skills, drawing techniques, practical plant identification tests and portfolio development.

The Award can both be achieved at Pass, Credit or Distinction and tutors will provide supportive feedback to assist learner achieve to their highest potential.

What will I study?

  • Intro to CAD with materials
  • Site analysis and design
  • Plant selection and science

    What will I need?

    Students will need appropriate clothing for outdoor practicals. Many of the teaching resources will be on-line so access to a computer will be beneficial. Extra study time requirements: a minimum of 12 hours per week.

    Extra-Curricular support

    Students will have access to discounted memberships of the Society of Garden Designers which provides a wealth of materials to support and enhance understanding of the industry. Students also have discounted access key CAD software VectorWorks.

    Students will also benefit from being in an environment that will provide them with the opportunity to make industry links and expand their confidence. The department also runs study trips at the end of each academic year which are delivered at an extra cost but provide a wonderful opportunity to meet new people that share your passion and feel part of the learning community of the College.

    Meet the Lecturers

    Click the names to find out more about our expert lecturers:

    Chris Bird
    Chris Prior

    Where will it lead me?

    The qualification is designed to provide the skills necessary to either work towards being a practising Garden Designer, or simply enhance the skills and appreciation of those passionate gardeners. It will deliver the key information you will need to create beautiful green spaces and enhance the environment: from plant identification, drawing techniques and an understanding of plant growth to liaising with clients and constructing detailed scale drawings.

    Entry Requirements

    Horticultural knowledge, drawing skills, an eye for design and computer skills are required for this course. As well as a passion for plants, design and a will to succeed!

    Please Note

    All fees quoted are correct at the time of print and may be subject to change. Due to funding restrictions this course is not available to existing full time Sparsholt College/Andover College students aged 16, 17 or 18 (or 19-24 with an EHCP) on the 31/8 in the year they started/start their course.