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RHS Level 2 Online course


I have enrolled for RHS Level 2 Practical Horticulture at Bham Botanical gardens from January 2017 which I am really looking forward to.

I want to also take on the 2 x Principles modules - Garden Planning and Plant Growth.

Bham botanical gardens (via Bham Met College) offer this but only on a Friday.  I am self employed and would struggle with a weekday commitment to this.

Has anyone studied the 2 x theory modules online and if so how did you find it?  I think that I could study around my other work and because I will be getting practical experience I get best of both worlds?  If I go onto Level 3, I would like to do both theory and practice as study based.

I am based in the east midlands 




  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Hi Lucy,

    I studied the RHS Level 2 Cert. in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development with the Horticultural Correspondence College and found the experience to be a good one.

    The College offers a good, friendly service and the pricing is competitive. They have both online and on-paper correspondence courses and there is the option to pay by instalments.

    I am now studying its Level 3 equivalent, but this time, I am teaching myself, using the syllabus, past papers, recommended reading and the internet. This also seems to be going well and I haven't yet felt that I ought to have gone for a tutored course.

    This might be an option for you, but it depends upon how much time you have to devote to study, as of course, you'd need to write your own study material before you actually study it.

    I still have all my study notes to the Level 2 Cert. in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development, saved on my computer,  which I could easily send to you if you wanted them, although of course, that wouldn't help you with the garden planning certificate.

    I hope all goes well for you, whatever you decide to do and good luck with the practicals at Edgbaston.

    Best wishes


    Last edited: 17 November 2016 08:36:56

  • SlumSlum Posts: 306

    Hi pbff 

    When deciding on the self study method, did you have to inform anyone first? Did you have to register with the rhs? Did you call an exam centre to see if you can sit the exams without being one of their students? I'm thinking about having a go at one of their l2 courses. I'm a teacher so used to interpreting a syllabus, textbooks and past papers. 

  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    No, you don't need to inform anyone, initially - you just study until you feel that you've covered all the areas necessary and feel confident enough to take the exams.

    Then you can contact an examination centre. There is a list of these on the RHS website, or you can contact the RHS and they will advise you as to which of your most local centres offers exams for external candidates for the particular qualification that you have studied for. It is important that you contact the centre well before the closing date for entries, as these things can take a little time.

    The centre will then register you with the RHS and you just go ahead and sit the exams.

    However, in my case, none of the exam centres within a reasonable distance offered exams for external candidates, so I chose to sit the exams under exceptional supervision at a local private school.

    I asked the school first if they would be willing to let me sit the exams with them and when they agreed, I contacted the RHS to ask for a form to apply for exceptional supervision. Both the school and I filled out our relevant sections of the form, which is very basic, and then we sent it back to the RHS, who gave the school approval as a temporary exam centre and registered me as an exam candidate.

    I sat the exams in February, at the school. There was only the supervisor and myself in the room, so I hadn't got to worry about any other candidates providing a distraction!

    It does usually cost a little more to sit the exams under exceptional supervision, as you have to pay the RHS directly for the exam papers and marking service and of course, the school in my case, for their facilities and supervisor, but it didn't cost a fortune.

    If you just sit the exams at a 'normal' approved centre, you only pay the centre and out of that, they pay the RHS plus take out their own fees.

    I hope all goes well for you and if you have any other queries, I'm happy to try and answer them for you!

    Best wishes


  • SlumSlum Posts: 306

    Thanks for the advice. It seems straight forward enough. I have a registered centre reasonably close and I work in a school so sitting the exams shouldn't be a problem. I now just have to make some time to learn the content image

  • Really helpful thanks so much!

  • PhilbyPhilby Posts: 1
    Hi pbff,

    I too have signed up for both level 2 & 3 of the horticultural correspondence college course, i wondered if you could help me out as i'm struggling a little, particularly with time. I would be most grateful if you assist , perhaps with your study notes. It would help no end.

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