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RHS level 2 combined practical & theory

steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9

Hi all, 

Over the last few years I have found myself gravitating towards becoming more and more interested in horticulture. I have now enrolled to study RHS Level 2 in Practical Horticulture at college on Saturday mornings from September. I will doing this whilst working Monday to Friday. Whilst I would consider myself a novice in the grand scheme, I do have basic knowledge of plant care and propagation and have my own garden where I grow small amounts of veg and plants. 

I am thinking of enrolling to do the theory as well, so my question is does anyone have any experience of doing the practical course alongside the theory modules in the same year? Is this this too much to ask from myself as a novice? I work office hours and don’t have any childcare responsibilities and feel like I would be committed to the home study.

Interested to hear your thoughts or experience.

 

Thanks in advance,

Steve

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Posts

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,689
    I didn't do them concurrently, but someone on my practical course was doing one of the theory courses online at the same time, I'll ask him how he found it. Would you be studying online or going to an evening class?
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9
    Hi LG, thank you. I’d be doing the theory in the evening at college. 
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,689
    Can I be nosy and ask where you'd be studying?
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9
    Ive erolled at Abingdon College as it’s the only place that offers the practical course on Saturday that is close enough for me to get to. I’m looking at with Bridgewater or Abingdon to possibly do the theory in the evening. 
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,689
    My friend said it was definitely doable, though he did the theory course online and the practical one full day a week, so a slightly different situation. 

    If the practical is just a half day on Saturday, does that mean it's a year's course? I did full days, and it took 6 months, but our tutor also taught a year-long half day Saturday course elsewhere and he reckoned that was a better way to do it if you've got the option, for several reasons. He made a convincing case.

    How is the theory course arranged where you're applying? Two courses over 6 months (so you can do all 4 in a year), or one at a time? All that will impact on how manageable it is. Also, don't forget - you don't *need* to do all the courses, and you can spread them out. The two theory courses add up to a certificate, and the practical is a certificate in itself. All three is a diploma. It all depends on what you plan to do with it.

    Hope that helps!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9
    Thanks LG, yes it’s half days over the year. I believe September to December, then a break over Winter. It starts again in March through to June. 24 mornings in total over the year. 
    Can I ask what your friends level of experience was before they started the course? 
    To be honest I’m not entirely sure how the theory is structured over the year. I do know that both the garden planning & plant growth certificates are completed through the year. 
    I’m ultimately looking to change career, so gaining the diploma I feel would set me up to be able to get my first foot in the door. 
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,689
    The contacts you make on the courses - especially as you're going to be studying in two different places - will be invaluable too.

    Not sure of his previous experience. I think he's a career changer too.

    If you're getting both theory certificates in a year, then that's eight modules in total, so two sets of four exams (four in Feb, four in June - each in one day). That's quite full on with working AND doing the practical at weekends! Though there's very little 'homework' for the practical, ime, other than learning 10 plant idents a week - and you might have fewer if you're spreading it over a year. You'd have another lot to learn for the theory. It would mean you'd get the whole diploma in a year, but you don't *need* the whole thing to start moving into horticulture. In fact, some traineeships include day release to do the RHS qualifications. 

    My feeling is that it's not impossible but it *is* quite a lot to do. The good part is that each bit will feed into and inform the other parts. If you go for it, make sure you book some time off work for revision ahead of each exam. You'll need it!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9
    Thanks LG, yep I might have a look at doing just the one theory certificate along side the practical at this time.
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,689
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I absolutely loved it :smile:
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • steve1986steve1986 SomersetPosts: 9
    Thanks, I’m super excited! 
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