RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation

This theory-based qualification develops existing horticultural skills, expanding your knowledge on the scientific principles underpinning horticultural practices and allowing you to start or progress in a horticultural career

Who is this qualification for?

Career changers. Looking to work in professional horticulture for the first time and already have a Level 2 understanding

Professional horticulturists. Already working in horticulture and wanting to develop knowledge further

Casual learners. Wanting to develop personal interest and progress to further horticultural study at level 4

Busy people. Need a flexible learning style? Our qualifications are designed to be studied part-time 

No formal entry requirements. However, it is strongly recommended that students have obtained the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development or equivalent before they begin this qualification
The Plantsman December 2018 cover

Modules, learning outcomes and assessment

Each module is assessed by an RHS set examination conducted at an RHS approved qualifications centre in February and June. To achieve the qualification all four unit exams must be completed and achieved.

Plant taxonomy, structure and function
  • Plant kingdom and taxonomic hierarchy
  • Structure and function of plant tissues and organs in the life of the plant
  • Photosynthesis, respiration, water/solute relations in the plant and their relevance to horticulture
  • The role of plant growth regulators in plant development and their relevance to horticulture
The root environment, plant nutrition and growing systems
  • The relationship between air, water and plant growth in soils and other growing media
  • The formation and properties of soils and other growing media
  • The role of living organisms in soil processes
  • The role of nutrients in plant growth
  • Organic growing
The management of plant health
  • Characteristics of a range of pests, diseases and weeds of horticultural significance
  • Control of pests, diseases and weeds in horticulture
Understanding applied plant propagation
  • How knowledge of seed anatomy, physiology and environmental factors can be applied to propagate and conserve seeds successfully
  • The relevance of anatomy, physiology and environmental factors to methods of vegetative propagation
  • Propagation methods used in horticultural production

Useful documents and information

After the qualification

Career opportunities 

You will have gained a range of horticultural knowledge relevant to employment in various roles in commercial plant production and the horticultural sector, such as a head gardener or supervisor in private, public, or botanic gardens or parks and urban green spaces. 
Horticultural careers

Further learning

The qualification supports progression to level 4 courses in horticulture or entry onto various horticultural training programmes.
Master of Horticulture
The Plantsman December 2018 cover

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'Although passionate about growing, I lacked the knowledge and know-how of what to do. Doing the RHS level 3 I gained confidence in my knowledge of propagation, cultivation and the science behind plants' - Anastasia Ellis, Level 3 student

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.