Diploma in Horticulture

Course CodeVHT030
Fee CodeDI
Duration (approx)2100 hours
Diploma in Horticulture - Study Horticulture by Distance Education -Lay the foundation for a career in Professional Horticulture.
Why this Course?
We have been teaching Horticulture internationally for over 3 decades, our staff are better qualified and experienced than you find at many other colleges; our diplomas are longer and more in depth, and our student support stronger and not restricted by the uncertainties of change in government policy and funding.
ACS has a unique international reputation and offers you the opportunity to be tutored by horticulturists in both Australia and the UK; giving you a valuable international perspective on horticulture.
This is a fully professional course with a very broad focus. Unlike some other horticulture diplomas, it provides an opportunity to study across a wide variety of sub disciplines within horticulture; and in doing so, that allows you to move from one industry sector to another throughout your career.

If you love horticulture and don't want to lock yourself into a career in just crops, landscaping, parks, turf or nursery .... take this diploma and set yourself apart from most other horticulture diploma graduates by having a broader base of knowledge

Study this Diploma for a full and rewarding, lifelong career in the "green industries".

Choose a a more diverse selection of subjects and prepare to be able to move from one industry sector to another as trends and opportunities change throughout your career. 


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Diploma in Horticulture.
 Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102
 Botany I (Plant Physiology And Taxonomy) BSC104
 Horticultural Research I BHT118
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Horticulture II (Plant Knowledge) BHT102
 Horticulture III (Plant Health) BHT116
 Nature Park Management I BEN120
 Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
 Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal) BSC203
 Horticultural Research II BHT241
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 10 of the following 27 modules.
 Cell Biology BSC110
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Outdoor Plant Production (Crops I) BHT112
 Turf Care BHT104
 Commercial Organic Vegetable Growing VHT241
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Cutting Propagation BHT211
 Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205
 Fruit Production - Temperate Climate BHT218
 Garden Centre Management BHT255
 Nature Park Management II BEN207
 Orchid Culture BHT232
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Plant Breeding BHT236
 Plant Pathology BHT206
 Practical Horticulture 1 BHT238
 Roses BHT231
 Workshop II BGN203
 Biochemistry III (Plant Processes) BSC302
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Mushroom Production BHT310
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Plant Ecology BSC305
 Practical Horticulture 2 BHT323
 Water Gardening BHT307

Note that each module in the Diploma in Horticulture is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

The Future of Employment in Horticulture is Bright
Plants are essential to the survival of man kind.  They provide us with food, clothing, fuel, building materials and many of the other commodities that are essential to our day to day wellbeing.
Plants are also essential to the sustainability of our environment. They stop cities from getting too hot or too cold; they prevent land degradation, they reduce carbon pollution and they contribute to air quality.
It is an absolute certainty that there will always be work for people who know how to grow plants.
In the 1970's, a typical Australian horticulture diploma was more than 2,000 hours in duration. Over the years though, education funding has come under pressure and many diplomas offered in the 21st century are shorter. Quite obviously; you cannot learn as much in 1000 hours as you do in 2,000 hours.
We have chosen to keep our diplomas longer and stronger; and in doing so; we are finding our graduates are in very strong demand. As the 1970 graduates go into retirement, we are facing a severe shortage of well trained horticulturists. With a growing population and increasing focus on issues such as sustainability and carbon pollution; one must ask....
  • Who is going to grow the plants in the future?
  • Is our capacity to grow plants well simply going to diminish?

We used to place one teacher with four students, all with their own equipment, and give them plenty of time to not only learn a task once; but come back and practice it time after time until it was perfect. Horticulture diplomas could involve thousands of hours of instruction, practical and theory. These things often do not happen anymore. Courses are shorter, funding in government courses is tight and numbers enrolling in classroom based horticulture is diminishing.

In contrast; distance education is growing rapidly.

Ibis consulting reported in late 2009 that Online Education would be one of the fastest growing sectors in the Australian economy over 2010.

ACS Distance Education enrolments in horticulture in Australia increased last year by 21.8% on the previous 12 months Enrolments in ACS through affiliate college, Courses Direct, grew even more.

How Can Distance Education Work in Horticulture?
Think about it. The internet, video streaming, interactive self assessment tests, social networking, email and other technological innovations have made a virtual classroom experience not only possible but able to deliver services at a cost that could never be achieved face to face. In a nut shell, as technology makes distance education better and better; funding pressures have been making face to face education worse and worse.

There’s no doubt that the best learning experience happens when you place a fantastic teacher face to face with a small group of students, and give them all the time in the world to learn.
This may have happened in the 60’s and 70’s (sometimes); but in todays world, it is simply not a viable economic proposition for many colleges. Too many people need to be trained, the world is changing too fast, and government finances simply cannot cope with funding this type of education anymore.

We have been exploring and refining techniques for distance learning; and doing so since 1979.

Our horticulture diploma does work. If you apply yourself, do the work and pass the exams; you will have the ability top identify a wide range of plants; the knowledge to understand how to grow plants in a wide range of situations, and both skills and awareness of different sectors of the industry as a foundation for building a lifelong and flexible career in the horticulture profession.


The school's online book store offers a range of printed books and ebooks that have been chosen because they are both accurate and appropriate references for anyone studying our courses.

  • Titles are written by our principal and staff
  • Other titles come from major international publishers, and are selected for their excellent and relevant content.

If you are enrolling in a course, you might consider the following titles for supplementary reading. If you are not sure yet about whether or not to commit to a course, perhaps a good starting point is to buy and read one of these books.

Click on any of the titles below to see an outline of that book in our bookshop.
Start a Landscaping Business
or a Gardening Business
Printed Book by John Mason
Start a Plant Nursery
or a Herb Farm
Printed Book by John Mason
Start & develop a career
or business in Horticulture
An E book by John Mason
Sustainable Agriculture
printed book
Commercial Hydroponics
printed book
Nursery Management
printed book
Plant knowledge is key to a
successful career in
horticulture and this book
is an excellent starting point,
as well as a great reference
for people already working
in the industry.
An e book by John Mason
Growing Australian Natives
by John Mason
ptinted book
Organic Gardening
an ebook by John Mason
-specific advice on organic
techniques to use with lots
of different types of herbs,
vegetables and other plants.


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  Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  John Mason

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
  Robert James

B.App. Sc. (Horticulture), Dip.Ag., M.Sc., Grad Dip.Mgt. Over 50 years experience that includes, Nursery Manager Brisbane City Councoil, Grounds Manager (University of Qld), Lecturer Qld Agricultural College, Propagator/Nurseryman at Aspley Nursery, Horticulturist, Horticultural Scientist, and Horticultural Consultant
  Gavin Cole

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three years working in our Gold Coast office, as a tutor and writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine) which we produced monthly for a Sydney punlisher between 1999 and 2003. Since then, Gavin has contributed regularly to many magazines, co authored several gardening books and is currently one of the "garden experts" writing regularly for the "green living" magazine "Home Grown".