Advanced Certificate in Applied Horticulture

Study this broad based horticultural study program and gain a solid foundation on which to base a number of positions in the varied horticulture industry. Learn from highly qualified and experienced tutors, and study from anywhere in the world.

Course CodeVHT079
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Develop Skills for a Variety of Roles

Prepare yourself for a range of potential jobs and careers in horticulture by studying this broad-based course.

Sometimes people choose very narrow or focused courses of study which could limit the opportunities that are open to them. This course is designed to provide a wide spectrum of skills and knowledge so that students are able to apply what they learn to different tasks and positions.

A solid foundation in horticulture

  • Horticulture is a cornerstone to our society.

  • Learn from an international team or renowned horticultural experts led by John Mason, Fellow Institute of Horticulture (UK), Fellow Australian Institute of Horticulture, Fellow Parks and Leisure Australia.

  • A unique opportunity to connect and learn from our international faculty that includes Rosemary Davies (formerly Garden Advisory Service, and Age Garden Writer, Melbourne),  Maggi Brown (former Education officer for Garden Organic, UK), Gavin Cole (former Operations Manager for the Chelsea Gardener, London), and Dr Lyn Morgan (renowned Hydroponic expert from New Zealand); and a host of other equally qualified professionals. 

Plants provide us with food, have a major impact upon our environment (eg. Air quality, temperature, flood control etc), and provide places to play (sports grounds, children’s playgrounds etc). These are only a few of the more obvious places we find horticulture.

Horticultural staff need to have a strong foundation in both science and plants. They need to know:

  • What affects plant growth (Soils, nutrition, water, temperature, pests etc)

  • Cultural Techniques (Propagation, pruning, planting, shelter, etc)

  • Plant Knowledge (Plant family characteristics, classification system, etc

“Flexibility is the key to this course - it won’t pigeon hole you into one area but develops the broad skills and flexibility required by horticulturists in all sectors of the industry. An excellent course for those not necessary wanting to specialise. More employment opportunities exist for those with broad knowledge and skills.” - Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert IV Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor.

Course Structure and Content

Stage 1 Core Studies
Exemption is granted for this stage to anyone who has the following:

  • Any Certificate or Advanced Certificate from ACS

  • Horticultural studies of 600 hrs or more class contact duration from another approved institution (Approved institutions include universities and institutions with a teaching approach that have a strong emphasis upon foundation science and plant knowledge)

Stage II Electives

Other options may be considered, though the above are generally considered the better options for this particular course.




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Applied Horticulture.
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Horticulture III (Plant Health) BHT116
 Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
 Workshop I BGN103
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 54 modules.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Australian Natives I BHT113
 Cacti & Succulents VHT108
 Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Horticultural Research I BHT118
 Horticulture II (Plant Knowledge) BHT102
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Outdoor Plant Production (Crops I) BHT112
 Propagation I BHT108
 Turf Care BHT104
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
 Culinary Herbs VHT242
 Cut Flower Orchids VHT240
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Cutting Propagation BHT211
 Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205
 Fruit Production - Temperate Climate BHT218
 Fruit Production - Warm Climate BHT217
 Garden Centre Management BHT255
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Greenhouse Cut Flowers VHT239
 Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Irrigation -- Agricultural Irrigation BAG213
 Landscaping II BHT214
 Landscaping III (Landscaping Styles) BHT235
 Medicinal Herbs BHT227
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Planning Layout And Construction Of Ornamental Gardens BHT242
 Practical Horticulture 1 BHT238
 Practical Horticulture 2 BHT238
 Project Management BBS201
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
 Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens BHT243
 Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205
 Tropical Plants BHT234
 Viticulture BHT220
 Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
 Advanced Permaculture BHT301
 Amenity Horticulture I BHT324
 Amenity Horticulture II BHT325
 Berry Production BHT309
 Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317
 Horticultural Marketing BHT304
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Interior (Indoor) Plants BHT315
 Irrigation Management (Agricultural) BAG303
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Perennials BHT316
 Plant Taxonomy BHT344
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303
 Water Conservation And Management BEN302

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

This course provides a broad based foundation to allow you to adapt to and work in different sectors of the industry, as a technician, business owner, consultant, etc.

Whatever is in vogue at different times throughout your career, this course will prepare you to move into and adapt to working in that part of the industry.    
Course Manager This course has been designed, and is managed by John Mason, our principal. Since graduating in horticultural science (1971), John has worked as a landscape designer, nurseryman, parks manager and research officer working with field crops, prior to establishing this school in 1979. Since then, apart from managing this school he has been editor of 4 national gardening magazines, written over 40 books and maintained a small practice as a horticultural consultant. John has been made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture (UK) and the Parks and Leisure Institute (Australia). 

All teaching staff are highly qualified and experienced professional horticulturists. Most hold both degrees an post graduate qualifications. On average, their industry experience exceeds 20 years. A unique aspect of this course (and others through ACS) is that tutors and course developers come from both northern and southern hemispheres, and from both warm and cool climates. The content and delivery of the course aims to prepare you to work in any climate, country or social situation. We consider this aim to be exceedingly important in a world that is changing so rapidly. We aim to provide a foundation that will serve you wherever you find yourself in the future.


Either Year 12 (passed), an acceptable certificate (eg. Completed apprenticeship) or over 21 yrs of age  

How Can This Course Help You?

This course is the perfect addition to Amenity Horticulture I. Having already established your awareness and understanding of different areas of amenity horticulture, with this course you can learn about how to manage a range of different horticulture projects from public gardens to temporary displays.

You'll find out how to plan and secure funding for projects, as well as how to oversee staff and volunteers to make the most use of the resources at hand. The course is perfect for people looking for positions of greater responsibility and is ideal for those wishing to work in:

  • Public horticulture projects
  • Private horticulture practices
  • Parks & gardens
  • General horticulture
  • Ecotourism
  • Garden conservation & restoration

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Diana Cole

B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild
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 (c
Adriana Fraser

Freelance writer, businesswoman, educator and consultant for over 30 years. Adriana has written extensively for magazines including free living publications -Grass Roots and Home Grown; and has authored or co authored many books ranging from a biography
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.