Advanced Certificate in Horticultural Management

Learn to be a horticultural manager! This course covers science, management & all horticulture sectors, for a sustainable high level career in horticulture.

Course CodeVHT085
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Learn to Combine Management With Horticultural Expertise

Many courses are offered in horticultural management training but few compare with this one. Our courses are based on problem-based learning which gives graduates the ability to confidently make informed decisions in all areas of horticultural management.

Employers look for well-trained people to fill management positions. People who have the ability to make good choices as well as run the operational side of their businesses. This course will place you ahead of the pack.

Be an Effective Horticultural Manager

  • Start a New Business

  • Further Your Career

  • Lay the foundation for a new career in Horticultural Management

Horticultural managers find employment wherever plants are being cultivated; from golf courses and parks to home gardens and market gardens.

The nature and scope of horticultural management has changed dramatically in recent decades and will no doubt continue to change rapidly; but there will always remain a need for horticultural managers while we continue to eat fruit and vegetables, play sport and use tree planting to improve the environment in which we live.

Horticultural managers need to have a strong foundation in both horticulture and management. They need to know how to identify lots of different plants, the science that underpins understanding how to grow those plants and the practical techniques which are applied within the industry.

Grow your awareness of the horticultural industry and opportunities; and develop your networking skills. Success in horticultural management is not just a matter of being able to do the job. It is also very much dependent upon the attitude you have and the decisions you make.

“Professional managers in horticulture are scarce and opportunities abound for those with the good solid knowledge and skills this course delivers. If you are ready to advance your career, or have aspirations beyond the average, then this management focussed course (that also encourages thorough horticultural knowledge) will enable you to fulfil your goals.” - Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert IV Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Horticultural Management.
 Horticultural Research I BHT118
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
 Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) BHT326
 Operational Business Management II (Horticulture) BHT327
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 43 modules.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
 Garden Maintenance VHT100
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Horticulture II (Plant Knowledge) BHT102
 Horticulture III (Plant Health) BHT116
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Outdoor Plant Production (Crops I) BHT112
 Propagation I BHT108
 Turf Care BHT104
 Workshop I BGN103
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Cut Flower Orchids VHT240
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Cutting Propagation BHT211
 Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205
 Fruit Production - Temperate Climate BHT218
 Garden Centre Management BHT255
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Greenhouse Cut Flowers VHT239
 Horticultural Research II BHT241
 Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Landscaping II BHT214
 Landscaping III (Landscaping Styles) BHT235
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Planning Layout And Construction Of Ornamental Gardens BHT242
 Plant Protection BHT207
 Project Management BBS201
 Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens BHT243
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Landcare Reafforestation) BHT205
 Viticulture BHT220
 Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
 Amenity Horticulture I BHT324
 Amenity Horticulture II BHT325
 Berry Production BHT309
 Biophilic Landscaping BHT343
 Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317
 Horticultural Marketing BHT304
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Horticultural Management 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. 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.

Give you the skills and knowledge to work in horticultural management.This course is different to many others. It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with the horticulture industry as you study. The industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.

Order of Studies

Core Studies

The following six modules are undertaken first as a foundation for further studies:

  • Horticulture I
  • Horticultural Research I
  • Plant Selection & Establishment
  • Horticultural Resource Management
  • Operational Business Management I
  • Operational Business Management II

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, IARC recognized institutions, institutions with a teaching approach that have a strong emphasis upon foundation science and plant knowledge)

Some of the Electives:

  • Organic Plant Culture
  • Permaculture Systems
  • Engineering Applications
  • Plant Protection
  • Amenity Horticulture I
  • Amenity Horticulture II
  • Turf Care
  • Sports Turf Management
  • Turf Repair and Renovation
  • Arboriculture I
  • Arboriculture II
  • Trees for Rehabilitation
  • Landscaping I, II, III
  • Planning Layout & Construction of Ornamental Gardens
  • Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens
  • Propagation I
  • Cutting Propagation
  • Wholesale Nursery Management
  • Garden Centre Management
  • Cut Flower Production
  • Cut Flower Bulbs
  • Cut Flower Orchids
  • Greenhouse Cut Flowers
  • Hydroponics I
  • Hydroponic Management
  • Commercial Vegetable Production
  • Protected Plant Production
  • Fruit Production
  • Viticulture
  • Berry Production
  • Herb Culture

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

Note: Industry Meetings or Workshop I  can be completed without difficulty anywhere in the world.



Horticulture I

There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:

  1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.
  2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
  3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
  4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
  5. Water Management: Irrigation systems – characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; waterwise gardening.
  6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
  7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
  8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
  9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
  10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.
  11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
  12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.


Horticulture II

The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:

  1. The Groups of Plants ‑ setting a framework for the whole subject. Learn to identify plants from a wide range of taxonomic and cultural groups, using a range of different techniques.
  2. Use of Plants ‑ plant selection, soils.
  3. Australian Native Plants -Determine techniques for the growing of native shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
  4. Exotic Ornamental Plants   -Determine techniques for the growing of exotic ornamental shrubs and trees, including the selection, culture and use of different species.
  5. Indoor & Tropical Plants  - Determine techniques for the growing of indoor plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties
  6. Bedding Plants  -Determine techniques for the growing of bedding plants, including selection, culture and use of different varieties.
  7. Vegetables   -Develop techniques for the growing of edible crop plants, including selection, culture and use of vegetables, fruit, berries and nuts (Part A).
  8. Fruits, Nuts & Berries
  9. Herbs
  10. Alternative Growing Techniques ‑ hydroponics, container growing, terrariums. Determine appropriate applications for a range of alternative growing methods


Horticulture III (Plant Health)

There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of Preventative Controls
  3. Insecticides
  4. Other Pesticides
  5. Spray Equipment
  6. Insect Biology
  7. Fungal Biology
  8. Environmental Problems
  9. Viruses
  10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans


Learn from Exceptional Teachers

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.

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

Why Study This Course?

Across the spectrum of careers in horticulture there is a great need for people who have a deep understanding of horticulture as well as the skills and knowledge associated with management. Not everyone is suited to managerial positions and often businesses and horticulture enterprises promote individuals from within who perhaps lack the training and learning to make the grade. This course is designed to equip students with a wide range of managerial skills that should make them more employable in higher positions in the industry. It will also stretch the credentials of employers and business operators.

This course will be of value to people who work in or would like to work in managerial or owner-operator type positions in:

General horticulture
Parks & gardens
Green keeping
Propagation & nurseries
Horticultural retail
Let us help you toward a successful future in horticultural management!

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Marie Beermann

Marie has more than 10 years experience in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M. Sc. Hort., Dip. Bus., Cert. Ldscp.
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
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, Hort