Advanced Certificate in Horticulture

Gain the skills to practice horticulture and the knowledge to manage the work for productivity and efficiency. Choose from 3 streams – crops, landscaping or amenity horticulture.

Course CodeVHT004
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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 Let us help you toward a successful career in Horticulture!
Learn from experienced horticulturalists! This comprehensive course will provide you with a strong foundation in horticulture.

  • Learn to identify and grow a wide range of different plants
  • Study the science that underpins all knowledge of horticulture
  • Enrol any time, study from anywhere, learn at your own pace
  • Interact one on one with highly qualified and experienced tutors
  • Access tutors whenever you need them - Our faculty of horticulturists are accessible 5 days a week, 50 weeks of the year by phone or email)


This course consists of 5 core modules and 1 elective stream consisting of 3 modules.  These are listed below.

Core Modules

Propagation I

Soil Management

Botany I

Horticulture III

Practical Horticulture I

Elective Streams
Crops Stream
Plus one other Crop subject of your choosing

Landscaping Stream

Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens

Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens

Plus one other Landscaping subject of your choosing

Amenity Horticulture Stream


Understanding soil is important if you are to succeed in maintaining its quality as a growing medium for plants and also to make sure you are provided the soil conditions plants need.

Soil is important to plants in providing the following:

  • Nutrition, as the plant derives its food from nutrients in the soil.
  • Support, as the soil holds the plant firm.
  • Water and air, as roots absorb both water and air, so the soil must contain both. Soil with too much air leaves the plants starved for water; soil with too much water leaves the plants starved for air.

Soil is made up of the following components:

  • mineral particles, including sand, silt, clay, and other minerals
  • organic matter, including humus and the remains of plants and animals
  • water and dissolved nutrients
  • air supplying oxygen to the plants
  • living organisms (worms, fungi, insects, micro-organisms etc)

Soil Texture
Different soils have different quantities of sand, silt and clay. The proportions of these three materials dictate the texture of the soil. Sand particles are the largest and feel "gritty." Sandy soils therefore have more air between the soil particles. Silt particles are medium sized and feel soft, silky, or "floury." Clay particles are the smallest and have therefore less air between the soil particles. They feel "sticky".  

You should also be able to distinguish by the amount of grittiness, whether it is coarse sand, medium sand, fine sand or very fine sand. You will also find varying grades of other soil types by how well they bind together, etc. For example, clay soil will bind so tightly that it can be rolled into a ball and formed into shapes (just like potter’s clay).

Organic soils are ones which have a large proportion of organic matter (more than 25%). The organic content in soils tends to bind other soil particles together.  These soils are usually black or brown in colour and feel silky. It is possible to get organic types of all of the above soils. Also, these soil types may be distinguished from others by placing a small amount in a glass of water. If most of it floats on top, then it is organic soil.

The ease with which nutrients are able to enter a plant is greatly affected by pH.  Extremely acid or alkaline soils can often stop the nutrients present being absorbed and used by the plant. The plant will suffer a nutrient deficiency, not because the required nutrient is not in the soil, but because the plant cannot get it (i.e. it is not available).

Learn the Theory then How to Apply it
You will learn things like this, about soils (and other aspects of horticulture), early in your advanced certificate. Armed with a foundation of knowledge, you will then deepen your knowledge and develop your ability to apply and problem solve in "real world" horticulture. Your understanding of soils (and other things) will strengthen and deepen; and we will help you to see an ever increasing range of ways that this developing knowledge can be applied, in order to grow plants better.


Developed by expert horticulturists with years of experience, this course will provide you with a strong foundation in horticulture.

It is an "experiential based" learning program, designed to get you involved with the horticulture industry as you study. The industry is ever-changing. For ongoing success you need to become and remain connected, so that you can see and adapt to changes as your career moves forward.

If you are seeking a solid training to underpin a lifelong career in horticulture, this is a course that will serve you well!


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Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
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
Jacinda 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 year
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
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