Certificate in Plant Science

This course provides a broad understanding of how plants function and grow, covering botany, ecology and pathology. It also builds on your ability to solve problems, communicate and adapt your career wherever you find work.

Course Code: VSC009
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Applied Plant Science - Study Online

Science and Technology - it's the catch-cry of governments everywhere as they recognise the importance of science to industry and development worldwide.
It's also where the jobs will be in the future: so now is the time to lay the foundations, and turn your interest in plants and the natural world into a rewarding career.

Study our Certificate in Plant Science and See Where it Can Take You!

A course like this can be a foundation for either further studies or working in any of a wide variety of plant related industries from farming, horticulture and forestry to research education or environmental management.

Take the first step to lay a sound foundation to work in Plant or Environmental Sciences: as a technician, in services, sales or supplies.

This course provides a very broad understanding of how plants function and grow, and aims to also build an awareness of industry, contacts and networking amongst employers and peers, and an ability to solve problems, communicate and adapt your career wherever you find work.

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Plant Science.
 Botany I (Plant Physiology And Taxonomy) BSC104
 Botany II (Plant Growth and Development) BSC204
 Plant Pathology BHT206
 Plant Ecology BSC305
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 7 modules.
 Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102
 Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal) BSC203
 Plant Breeding BHT236
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Landcare Reafforestation) BHT205
 Statistics BSC304
 Technical Writing (Advanced) BWR301
 Tissue Culture BHT306
 

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


Do You Understand Plant Physiology?

The angiosperms (the group of plants whose seeds are borne within a mature ovary – a fruit) make up much of the visible world of modern plants. Flowering plants are everywhere – lawns, gardens, shrubs, trees, fields of wheat and corn, wildflowers, duckweed and water lilies, cacti and prickly pears. Angiosperms make up the division Anthophyta, which includes about 235,000 species – the largest division of photosynthetic organisms. The division is divided into two classes – the Monocotyledons (the monocots) and the Dicotyledons (the dicots).

Plant growth is the process by which a plant increases in size, creating more leaves and stems. Plant development is the process by which plants change from one stage of growth to the next. These stages include juvenility, maturity, flowering and seeding. Plant development involves differentiation of the plant into specialised parts. This may include visible changes such as the structural organisation of the plant and new patterns of growth as well as less visible changes such as localised biochemical and metabolic activity.

Growth and development are characteristics not only of the entire plant, but also of each cell within that plant. Active cell division occurs in parts of the plant called meristems. Cell division results in growth in length and diameter of the plant, and in the differentiation of specialised plant organs. Differentiation results in the development of individual plant parts such as stems, leaves, new shoots, flowers, fruits, seed and other structures.

The Flowering Response

For plants to flower they must first go through a vegetative phase, during which the main processes are elongation of the stem and roots and increase in stem girth. The end of the vegetative phase is marked by flower initiation, whereby the vegetative shoot apex undergoes a sequence of physiological and structural changes to become a reproductive apex (reproductive apical meristem – that which develops into a flower or an inflorescence). The transition from a vegetative to a floral apex is often preceded by an elongation of the internodes and the early development of lateral buds below the shoot apex. The apex undergoes a marked increase in mitotic activity, accompanied by changes in dimensions and organisation. The development of the flower or inflorescence terminates the meristematic activity of the vegetative shoot apex. When these flowers are formed, the plant is prepared for sexual reproduction.

In as much as the reproductive apex exhibits a determinate growth pattern, flowering in annuals indicates that the plant is approaching completion of its life cycle. By contrast, flowering in perennials may be repeated again and again.

The period from germination to the time the seedling becomes established as an independent organism constitutes the most crucial phase in the life history of the plant. During this period, the plant is susceptible to injury by insect pests and parasitic fungi, and water stress can very rapidly result in death.

The stimuli for flower induction includes hormonal changes and environmental changes, such as day length (photoperiod) and temperature.

Genes control Flowering

We know that many different genes are involved in controlling the time at which a plant produces flowers. These genes cause and control certain biochemical pathways (i.e. sequences of chemical reactions). These pathways are not fully understood; however we do know that control of flowering time involves the integration of not one, but a number of biochemical signals.

Example:

One of these pathways has been studied and understood in the genus Arabidopsis, a Brassicaceae plant, related to mustard.

In this plant, the flowering time is affected by at least two different processes:

  • Vernilisation (ie. Environmental conditions stimulate flower initiation), and
  • Non-environmental genetic characteristics (i.e. Genes cause biochemical processes that can suppress the initiation of flowering)

More specifically, two different proteins (FCA and FY) interact to control the location at which a sequence off polyadenylic acid is spliced onto an RNA molecule in a gene (called the polyadenylation site).

Where Can This Course Take Me?

With this foundation knowledge in plant science, a whole range of career paths become open to you. Extend what you learn with further study, or combine what you learn with your existing skills and experience to progress in your current field. Move ahead or branch of in new directions!

Just a few examples of possible career paths and employers:
  • Technical or Research officer - with government departments such as Agriculture, Parks and Wildlife, Natural Resources and more or private industry.
  • Education industry
  • Environmental rehabilitation
  • Nursery industry
  • Horticulture industry
  • Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping
  • Small Business - plant hire services
  • Function Centres and Special Events
  • Floristry
  • Sales
  • Council and Local Government - Landscaping, Beautification, Weed Management
  • Town Planning and Urban Renewal
  • Science Writer - Blogs, Newspapers, Magazines..
 

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

Our Principal John Mason, was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Institute of Horticulture in 2010

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason has been a member of the International Scociety of Horticultural Science since 2003


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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.

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.

Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager.
Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Gaynor Hartley

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Jan Kelly

Dip Hort (Burnley); Cert IV Assessment & Training

Jan has around 50 years of experience in horticulture, including over 20 years as owner/manager of a wholesale/retail nursery. She has worked in both Australia and New Guinea, in many different capacities, including as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer for domestic and development projects, with considerable experience in Conservation & Land Management. Jan has been a trainer of Amenity Horticulture and Landscape Design for 10 years.

Jade Sciascia

B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Prof.Ed, Cert Food Hygiene.

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

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