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What will a Proficiency Award 3 in Horticultural Science give you?
The ability to:
- Work in a professional horticultural role in nurseries
- Work as a horticultural consultant across many sectors
- Work as a teacher
- Work in research
- Work as a technician
Horticultural technicians and scientists need to have a strong
foundation in both horticulture and science. They need to know how to
identify lots of different plants, and the botany and chemistry that
underpins an understanding of how to grow those plants .
Train for a Career and work in:
- Nurseries, Farms Allied Horticultural Trades
- Parks, Gardens, Landscaping, Turf, Tree Management
- Environmental Management
- Consulting, Teaching, Media, 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 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).
Horticulture has changed dramatically in recent decades and will no
doubt continue to change rapidly; but there will always remain a need
for horticulturists while we continue to eat fruit and vegetables, play
sport and use tree planting to improve the environment in which we live.
What makes the ACS Proficiency Award unique?
The proficiency awards offer a tiered award system - so you don't have to wait until the end of your qualification to have an award.
How does that work?
Once you have completed 6 modules, you can receive an ACS Certificate. Complete 8 (plus 100hrs work experience), and receive an ACS Advanced Certificate. Complete 10 and receive a ACS Proficiency Award 1. Complete 14 (plus 100hrs work experience and receive an ACS Proficiency Award 2. Complete 20 modules (plus 100hrs work experience) and receive an ACS Proficiency Award 3. Complete 24 modules (plus 100hrs Work Experience) and receive an ACS Proficiency Award 4.
Note that each module in the Proficiency Award 3 in Horticultural Science SPECIAL is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
WHAT IS COVERED IN THIS COURSE?
Stage 1 Core Studies
Note: Modules from either stages II & III may be undertaken after stage I is complete.
There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:
1. Plant Identification
5. Water Management
8. Pests and Diseases
The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:
1. The Groups of Plants
2. Use of Plants
3. Australian Native Plants
4. Exotic Ornamental Plants
5. Indoor & Tropical Plants
6. Bedding Plants
8. Fruits, Nuts & Berries
10. Alternative Growing Techniques
Horticulture III (Plant Health)
1. There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:
3. Overview of Preventative Controls
5. Other Pesticides
6. Spray Equipment
7. Insect Biology
8. Fungal Biology
9. Environmental Problems
11. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans
Plant Selection and Establishment
There are ten lessons in this course as follows:
2. Woody plants
3. Windbreaks, hedges and screens
4. Alpine and water plants
5. Annual and herbaceous plants
8. Pest and disease control
9. Weed control
10. Risk assessment
There are ten lessons in this module as follows:
1. Taxonomic Classification of Plants
2. Cells and Tissues
3. Specific Vegetative Parts of a Plant
4. Flowers and Fruit
5. Seed and the Developing Embryo
6. Photosynthesis and Growing Plants
8. he Role of Water
9. Movement of Water and Assimilates through a Plant
10.The Effects of Growth Movements
Biochemistry I (Plants)
There are nine lessons as follows:
2. Lipids & Proteins
4. Nitrogen & the Nitrogen Cycle
5. Photosynthesis & Respiration
6. Assimilation & Transpiration
7. Acidity & Alkalinity
8. Chemical Analysis
9. Biochemical Applications
Stage II Electives
These modules can be seen in detail by clicking on any of those listed previously
Other options may be considered, though the above are generally considered the better options for this particular course.
Stage III Compulsory Modules
Compulsory Modules include:
There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Introduction to Cells and Their Structure
2. Cell Chemistry
3. DNA, Chromosomes and Genes
4. Cell Division: Meiosis and Mitosis
5. Cell Membranes
6. Protein Structure and Function
7. Protein Synthesis
8. Food, Energy, Catalysis and Biosynthesis
9. Intracellular Compartments, Transport and Cell Communication
10. The Cell Cycle and Tissue Formation
There are nine lessons in this module as follows:
1. Introduction to Biochemical Molecules
2. Amino Acids
3. Structure of Proteins
4. Protein Dynamics
5. Sugars and Polysaccharides
6. Lipids (Fats) and Membranes
7. Enzymes, Vitamins and Hormones
8. DNA and RNA
9. Laboratory Techniques
Horticultural Research I
This course contains seven lessons:
1. Determining Research Needs
2. Searching for Information
3. Research Methods
4. Using Statistics
5. Conducting Statistical Research
6. Research Reports
7. Reporting on a Research Project
Horticultural Research II
There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Identifying research issues and determining research priorities
2. Acquisition of technical information
3. Specialised research techniques
4. Research planning and designing
6. Conducting research
7. Writing reports
Industry Meetings or Workshop I (Note: This can be completed without difficulty anywhere in the world).
There are three lessons in Workshop I; each involving a different PBL Project
- Workplace Tools, Equipment and Materials: Identifying and
describing the operation of tools and equipment used in the workplace;
routine maintenance of tools and equipment; identifying and comparing
materials used in the workplace; using different materials to perform
- Workplace Skills: Determining key practical skills in the
workplace; identifying and comparing commonly-performed workplace tasks;
determining acceptable standards for workplace tasks; implementing
techniques for improving workplace efficiency.
- Workplace Safety: Identifying health and safety risks in the
workplace; complying with industry OH&S standards; developing safety
guidelines for handling dangerous items.
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.
Note: Prerequisites: We normally assume either year 12 (passed), an
acceptable certificate (eg. Completed apprenticeship) or over 21 yrs of
"I have found the course to be interesting
and challenging, with great learning materials that really make you
research the industry and get involved. It has been a great way to study
because it has allowed me to work in the industry and study at the same
time. I have found the online resources to be fantastic, the tutors
feedback constructive and the fact that assignments can be submitted
online makes the process so easy." Tom Wood, Australia - Diploma in Horticultural Science.
JOBS IN HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE
All horticulture jobs are increasingly requiring the application of
science. They can be categorised in many different ways, but broadly,
cover the following.
Horticulture – covers anything that is concerned with creating or
enhancing an environment that is more functional or aesthetically
pleasing. Areas for employment include: turf care, parks, botanic
gardens, National Trust gardens, reserves, cityscapes, and private
gardens. Employees may have skills in landscape design and construction,
arboriculture, and gardening.
Production Horticulture – covers enterprises that are creating products
from plants; including fruits, vegetables, and nursery stock, to crops
harvested for oil production or seeds. Hydroponics and aquaponics are
also specialised areas of this industry.
General Horticulture – these are jobs that overlap the areas of
production and amenity horticulture (e.g. a teacher may teach methods
and techniques associated with both groups, a writer may write for both
types of industry, and a scientist may undertake research which is
relevant to both.
Science and Technology - scientific and technological developments are
increasingly being applied to horticulture; and often a horticultural
scientis can find themself bridging both production and amenity
horticulture throughout their career. While scientists may have once
been "academics" working in research or teching; they have increasingly
now become hybrids: the scientist/manager; the scientist/business
entrepeneur; or something els.
Many horticultural jobs are in small businesses. Opportunities abound
for self-employment in this industry; it is common for graduates from
horticulture courses to spend at least part of their working life
running their own business.
Small businesses do employ horticultural staff too - but opportunities
are obviously always going to be limited if you work for a relatively
small business. In countries and regions with clearly defined seasons,
there may be less work during the winter months. For instance, a small
landscaping business may recruit additional staff over the spring and
summer but be unable to keep them employed over the winter. Having a
wide range of skills will offer an employee greater resistance to
seasonal changes in employment.
Over the years governments (generally) have gone through cycles of
employing but then sacking large numbers of staff. In recent times,
large companies - including some that may have existed for over 100
years and which were formerly regarded as being a secure employer - have
closed divisions and sacked employees on a large scale.
Whilst there are opportunities to move along a career pathway with some
of the long-established horticultural enterprises (e.g. from gardener,
to supervisor, to manager), in a world that is changing as fast as it
has been in recent years, it is wise to consider how uncertain the
future of any career pathway might be. This applies to all industries -
not just horticulture.
Where can you go from here?
This course gives opportunities to the students looking 'outside of the box' and expand their careers in horticulture.
Opportunities exist in management, teaching, research etc. Very
appealing to those that have already worked in the field for many years
and are looking for a new challenge. Also as relevant to those
interested in starting out in horticulture but wanting to broaden their options.
This course may be of particular value to people working in or wishing to work in:
- Horticultural research
- Horticultural science
- Horticultural consultation
- Crop development
- Plant breeding
- Nursery work