Horticulture HND

Course code 214D

What is special about this course?

Deepen and develop your horticultural knowledge and practical skills on our hands-on HND Horticulture.

Developed by horticultural experts in association with plant specialists and employers in the industry, stay up to date with current developments and practices on this multi-specialism course, cultivating the skills required for success in this diverse field.

Learn from experienced horticulturists, botanists, and ecologists from across Scotland and benefit from their wealth of industry experience. Join like-minded students across the country in live online lecturers and practical work, as you develop your theoretical knowledge and practical skills, with assessments via project work, developed with support from your lecturers throughout the year.

Whether you dream of growing your own horticultural business or branching out into supervisory and managerial roles in existing horticultural enterprises, let us support you as you take your next steps in this stimulating and varied career.

Special features

  • Industry-employed lecturers with links to horticultural enterprises throughout the UK and EU
  • Group work and projects with like-minded students across Scotland
  • Practical work and field trips in a range of wonderful Scottish gardens as well as visits to horticultural businesses
  • Learn the skills required for production horticulture, botanical sciences, conservation, habitat restoration, ecology, historic and botanic garden management, and more
  • Choose your own topics for your project work to tailor the course to your interests


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

For entry to year 1, HNC Horticulture:

  • 1 Scottish Higher at Grade C or above  OR
  • 1 A level at Grade D or above
  • Alternatively, NC Horticulture, City and Guilds Horticulture at level 6, or another equivalent SCQF level 6 course

Direct entry to year two:

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above OR
  • HNC in Horticulture or any other subject
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/units, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional modules/units, but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Year 1 - HNC

Year 1 of this course is HNC Horticulture

Year 2 - HND

You will study the following modules across both semesters:

  • Advanced plant biology (3 credits)
  • Applied horticultural research (3 credits)
  • Botanical and historic garden horticulture (3 credits)
  • Ecological and conservation garden horticulture (2 credits)
  • Horticulture: professional practice (3 credits)
  • Horticulture: sustainability and innovation (1 credit)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your lecturers. You will also attend face to face practical classes, field trips and residentials to learn practical horticultural skills in a range of wonderful Scottish gardens

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 30 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 15 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • If you wish to study remotely, please use the Argyll apply link. You will attend residential field trips on-campus at Argyll, all other study can be done from your home location

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture also provides information on many available horticulture scholarships and grants, which may be of help with equipment, travel, placements etc. Please visit their site for further details.

Additional costs

  • Specialist PPE will be provided
  • You will need to provide your own personal protective equipment for practical classes, including steel toe capped boots, gardening gloves, waterproofs, and thorn-proof clothing
  • You may need to cover the costs of any transport or accommodation required to complete work placements, residentials or field trips

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Management of a botanical or historic garden
  • Management of a public or private green space
  • Management of a production nursery, horticultural retail enterprise, market garden or community enterprise
  • Botanical sciences
  • Horticulture business start-up
  • Conservation and habitat restoration

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to pursue further studies on courses such as BSc (Hons) Horticulture.

Is there more information available online?

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I love horticulture and wanted to study it further. I chose UHI as I could stay at home, and still study what I am interested in. The mix of delivery styles allows teaching by experts across Scotland, so the best knowledge is passed on. I was really happy with the practical teaching, something employers really want to see. The class gathering weekly allows us to enjoy the social aspects of education as well.    

I joined the UHI Green Champions Network which opened up interesting discussions on how the campuses across Scotland could be more sustainable and eco-friendly. I also got the chance to attend lectures from expert scientists and ecologists.    

It is so beautiful here, with amazing places to explore. The Highlands and Moray are filled with underappreciated sites of natural beauty. 

Gallia studied Horticulture at UHI Moray.  

Apply for Horticulture HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.