Garden and Planting Design SCQF Level 5

What is special about this course?

This course is a mix of theory and practical applications and is ideal for you if you would like to develop your design skills and improve your ability to identify plants. Its a perfect start if you are  considering a career in horticulture and would like an introduction to basic horticultural skills. 

The practical elements of this course will be delivered face to face in the wonderful surroundings of Mount Stuart Gardens on the Isle of Bute, and Hermitage Park in Helensburgh depending on your location. 


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, just an enthusiasm for gardening. 

The course consists of five units:

  • Plant Identification – including plant morphology, Latin naming and learning identifying characteristics of plants
  • Garden Design – design a garden area of your choice, many students choose to design their own gardens
  • Planting Design – learn how to combine plants and create beautiful borders
  • Plantsmanship – learn how to design interesting plant collections
  • Planting and Maintenance – Practical maintenance of plants and gardens including pruning, soil preparation, planting out and plant protection


No specialist equipment required but if you have a favourite pair of secateurs you like to use please bring them with you.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Online

This course is a mix of theory and practical learning.  


How long will my course last?

17 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Rothesay Learning Centre

Start date


This course will run on Wednesdays 9am - 5.30pm


Social Services, Families and Young People. Wednesdays 9.00-4.00pm consists of 3 SQA units and costs £258.

Care of Children Thursdays 9.00-1.00pm consists of 2 SQA units and costs £172

If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits may receive a fee waiver. Please refer to page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide to see if you are eligible. You can download a FEE WAIVER FORM here.  If you would like help or advice on fee waiver, please contact your nearest learning centre.

If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you may be able to apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA) to cover up to £200 the cost of this course.

This course is not available to students who require a Tier 4 Home Office visa to study in Scotland (international or EU).

What can I do on completion of my course?

When you’ve successfully completed this course, you can move on to study at a higher level with courses such as: 

  • NPA Horticulture 
  • NC Horticulture 
  • HNC Horticulture 
  • HND Horticulture 

Employment options in this sector could include gardening work or applying to work at a garden centre, nursery, market garden or horticultural charity.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Garden Design and Plant ID

I want to start in Jan 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll operates 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 age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.