Gardening and Horticulture SQA Level 4

What is special about this course?

Improve your gardening and horticultural skills in the beautiful surroundings of Hermitage Park, Helensburgh.

This course is suitable for anyone wishing to improve their gardening skills to have more success in their own gardens. The course is ideal for anyone with an interest in studying horticulture further or starting a career as a gardener.

This is a practical course delivered face to face by lecturer Andrew Garven at Hermitage Park, Helensburgh. Andrew came to teaching after a long career in the horticulture industry, latterly managing a large garden centre chain and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge.

Entry requirements

There are no academic entry requirements, and the course is suitable for enthusiastic beginners.

Allotment Gardening
Learn how to grow a bumper crop of fruit and vegetables. Topics include:
Crop rotation and planning
Organic growing principles
Soil preparation, testing and improvement
Crop planting and aftercare
Harvesting techniques

Plant Propagation
Learn how to produce a range of plant types from seed and how to make and root cuttings.
Topics include:
Indoor and outdoor seed sowing techniques
Thinning out, pricking out and seedling aftercare
Horticultural growing media (compost types)
Vegetative propagation techniques – cuttings
Aftercare of cuttings

Plant Identification
Learn how the botanical (Latin) naming system works and how to identify many plants.
Topics include:
Botanical naming
Identification using plant keys
Plant morphology e.g. the structure of a plant, leaf shapes and flower shapes

Working with Others
We encourage our students to make the most of working as a group and to enjoy having colleagues to discuss horticulture within a positive learning environment. 


Please wear outdoor clothing suitable for the weather conditions and steel toe capped boots. Please bring your gardening gloves.

No specialist equipment is 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?

    This is a practical course delivered at Hermitage Park, Helensburgh.

    How long will my course last?

    17 Weeks

    Where can I study my course?

      • Helensburgh Learning Centre

    Start date



    Scottish resident full-time students will automatically have their course fees paid for this course.   

    Part-time FE students will also have free access to  this course in January 2023 and should complete a Fee Waiver Discretionary Jan 23

    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?

    Improving your confidence in practical horticultural skills and plant identification with this course can give you the boost you need to start a career in horticulture by taking on some 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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    Amber Crowley – Curriculum Lead for Horticulture says
    ‘Working in a real, open to the public, setting like Hermitage Park is very special. Not only do you learn horticultural skills in a real working environment, but you are able to leave your mark in a very special landscape and improve the park for the many visitors that enjoy the space every year.’

    Apply for Gardening and Horticulture SQA Level 4

    Applications for this subject are currently closed.

    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.