Horticulture (Practical): College Certificate SCQF Level 5

What is special about this course?

The horticulture industry plays an increasingly important part in the rural economy in Scotland and Moray. 

With an increase in demand for skilled workers and expected growth in employment opportunities, there’s never been a better time to find employment in this rewarding industry.

This course covers all aspects of the industry from commercial growing to vegetable gardening and is ideal if you have some knowledge of horticultural practices as it will provide you with the opportunity to develop advanced practical skills and extend your understanding and theoretical knowledge.

The course incorporates an SVQ in Horticulture (SCQF Level 5), formerly SVQ Level 2 which is an industry standard qualification that employers look for their staff to have.

Special features:

  • You will gain practical industry skills
  • You will study at our training facility at the Biblical Garden in Elgin overlooking the iconic Cathedral
  • The opportunity to study your course at the Garden means that you can be part of creating and maintaining this outstanding community and tourism asset
  • Small student numbers mean there is a close working relationship between you and the staff

Entry requirements

Three National 4s, one of which must be English


satisfactory attainment of any SCQF level 4 course.

Applications are encouraged from mature students who do not possess formal qualifications but have the skills to meet the academic demands of the course.

Course content includes:

  • Plant Propagation and Nursery Skills
  • Plant Classification and Plantsmanship
  • Garden and Plant Maintenance
  • Soils and Composts
  • Turf-Care
  • Fruit and Vegetable Growing
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Machinery Maintenance

There may be the opportunity for field trips and placements within the course delivery.



  • Steel toe capped safety boots and gloves
  • Students should wear suitable clothing for outdoor work
  • A list of recommended texts and other useful, but not essential items is provided in the course handbook.

A bursary is available that helps towards the cost of these items.

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will be delivered mainly online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities, practical sessions and placements will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing.
  • Full Time
  • Part Time
  • Face-to-face teaching 
  • Practical skills training
  • Online learning
  • Student research
  • Group work
  • Guest speakers
  • Report writing and project work

How long will my course last?

1 Year

(part time: 2 years or more)

Part time: 1 year option to study SVQ Production Horticulture (SCQF Level 5) if already employed in a horticulture environment.


Where can I study my course?

    • Moray College UHI

Start date



The good news is that depending on your personal circumstances there are a wide range of bursaries, grants and allowances available to fund your college studies.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this course you can progress to further study which may include:

  • Horticulture (Landscaping): College Certificate (SQCF Level 6)
  • RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture 

Alternatively, you can progress into employment in a number of areas including garden centres, private gardens and organisations such as the National Trust for Scotland. 


Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Horticulture (Practical): College Certificate SCQF Level 5

I want to start in 2021/22

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Moray College UHI. Moray College 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.