Garden Design Level 3 Course

This home study course in Garden Design is aimed at assisting students plan, organise and create their garden. Students can study from home and learn to design gardens of all shapes and sizes. No experience is required to enrol!

The course areas covered are:

Garden Design & You
What Good Design Achieves
Starting to Design
The Importance of Soils & Sites
Starting Real Design Work
Designing for Interest
Water in the Garden
Children & Pets
Gardening for Users with Disabilities, the Elderly and Garden Safety
Upkeep & Maintenance
Structures in the Garden
Marketing Your Garden Design Business
Tricks of the Trade

Qualification: Garden Design Award
Accredited: Yes
QCF Recognised: No, Equivalent level of learning at level 3
Awarding Body: ABC - QLS Awards
Start Date: Anytime - We enrol 365 days a year
Duration: Flexible - Approx 80 Hours - 12 Months Max Support
Credit Value: Not Applicable

Garden Design Level 3 Course

Garden Design Level 3 Course

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Course Fee: Starting at: £259.00

One of the biggest concerns for any potential student is the financial commitment involved. UK Open College recognise this and have implemented a pay as you study plan to assist students in spreading any fees involved with their course over a manageable period of time. Students are able to pay a deposit upon enrolment followed by a monthly repayment over a set period of time. Totally Interest free!

We would encourage students to view any related fees as an investment in their future. The majority of investments will provide a rewarding return over a set period of time. Once qualified and in employment students can expect a fantastic return on their investment year after year.

We offer all UK Based students guaranteed acceptance onto this scheme* upon completion of a signed student agreement. Shortly after paying your deposit our accounts department will contact you direct via telephone to gather the required information to complete the agreement. Once received we will forward a digital document via email for your signature. 

Students paying their fees in full upon enrolment are able to claim a 20% discount

Unemployed Students in receipt of job seekers allowance for a period of 3 months or more are entitled to a reduction of 30% when paying their fees in full upon enrolment. Students wishing to know more about this scheme should contact the college direct on 01827 283735. Proof of entitlement will be required.

*Contact details, employment details and valid UK bank details with the ability to set up direct debit are required for all students applying for our pay as you study plan. If students are unable to provide this information any application may be declined. 

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Introduction to design
History and development
How gardens started
The beginnings
The garden toda
Types of garden designers today
Where to find information; factors to consider
The gardens around you

Designers, what they do and why they are needed?
The design process; The owner’s requirements
What the designer does; The benefits of using a garden designer;
Providing guidance; Types of client
You as the designer; Taking instructions
Drawing skills; 

Equipment & Dress; Design by computer (CAD)
Impressions of the garden
The initial visit
The client checklist;
The design recipe; Site assessment; Surveying and measuring slopes
The rough sketch; The FLP (Functional Layout Plan)
Triangulation and chain surveys; drawing to scale
Labelling, heights, number charts and keys
The design principals of Direction
Rhythm and Harmony, and what they mean

Soil and horticultural potential; soil and sites; climate (oceanic, etc); temperature;
Light, shade and shelter;
Rainfall and humidity
Soil types and pH; Topography;
The soil environment and horizons; profile pits;
Improving the soil with manures, fertilisers, line and mulches
Cultivation and drainage
Soil life – good and bad; 

Getting down to design
Arranging plants; practicalities; function and form
Right plant, right place
Height, borders and beds
Information sources
Plants for problem positions
Plants for alkaline and acid soils
Shade; Sunny; Dry
Plants for particular uses (focal points, climbers, ground cover)
Designing for shapes and sizes (formal, informal)
Linking shapes
Playing with ideas and concepts
Problem sites: Downward slope; Upward slope; Long and narrow; Short and square; L-shaped; Corner

Planning for themes – ideas, styles and how to enhance
Plants for colour and height
The colour wheel
Getting the planting mix right
Colour patch bedding; foliage
Features needing thought
Fruit growing in small areas
Containers, tubs and patios
Plants to define areas and give direction
Rockeries and alpines

The garden in winter
Attracting wildlife
Managing wildlife
Herbs and weeds
Other services

Siting a pond
Materials, depths and size; considerations; equipment; safety; filters; planting the pond; planning for timing and colour;
Maintenance; Lighting and lighting design for water
Water features; construction diagrams; 

Play areas
Children’s gardens
Equipment and toys
Plants,poisonous plants and other potential threats
Safety - water and children
Pets in the garden
Clients’ dogs; Dogs; Cats;

Access; Paths; Safety, features other issues
Watering; Tools
Visually and sensory impaired sensory gardens
Conclusion; Safety checklist

Assessing maintenance
Builders, diggers and landscapers
Schedules of work

Walls, fences and trellis
Paths and patios
Green houses, sheds and store
Other structures; Summerhouses

Where are the clients
How to reach clients
Word of mouth
Advertising; Portfolio and plant files
Shows and fairs
Visiting potential clients
Clarifying your service
Keeping records
Tax and accounts
Help; VAT; Insurance; 
Final Design Project

An additional unit crammed with useful hints and tips for garden designer

Students looking to enrol onto this course should meet the following criteria:

Be aged 16 Years or above
Possess a solid knowledge of the english language
Have access to a PC and the internet for the duration of the whole course
Basic computer skills: e.g Word processing, emailing, uploading documents etc
Have a genuine desire to succeed

ABC QLS - Level 3 Garden Design Award

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details all of the units you have completed as part of your course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards’ Quality Licence Scheme.  This means that Kendal Publishing Ltd has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria.  The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.  The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector.  To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner. 

The course itself has been designed by Kendal Publishing Ltd to meet specific learners’ or employers’ requirements. ABC Awards’ endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met.  A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process. 

Receipt of Certification: Certification is awarded by ABC and can take up to 12 weeks to be received after completion of your studies. All certification will be delivered to students direct at their home address. UK Open College have no control over delivery of certification awarded by the external awarding bodies. Any outstanding fees are payable before certification is issued. 

Course duration will vary dependant on student commitment, effort and ability. Overall guided learning hours are approx 80. This should be used as a guideline only and completion times will vary hugely.We would encourage students to serioulsy consider how they plan to complete their chosen course prior to enrolment. Students should think about how they are going to study, where they are going to study and how often. Be realistic!

Speak to family members and help them to understand what you are trying to acheive, explain you may require peace and space to study at certain times. The more you involve them the more likey you are to get them on your side.

Students are reminded that the time in which they complete is purely down to them as an individual. Completion can be as quickly or as slowly as you wish within the 12 month tuition period. If you require additional time an extension may be available. Extensions are arranged at an additional cost as and when needed.

This course is supplied in paper format and will be delivered direct to your chosen address. Students are able to complete their course assignments using a word processing programme and email them direct to the tutor. Once received tutors will reply to you direct. We do not accept course assignments via post.

Students can normally expect to receive delivery of their course materials via courier within 3 working days of enrolment being received. However we would ask you to allow 7 working days

All students on this course will be registered to a personal tutor for 12 months who is contactable via email. We also have a team of dedicated advisors to help and advise with any course related queries. The tutors role is to help and support students for the entire duration of their studies. Please remember our tutors are here to help. Never be embarrassed to ask for help.

This course is completed using continual assessment, allowing your tutor to closely monitor your progress every step of the way. Therefore no examination is required. Students will be required to submit a series of assignments throughout their course direct to their assigned tutor. Tutor details will be contained within your study pack. 

Students should understand that part of any study programme requires an element of research on their part. As technology moves forward at a rapid pace a visit to the local library is no longer the chosen method of accessing information. Students are also expected to use the internet for research purposes and can expect to be referred to various blogs and websites such as You Tube and Google amongst other specific websites relating to their chosen subject. Tutors will not give you the answers to complete your assignments.

Students can expect to receive feedback on submitted assignments within 7 days. However we expect delays on this timescale  during holiday periods e.g Summer holidays July/August, bank holidays and xmas. We appreciate your patience during these periods.


In order to help students with the terms and conditions of their enrolment we have tried to keep things simple and easy to understand. No jargon or small print. Our full terms and conditions can be viewed here.

In our experience the main and most important part of these terms for our students is the cancellation & returns policy. So let’s explain these clearly to avoid any misunderstanding.

Firstly, we would request that students check the course syllabus and content immediately upon receipt. This is vitally important. Please ensure that any qualification awarded at the end of your course meets your needs. If in doubt call us on 0121 288 0181 to check before you enrol.

If for any reason you wish to cancel and return your course to us for a refund you are welcome to do so as long as you notify us within 14 days of receipt at the delivery address. Please email stating your name, address, invoice number requesting to cancel. We will then respond to you with further instruction. If you have received a hard copy of your course you will be required to return this at your own cost via courier/recorded delivery before a full refund will be issued. If you have paid a deposit and signed a student agreement, you will be charged a £30 cancellation fee. This will be deducted from any deposit paid in addition to any postage charges incurred by us.

All returns must remain unused and in resalable condition. This complies with distance selling regulations. All students are welcome to return their course to us for any reason as long as we have been notified within the 14 days as above. Unfortunately, if notification to cancel is received outside of this period your request for a refund will be declined. This does not affect your statutory rights

Please call our accounts team direct on 0121 288 0181 if you have any questions regarding our cancellation and returns policy. It will only cost you a phone call

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