FdSc

Horticulture: Garden Design

Garden Design
  • Level(s) of study: Foundation degree / Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: October
  • Course duration: Two years full-time, three years with a placement

This degree enables students to translate creative designs into reality, and to understand garden design in a wide range of environments, from new private spaces to mature parkland. The horticulture team have worked with students to win multiple Gold Awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and are heavily involved in local community design projects.

Why choose this course?

  • Our guest speakers hold workshops and activities to showcase career opportunities. Our latest guest, James Wong, is an ethnobotanist, television presenter and garden designer.
  • Assessments are completed through strong community involvement.
  • Large glass houses are situated on campus alongside the historic gardens on the country estate.
  • You'll have access to our 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus eco-library opened in 2013.
  • Brackenhurst campus is home to an entrepreneurial cut-flower business called the Flower Pod, run by the Southwell Care Project and supported by student and staff volunteers.

Did you know?

  • NTU won a prestigious Gold Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Centenary in 2013.
  • Students from this course achieved a Silver Gilt garden design award at the Harrogate Flower Show.
  • NTU is one of the largest providers of land-based courses in the UK, with Brackenhurst having over 60 years' experience in the sector.
  • A show garden inspired by horticulture students at Nottingham Trent University scooped a hat-trick of awards at the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017.

Please note that this course is a pathway option of FdSc Horticulture.

What you'll study

Garden design is a dynamic and expanding specialism suitable for people who enjoy the challenge of devising creative concepts and translating them into reality.

  • Year One

    Plants and Soil Science

    Develop and understanding of the anatomy, morphology and physiology of plants and how they function in relation to their environment. Aspects include photosynthesis, respiration, and plant propagation. Learn the principles of soil science and identify and evaluate common pests, diseases and disorders.

    Garden Design in Practice

    Introduces you to the basic design skills, knowledge and principles required for garden design. Also incorporates the principles of historic garden design and how they relate to design today.

    Survey Planning and Construction

    Develop topographical site surveying techniques using the latest recording technologies. Gain an introduction to the concept of hard landscaping, including basic brick-laying, block paving, fencing and patio construction.

    Horticultural Technology

    Study the range of technologies that have application to the horticultural industry including greenhouse systems, horticultural machinery, plant propagation technology, and total station (topographical) technology.

    Plant and Botanical Knowledge

    This provides an introduction to applied botany, taxonomy and classification. Learn about the range and use of ornamental plants commonly available to the landscaping industry, and also look at ground preparation, planting and maintenance strategies.

  • Year Two

    Soft Landscape Design

    Develop knowledge of the range of ornamental plants, and devise planting plans to cover a variety of soft landscape types in both commercial and private contexts.

    Horticultural Practices

    Learn practical skills in relation to fruit, vegetable and flower production, by both organic and inorganic methods.

    Horticultural Employability

    Undertake a short industrial placement within the horticultural or landscape sector. The module is complemented by a series of external speakers from industry, giving insight into both career and business opportunities. You'll also develop your own professional online media profile.

    Applied Design

    Develop competency in advanced design concepts. Look at spatial analysis, organic form, and deconstruction. Also, learn the communication of design solutions over a range of site scales and client briefs.

    CAD Professional Practice

    Develop a range of CAD-based technology skills in various commercially available applications. Learn to produce 2D and 3D garden design drawings to a professional standard. Produce designs suitable for private garden and commercial-scale landscapes.

    Design Project

    Carry out and implement construction of a real-life, bespoke landscape design feature from conception to realisation.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
  • Year 2 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (62%) and placements (11%).

A placement year may be taken between year 1 and year 2 of study.

Careers and employability

Graduates of this course go on to a wide range of careers including:

  • technologist
  • landscape manager
  • garden designer
  • self-employed roles
  • horticultural therapist
  • historic landscape management
  • green space adviser
  • nursery manager
  • agronomist.

The course includes an optional sandwich year placement between Year One and Year Two or during Year Two. Students develop their skills and experience in a working environment which is highly valued by future employers. Recent students have taken paid placements in garden centres and nurseries, landscape contractors, and organisations like the National Trust.

Successful completion of this course to a satisfactory level allows progression on to the BSc (Hons) Horticulture (final year top-up) course. This means you have the potential to gain a full BSc honours degree in three years.

Teaching on this course is supported by a suite of glasshouses and polytunnels as well as an AutoCAD studio.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – DD, excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – PPP; or
  • 48 UCAS Tariff points from two A-levels or equivalent qualifications, excluding General Studies.
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

Applicants without A-levels will have their applications assessed for subject compatibility.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created a UCAS Tariff calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

All students will also be expected to provide their own steel toe-capped safety boots and working overalls.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418