Landscaping qualifications

There are a range of horticulture and specific landscaping qualifications which can provide a route into the sector, or formalise/top-up the existing skills of landscapers who have on-the-job experience but want to progress their career.


Landscaping Qualifications

Many landscapers get employed straight away, starting off as a labourer and working their way up – a great option for school or college leavers. A good employer will provide the right experience and qualifications on the job.

To find landscaping companies in your area, visit the BALI website, here.

Contacting them direct will show initiative and enthusiasm!

Landscaping apprenticeships

Amenity Horticulture

"Amenity Horticulture" is the catch-all term for landscape apprenticeships, with two different routes:

  • Landscaping: Planning, creation and maintenance of urban and rural landscapes, plus domestic gardens.
  • Sports turf: Planning, creation and maintenance of golf courses, football and rugby pitches, school and community sports fields

Apprenticeships are open to anyone from school leaving age (16) and upwards. Learning will be mainly on the job, with one day a week spent in college. You will be paid a wage by your employer with the view to gaining full-time employment at the end of your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships take between two and four years, depending on the level you want to train to. Higher level apprenticeships (Level 3) are equivalent to A levels and/or some degrees and can lead to professional and managerial roles.

To be accepted onto an apprenticeship, you will need GCSEs in Maths and English. Experience will help too, but is not always necessary. A good attitude is most important!

There are two types of apprenticeship, depending on your level or experience:

add Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2)

You could train in roles like:

  • Gardener
  • Landscaper
  • Nursery worker
  • Machinery operator
  • Greenkeeper
  • Groundsperson

add Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3)

You could train in roles like:

  • Horticultural technician
  • Deputy head greenkeeper
  • Deputy head groundsperson
  • Gardener designer
  • Senior gardener
  • Parks offices

You can become an apprentice in England if you’re 16 or over and not in full-time education.

Click here for more information, or contact your local college which will provide details of the types of landscaping apprenticeships available in your area.

"Get practical experience alongside your studies. It’s imperative for understanding more about plants and the actual nitty gritty of creating and maintaining gardens."

Landscaping Certificates and Diplomas

There are a range of Certificates, Diplomas or NVQs designed to provide vocational training across all areas of landscaping, from design to grounds maintenance. Landscaping Certificates and Diplomas are open to people of any age, with options from 14 years old and upwards. Pre-requisites, such as qualifications and experience, will depend on the level (Qualifications vary from Level 1 to Level 8).

  • Level 1

    NVQ Level 1, GCSE grades D-G, ESOL Skills for Life, Foundation Diplomas (England), Functional Skills Level 1 (England) (English, Maths and ICT), Essential Skills Certificate (NI), Vocational Qualification Level 1
  • Level 2

    NVQ Level 2, GCSEs at grade A*-C, ESOL Skills for Life, Higher Diplomas (England) (English, Maths, ICT), Essential Skills Certificate (NI), Vocational Qualification Level 2
  • Level 3

    NVQ Level 3, GCE AS Level and A Level, Advanced Diplomas (England), Vocational Qualification Level 3
  • Level 4

    Higher National Certificates, Vocational Qualification Level 4, Certificates of Higher Education
  • Level 5

    NVQ Level 4, Higher National Diplomas, Vocational Qualification Level 5, Foundation Degrees, Diplomas of Higher Education, Higher National Diplomas
  • Level 6

    Vocational Qualification Level 6, Bachelor's Degree with Honours, Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Diplomas, Graduate Certificates 
  • Level 7

    Fellowhips. NVQ Level 5, Vocational Qualification Level 7, Masters Degree, Post Graduate Diplomas, Post Graduate Certificates
  • Level 8

    Vocational Qualification Level 8, Doctoral Degrees


Qualifications are made up of units. Each unit having a credit value indicating how many credits are awarded when a unit is completed. One credit will usually take 10 hours of learning. This includes teacher directed hours and independent learning time. Units build up to qualifications. There are three different sizes of qualification: Award, Certificate and Diploma.

  • Award - 1-12 credits equalling 10-120 hours of learning
  • Certificate - 13-36 credits equalling 120-360 hours of learning
  • Diploma - 37 credits or more equalling 370 or more hours of learning

The following organisations offer a range of Landscaping Diplomas and Certificates

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)

City & Guilds (C&G) Diplomas and Certificates

Landscape Design/Architecture Degrees

To become a Landscape Architect you need to be educated to degree level and there also degrees available for Landscape Designers too. Landscape Architecture is a chartered career and requires a qualification accredited by The Landscape Institute (LI).

If you already have an undergraduate degree in another relevant field, such as architecture, horticulture or botany, that isn’t accredited by the LI you may be eligible for a post graduate conversion course. Undergraduate and post graduate degrees in landscape architecture lead to Licentiate Membership of the LI, which is the first step towards becoming chartered.

You will need at least three A levels in related subjects, with each university having its own entry requirements. Landscape Design and Architecture degrees can be full or part time and usually take around three years. There are a number of places to study throughout the UK, including: