The world within horticulture is truly amazing. With the changes in season and new plants coming in and out of flower there is always something new to look at and enjoy. A career in horticulture offers real diversity spanning the disciplines of art and design, botanical sciences, retail/business management, landscaping, growing flowers/plants and vegetables. Your career in horticulture could be anything from a garden designer to a horticultural scientist.

Department Overview

The horticulture industry is growing and is set to contribute almost £42 billion to the UK economy and support over 760,000 jobs by 2030 (Horticulture Week, 2021). With 30 million gardeners and millions more utilising green spaces, the sector is thriving and will be more vital than ever in tackling climate change. We offer our students a unique, green space to learn in. Our 200 acre campus offers all the benefits of studying amongst nature, clean air, wildlife, trees, plants and wildlife. We have over 50 acres of formal gardens and our arboretum contains many rare and unique tree species.

We have an excellent range of courses for you to enjoy and discover at Askham Bryan College, including a suite of RHS courses. Our courses open up numerous educational and career opportunities, whether you’re a young person leaving school or looking to take a degree, a career changer, or somebody already working within the industry and looking to extend your current skills.

The College provides the opportunity to study a broad range of specialisms, including practical and theory-based work as well as ‘on the job’ training. Our students learn about the tools of the trade – both powered and non-powered tools and equipment, in addition to plant identification, pest and disease control, landscape maintenance and construction.

We also offer courses in landscaping and grounds management for sports turf – the perfect course if you’re looking to get into sports surface management, leading to a career that has the potential to take you all over the world working on some of the world’s greatest sporting arenas.

Our Higher Education level courses have a strong focus on science and management within horticulture, soil science and plant science are fundamental to good horticultural practice and can lead to management and supervisory positions within the industry. Vocational placements are an essential part of our learning provision and give practical, hands-on experience within the industry.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The Student Services Team has more information for students who would like to receive financial assistance during their study with us.

College Student Finance

 

 

Employer Information

To support learning and prepare you for a career in horticulture, we have fantastic teaching facilities including complex glass houses, arboretums, display houses, numerous sports surfaces, fully equipped design studios and science labs.

The College has access to some of the most prestigious gardens in the UK and there are opportunities for students to be involved with competition show gardens. We are one of the first colleges to have a golf course, featuring an innovative solar powered irrigation system. Our Landscape Construction Centre is managed by the Euro Skills Judge for Landscape Design who has over the past nine years won many prestigious RHS medals and successfully led a team to win silver in the World UK Skills competition.

Partnerships

On-the-job training is a key part of our programmes as it enables you to apply the practical skills you have learned to real-life situations. The Department is very proud of its partnership links with many of the UK’s top gardens and some of the most prestigious gardening organisations in the world. These links offer valuable opportunities for work experience, demonstrations, employment and volunteering.

 

Our students have boasted successful wins at the Earls Court Ideal Homes Exhibition, at RHS Harrogate and at the Harrogate Flower Shows. Key suppliers (which the College has excellent working relationships with) include Marshall’s Landscape Products, Makita Power Tools, Fiskars Tools, Johnsons of Whixley, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Institute of Horticulture.

Preparing For Your Course

In preparation for the course you will be supplied with a list of Personal Protective Equipment that will be required to attend the course.

You will also be given a  list of suggested reading material and books, so you can take a look at some of the study topics before your course starts.

Student Finance

Degree level students (Student Finance England)

Under 19s in full time education (FREE)

College Student Finance

Work Placements

As an essential part of their studies our students attend various work placements with numerous organisations throughout the region, giving valuable practical experience and a chance to apply knowledge gained on their courses. Organisations which have taken our students on placement include York Council, Leeds City Council, Scarborough Council, North Lincolnshire Council, RHS Gardens, National Trust, Harewood House, Castle Howard, University of York, Leeds University, York Museums Trust and York Minster

Learning Support

The college offers a range of assistance and guidance through our Assisted Services Team.

College Inclusive Services

Courses

  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    2 Years,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    30 weeks,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year, 2 Years,
  • Location

    Middlesbrough, York,
View more
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    2 Years,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    2 Years,
  • Location

    York,
View more
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    30 weeks,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    30 weeks,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year, 2 Years,
  • Location

    Middlesbrough, York,
View more
  • Course Type

    Undergraduate,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year, 2 Years,
  • Location

    Middlesbrough, York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year, 2 Years,
  • Location

    Middlesbrough, York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    1 Year, 2 Years,
  • Location

    Middlesbrough, York,
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
View more
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    30 weeks,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    2 Years,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Further Education,
  • Length

    30 weeks,
  • Location

    York,
View more
  • Course Type

    Undergraduate,
  • Length

    1 Year,
  • Location

    York,
  • Course Type

    Apprenticeship,
  • Length

    2 Years,
  • Location

    York,

Oustanding student experience

We are a specialist land-based provider developing talent for both college and university students

Apply now

Our facilities are better than ever

  • Lecture rooms
  • Computer suite
  • Vast array of glass houses
  • Outdoor landscaped campus at York
  • Arboretum
  • Display houses
  • Numerous sports surfaces
  • Design studio
  • Dedicated science laboratories
  • Landscaped construction facility
  • Small golf course for greenkeeping
  • Dedicated RHS courses

Student Stories

Siobhan’s Story

“Askham Bryan College is a fantastic college. It has been a pleasure learning here. All the tutors are willing to go above and beyond to ensure you have the best knowledge possible. I would recommend this college to anyone wanting to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse. ”

Ryan’s Story

“Choosing the level 3 Arboriculture course was a big decision being a 31-year-old self-employed landscape gardener. I am now at the end of my first year and there is no looking back. I have come on leaps and bounds professionally. I have already expanded my business into arboriculture with the skills and knowledge I have learnt. Askham Bryan College has been an eye opener and I've learned skills that I will take through my entire life.”

Ellie’s Story

“I chose Askham Bryan College because I liked what the course covered especially Anatomy & Physiology and Coaching. I enjoy taking part in training and I am hoping to go on to further coaching courses in football at University. The course is great to prepare me for this career.”

FAQs

  • What is a typical week like? How much time is practical? How much is theory?

    Normally 3 days per week at college, 1-2 days at the work placement. College days are normally 9:00-4:15. Approx. 60% theory work and 40% practical work whilst at college, 100% practical work whilst at the work placement. The level 2 is a one year course whilst the level 3 course lasts two years. 

  • Where have past students ended up? What jobs could I do?

    After a level 2 course, you can aim to become a groundsperson or a plant nursery assistant. Most of our students either work full time or progress on to a level 3 course at the end of this programme. 

    With a level 3 qualification, you can aim at roles within the industry with greater responsibility and independence, such as team leader, garden design assistant and landscaper. About 60% of our students choose full-time employment at the end of this course, 30% go onto university studies or further training and approx. 10% take a gap year. 

  • How many hours work experience do I need to do? How do I find a work placement? Do you find it for me?

    Students are required to complete 150 hours per year on work experience and you are usually expected to find your own placement, but if you’re having difficulties, don’t worry – our staff will be able to help and point you in the right direction and our Work Placement Co-ordinators are on hand to help too. 

     

  • What grades do I need?

    For Level 2 courses you will need four GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above, to include two from English, Maths and Science, with at least a grade 2 (E) in the remaining subject. 

    For Level 3 courses you will need four GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, to include two from English, Maths and Science, with at least a grade 3 (D) in the remaining subject. 

  • Are there any exams?

    Level 2: there is one general exam and one health and safety exam. All are multiple choices. There is also a practical and written assessment later on in the year that aims at capturing the overall strengths of the candidates.  

    Level 3: there is one general exam that covers the 3 main subjects. This is a written exam with open questions. There is also a health and safety multiple choice test to pass. Finally, a practical and written assessment takes place later on in the year that aims at capturing the overall strengths of the candidates. 

  • How many UCAS points would I get?

    A full Level 3 Extended Diploma (2 years) with distinctions in every module is equivalent to 168 UCAS points or the same as 3 A-level grades at A* (56 UCAS points for one A*).  Pass grades across all modules is equivalent to 48 UCAS points. 

    You get additional UCAS points if you choose to complete the T-levels (by working 315 hours in the industry instead of 150 hours).  

  • What size are the classes?

    Normally between 8 and 15. 

  • What previous experience do I need?

    None in particular. The strong recommendation is that you secure a work placement you enjoy and motivates you during the course. 

  • Is there a uniform? Is PPE provided?

    For both level 2 and level 3 you need steel toe capped boots and either a coverall or suitable working trousers. Gloves can be provided if required. During the second year of the level 3 course you might be encouraged to buy a few ink pens and drawing material. 

     

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