RHS Level 2 Qualifications


Learning with Experts offers a unique online preparatory course series for the RHS exams in Principles of Horticulture. Each of the two certificates contains 4 courses and is taught by two world leading experts, Dr Noel Kingsbury and Hillary Thomas.


Inside the virtual classroom you can discuss questions and thoughts with your classmates, making your learning a more collaborative and engaging experience. A tutor is available during the course to support you and lead you through the assignments. Everything is built around your time schedule; start whenever you want, continue wherever you are, and take the exams whenever you are ready.


Develop the essential skills needed to work in horticulture or to further develop your interest.


There are no prerequisites for entry to this qualification. To start the second certificate however, the first one needs to be completed.


Each course is enclosed by an assignment to ensure you are on track.


  • Preparatory video courses (4) with personal expert tuition fee £260
    • RHS exam fee for 4 modules £56


All final exams have to be taken at a centre approved by the RHS. After having successfully completed the exams, you will get certified by the RHS directly. Find an approved centre near you: www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/qualifications-and-training/rhs-qualifications/find-a-centre


The RHS are an internationally accredited awarding body. There are RHS Level 2 Theory Based Qualifications (14 credits each):

  • RHS Level 2 Certificate "Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development"
  • RHS Level 2 Certificate "Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance"

Together these certificates build the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Horticulture (28 credits).


The preparation courses are lead by two of Learning with Experts top tutors, Dr Noel Kingsbury and Hilary Thomas. Both highly acclaimed and experienced horticulturalists who have worked regularly with the RHS for many years.


Watch the full video of Kyle, now (after a big career change) Head Gardener based in Oxford, United Kingdom. Responsible for everything growing in one of Oxford's most prestigious Colleges, Kyle works hard, planning years in advance, transforming his own personal vision combining historical elements with modern thoughts. Although he's a self starter he treasures societies like the RHS building the foundation for every gardener worldwide.


Some students who take this course may do so simply in order to learn the outlines of plant science for horticulture, as defined by the RHS. Others may do it in order to attempt the RHS exam. In either case we strongly recommend reading the following books:

  • Principles of Horticulture Level 2, Adams, C. et. al., published by Routledge.
  • Principles of Horticulture: Level 3, Adams, C, et al., Routledge
  • Botany for Gardeners, Capon, B., Timber Press
  • RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored,
      Hodge, G., Mitchell Beazley

We also strongly recommend that the RHS exams be downloaded and studied. For those who wish to study further, this is a very good reader:

  • Science and the Garden, The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice, ed. Ingram et al., Wiley-Blackwell.


RHS Level 2 Certificate: Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development


Module 1
6 lessons with Noel Kingsbury

Plant Classification, Structure & Function

  • Plant groups of significance to horticulture
  • Botanical and horticultural plant names
  • Stages in plant growth
  • Structure of plant cells and functions of plant cell components & tissues
  • Structure and functions of leaves
  • Photosynthesis, respiration, movement of water and minerals through the plant

Module 2
6 lessons with Hilary Thomas

Plant Nutrition & the Root Environment

  • Physical and chemical properties of soils
  • Water and soil irrigation
  • Methods of soil improvement and management
  • Organic matter and its importance in the soil
  • Fertilisers and plant nutrition
  • Composts and growing media

Module 3
7 lessons with Hilary Thomas

Maintaining Plant Health

  • Maintaining plant health
  • Biological control
  • Herbicides
  • Problems caused by weeds
  • Pests that cause problems in the garden and glasshouse
  • Fungal diseases
  • Bacterial and viral diseases 

Module 4

3 lessons with Noel Kingsbury

Understanding Plant Propagation

  • Understanding propagation
  • Sowing seeds in containers
  • Vegetative propagation

RHS Level 2 Certificate: Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance


Module 5

X Lessons with Hilary Thomas

Garden Features, Plant Selection & Planning

  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

Module 6
X Lessons with Hilary Thomas

Establishment & Maintenance of Garden Plants & Lawns

  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

Module 7
3 Lessons with Noel Kingsbury

Production of Outdoor Vegetables and Fruits

  • Production of outdoor vegetables and fruits
  • Pest and disease control
  • Production of top and soft fruit for gardens and allotments

Module 8
1 Lesson with Noel Kingsbury

Protected Environments and their Use in Plant Cultivation

  • Protected environments