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This practical qualification is an introduction to Horticulture. It is designed to help learners gain the skills they would need to work in the land-based sector and is ideal for students who have a keen interest in nature and enjoy being outdoors. Great emphasis is placed on the practical ‘hands-on’ aspect of this course. As part of the course students will visit a wide variety of relevant locations; this will help learners to develop an understanding of the vocational context and future employment opportunities.

The focus is on practical activities, including working on projects in the local community, regularly working in the science garden, greenhouse and other areas, as well as carrying out experiments and learning theory in the classroom. You will often work in small groups and pairs. You’ll be expected to keep records of what you do on the course and to present results and observations to the other students and the tutor.

Each section of the course covers relevant health and safety requirements including personal safety, safe use of tools, waste disposal, and risk assessments. The course will develop your understanding of how to grow and maintain different plants, understand soils, identify and control common pests and diseases and maintain equipment.



However, all units will be assessed. This will be a mix of you being assessed doing practical activities, your own record of tasks, plus experiments and observations. There will be a clear written brief of assessment tasks and the evidence needed for each unit. You will be expected to create and keep an organised portfolio of evidence of your work and completed assessments. Students will also need to assess their own performance and respond positively to feedback from tutor and fellow students. Students will have the opportunity to gain a NOCN Certificate at Level 1.

NOCN in Horticulture and the world of work:

  • Local Authority Parks & Grounds Maintenance
  • Sports Pitch/Golf Course Maintenance
  • Plant Nurseries / Garden Centres
  • Food Production
  • Gardener / garden designer / garden landscaper
  • Gardener for Heritage Organisations