(Landscaping, Groundscare & Tree care)

Are you passionate about gardening? Can you think on your feet to create solutions to complex problems? Could you build a show garden in a single day, working with some of the nation’s top designers?

If that sounds like you, then our horticulture courses will give you the opportunity to make your aspirations into a career.

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Why choose us?

Be part of our success
Join us here at Shuttleworth College and benefit from our national reputation and 60 years of experience delivering land and the environment courses. You can have confidence that you are learning from the best. Our tutors are experts in their fields, having had successful careers working for a wide range of organisations. We work with leading employers, research organisations and industry specialists. You will be encouraged to enter competitions and win awards to ensure that you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs or university.

Use fantastic facilities
Your classroom will be the beautiful estate and land that Shuttleworth College is surrounded by. Our stunning scenery, wall garden and vast woodland provides you with the perfect environment in which to develop your skills and knowledge.

Be more employable
Through our industry partnerships you will have chance to gain valuable work experience. Some organisations that past students have been involved with include the Woodland Trust, Frosts Garden Centres, Wimpole Hall & Gardens, the Environment Agency, Domoney Designs and Woburn Estates. All of this experience will stand you in good stead when applying for jobs or for further study.

All our courses involve transferable skills and elements of business that employers are looking for, so you can be reassured that you will develop good team working, communication and customer service skills too.

Enjoy your studies
We expect you to work hard, but you will also have time to make new friends and enjoy the fun side of your course. We regularly organise educational trips to ensure that you broaden your knowledge and experience of the subject area you are studying. Students have enjoyed trips to the Covent Garden Flower Market, the Ideal Home Show in London, and study tours to Cornwall, Devon and Quedlinberg in Germany.

Student success

Horticulture students success 2015

In 2015, our Horticulture students and staff achieved a Silver Award with their stunning Ideal Home Young Gardeners Show Garden.
Read more about the result of a very challenging week and the comments made by David Domoney.

Ideal Home Show success

In 2016, Level 3 Horticulture and RHS students continued the college's success at the Ideal Home Show with a prestigious Silver Medal for their Moroccan-inspired garden. Read more on the Ideal Home Show and David Domoney websites or watch this video...

Student destinations

55% of our Land and The Environment students go straight into employment or an apprenticeship, while 18% go on to study at degree-level here at Bedford College or at colleges and universities such as Harper Adams University, University of Exeter and University of Hertfordshire.  

Source: Bedford College FE Student Destinations 2015-16

RHS qualifications

Whether you’re looking to develop a new or existing career in horticulture, or even if you just want to explore gardening as a hobby, a part-time Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) qualification at Shuttleworth College could really help your passion for plants flourish.

RHS Approved Centre

And by choosing to study with us you’ll benefit from…

  • RHS accreditation to ensure you learn the latest industry knowledge to recognised standards
  • Fantastic facilities including gardens, glasshouses and over 500 acres of beautiful parkland to develop your practical skills
  • Classes built around your busy lifestyle with part-time morning, day and evening courses available

» Find out more

Horticulture careers

» Gardener

Gardeners grow and maintain plants in a variety of different settings. These include public and historical parks, private and botanical gardens, plant nurseries, sports facilities, roadside verges and open green spaces.

Salary £12,000-£25,000, depending on experience and qualifications. Self-employed gardeners normally negotiate an hourly rate, which varies depending on their experience and where they work.

» Garden Centre Worker

Garden Centre workers work in garden centres that sell plants to the public. Some garden centres will buy in their stock of plants for sale to the public, whilst a smaller number will produce their own plants and grow flowers for sale.

Salary £12,000-£20,000, Depending on experience and qualifications. A manager can earn £20,000-£40,000.

» Sales Person for Plant Wholesale or Pesticide Company

As a sales person you will sell the products and services helpful to the horticulture industry; this may include selling equipment, machinery, supplies etc.

Salary £16,000-£25,000, Depending on experience and qualifications.

» Groundsman

Groundsmen/women maintain a range of sports surfaces such as football, cricket and rugby pitches, tennis courts and horse racing courses.

Salary £15,000-£32,000, Depending on experience and qualifications.

» Tree surgeon

Tree surgeons maintain trees on both private & public land, they may be self-employed or working through a company or local council. As a tree surgeon you will be expected to work at heights and to maintain trees as required, often working outside in all conditions. You will need a good level of physical fitness as well as an interest in conservation.

Salary £12,000-£25,000 upwards, depending on experience and qualifications.

Meet our staff


My role: Lecturer

I teach: RHS Theory and Practical courses to full-time and part-time students

About me: I’ve worked in the horticultural sector for some forty years, both as a senior lecturer and in research.  I specialise in nursery stock production. I am a passionate advocate of new developments in horticulture and the leader of the Warden Pear Project (now Lottery Funded), looking at the origins of heritage pears through DNA testing.  


My role: Lecturer and Assessor

I teach: Horticultural (including RHS), Agricultural and First Aid programmes to full-time students, part-time students and apprentices

About me: I am a chartered horticulturalist with a degree in Business Studies and a Master’s degree in Historic Landscapes. Among the practical aspects I also teach design and business units. In addition I teach First Aid programmes for use in the workplace and assess all horticultural units for our apprentices.  

Horticulture courses

Anna Howgego - Practical Horticulture RHS Level 3 Certificate and Principles of Plant Growth, Health & Applied Propagation RHS Level 3 Certificate

“Studying horticulture at Shuttleworth College has been pretty life-changing for me – I went from gaining a degree in traditional Chinese medicine to working with plants at one of Britain's largest historical gardens!”

“The skills I’m learning are benefiting my work and I put them into practice every day, both the theory and practical – jobs such as propagation where we use cuttings of older plants to create new ones, as well as protecting plants from pests and diseases in our glasshouse.”

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