Open Learning Diploma Garden Design

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Course description

Open Learning Diploma Garden Design:

The Garden Design Diploma - Open Learning allows anyone to access the garden design training you’ve always wanted and launch your career in the design industry with KLC’s most flexible qualification course - the Open Learning Diploma. This industry recommended diploma is available to start at any time and can be studied at your own pace, meaning you don’t have to change your work or family commitments in order to enrol.

Covering everything from plant science and hard landscaping, design principles to professional practice, you’ll learn everything you need to become a professional garden designer.


Section One
Design Project 1 Residential Garden - Site Survey & Analysis

Students start the course with learning how to read scale and professionally survey a garden site, going on to practise initial pencil exercises, then how to create plans, elevations and sections from these surveys. A medium sized residential garden of the students’ choice is required for this this project and from this students are taught about the design process, fundamental design principles, taking the client brief and creating concepts. Garden history is also introduced, as well as plant nomenclature and advice on keeping a sketchbook.

Section Two
Design Project 2 Residential Garden – Exploring Garden Layouts

This section develops on the residential garden site from the first project, with students exploring functional layout plans, as well as taking a closer look at plant categories, planting principles - including form, texture & colour - and plant science. This is developed into creating a lakeside planting plan and continuing to progress skills such as sketching, inking and lettering.

Section Three
Design Project 3 Small Town Garden

Moving on to a small town garden project, students look at dealing with difficult sites, construction and garden lighting. They also start to consider professional practise elements of design, such as costing a project, and researching topics such as environment, sustainability & naturalistic planting. Visual presentation skills are developed through teaching on axonometric projection drawings and colour rendering planting combination drawings. Students are also required to submit their garden sketchbook.

Section Four
Design Project 4 Commercial Garden – Hospital Courtyard

Taking on larger projects for the second half of the course, students look further at garden construction, this time from a commercial perspective, using their new knowledge to create detailed construction drawings and a landscaper materials reference table. They continue to progress their horticultural knowledge of with further plant combinations exercises and also explore creating scale models.

Section Five
Design Project 5 Conceptual Show Garden

This section focuses in the main on conceptual gardens, with students being asked to design a conceptual show garden - as though they were exhibiting at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. This lends itself to researching contemporary garden design, as well as creating a research profile on a contemporary garden designer.

Section Six
Design Project 6 Final Residential Garden

For their final major project, students combine a large residential site of their choosing with a given client and budget, to showcase their full range of knowledge and skills, including professional practise considerations. They will be asked to produce a full project proposal, site survey and analysis, composite photos, a concept board, a functional layout plan, colour rendered master plan, a planting plan and schedule, a colour-rendered elevation and construction detail drawing, a freehand, colour-rendered sketch perspective and lighting plan. Students also present a lighting

Additional entry requirements

This course does not require an interview – enrol online or call our Admissions team for more details. No previous experience in interior design is required for this course; we simply ask that you have a passion and a drive to learn more! The course materials are held entirely online – no printed manuals will be sent to you; therefore applicants must be computer literate and able to confidently use their personal laptop or computer to access the course. International applicants looking to take this course are advised to have achieved a minimum IELTS test score of 6.5.

Course info


Qualification awarded by the course provider


UK qualification

This course is offered to anyone in the world, but its qualification is only relevant in this country.

Study Hours:

Variable - to suit the learner



Virtual help:

Free 1-2-1 Tutorial worth £100 if you

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Course type:

Online course

Total time for completion:

5 years

£1,695 ( 21% off )

per course

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