Craven College

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: The Open University

Garden Design

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Course summary

Unique in the north of England and approved by the Society of Gardeners, this Garden Design Foundation Degree is ideal for those who want to become a professional Garden Designer. Progress directly onto the Level 6 programme to convert your Foundation Degree into a BA (Hons). Craven College is the only provider of Garden Design at Foundation Degree Level in the region. You will develop your knowledge of sophisticated software such as VectorWorks, SketchUp Pro and Adobe Photoshop CC to develop your professional status. Your expert tutors are Gold Award winners at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2018 and in conjunction with students, the Harrogate Flower Show with Secret Garden 2014, The Equilibrium Garden 2009 and Student Garden in 2008. You will develop specific knowledge of all aspects of garden design including site analysis and surveying, the art and science of plant use, graphics and rendering skills, computer-aided design, and elements of garden history and conservation. You will develop the practical, managerial and academic skills to successfully design gardens and run a small business. You will also build up a range of transferable skills and knowledge, including business and contract management, creativity, innovation and problem-solving. The course includes lectures and demonstrations, practical and creative drawing sessions, site visits, and the design of several ‘real’ gardens. Through work experience, you will develop the skills needed to work with a range of different clients and to liaise with those in the horticultural and construction industries. The learning progress involves more practically based exercises that build on lecture and seminar study such as peer group discussion and modelling exercises. The opportunity to be involved in portfolio-based projects will enable you to use research skills and further your own interests in specific areas of garden design. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed by reports, presentations and vocationally based briefs. You will be expected to undertake 8-10 hours of personal study each week such as reading journal articles and books, undertaking research and preparing for assessments. Your independent study is also supported by the excellent Learning Hub at the Aireville Campus in addition to the College’s Specialist Support Centre. The average class size for this course is 8-10.

Course details


Year 1 – Level 4 Semester 1 Principles of Horticulture – Plants & Soils Personal & Professional Development Graphic Communication & Illustration Semester 2 Principles & Art of Garden Design Surveying, Site Analysis & Client Liaison Work Related Learning 1 (Health & Safety) Year 2 – Level 5 Semester 1 Computer Applications & CAD for Garden Design Planting – Design & Maintenance Work Related Learning 2 (Specifications, Tenders & Contracts) Semester 2 Hard-Landscaping and Construction Work Related Learning 3 (Business Identity & Planning) Garden History & Conservation of Heritage Gardens

Assessment method

Portfolio Presentation Design Project Case Study Research Report

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
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Campus name:
Centre for Land-based Studies & Engineering
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

We do not accept international student applications.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £6750 Year 1
Northern Ireland £6750 Year 1
Scotland £6750 Year 1
Wales £6750 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Garden Design at Craven College - UCAS