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Choosing the Right Garden Design Course

If you’re looking for a garden design course there are so many options out there, but how do you choose the right one for you? Obviously, we’d be silly to suggest you studying anywhere other than the NDA, but this blog aims to be an objective guide to choosing the right garden design course for you.

Online Learning Vs Learning in Person

The first step towards choosing the best garden design course means asking yourself one question – “do I want to study online or at a physical college?”. Online learning is by far the most convenient way to study but you’ll miss out on the tutor and peer interaction you’d get from studying in a classroom.

Many online garden design courses are self-study, meaning that you just download the course materials or pre-recorded video lessons and work through them without anyone there to answer questions. This can be a good way to get to grips with the basics or find out if you want to take your studies more seriously, especially if it’s a free course. But if you are looking for a more involved experience, you’ll want a course that offers tutor support and guidance along the way.

Studying in a college means commitment. You’ll need the time in your schedule to attend a physical classroom once a week usually, at least. It also takes longer to finish a course at a college because they run according to the academic timetable. This can be handy if you have kids in school as you’ll usually get the same holiday time as they do.

Here at the NDA, we offer a third option which can be the best of both worlds. Our Professional Garden Design Course is now offered via Zoom. With two 2.5hr lessons each week, over ten weeks, you’ll get the hands-on mentoring from our expert tutors while you work through the course. All course content  and resources are held online in our virtual learning studio so you can access everything whenever you like and fit in your coursework around the rest of your life. You’ll also get to meet like-minded people with a passion for garden design. Many of our students continue to support each other and stay in contact for years after completing the course so you never know, you  may also make new friends!

Study Online if:
You want to learn un-guided and work at your own pace
You have a busy home life and don’t want to be tied for a year
You want to qualify faster
Study In-Person if:
You want to meet new people
You want face to face lessons with a tutor
You want to spread your learning out over the academic year
Study via Zoom if:
You want the best of both worlds
You want to qualify quickly
Andrew Tempany

Take Yourself Seriously!

Another question to ask yourself when looking for the right garden design course is “what do I want to achieve at the end of it?”. You may just be dabbling with the idea of garden design as a hobby or you may already have some experience of landscape gardening and want to a qualification to back it up. This is a really important a not all courses are created equal.

Basic online garden design courses are great for hobbyists but if you’re looking for a professional qualification where you can practise as a garden or landscape designer or take on a large project for yourself then chances are you’ll need a more in-depth garden design course.

Free garden design courses will only teach you the basics. You really do get what you pay for. If you really want to learn the technical skills of the trade and earn a recognised qualification in garden or landscape design you’ll want to look for an accredited course. Want to know the difference? Read our blog about accreditation. 

Choose a basic online course if:
  • You’re just looking for a taster course
  • You’re not wanting to spend any or much money
  • You don’t want feedback or a qualification when you finish
Choose an accredited course if:
  •  You want a career in Garden Design or Landscaping
  • You want to take on projects for clients or friends
  • You want professional level skills you can brag about!

Can’t See the Wood For the Trees?

Online garden design courses are rising in numbers as the e-learning boom hits its peak thanks to Covid 19. There are a few free online garden design courses as well as hefty discounts on courses created by online providers who offer classes in everything from chicken keeping to computer programming. But how do you choose a learning provider? Even if you don’t choose the NDA, go by reputation! There are some fantastic e-learning providers out there as well as some great specialist colleges who have reviews and testimonials from real students. 

Studying with a specialist rather than an all-round education provider means that a great deal of expertise has gone into creating the course content. It will be industry relevant and constantly updated to reflect changes in technology, trends and industry standards as time goes on. You’ll learn the industry-recognised skills from skilled people who have actually worked in the profession, rather than study things which you can easily pick up from You-Tube tutorials. Don’t get us wrong, some of the garden design short courses offered by people like Domestika can be great as a taster but when they offer so many courses in so many things, you may find that the skills you learn are limited. 

Things to consider when choosing a Garden Design course provider:
  • Look at their reviews and testimonials from past students
  • How long have they been running their garden design course?
  • Do they offer accredited courses?
  • Has the tutor or course creator actually worked in the industry?

Why Should You Choose the NDA for Your Garden Design Course?

You didn’t expect to read a blog which was completely objective did you? Here at the National design Academy we believe that we offer the best garden design courses in the business. With three different ways to study, we think we’ve come up with an option to suit everyone – 

In-Studio Professional Garden Design Course (12 Weeks):

Our in-studio Garden Design diploma is held in our Nottingham studio, where you study for the first week with our expert tutors and a room full of other garden design enthusiasts. You then return home and study online via our Virtual Learning Studio, with constant support and feedback, returning back to studio for a week before you complete your final project.

Fast-Track Professional Garden Design Course via Zoom (10 Weeks):

This is the perfect option for those who can’t travel to our studio or for someone who wants the full experience of learning alongside other people, face to face with a tutor and other students, but without the commitment of an entire year. Study for your Diploma with 2.5 hourly lessons via Zoom, twice a week over ten weeks and fit the rest of your coursework around your daily life.

Online Professional Garden Design Diploma Course: 

Our 100% online Diploma course still benefits from full dedicated tutor support to help guide you through your studies. You get the same course content but there are no ties to a timetable of lessons. Start your garden design course at a time to suit you, study completely at your own pace and access all of our resources via our Virtual learning Studio from anywhere. 

No matter which garden design course you choose you’ll get access to industry experts like Gill Lotter. Gill has worked in the industry for a good deal of her career and still undertakes garden design projects alongside her work as lead Garden Design tutor. Her testimonials speak for themselves!

What Can You Expect at the End of Your Course?

All of the Garden Design courses run by the NDA result in a full, accredited professional qualification. Backed by AIM Awards, our Garden Design Diplomas are industry recognised. The skills you’ll learn will set you up for a career as a garden or landscape designer and give you the confidence to undertake projects for family and friends and private clients. You’ll learn about garden design in a historical context, planning a space, materials, plants and how to cost and quote for work. 

Our courses are suitable for absolute beginners and you don’t need any special skills before starting, other than a desire to create stunning outdoor spaces and an enthusiasm to learn! Our courses are fun and interactive and will give you the very best start whether you’re looking at garden design as a hobby or new career.


Take a Look at Our Student's Work

Let your Passion Grow!

Online, In-Studio or via Zoom? Still not sure which garden design course is right for you? Contact our friendly Admissions team with your questions.

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