Diploma in Garden Design | National Design Academy

Diploma in Garden Design

Enrol online

If you are interested in a career in garden design or have a passion to learn more about the work involved in styling and presenting an outdoor space, then the Diploma in Garden Design Skills is the perfect place to start. At NDA 'online flexible learning' means exactly that! Unlike other institutions, at NDA there are no terms or semesters, you can choose your own start date and study at your own pace - not the pace dictated by the institution or other students. At NDA we treat every student as an individual. Find out more.

About the course

The Diploma in Professional Garden Design begins with an overview of garden types, explaining how garden design has evolved over centuries into its current form. External factors such as social and economic considerations have shaped this development are looked at in detail in order to establish a solid foundation from which to progress through the course. The ways in which cultural influences have shaped garden design are also discussed, with examples provided by a comparison of the work of garden designers throughout history. Gardens often belong to a particular, recognisable style such as; Paradise (Persia), Formal (Europe), Landscape (English), Prairie (USA) and Zen (Japan). The fundamental features of such gardens are analysed with a view to developing the ability to identify and understand the visual language of each garden type.

On completion of the 10 units you will receive a Level 3 Diploma in Professional Garden Design.

Who should do this course?

  • Do you love garden design as a hobby and spend ages in your own garden?
  • Do you help family & friends design their gardens?
  • Do they often suggest you start your own business?
  • Would you love a career in garden design but lack the necessary qualifications?
  • Do you have creative talent but lack professional training?
  • Do you read garden magazines & watch all the garden programmes on TV?

Then this is the Garden Design course for you!

Some materials will be required if you wish to complete work by hand these include :

  • A Scale Rule with 1:10, 1:20, 1.50 and 1:100 scales
  • Adjustable set square
  • A3 Paper
  • A3 Tracing Paper
  • Pencil
  • Drawing Pens 0.5, 0.3 and 0.1
  • Watercolour pencils
  • An A3 or A2 drawing board (this is optional)

Study online

You can enrol at any time! This diploma course is studied part-time, by distance learning through our specially created Virtual Learning Studios (VLS) via the internet using your computer. Here you can access your course, mail your tutor direct, meet new friends and keep in touch through the Student Forum.

Everyone is different. If you can study for 10-12 hours per week you can complete the course in 10 months. If you have more time to spare then you can complete your Diploma more quickly. Most students complete the course in 6-12 months. Students are expected to complete the course within 12 months.  

Employability & Progression

Further education

Many of our students who complete the Diploma in Garden Design Skills course become totally passionate about design for the outdoors. Consequently, a popular pathway is to continue on to the BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living degree.

Alternatively, many students enjoy taking a sideways step and enrolling on an alternative diploma level course in order to broaden their knowledge of the design world, such as the Diploma in Professional Interior Design Skills or the Diploma in Skills for Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings.


Once you have completed our Level 3 Diploma in Professional Garden Design, you are guaranteed a place on our Foundation Degree (FdA) in Interior Design; validated and awarded by our partner, Staffordshire University. It may be necessary to take selected units from the Interior Design Diploma.

This is delivered online by our Virtual Learning Studio (VLS) in exactly the same way as the Diploma course and offers you further progression to BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living.

Alternatively, you can become a freelance Garden Design Consultant or work in a related industry.

What Will I Study?


If you still have questions feel free to call us for further information on 01159 1234 12, or click on Live Chat. Alternatively, why not book a place on one of our Interior Design Course Open Days at our studios in Nottingham UK, come along and talk to the Tutors, view students' work and take a tour of the Academy?

Discover more about this course

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