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
- Drawing Pens 0.5, 0.3 and 0.1
- Watercolour pencils
- An A3 or A2 drawing board (this is optional)
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
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?
Unit 1. The Background to Garden Design
This Unit presents an overview of garden design through its’ history, styles and most influential designers. The Unit explores the concept of a designed garden, from first civilisations through to its development over historical periods and between world regions. The unit concludes with a study of the most influential designers of contemporary garden design and the many garden design styles that are used today.
Unit 2. Understanding the Role of a Garden Designer
This Unit introduces the processes and realities which make up a garden design project; detailing the sequence of running a project, developing the client brief, exploring the potential of individual sites and working with contractors and specialist consultants. The Unit explores the importance of a good design brief and how it is used to guide a project towards completion.
Unit 3. Presentation Techniques
Garden designers must understand, analyse and communicate to clients, the information gathered from the site survey. This Unit looks at the thought processes and technical skills required for developing a successful garden design and the communication of the design concept to the client. An important part of such communication is drawing and the Unit explores the background and purpose of drawing techniques, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each type and indicating their most suitable applications and techniques.
Unit 4. Understanding the Components of Garden Design
This Unit discusses how the components of garden design; the plants, boundaries, structures, ornaments, landforms and surfaces can be selected, arranged and combined to make gardens which are greater than the sum of their parts. The Unit shows how all components should be considered in relation to each other, contributing to the whole garden design vision including the direction of movement through the space and the control of emotional and intellectual experiences.
Unit 5. Understanding Plants
Planting is a key component which provides much of the character for the majority of gardens. This Unit, the first of two specialist plant Units, looks at the physical structure and features of different plant types relative to their garden environment - light, water, air, nutrients and soil conditions - ensuring that each plant will thrive, reproduce and bring maximum impact to the garden.
Unit 6. Using Hard Landscaping Materials
This Unit looks at the functional and visual qualities of materials which can be used in the garden and their specific applications. The many external factors which determine the appropriate selection of materials, such as availability, cost, sustainability and realistic options for construction relative to the budget will also be evaluated.
Unit 7. Selecting Plant Types for Garden Design
The second specialist planting Unit expands upon the first, this time concentrating on the benefits that plants bring directly to a garden design through their visual qualities, placement and function. The Unit looks at how to source, select and design with the unique qualities of plants. The Unit also introduces a range of commonly used plants, identified by type, species, applications and use.
Unit 8. Selecting Furniture and Features
This Unit discusses the furniture and features which bring added functionality or enhanced experience to the garden space for your client. The Unit considers the requirements of style, budget and positioning of these valuable elements of a design such as lighting technologies, water features and accessories. The commissioning of site specific elements such as gates, fire-pits and sculpture will also be discussed.
Unit 9. Professional Practice for Garden Design
This Unit explores the various skills and approaches which are essential when practising as a garden designer such as marketing and sourcing projects, how to adopt a professional approach when charging for work produced and the sourcing of suppliers and contractors. The Unit also looks at potential sources of employment and routes for progression within the wider context of garden design.
Unit 10. Producing a Garden Design
This Unit brings together all the design elements of the course and shows how they can be woven together across the whole design spectrum to create an integrated, harmonious garden design. The Unit links all the stages of the design process, from fulfilling the brief to the generation of concepts and ideas leading to the final detailed drawings which landscape contractors can then use to implement the scheme.
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?