Online
Fast-Track Diploma

Professional
Garden Design

Online
Fast-Track Diploma

Professional
Garden Design

Entry Requirements

No previous qualifications required, just an interest & enthusiasm for garden design

Course Duration

12 weeks of home study
& weekly online lectures
(Via Zoom)

Next Course Dates

11th January - 18th March 2021
10am - 12.30pm UK Time
Monday & Thursday

Assessment

No exams!
Tutor assessment only

Course Summary

With twice weekly live Zoom classes, the Online Fast-Tracked Diploma combines the intensive pace of the ‘In-Studio Fast-Track’ Diploma and the convenience of the ‘Online Flexible’ Diploma. This 12-week course is ideal for those students wanting to study from home and speed up their learning in a live environment. 

The Level 3 Diploma in Professional Garden Design provides you with the skills and qualification to work professionally as a garden designer… without having to go back to school full-time allowing you to balance the demands of work and family life.

The skills you’ll learn can help you carry out design projects for yourself or for family and friends, prepare you for work as a designer, or enable you to pursue further studies in the subject.

This course is Ofqual Level 3 accredited and globally recognised, meaning you can work legally as a garden designer or gain enough educational credits to study a Bachelors Degree if you so choose.

We have over 30 years of experience in teaching design, with over 35,000 alumni, this garden design course is a trusted way to help you pursue your passion and kick-start your career as a garden designer

Why Learn Online?

For students who want all the benefits of remote online learning, but are also looking for more structure and live interaction with tutors and peers, the ‘Online Fast-Track’ course offers an ideal mix.

Because the course is delivered fully online, it means students can study from anywhere in the world without the need to travel or commute and attend a full-time course. But it also adds the valuable element of live lectures online with tutors and other students, to cover key content and enable discussions.

What Will I Study?

You will study ten dedicated Units during this Professional Diploma

  • Unit 1
  • Unit 2
  • Unit 3
  • Unit 4
  • Unit 5
  • Unit 6
  • Unit 7
  • Unit 8
  • Unit 9
  • Unit 10

Background to Garden Design

This unit introduces you to the definition of Garden Design and key Garden styles. It covers the history of Garden Design and the main design principles Garden Designers work with in the present day. This unit also includes:

  • The definition of Garden Design
  • The history and development of Garden Design
  • The effect garden design history has on contemporary gardens
  • Garden Design styles, e.g. formal, classical, urban, rural, cottage etc.

The Role of the Garden Designer

This Unit introduces you to a design brief and takes you through the different stages of the garden design process, giving you an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the garden designer. This unit also includes:

  • Skills required to fulfil the role of Garden Designer
  • Stages of the garden design process
  • The importance of the design brief
  • An introduction to the virtual client, whose garden you will design throughout the course

Presentation Techniques

Within this Unit, you will learn how to measure a garden and draw it to scale. You will also learn how to start the process of developing conceptual designs for a client. This unit also includes:

  • Site surveying – how & what to measure or record on site
  • Surveying tools
  • Understanding scale
  • Developing technical plans to scale, step by step
  • Hand drawn or CAD – students may produce either
  • Industry standard drawing conventions

Components of Garden Design

This unit focuses on how you organise and fill your garden design effectively. You will have the opportunity use your creative skills by preparing and presenting your ideas working to a specific garden design brief. This unit also includes:

  • Planning the space
  • Colour theory & how it will affect your garden design
  • Creating a variety of effects using garden components: boundaries, structures, planting, soft & hard landscape
  • Using furniture, accessories, play equipment, pets, wild animals and water features for garden design
  • Light and shade as part of the garden design
  • Concept and design presentation to a client

Understanding Plants

This Unit will help you to understand planting biology and the importance of selecting appropriate planting as part of your design. This fundamental knowledge will complement your presentation skills when developing a design and help you to communicate your initial ideas. This unit also includes:

  • Plant identification
  • Plant features: flowers, fruits, leaves, stems
  • Hazardous plants
  • Basic plant biology
  • Plant names and classification
  • Soil types and suitability for plants

Using Hard Landscaping Materials

In this Unit, you will learn how to select specific Hard Landscaping Materials to enhance your design. Increasing your knowledge of sustainable products and practices It also covers how to communicate your ideas visually to your client and how to specify your requirements to a contractor. This unit also includes:

  • Raw, natural & man-made materials: stone, aggregates, stone composite, metals, glass, timber, synthetics
  • Recycled and reclaimed materials
  • Use for walling, paving, decking, pergolas and arches
  • Drawing a Hard Landscaping plan
  • Communicating your design via a presentation board
  • The importance of a specification

Selecting Plant Types

This Unit looks at how you source your plants and the practical and aesthetic considerations to be considered when developing a planting layout to a design brief. You will also learn how to present a planting plan to a professional standard. This unit also includes:

  • The role of plants in the garden
  • Selection & design for site context, functionality and client requirements
  • Selection & design for visual aesthetics
  • Producing a planting plan
  • Planting specifications

Selecting Furniture & Features

This Unit looks specifically at sourcing furniture, lighting, water features and accessories from the huge variety available, to meet your client brief. You will learn about the main types of garden lighting and how to present this information on a Furniture, Lighting and Accessories Plan. This unit also includes:

  • Furniture: human scale, bespoke, style
  • Garden lighting: function, types and specification
  • Water features: types, style and how to design
  • Garden accessories: pots, sculpture, garden art, statues, heating, barbeques / outdoor kitchens
  • Presenting your selection to your client
  • Designing to accommodate pets and wildlife

Professional Practice

This unit shows you everything you need to know about how to set up your own garden design business. It also helps you identify other career opportunities within Garden Design, such as working within an established garden design practice or moving on to studying for a degree. This unit also includes:

  • Different roles within the Industry
  • How to set up a garden design practice
  • Marketing and promotion
  • How to calculate your fees
  • Handling clients and the client brief
  • Sourcing suppliers and contractors
  • Managing the project

Producing a Garden Design

For the final unit of the course, you bring together all your newly learned skills by producing conceptual designs and a design pack to create a wonderful garden design for a new client. When complete, your work will form an asset to your developing portfolio to show future clients. This unit also includes:

  • Creating concept plans
  • Creating a planting plan
  • Creating a hard landscaping plan
  • Concept sketches
  • Specifications, rationale and order of works

Background to Garden Design

This unit introduces you to the definition of Garden Design and key Garden styles. It covers the history of Garden Design and the main design principles Garden Designers work with in the present day. This unit also includes:

  • The definition of Garden Design
  • The history and development of Garden Design
  • The effect garden design history has on contemporary gardens
  • Garden Design styles, e.g. formal, classical, urban, rural, cottage etc.

The Role of the Garden Designer

This Unit introduces you to a design brief and takes you through the different stages of the garden design process, giving you an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the garden designer. This unit also includes:

  • Skills required to fulfil the role of Garden Designer
  • Stages of the garden design process
  • The importance of the design brief
  • An introduction to the virtual client, whose garden you will design throughout the course

Presentation Techniques

Within this Unit, you will learn how to measure a garden and draw it to scale. You will also learn how to start the process of developing conceptual designs for a client. This unit also includes:

  • Site surveying – how & what to measure or record on site
  • Surveying tools
  • Understanding scale
  • Developing technical plans to scale, step by step
  • Hand drawn or CAD – students may produce either
  • Industry standard drawing conventions

Components of Garden Design

This unit focuses on how you organise and fill your garden design effectively. You will have the opportunity use your creative skills by preparing and presenting your ideas working to a specific garden design brief. This unit also includes:

  • Planning the space
  • Colour theory & how it will affect your garden design
  • Creating a variety of effects using garden components: boundaries, structures, planting, soft & hard landscape
  • Using furniture, accessories, play equipment, pets, wild animals and water features for garden design
  • Light and shade as part of the garden design
  • Concept and design presentation to a client

Understanding Plants

This Unit will help you to understand planting biology and the importance of selecting appropriate planting as part of your design. This fundamental knowledge will complement your presentation skills when developing a design and help you to communicate your initial ideas. This unit also includes:

  • Plant identification
  • Plant features: flowers, fruits, leaves, stems
  • Hazardous plants
  • Basic plant biology
  • Plant names and classification
  • Soil types and suitability for plants

Using Hard Landscaping Materials

In this Unit, you will learn how to select specific Hard Landscaping Materials to enhance your design. Increasing your knowledge of sustainable products and practices It also covers how to communicate your ideas visually to your client and how to specify your requirements to a contractor. This unit also includes:

  • Raw, natural & man-made materials: stone, aggregates, stone composite, metals, glass, timber, synthetics
  • Recycled and reclaimed materials
  • Use for walling, paving, decking, pergolas and arches
  • Drawing a Hard Landscaping plan
  • Communicating your design via a presentation board
  • The importance of a specification

Selecting Plant Types

This Unit looks at how you source your plants and the practical and aesthetic considerations to be considered when developing a planting layout to a design brief. You will also learn how to present a planting plan to a professional standard. This unit also includes:

  • The role of plants in the garden
  • Selection & design for site context, functionality and client requirements
  • Selection & design for visual aesthetics
  • Producing a planting plan
  • Planting specifications

Selecting Furniture & Features

This Unit looks specifically at sourcing furniture, lighting, water features and accessories from the huge variety available, to meet your client brief. You will learn about the main types of garden lighting and how to present this information on a Furniture, Lighting and Accessories Plan. This unit also includes:

  • Furniture: human scale, bespoke, style
  • Garden lighting: function, types and specification
  • Water features: types, style and how to design
  • Garden accessories: pots, sculpture, garden art, statues, heating, barbeques / outdoor kitchens
  • Presenting your selection to your client
  • Designing to accommodate pets and wildlife

Professional Practice

This unit shows you everything you need to know about how to set up your own garden design business. It also helps you identify other career opportunities within Garden Design, such as working within an established garden design practice or moving on to studying for a degree. This unit also includes:

  • Different roles within the Industry
  • How to set up a garden design practice
  • Marketing and promotion
  • How to calculate your fees
  • Handling clients and the client brief
  • Sourcing suppliers and contractors
  • Managing the project

Producing a Garden Design

For the final unit of the course, you bring together all your newly learned skills by producing conceptual designs and a design pack to create a wonderful garden design for a new client. When complete, your work will form an asset to your developing portfolio to show future clients. This unit also includes:

  • Creating concept plans
  • Creating a planting plan
  • Creating a hard landscaping plan
  • Concept sketches
  • Specifications, rationale and order of works

Student Gallery

A sample of work completed by our talented garden design students

How Is The Course Run?

The course consists of a 10-week study period that covers each of the 10 subject units in the Diploma course, one unit per week

Weekly Course Schedule

Next Available Course Dates

Please check the timings of each course in your country, using our handy Timezone Converter below. All courses are listed in UK (London) Timezone.
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A Recognised Qualification

Diploma Certificate

Accreditation

At the National Design Academy, we fully believe in the importance of accreditation. After all, what value is there in investing time and money into a course if it doesn’t offer a recognized qualification? The Diploma course is accredited by Aim Awards, an independent accrediting body for UK courses, and is recognised globally. It offers a level-3 UK qualification that allows to you work as a professional garden designer or start your own garden design business.

UK residents pay approximately 50% course fees and funding from the UK government will pay the rest.
No upfront course fees to find. If you are aged 19+ and have lived in England for 3+ years you are eligible.

Currently Unavailable

Online Fast-Track Diploma Course Fees

UK Students

Non-Funded
Full Course Fee £1,700
Less
UK Government Funding
NDA Funded Course Fee £995

There are three ways for UK students to pay for their Online Fast-Track Diploma:

One Payment

£ 995 On Enrolment
  •  
Most Popular

3 x Monthly Payments

£ 368 Per Month*
  • £1,104 in total

UK Student Loan

COVERS FULL COURSE FEE
£ 50 ADMIN FEE
  • Currently Unavailable
* Monthly payments include admin fee.

International Students

There are two ways for International students to pay for their Online Fast-Track Diploma:

One Payment

$ 2,250 ON ENROLMENT
  • Save $250 by paying in full
  • Limited spaces available!!

3 x Monthly Payments

$ 2,500 IN TOTAL*
  • $1000 on enrolment
  • + 2 x $750 monthly payments

* Monthly payments include admin fee.

All International fees in US Dollars.

What Will I Need To Study?

Alongside a computer and an internet connection, there is also essential and recommended design equipment and resources required to complete your NDA Course, the majority are available through the online NDA Art Shop at student prices!

What's Next?

Higher Education

Once you have successfully completed the NDA Diploma in Professional Garden Design, you a will be offered a guaranteed place onto one of our online degree courses, such as BA (Hons) Design for Outdoor Living, with a generous Progression Scholarship. Degrees are awarded by our academic partner, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), and they are studied online in the same way as your Diploma.

Careers

The Diploma in Professional Garden Design is designed to help you start your own Garden Design business. Like the Diploma course itself, you can work flexibly for your clients around your family commitments and gradually expand your business.

Many of our Diploma students start their own business and study for their degree flexibly alongside their client projects.

Ready to pursue your passion for Garden Design?

What Our Students Say...

Hear what past and present students have to say about studying at the NDA