In the United Kingdom, outside of Scotland, the National Certificate is a standard vocational further education qualification. It is usually rated at Level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework and is equivalent to A-level, BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ Level 3 standard. For Garden Design one-year courses are standard and adequate to design gardens irrespective of size. Large gardens encompass parks and woods for low maintenance practically.

In Scotland National Certificate is still a recognised qualification on its own. Courses are a one-year course offered by Technical Colleges. They are typically used to progress on to a Higher National Certificate or similar degree course.

For MSIGD Member Society Independent Garden Designers National Horticultural qualifications in relevant disciplines are acceptable to the lowest framework level. Proven practical experience within the NCH (Hort) qualification level or equivalent are preferred. Higher qualifications without a horticultural basis may be desirable but do not supersede the NCH basis.

Acceptable qualifications from higher learning institutions that offer courses in the UK that can lead to a degree or national qualification from a recognised listed- body.

Listed bodies in GOV.UK (Check if a university or college is officially recognised);

Askham Bryan College
York, Penrith, Leeds, Scarborough, Guisborough, Newcastle, Wakefield, Brafford |

Berkshire College of Agriculture
Hall Place, Burchetts Green, Maidenham, West Berkshire, 6L6 6QR

Bicton College
East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX97BY |

Bishops Burton College & Riseholme College
York Road, Bishops Burton, Beverey, Lincolnshire, Wolds, HU17 8QG | T: 0964 553000

Bridgwater College
Bath Rd, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 4PZ - Cannington College, Cannington | Tel: 01278 455464 |

Kingston Maurward College
Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY | Tel: 01305 215000

Easton & Otley College
Easton, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 5DX

The site owner has full control in decisions.

Essential qualifications list for MSIGD

  • AI Hort
  • AA Dip (Grad Dip Cons Gardens)
  • BA Dip Hort Kew (Garden Design)
  • BA Grad Dip LA
  • BA Hons Dip LA
  • BSc (Hons) Hort
  • BSc (Hort)
  • BScBA(Hons) (GardenDesign)
  • Bot MI Hort
  • BA (Hons)Arch
  • BA (Hons)(Garden Design)
  • Cbiol
  • CMLI
  • Dip Hort
  • Dip LD
  • Dip LA
  • Dip Arch RIBA
  • FI Hort
  • Grad Dip LA
  • HNC Hort
  • HND Hort
  • (Hons) Kew Dip (Hons)
  • H.Cert (Hort)
  • MLI
  • MICE Engineering
  • MA MLI
  • MA BA (Landscape Architecture)
  • MALA
  • MI Hort
  • NCH
  • NDH
  • NC (Hort)
  • RB GE Dip GD

Qualifications requiring additional information for MSIGD

  • MA
  • FRSA
  • BA (Hons)
  • BSc (Hons)
  • NDLC
  • DipISD
  • BA
  • HND
  • PGCE
  • Dipl (GD)
  • Post Grad Dip
  • Cert GD
  • BSc
  • MA (Oxon)
  • Dip EGS
  • MA BEd (Hons)
  • BSc(Hons)
  • Dip Hort LC
  • HNC GD
  • Bsc Econ (Hons)
  • Dip Sc GD
  • FRSA Arts
  • NDLC
  • Bhum (Hons) Community & Education
  • PG Dip(OCGD)
  • Dip PSGD
  • MA MioD

Society Membership

  • MSGD Not recognized by Ofqual as a qualification or as an awarding organisation
  • FSGD Not recognized by Ofqual as a qualification or as an awarding organisation

Association Membership

  • APLD Not recognized by Ofqual as a qualification or as an awarding organisation
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