Diploma in Garden Design London

Garden Design

Diploma in Garden Design

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Garden Design Diploma (College Award)
Applications open
Course duration: 1 year part time
School: KLC School of Design
Location: London
Scholarships and bursaries: See available funding

Our Garden Design Diploma course is a uniquely tailored and designed to prepare students for a career in the garden design industry. The course follows the growing year which means initial study and final project work all take place in the colder winter months and practical horticulture and live projects during the spring and summer. The resulting one-year course combines practical hard landscaping and gardening skills, plant science and creative design principles in a part-time format with additional study required outside of class each week.

Course structure

This one-year course combines practical hard landscaping and gardening skills, plant science and creative design principles in a part-time format, with two full days at school (Wednesday & Thursday) and an average of 20 hours of additional study required outside of class each week.

KLC School of Design Garden Design Diploma students have the opportunity to join practical horticultural work experience at West Dean Gardens, one of the most historically rich victorian gardens in the country. 

Throughout the course students are trained to think like a designer, as well as expand their horticultural knowledge, gaining valuable knowledge and insight from industry leaders.  Students graduate with a respected qualification, an impressive portfolio of work and the skills and confidence to work on professional design projects.

Course units

Term One

Design Project 1: Chelsea Fringe Proposal
Design Project 2: Residential Garden

The year starts with exploratory design sessions; enabling students to get to know their tutors and classmates and immersing them in sketching and technical drawing workshops, as well as introducing design principles, planting and garden history.

The term continues with training in practical gardening skills such as pruning, training and propagation, as well as planting design and principles, including plans, schedules and using colour. Students are encouraged to develop their creative eye by keeping a plant sketchbook and learning to hand-render their plans and drawings. An overview of the design process is also given, with topics such as surveying a site, taking the client brief and project management all being introduced.

Term Two

Design Project 3: Hampton Court Garden Festival Conceptual Show Garden
Design Project 4: Commercial Project
Research Project 1: Plant Combinations File
Research Project 2: Construction File

Focusing on complex design situations and theory, including designing challenging sites, this term progresses students’ knowledge of garden design principles, creativity and concept work. Advanced visual communication techniques are introduced, such as one and two-point perspective drawing and computer-aided design software, such as SketchUp, Photoshop and Vectorworks Landmarks. Students experience what it is like to design a show garden with the Hampton Court Garden Festival Conceptual Show Garden project, in result, many students become inspired by this project and submit their designs to the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) and show in future flower shows. A large scale commercial project follows where students design a part of the scheme as a therapeutic space whilst also considering sustainable materials, design and planting. This term includes two research projects to develop student’s plant library and to understand how to develop a construct file. A range of inspirational visits and lectures are also included in the course timetable to complement the ongoing projects.

Term Three

Design Project 5: Historical Garden Project

The course concludes with a large design project, incorporating all of the skills students have learnt so far, as well as further teaching on professional business practice; including specifications, contracts, project management, proposals and costing. Students are also offered portfolio advice and careers workshops to help them get started in the industry. The year then culminates in a final online Exhibition and graduation ceremony, with professionals from the garden design industry being invited to view students’ final projects.

Contact Hours

2 days a week, plus 20+ hours per week outside of class

Four-day work placement

Entry requirements

  • No previous experience in garden design or horticulture is required for this course; we simply ask that you have a passion and a drive to learn more about this exciting field of design!

English Language Requirements

  • Good command of written and spoken English is required for all applicants.
  • If you reside in the UK, but English is not your first language, you may be asked to undertake an approved English language test.

Work placements & careers

Our extensive links with designers, suppliers, manufacturers, specialists and professionals within the interior design and garden design industries allow us to offer our students unmatched opportunities to work on live design projects, work shadowing and employment opportunities.

As part of our commitment to offering industry-ready qualifications, our students are offered guidance on CV preparation, portfolio presentation, professional practice and upon graduation; our careers service also helps graduates find internships, job placements and freelance appointments utilising our jobs board. 

Read more

Course tutors

Humaira Ikram

Humaira Ikram has been working as a professional Garden Designer at Studio Ikram for over 15 years and specialises in client focussed landscapes, which are pollinator friendly and as sustainable as possible.

Jessica Cattle Diploma in Garden Design Course Manager

Jessica Cattle BA (Hons) MFA

Jessica has been working at KLC School of Design as the KLC Diploma Garden Design Course Manager and Student Welfare Advisor

KLC School of Design at West Dean

KLC School of Design

Our KLC School of Design offers industry-leading interior design degrees and garden design courses with unrivalled teaching, flexible learning and ongoing career support

KLC School of Design
Society of Garden Designers Educator Accreditation for Garden Design Diploma


Society of Garden Designers Educator Status

KLC School of Design has been awarded Society of Garden Designers Educator Status. To gain the accreditation the SGD thoroughly check the course content to ensure that we are teaching to a professional level and that the skills, understanding and knowledge gained by our students are up-to-date and industry-focused.

All KLC School of Design Diploma Garden Design students received student membership to the SGD as part of their course. Membership includes a whole host of benefits. Students also receive a membership for the duration of their course for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Fees & funding

Course fees are the same for UK and international students

  • £12,680

Scholarships and bursaries are available from £500. 

Find out more about funding
Garden Design Course London

Reasons to apply

  • Comprehensive and practical industry-recognised qualification to help launch your garden design career
  • Content tailored to the growing year, offering a unique perspective on garden design
  • Acquire knowledge and skills in garden design, business, landscaping, horticulture and plant science 
  • Exclusive 5-day work experience placement at West Dean Gardens 
  • Small class sizes with close teaching support from an experienced faculty of practising designers
  • Membership to Society of Garden Designers (SGD) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) with member benefits
  • Graduates are in demand to work with prestigious designers with many alumna show garden winners

How to apply

Entry onto the course is by interview only. Applications for this course can be made by submitting a completed application form and emailing it to [email protected]

Computer-aided design is a key part of this course; therefore applicants must be computer literate and able to confidently use their personal laptop.

Any questions?
Email [email protected]; call us on: (01243) 818 300 and select option 1.