RHS Level 2: Frequently asked questions

What is the RHS Level 2?

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture is an internationally recognised qualification. It is a theory based qualification which assesses the knowledge of the scientific principles underpinning horticultural practices. 

Whether you are starting a career in horticulture, or just want to take your love of plants and gardening further, this course gives you a broad-based understanding of horticulture, garden design and how plants work. On successful completion of the examination candidates may choose to continue their studies leading to the Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture. 

Here's further information about the RHS Level 2 course.

Is RHS Level 2 suitable for me?

Our RHS Level 2 students come from around the world and from all different backgrounds.

Many students choose an online RHS course so they can study around jobs or life commitments, at times which suit them.

You'll meet students looking for RHS approved knowledge and qualifications so they can change careers into gardening, set up a gardening business or develop their career, beginner gardeners, to more experienced gardeners of all ages. 

The course teaches you what you need to know to pass RHS Level 2 exams, and receive the RHS Level 2 qualification.

I live outside the UK - is RHS Level 2 a suitable course for my area?

Yes the RHS Level 2: Principles of Horticulture online course is suitable for anyone around the world. But you will need to think about how hardiness ratings/ zones relating to plants in your area.

When and where are the exams?

The exams are not included in the price of this course, and are run by the RHS directly.

The exams are normally held twice a year in February and June.  An exam fee is payable to the Royal Horticultural Society. 

You can either sit in-person exams at a recognised RHS exam centre or Learning with Experts students can apply to take exams online.

Online RHS exams

Learning with Experts and other RHS Level 2 distance learning students can now apply to take their RHS Level 2 exam online. Here's our guide to online RHS exams.

If you have any further questions about sitting exams, or gaining the final qualification, please contact the RHS directly by email at qualifications@rhs.org.uk, by phoning +44 1483 226500 or by post to RHS Qualifications, RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB.

What written information is provided as part of the course content?

You will be provided with downloadable course notes to accompany the lessons. If you are looking for further reading, Tom Cole has put together a list of the best four books for RHS Level 2.

Is it possible to study this qualification alongside school or another job?

Yes. All videos are on-demand, you can watch them at a time which works for you and watch as many times as you like. You can upload your assignments at any time and interact in the classroom whenever you want to.

Do the assignments have to be done in the week following the lesson?

Assignments are optional (but we recommend you do assignments as they're designed by the tutors to help you learn). You can choose to do all of your assignments at once, or you can spread them over a longer period of time.

Can I extend my course time if I’m struggling to finish?

Yes, you can contact your tutor or the Learning with Experts team who will extend your course.

Do I need materials for this course?


How do you talk to your fellow students and tutor?

You can both chat to other students and your tutor live within the online classroom. We would encourage you to discuss any ideas with your classmates and comment on each others' assignments. 

If you opt for Expert level you'll receive personal feedback on your assignments from your tutor, and you can directly ask your tutor questions.

What course materials will I get?

Along with the videos and the online classroom, you get really detailed notes with the course - you can print these out and can study them like a book. You can also download free past papers, directly from the RHS.

What can I expect from the videos?

The videos are on-demand, you can watch them when you want to, and watch each video as often as you want. You have lifetime access to the videos.

Each video is a lesson from your tutor, they'll take you through the material you're studying in that lesson, give examples and further explanations.

What can I expect from the online classroom?

The classroom is where you discuss with your peers, get feedback on your assignments and ask questions.

It works a bit like a social media feed - you can see what's happened in the class, see other's assignments, message the class and comment on other people's questions and assignments.

How many different RHS course levels are there?

RHS offer Level 1 (practical only), Level 2 & Level 3 which both comprise of a theory and a practical qualification. You can currently study the level 2 theory with Learning with Experts.

Can I pay in instalments?

You may purchase the individual modules in your own time, or if you sign up for Paypal credit you can pay in instalments.

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