Horticulture HND

UCAS code 014D
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

Horticulture is a very important sector of the Scottish economy, with more than 1,500 businesses and approximately 7,500 employees (Lantra: “Horticulture, landscaping and sports turf factsheet). The majority of land in Scotland is under agricultural production and horticulture in particular deals with the technology, art, science and business of plant cultivation.

The land-based sector is responsible for much of Scotland’s food exports. It needs suitably trained and qualified staff with the knowledge and skills to meet the fast moving horticultural economy.

The HND Horticulture will develop your skills in plant and crop physiology and breeding, planting design, soil management and landscape surveying, as well as experience in the care, maintenance and management of plants. You will also have the opportunity to gain experience in ecology and plant habitat conservation.

Special features

  • Taught by experienced horticulture specialists
  • Enhance your employability skills and career prospects with industry-related technical knowledge and practical experience
  • Benefit from industry guest speakers as well as tutors with extensive links to local employers within the horticulture industry


We can provide information on local accommodation options at each centre on request to help you find a place to stay if required.

Entry requirements

Year one:

  • 2 Scottish Highers at Grade C or above Or
  • 2 A levels at Grade D or above
  • Alternatively, NC Horticulture

Direct entry to year two may be possible with HNC Horticulture (15 SQA credits)

Access routes

NC Horticulture.

Year 1 - HNC

Mandatory units are:

  • Horticultural Practices
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Protection
  • Horticulture: Plant Growth and Recognition
  • Soil Management
  • Horticulture: Graded Unit

Optional units may include:

  • Plant Physiology
  • Horticultural Mechanisation Principles
  • Planting Design
  • Financial Records for Small Businesses
  • Preparing to Start a Business

Year 2 - HND

Mandatory units include:

  • Soils and plant nutrition
  • Plant protection – integrated approaches
  • Horticulture Graded Unit 2
  • Horticulture Graded Unit 3

Option units include:

  • Advanced Plant Propagation
  • Hardy Ornamental Nursery Stock
  • Horticultural Growing Media
  • Landscape Design History
  • Protected Crops
  • Organic Production Systems
  • Plants for Gardens
  • Plants and Habitats: Ecology and Conservation

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as lockdown measures shift over the next few months and will inform you of any further changes to the information provided below about your course. You will study the course through our blended learning approach. In semester one, September 2020, the theory elements will mainly be delivered online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have the opportunity to do an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and practical sessions will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing, with practical elements most likely in semester two (from January 2021).
  • Full Time
  • Part Time (Structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference lectures and tutorials and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Practical elements are delivered during a block placement at Argyll College UHI's garden in Oban

How long will my course last?

  • Full Time: 2 years
  • Part Time (structured): 4 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,720
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £448

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2019-202020-21
Full-time per year £6,855 £7,020
Part-time (per HN credit) £457 £468

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

Additional Costs

  • Practical elements are delivered during a block placement at Argyll College UHI's garden in Oban

What can I do on completion of my course?

Successful completion of the HND Horticulture can open up supervisory opportunities in a range of areas include:

  • Horticultural retail and garden centres
  • Management of public and private green spaces, including botanical gardens, National Trust properties and parks.
  • Production horticulture and nurseries
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Landscaping

You may also consider self-employment.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Horticulture HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.