Horticulture HND

UCAS code 014D

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: 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

For entry to year one, HNC Horticulture:

  • 1 Scottish Higher at Grade C or above  OR
  • 1 A level at Grade D or above
  • Alternatively, NC Horticulture, City and Guilds Horticulture at level 6, or another equivalent SCQF level 6 course

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

Year 1 - HNC

Year 1 is the HNC Horticulture.

Year 2 - HND

Mandatory units include:

  • Horticulture graded unit 2
  • Horticulture graded unit 3
  • Plant protection – integrated approaches
  • Soils and plant nutrition

Option units include:

  • Advanced plant propagation
  • Hardy ornamental nursery stock
  • Horticultural growing media
  • Landscape design history
  • Organic production systems
  • Plants and habitats: ecology and conservation
  • Plants for gardens
  • Protected crops

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We will continue to review government guidance as restrictions shift 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. From September, where practical and safe to do so, on-campus practical delivery will be prioritised and placements introduced in line with the Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing. Where this is not possible alternative options will be available. The theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. International students requiring a Student Route visa to study with us must access scheduled classes on-campus.
  • 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 the prestigious Mount Stuart Estate, Isle of Bute, and at an SSSI conservation site near Kilmartin, Argyll

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 2 years
  • Part-time (structured): 4 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI

*Students enrolled at Argyll College UHI will also have the option to study from home, or you can choose to be located at Dundee and Angus College or the Borders College. Please indicate your preference on your application form.

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
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, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £6,720 £6,915
Part-time (per HN credit) £448 £461

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

There are a number of funding options available to UK 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, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND)2020-212021-22
Full-time per year £7,020 £7,230
Part-time (per HN credit) £468 £482

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.

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture also provides information on many available horticulture scholarships and grants: https://www.horticulture.org.uk/.


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?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Horticulture HND

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

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.