Diploma Garden Design

KLC School of Design
Course summary
Professional Training
1 year
10,975 GBP excl. VAT
Part time
Course Dates
10,975 GBP

Course description

Diploma Garden Design

The only progressive garden design course in the UK to follow the growing year of January to December.

The KLC Garden Design Diploma is a uniquely tailored course 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.

Contact us

Our friendly team are ready to help you - Mondays to Fridays, 09.00 to 17.30 - Tel: +44(0)20 7376 3377. 

Great reasons to apply

  • A comprehensive and practical industry-recognised qualification in garden design to launch your new career
  • The only course to follow the growing year: [End of Winter > Spring > Summer > Autumn > Start of Winter]
  • Learn garden design, business skills, landscaping, horticulture and plant science
  • An exclusive 5-day work experience placement at Hampton Court Palace Gardens with the Historic Royal Palaces Garden and Estates team with a special illustrated talk by the Head of Gardens & Estates
  • Small class sizes with close teaching support from a very industry-connected teaching faculty of practising designers
  • Included membership to both the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) with a number  of member benefits
  • Graduates are in demand to work with prestigious designers and KLC has produced many show garden winners.

Course details

The KLC Garden Design Diploma is a uniquely tailored course designed to prepare students for a career in the garden design industry. 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 additional study required outside of class each week.

KLC Garden Design Diploma students have the opportunity to join practical horticultural sessions at Hampton Court Palace, one of the most historically rich gardens in the country. In the second term, students undertake a 5-day work placement at Hampton Court Palace Gardens under the direction of the Historic Royal Palaces Gardens & Estates Team and a KLC Tutor.

Throughout the course students are trained to think like a designer, as well as expand their horticultural knowledge, gaining valuable knowledge and insight through visiting talks 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.

Alumni from this course have gone on to exhibit and win medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, as well as being employed by established designers such as Andy Sturgeon, Marcus Barnett and John Nash. Our most recent alumni win was Matt Child's amazing triple win at RHS Hampton Court Flower show 2018 with his B&Q Busy Lizzie Garden achieving a Gold Medal, 'Best in Show' and 'Best in Construction'.

Course Content

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 Conceptual Show Garden
Design Project 4         Derelict Space
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. This term includes a 5-days work experience placement at Hampton Court Palace under the direction of the Historic Royal Palaces Garden & Estates team and includes a variety of practical horticultural experiences around various sections of the garden and an illustrated talk from Terry Gough, the Head of Gardens & Estates at Historic Royal Palaces, on the Historical Development of the Gardens over the centuries.  At the end of the five days, you will receive a special certificate of attendance from Historic Royal Palaces.  A range of inspirational visits and lectures are also included in the course timetable to complement the ongoing projects.

Term Three

Design Project 5         Commercial Project
Design Project 6        Historical Garden

The course concludes with two large design projects, 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 Exhibition and graduation ceremony, with professionals from the garden design industry being invited to view students’ final projects.


Fees and Funding

Home/EU/International fee


An Instalment Plan is available for this course

Instalment Plan

Course start date:11 January 2023

Enrolment fee: £1,550 non-refundable but deductible from the overall fees.

Followed by 3 payments of: £3,255

16 November 2022 £3,255

16 March 2023 £3,255

16 August 2023 £3,255


  • Please make a careful note of our refund policies, so that you are clear about what you might expect in the event of cancellation.
  • Each instalment includes a charge of £113.33 for using this facility.


Unfortunately, there are no public funding options (such as Student Finance England) for this course, but we do offer a useful instalment plan as detailed above. There are many different companies offering personal loans, including some that specialise in private education loans which have a reduced repayment through the duration of your course.

About provider

KLC School of Design

KLC School of Design is part of West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and specialises in teaching interior and garden design from short courses up to BA (Hons) both on site in our teaching studios at Chelsea Harbour, London...

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KLC School of Design

5th Floor Design Centre East, Chelsea Harbour
SW10 0XF London

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