Diploma of Horticulture

Course Details

Build horticultural management skills and gain a nationally-recognised qualification. This course is designed for farm managers or emerging leaders who would like to improve their horticultural management skills.

  • Course Information

    Our course is designed for people who would like to improve their horticulture skills and knowledge across the industry. Our course has a focus on production horticulture/farming. If you are interested in parks and gardens, amenities or urban horticulture the electives we offer will not be suitable for you There are no prerequisites however some course entry requirements do apply - it is an entry requirement that you have access to a farm or horticulture business of a commercial scale on which to base your assessment tasks. See below for more details.

    You have up to two years to complete this course in a self paced online format. Your learning time includes not only the time you spend working on the course materials, but also your time for reflection and thinking about what you have learned as you go about your normal activities. We estimate the total learning time may be up to 20 hours per week for some students. Of course, this will vary according to your existing skills and knowledge.

    Student Handbook

    Possible job titles relevant to this qualification:

    • Senior Horticulturist
    • Horticulture enterprise manager 
    • Farm production manager   
    • Production unit manager
    • Be actively engaged in farming/ horticulture or have ready access to and knowledge of a farm/horticulture business which can be used for completion of assessment tasks. As a guide, your chosen farm should show these characteristics:        
      • Operated as a business for profit   
      • Have a commercial scale
      • Have agricultural enterprises such as commercial crops or livestock           
      • Be close to where you live so you can be physically on it regularly (eg weekly)     
      • Be able to provide you with details of past production, management processes, costs, prices etc. Advanced Diploma units will require access to past financial records           
      • If you are not part of the farm business, RuralBiz Training may require you to provide contact details for the owner or manager to confirm your access to the farm
    • Have access to a computer with at least Windows 7, Word 97, Excel 97, Adobe Reader and satellite broadband internet connection or similar. If you have a Mac computer, we suggest you talk to a computer technician about installing the Windows environment
    • Basic computer skills e.g. use of internet, email, basic word processing skills 
    • Completion of Year 12 or equivalent or be able to demonstrate similar literacy and numeracy levels

    RPL is a process which recognises the experience and skills you have gained through previous work experiences, or prior study. This means you may gain recognition without additional training.

    If you have done previous accredited training we may be able to offer you direct credit transfer for units in this course. Contact us if you think this applies to you.


    Your trainers are well qualified, practical people who are managing their own farm businesses or providing services to farmers.

    Click here for more about the RuralBiz Training trainers.

  • Units

    A total of 10 units is required for the Diploma of Horticulture: A minimum of 8 electives from the list below and a maximum of 2 units may be selected from elective units or from units aligned to Cert IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma package in AHC or from any other currently endorsed training package or accredited course. Selected units must have relevant job outcomes in horticulture.

    AHCPCM507Diagnose plant health problems
    AHCPCM510Collect and classify plants
    AHCPHT511Develop a horticultural production plan
    AHCSOL505Monitor and manage soils for production
    AHCHYD501Develop a plan for a hydroponic system
    Manage enterprise staff requirements
    AHCBUS513Market products and services
    AHCBUS518Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports
    Develop a plan for a hydroponic system
    Develop workplace policy and procedures for sustainability
    Plan, implement and review a quality assurance program
    AHCWRK513Write and present reports
    Other - no more than two of these:  
    AHCAGB518Develop climate risk management strategies
    AHCSOL401Sample Soils and interpret results
    Apply plant biology to agronomic practices
  • Cost

    Your fee for this course will depend on the the availability of a subsidy from your State and your eligibility. To view a summary of all current course fees and subsidies please click here or contact our office for more information.


    VET Student Loan

    If you'd like to enrol in this course but would like to defer the fees, you may be eligible to use a Vet Student Loan. Vet Student Loans are Australian Government loans that help eligible students pay for all or part of their tuition fees for higher level VET courses (diploma, advanced diploma) undertaken at approved providers. Additional information is available here (VET Student Loans) or by contacting our office or by visiting the government's Study Assist website: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/. A VET student loan gives rise to a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.  The maximum amount that can be loaned for this course through the VET Student Loans (VSL) program is (in 2024) $18,097.

    • provide a copy of your Australian senior secondary certificate, OR
    • achieve the required standard in an approved literacy and numeracy test.

    Payment plan

    Want to make smaller, regular payments throughout your course?

    The payment plan option consists of establishing a direct debit for payments deducted weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly from your nominated bank account or credit card, across the duration of your enrolment. There is a $13.64 establishment fee and an administration charge (Amex, Debt Collection: 5.5% or Direct Debit: 4.5%) on all payment plans. The establishment fee is paid in your first instalment and the administration fee becomes part of your scheduled deduction. Payment plans are administered by DebitSuccess – www.debitsuccess.com.au

    Upfront payment

    You can make an upfront payment (of no more than $1,500) for your student fee while enrolling with any residual processed through the payment plan.Vet Student Loan students may make upfront payments prior to the census date for that unit.

  • Delivery

    We use a variety of ways to deliver your training such as:

    Self-paced online learning:

    Use resources and information in our online learning site (RuralBiz Online) to work at your own rate, at times that suit you. You will find resources to help you learn including videos, quizzes, print materials and links to other useful websites. This site also has a forum where you can post comments and questions for other participants and your trainer. It will also be the spot to upload your assessments, receive trainer feedback and track your progress.

    Interactive online sessions:

    These are run in our Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom where you work with a trainer and other participants. You will be able to see a presentation on your computer screen, hear the trainer and other group members, and ask questions or make comments. One of our previous participants described it as being like "two way radio with pictures" but it also has a whiteboard, chat function and many other tools useful for training. Some sessions are also recorded for listening back at a later date. These sessions are usually run on demand when there is a group of at least 10 participants to attend.

    Printed Manuals:

    Many of our units use a printed manual, giving you time to explore the online learning environments while having familiar materials at hand.

  • Benefits

    Key Benefits

    • Flexible - self paced online or online group delivery, fit study in with your life.
    • Everyone with an internet connection has equal access to training
    • Training is delivered to you - wherever you have internet access
    • No travel time or travel costs
    • Access to online materials 24/7
    • Access to the best trainers who are farmers themselves, not just trainers who can visit your district
    • Your very own Guardian Angel for support
    • Work in groups from a wide geographic area
    • Training can continue even if you are travelling or cut off by floods or other natural disasters
    • Assessments are submitted online - fast turnaround times
    • Student Card - purchase some items at discounted prices
  • Pathways

    Further Education or Training:

    Further training pathways from this Qualification include, but are not limited to:


    Employment pathways from this qualification include, but are not limited to:

    • Senior horticulturist
    • Horticulture enterprise manager
    • Farm production manager
    • Production unit manager