Garden design courses

Hi all,I'm looking at taking some garden design courses over the next few years. Does anyone have any recommendations on courses? Ideally for me they would be part time and not break the bank. Asking to much I imagine but here's hoping..I'm a landscape gardener at the moment And looking to add an extra tie to the bow by being able to offer an in house design service.Do any off you have any experiences with certain courses good or bad?? Or does anyone know of a route to becoming a garden designer to a reasonable standard.Cheers all

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    Theres been a few posts on this topic recently i believe - 

    Heres my limited conclusion so far :

    Part time courses are split between - on site learning and  long distance ,online learning.

    On site courses generally require a full day, once per week (most are week days but some on sat or evenings) and then require home work 7-20 hrs approx. 

    A lot of these on site courses are highly accredited and compare with university , good college qualifications. You obviously benefit from often high grade on site equipment, computers, software, libraries and obviously one to one tutor support and group discussions etc etc 

    From what ive looked at - these high quality on site courses start at around £1000 and many of the top ones are around £6000 for one year - or 30 -40 weeks study. The higher end are university part time courses or recognized diplomas etc .  I believe you can get some grants or discounts in some cases and rhs does list local colleges to your area that offer garden design courses which are generally in the lower price band i think. Therefore it is possible i think to do a one day physical course or evening course RHS accredited with grants / discounts at 600 - 1000 £

    On line , home study - there is a mass of stuff available and you can easily waste a day google researching , generally the first page are the higher end - Chelsea physic - Oxford garden school - English Garden school - Garden design academy - etc etc

    The problem with these is keeping to recognized accredited qualifications, you have to check what you actually get -- most the top ones are offering rhs eqiv level 1,2,3 or suitable diplomas but a lot of shorter courses or not so well know companies are often offering their own qualification which doesnt guarantee any worth while results as such.

    On line courses range from one month to three years study and prices from £200 to £3000 

    What they offer ranges enormously but i would suggest the two basic groups are short term tasters and more serious study courses -- all suggest tutor feedback and individual response but you are obviously never going to get anything near physical one to one support and online wise there is unlikley to be much equipment , materials included .

    From what ive seen if you want tasters or short, easy access courses that require under 10 hrs per week of your time - then places such as My Garden School and similar give that -- courses are from 4 weeks or maybe even less to maybe 12 weeks or so -- and you can do the lot intensively in a few weekends or drag it out over two years - these cost £200 - £500 approx 

    If you want a proper accredited home study garden design course you would be looking more like 1 to 3 years study depending on the time you give it , from what ive been told - someone whose keen and has the basics there , should be able to complete a decent diploma in one year allowing 15 hrs a week for study. These can cost around £1500 . 

    All this is only what ive gathered research wise last few months -- im sure others will add and there are SO many courses around im sure its possible to get cheaper courses etc etc 

    Theres lots of brochures to download , request etc and open days to visit if needed - 

    I guess starting point is what do you want, how much time can you give it and what can you spend on it ?

    Next is whats on offer locally to you - local college etc 

    Unfortunately for me im not far from Bristol which has what looks like one of the top Garden Design Part time courses in the country right now at the botanic gardens -- but at £6000 thats just not going to happen right now .

    Ive opted for two on line taster courses this year - get a feel for the online study etc and then if goes well will dedicate to a decent one year diploma next year. 

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