If you want to work in the great outdoors, we have courses that will develop the skills you need to succeed in this rewarding career.
At South Devon College we take great pride in our facilities and excellent bank of resources that support students on our Horticulture and Land Based courses. Our Vantage Point Campus in Paignton has gardens for horticultural study, as well as a conservation area, classrooms and support services. We deliver horticulture study in partnership with Occombe Farm and much of the practical work will take place in their large scale gardens and facilities. It is a great opportunity to work in a real-life industry setting.
All of our courses are assessed through a combination of practical and written assignments. You will have the opportunity to participate in a range of trips during your course, which will enhance your experiences and give you a more in-depth understanding of the range of careers available in the land based sector. Past trips have included visits to the Eden Project and National Trust Gardens.
There are apprenticeship opportunities in this area so you could earn whilst you learn. We also offer a number of related degrees, which means that you can progress to university-level study with the College. You will finish your studies will all the skills necessary to gain employment. Past students have entered industry as plant propagators, conservationists, estate gardeners and rangers. You will have plenty of opportunities to embark on an exciting career in the industry.
South Devon College is an outstanding place to learn, and the perfect place for your education and development. In 2014, we were delighted to be recognised as the top Further Education and Tertiary College in England, in results published by the Skills Funding Agency for 2012-13. We were also graded as 'Outstanding' in our most recent Ofsted inspection.
We are proud to promote a culture of success within the College, with fantastic results across the entirety of our provision. With an exceptional learning environment and our inspirational teaching team, we know that together, you will enjoy the same success in your studies and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
Every student at South Devon College has a Personalised Learning Programme; a custom plan tailored to you as an individual that ensures you gain the academic, vocational and employability skills necessary to achieve your goals and find employment upon the completion of your studies.
Having seen the facilities and met with the curriculum team, I was really excited to start a Horticulture course. I've learnt so much in my time here; my peers and I have created and maintained our own garden, gaining valuable skills. We use specialist equipment and develop a varied understanding of plants and vegetables. I can't wait to progress through the levels and take my skills into employment.
I've taught at the College for 14 years, and it's a great pleasure to pass on my experience to new learners. I have worked as a garden designer, allotment officer and market gardener, and now specialise in teaching subjects that include garden design, soft landscape, propagation and production horticulture. It is a privilege to see learners grow and get excited about nurturing new life, before they enter the world of work in an area that they are passionate about. I never tire of seeing learners develop into skilled practitioners ready for employment.
Horticulture is a broad and varied industry that can be split into four main areas:
1) Landscaping comprising of many different types of business and employment, including both the public and private sectors. Businesses range from small contracting firms to large integrated, multi-national companies and local authorities.
2) Production horticulture is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) many of which are family run. This typically includes businesses producing fruit, vegetables, protected crops, plants, flowers, bulbs, nursery stock and trees.
3) Sports turf and golf greenkeeping which includes managing and maintaining sports turf/grounds that are to be used for sport but need to meet specific requirements. Typically they are small industries and may even be part of a larger organisation.
4)Parks, gardens and green space comprises of local authority parks and greenspace, private gardens, heritage and botanic gardens.