- 10 Jul 2008
Most distance learning courses will offer you the support and
encouragement of a tutor, and I'm not going to try to differentiate
between them - but it sounds as if you will need some peer-group
encouragement too. Some online set-ups will let you chat with other
students, but if you use Facebook, there's the RHS Exams Study Group
that give each
other support and chat about levels 2 and 3, and that might be a good
place to get some of their views on which of the different providers
will suit your way of working.
The theory exams are not
flexible; the RHS offers them as an exam board, and they are
equivalents of GCSE O and A level, held on the same day and same time
nationally - I found out recently that this is taken so seriously that a
whole separate paper was written in June for someone taking a unit of
the old syllabus on the other side of the world, because the time
difference meant the candidate could have been primed by a UK
student... so I'm afraid that you'll need to take time off for them.
If you are studying at home, you'll probably want to pace yourself a bit
anyway, so it might be you take two units at a time and only need half a
If you want to study the practical certificate, it's a
different format: it's based on assessment by qualified
tutor/assessors, not exams.
At least one horticultural college runs the
courses on a Saturday, but it will also be possible from February 2012
to study and practise techniques at home or work, with online
support,and then come in for final tuition and assessment at a centre on
specific weekends through the year. If you want more information on
that please let me know and I'll reply outside the forum; I can't be more specific for a week or
so until we complete our agreement with the centre involved!
The RHS courses are really good to study: loads of work, but they can be fun. Good luck,