how we work

The Garden Design Academy is different to many educational institutions you may have experienced. To us, you are not a number, far less, just a figure on the balance sheet.

We are interested in giving you a learning experience, tailored to your needs, whether you are a keen amateur or wish to progress in the garden industry as a professional.

You will find us helpful, enthusiastic and keen to assist. Our experience as hands-on horticulturists, landscapers and garden designers means that we understand what we are teaching from many years practicing it in the real world. For us, this is not abstract teaching: this is our lives and our passion.

When you invest in one of our courses you are purchasing not just reading materials. We are here to guide you through the learning process and provide regular feed-back and encouragement. It is the combination of these two elements which makes up a Garden Design Academy course.

Garden Design Academy student

Distance learning Courses

While each course is different there are several things they have in common.

Course materials come to you on one or more CDs.They include the lessons and set assignments which are to be completed and sent to us for marking. This is an essential part of the process and should be taken seriously. It is the way we know if you are progressing well or need more help from our tutors.

We provide feedback by email, often with suggestions for further study. Many courses also have simple, interactive self-assesment tests for you to work through.

You will find that the more you put into courses like these, the more you will get out of them in terms of knowledge, experience and pleasure. Course materials are not the beginning and end of your education. Successful students put in a great deal of extra time, researching on the internet, reading books, visiting gardens and practising what they have learned.

Our emphasis is on learning rather than passing exams but for some students examination success is important. A number of our courses come with examination options, either awarded by bodies such as the Royal Horticultural Society or by GDA/ACS.

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There is no requirement to take an examination at the end of one of our courses, but a Certificate, Diploma or other qualification will only be awarded if you attain a pass (or higher) after sitting a formal examination.

On completing all required assignments for a subject you are then entitled to sit for an examination in that subject. If you pass the exam, you are awarded a pass in that subject and an official letter will be sent from the school acknowledging this. A Statement of Attainment or qualification (i.e. Certificate, Diploma) will duely be awarded.

Examinations may be taken at the Academy or, if this is not convenient, you can arrange to take them under supervision closer to home.

RHS examinations are undertaken under separate rules. The RHS will allow candidates to take written examinations here at the Garden Design Academy in France, rather than having to travel to the UK and arrangements exist for most locations around the world. Under current regulations, practical's can only be taken at a specialist centre in the UK.

Examination fees are not included in the cost of a course but if your subject has an exam option we will let you know how much this costs and where it can be taken.

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How we work 2 - residential courses


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