How to become a horticultural therapist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree course, then take further training in social and therapeutic horticulture.
- health and wellbeing
- occupational therapy
- mental health or learning disability nursing
Some universities offer horticulture courses that include modules on social and therapeutic horticulture.
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job, which may help you when looking for work.
- garden design
- practical horticulture skills
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You may be able to work towards this role by doing an apprenticeship before taking further training in therapeutic horticulture.
- Horticulture Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- Horticulture Supervisor Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
- Community Health and Wellbeing Worker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
It can be really useful to get experience by volunteering as a support worker on a horticulture project. You'll get a better understanding of the role, and make contacts who could help when looking for work.
Thrive offer volunteering opportunities, if you live within travelling distance of their gardens in Battersea (South London), Birmingham or Reading. They also have details of other horticulture projects around the UK.
You may have an advantage if you are moving into this career from another area of horticulture or gardening, or a job such as social care, occupational therapy, mental health nursing, counselling or teaching.