Inchbald Online Diploma Garden DesignGarden design courses
Aims of the programme:
The three-year Online Diploma in Garden Design is a flexible learning course, aimed at those students who wish to investigate garden design to a professional standard in the subjects addressed. The course is structured to suit both those intending to pursue professional careers as garden designers and those who wish to develop their expertise as passionate garden enthusiasts.
The course is aimed at people who are interested in a career in garden design.
It starts from the basics, so you don’t need any background or experience in design, or any formal qualifications. However, you do need to be able to speak and write English. As the course is online, you must also be a confident computer user – able to create illustrated and written documents, add attachments to email messages and contribute to online discussions, for example.
Many people pursue garden design as a second career. However, they often have work and family commitments that prevent them from attending the Inchbald School of Design full time. This course is designed for flexible study at a distance so you can fulfil your other commitments while also studying as an Inchbald student. Like other Inchbald courses, however, this course is challenging, and you will need to organise your time to manage your studies, participate fully and meet deadlines for submitting work.
- General Course InformationValidation
3 Academic YearsDates
1 October 2018 (Induction 25 – 27 September 2018)
29 April 2019 (Induction 23 – 25 April 2019)Days
OnlineStudent / Tutor Ratio
Andrew DuffCourse Administrator
- Subject Overview
This three-year course is structured around 15 modules each typically comprising a series of sessions that require you to read and study, complete activities, participate in discussions and submit assignments for tutor feedback. Each module leads to a design project.
At the start of the course you will explore the role of the garden designer and the creative concepts and principles of garden design. You will develop observation and visual communication skills, including sketching and technical drawing. You will build plant and horticultural knowledge and learn to design and present planting plans for gardens. You will consider the use and application of hard landscaping elements. With frequent opportunities to practise you will develop your skills so that by the end of the year you can complete a project to create and communicate a garden design.
In the second year of the course you will further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in garden design with assignment and project work. You will learn advanced drawing skills and surveying and how to use hard landscaping elements in gardens. You will broaden your understanding of planting styles, exploring how to design different gardens for conditions such as hot and dry gardens, water and bog gardens, roof and wall gardens and create designs for a sustainable wildlife garden.
During the third year you will investigate the history of gardens and link this through to a project. A series of short and fast sketch designs reiterate the skills, knowledge and understanding gained in year one and two in readiness for the final design. This project allows you to specialise and use a garden of your own choice. You then have a detailed look at drawing up specifications and maintenance schedules. The final module concentrates on advising students how to set up and run a garden design practice.
A good garden designer creates an environment which both serves its purpose and provides an appearance and atmosphere that is emotionally and visually satisfying. To do this garden designers have to develop:
- analytical problem solving skills
- a practical ability in ergonomics and planning
- an aesthetic awareness of the nature of light, colour, form, proportion and texture.
The success of a design lies in the designer’s ability to balance and combine these elements.
This course follows the well-established and highly successful Inchbald School philosophy and examines these elements in a series of sessions with exercises that practise the combination of skills.
It is a serious course of study, involving the exploration of design ideas and history. It is also practical and requires you to apply the principles and processes of real design.
The course comprises three years of flexible study. However, it is designed so that you can enrol for one year, two or three years.
The course has four main aims:
- to help you develop the skills and understanding you need to design a garden successfully
- to give you the skills required to present your designs to a client
- to help you develop the ability to implement your schemes
- to encourage confidence in your own abilities as a designer.
- Course Content
Module 1 looks at the role of the garden designer and explores the creative concepts and ideas that underpin a garden design. Emotional responses are a major part of this process and although it is difficult to define beauty and aesthetic excellence, this module explains a number of generally accepted principles that can be used. You will develop your creative skills and your critical faculties, and will present a report analysing a garden in depth.
Module 2 explores visual communication skills. You will start to keep a sketchbook, recording your design ideas, garden and museum visits, plants and hard landscaping elements that interest you. It also looks at freehand drawing and sketching. You will also learn about technical drawing and how to draw plans to scale.
Module 3 looks at planting design and how to design and present a planting plan. You will consider the structure, form, texture and colour of plants and how to put them together in groups. You will start to assemble a Plant Portfolio which will record individual plants in detail and their design potential for a garden designer.
Module 4 is concerned with plant knowledge and planting design. You will gain a basic understanding of plant science, soil science and horticultural knowledge. This will equip you to choose the right plant for the right place when designing. You will also learn some practical horticulture so you can advise on maintenance of your planting schemes.
Module 5 is concerned with design implementation. You will create a client brief for a design project that will require a scale plan, a planting plan, plant lists, a concept board and a model.
If you do not plan to continue your studies to Year 2, you will study a further module, Introduction to hard landscaping, to complete the Year 1 course.
Module 6 introduces more advanced technical drawing skills. You will learn how to draw an axonometric three-dimensional drawing to scale, how to create elevation drawings from your plans, how to render in colour and to draw up setting out plans.
Module 7 explains surveying and levels and drawing up a survey to scale. You will complete a design project that you have surveyed yourself.
Module 8 explores planting styles and plant knowledge in more depth. You will consider how to create different gardens for different site requirements such as water and bog gardens, hot and dry gardens, lawns and meadows, seaside gardens, roof gardens and vertical wall gardens.
Module 9 is concerned with hard landscaping elements such as steps and levels, walls, paving, pergolas, boundaries, water features. You will look at each element in depth and consider its aesthetic potential and structural requirements. You will create a Hard Landscaping Portfolio as a reference tool for future use and learn about construction drawing.
Module 10 looks at sustainability and its relevance to garden designers. You will undertake the design for a sustainable wildlife garden and will be required to produce a rendered plan, planting plans, plant lists, concept boards and sketches.
Module 11 considers the history of gardens and will give you a knowledge of the historical background to gardens and garden making from the ancient Egyptians to the present day.
Module 12 is a short design module. You will create several sketch designs.
Module 13 is the final design project and requires you to find your own garden to design. You will then create a full design package for this garden to include client brief, survey, rendered plans, planting plans, plant lists, concept boards, sketches, construction drawings and an axonometric drawing.
Module 14 looks at drawing up specifications for landscapers and maintenance schedules for clients.
Module 15 gives advice on setting up and running a garden design practice. You will consider insurance, marketing, charging, putting together a portfolio and the correct procedure for a designer when dealing with a client.
- Entry Requirements
There are no formal entry requirements to the Online Diploma in the Advanced Principles and Practices of Garden Design, although you will need to show a commitment to the heavy workload and the maturity to contribute to the course group. If you are uncertain about making this commitment, you may be interested in taking the one year Online Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Garden Design.
As this is an online course you will be communicating with your tutor and fellow students online and via email. You will need basic computer skills, the ability to contribute to online discussions, create illustrated documents, add attachments and so on. If you feel you lack these skills we recommend you develop them before the course start date.
- Tuition Fees
£14,755.00 inc VAT
- Teaching Methods
The course is designed around a notional 20 hours of formal learning a week for 40 weeks of each year to study and skills development. These hours are not set so you can fit them in around your existing commitments. The course is not ‘live’ so compliments differing time zones. You are likely to find that you need to spend more than 20 hours working on the course in some weeks, especially when you are preparing some of the assignments and projects to send to your tutor for feedback or marking.
As a student of the Inchbald School you will:
- attend an optional face-to-face induction which lasts three days at the start of the course
- study and work through the course materials from your home
- use the course website, Inchbald Online, to access course materials, contribute to online discussion forums with fellow students in your class and submit work
- complete the activities, assignments and projects in the course and submit work to your tutors for feedback, marking and assessment by the deadlines
- follow a course schedule for studying the course materials, submitting assignments and your project work and for participating in online discussions
- have the option to attend a three-day in-house seminar in each year of your course
Garden DesignWork Experience
Not applicable to this course
Interested? Apply for this course