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Course options

  • Qualification

    BA - Bachelor of Arts

  • Location

    Open College Of The Arts

  • Study mode

    Distance / Online

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

Study a Garden Design degree with OCA

Do you love gardens, plants and being outdoors? Do you wonder why some gardens stand out from the rest and want to know the secrets behind creating these havens?

BA (Hons) Garden Design at OCA will guide you through the garden design process, exploring the principles that underpin good design and how to apply these principles to your own ideas. You will tap into your creative side and be encouraged to experiment, unlocking your potential to create your own unique designs.

All aspects of the profession will be covered, including business development, technical knowledge such as surveying and tendering, and skills in drafting and rendering so you can create professional-quality plans and visuals. Throughout the course, you will gradually become an expert in planting design, understanding how to select the right plant for the right place. You’ll learn how to create harmonious or energising planting combinations, and how to specify and purchase plants and other materials.

The course will also challenge you academically, considering the development of garden styles through history and what relevance these have to design today. Current concerns around sustainability and biodiversity will be addressed, and you can choose design specialities that interest you, such as drought-tolerant planting or water management. There is also a strong social component, considering the wellbeing benefits of gardens and how these can be maximised through design.

Through model-making, drawing and self-reflection you’ll be encouraged to develop your own creative approach to garden design. The course supports you to develop the skills you need to become a confident professional, working with clients to capture spirit and essence.

Degree Aims

  • Widen access to education in garden design through open and flexible learning.
  • Provide an intellectually stimulating programme based on high quality study program and tutor support.
  • Develop students’ creative capacities and their ability to synthesise, reflect, respond, apply and simulate finding
  • Develop creativity
  • Develop understanding of the theoretical debates around design practice generally and garden design practice specifically
  • Introduce historic and contemporary design practices
  • Support student autonomy and the ability to integrate theory and practice
  • Build the confidence and skills necessary to sustain practice

Careers & Employability

By studying the OCA BA (Hons) Garden Design degree, you can kick-start your career in the creative and horticultural industries by working part-time or doing an internship whilst gaining your academic qualifications at the same time.

Achieving a degree in Garden Design prepares you for a career in a variety of fields. Through the broad practical and theoretical skills you will have acquired during your studies, you will be highly employable not just for a career specifically in the fields of Garden Design, but in a range of industries and sectors. As well as a career in as a Garden Designer, you will have careers such as teacher, lecturer, amenity horticulturist, commercial horticulturist, horticultural consultant, horticultural therapist amongst many more, open to you.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

Information not available

Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Open College of the Arts

  • Campus address

    Open College Of The Arts, Michael Young Arts Centre, Redbrook Business Park Wilthorpe Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 1JN, England

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