Certificate in Horticulture (Turf)

Certificate in Horticulture (Turf)

Course Code
Payment Options
Upfront & Payment Plans
Online & Correspondence
700 Hours

Home Study Turf -Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) online e-learning course



A 700 hour course designed principally for turf workers at golf courses, bowling greens, sports fields, councils and more. This course is similar to other VHT002 horticulture certificates in its introductory (core) units, but devotes 50% of the course to topics specifically related to turf culture, species and management.

  • A first step towards a career in Turf
  • Suitable for people who havn't worked in turf before
  • Also suited to people with some experience, but no formal training in this industry
  • Access to highly regarded Horticulture and Turf experts in both Australia and the UK, to tutor you and provide mentoring as you work through the course, building both an understanding of turf management and networking within the industry.

Turf Professionals work in all sorts of places, including:

  • Golf Courses, Bowling Clubs, Horse Racing Tracks
  • Sporting Complexes and Playing Fields: Football Grounds, Cricket Grounds, Athletics, etc
  • Schools, Colleges, universities
  • Turf Suppliers: seed companies, machinery suppliers, instant turf or sod suppliers
  • Small Businesses -Mowing contractors, pest control contractors, turf renovators, landscapers, nurseries
  • Government Parks Departments
  • Turf Research
  • Turf Education and Media   .... and more

Recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council

"Over almost 20 years, I've seen lots of people come through our Turf courses and move on to wonderful careers in everything from golf courses to parks management and profitable small businesses"    John Mason  DipHortSc, FPLA, FIOH, 

How the Course is Structured

The Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a vocationally oriented and accredited course comprising both studies in both general horticulture and in turf care and management.

The course is divided into two parts, and involves completing all assignments and passing an exam in each of six modules listed below.  Exam fees apply.


Core Modules These modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate In Horticulture (Turf).
  Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
  Horticulture I BHT101
  Turf Care BHT104
  Irrigation (Gardens) BHT210
  Sports Turf Management BHT202
  Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303

Note that each module in the Certificate In Horticulture (Turf) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


  • provide skills and knowledge essential to the industry sector chosen (ie the selected stream)
  • understand the growth of turf species and the principles and practices used in establishment and maintenance of turf species in a range of situations
  • develop the ability to identify, describe and control a range of common turf pests, diseases and weeds
  • understand and operate machinery and equipment used in turf culture
  • develop basic landscape design and construction skills as needed by a greenkeeper

Module Outlines

Horticulture I

1.Plant Identification
3.Introduction to Soils
4.Introduction to Nutrition
5.Introduction to Water Management
8.Foundations of Pests and Diseases
10.Plant Propagation
11.Introduction to Lawns

Turf Care

1.Introduction - Turf Varieties
2.Turf Grass Physiology
3.Turf Establishment
5.Turf Weed Problems
6.Turf Pests and Diseases
7.Turf Maintenance Techniques
8.Irrigation - An Overview
9.Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
10.Managing Established Turf
11.Establishing Ornamental Turf

Machinery and Equipment

1.Engine Operation
3.Machinery Components
4.Hand Tools
5.Power Tools
7.Equipment Maintenance
8.Specific Workplace Requirements

Sports Turf Management

1.Turf Variety Selection
2.Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
3.Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
4.Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
5.Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
6.Turf Protection & Preservation
7.Irrigation & Drainage
8.Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
9.Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
10.Develop a Management Plan.

Turf Repair and Renovation

1.Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
2.Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
3.Turf Cultivation Techniques
4.Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
5.Optimising Turf Usage
6.Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
7.Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
8.Eradicating Turf Weeds
9.Treating Aeration and Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
10.Managing a Turf Nursery.


1.Introduction to Irrigation
2.Soil Characteristics & Problems
3.Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
5.Types of Irrigation Systems
6.Trickle Systems
7.Design Specifications
8.Pumps & Filters
9.Selecting the Right System for a Plant
10.Design & Operation of Systems.


Turf tradesmen and professionals are employed by:

  • golf courses,
  • bowling clubs,
  • race courses,
  • sports grounds,
  • municipal parks and gardens,
  • commercial and private gardens.

Career Pathways

  • Knowlege and experience are just as important as a qualification
  • Don't make the mistake of assuming an apprenticeship will guarantee long term career success
  • Some start out volunteering, helping the groundsman at a sporting club.
  • Others start with a course like this or even a more general horticultural course
  • If you can identify plants, understand horticultural science and have some experience caring for grass; you will be able to compete for job opportunities when they arise. The trick is to be in the right place at the right time, so you get noticed; and that involves persistence and networking.
  • People who learn and have solid knowledge and skills, are the people who advance through the ranks, getting promoted to eventually become a Turf Manager.

We provide advice and support to all of our students; and are happy to talk to you about planning a pathway that gives you the best chance of reaching the career goals you have set yourself.


  • Support:  communicate directly with staff . Answering you is our top priority
  • Different:  if your training is different, you stand out
  • Resources:  unique collection of people and intellectual property.
  • Flexibility:  more options for how, where, when and what you study
  • Learning is top priority: what you learn changes you for life. Everything else is secondary
  • Better value:   Compare our cost per study hour.
  • Reliability:  Established since 1979, and being independent means we have avoided the stresses suffered by many other institutions
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