Course Information

Where is the course delivered?

Cannington Campus.

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for new entrants to the industry. Whether a school leaver or someone looking for a change in career direction this is a fantastic first step in forging your career. It is also suitable for candidates who are already working within the industry and wanting a formal qualification in arboriculture.

What does the course involve?

  • Health & Safety – legislation, risk assessment, manual handling, first aid, safe working practices
  • Introduction to the forestry & arboriculture sector – sector overview, utilities, work ethics, employment opportunities, job roles, CVs
  • Environment and Conservation – legal statutes, environmental legislation, pollution, habitat creation, management and protection, bio-security
  • Tree classification and identification – classification, identification and botanical naming,
  • Introduction to plant science – soils, plant physiology, tree pests and diseases
  • Tree establishment – species selection, site preparation, plant protection and aftercare
  • Tree and Woodland Management – management plans, tree surveys, tree work, timber production
  • Tools and equipment – specialist tool selection, preparation and operation
  • Regular industry seminars and professional speakers to inspire and enthuse students to forge rewarding careers within the industry

What makes this course special?

A balanced mix of theoretical and practical hands-on sessions which take place within the College grounds plus at local woodlands, forests and private gardens to hone skills, broaden knowledge and inspire you to be the very best that you can be. You will also enjoy regular visits to forests, woodlands, parks and prestigious tree collections. A residential study tour is included within the study programme. Supporting you with your studies are a teaching team with extensive industry experience as professional practitioners. 

Placements/Work Placements

You will gain 150 hours of work experience over the duration of your course. This can be achieved through regular one day per week attendance combined with opportunities to further extend your experience during non-term periods. Although the responsibility of securing a suitable work placement falls with each student, we will support you through the process. You may find yourself working in local government, for a tree nursery, a tree surgery contractor, a forestry company or even a timber mill. It’s a great opportunity for you to explore a specific aspect of arboriculture that interests you.

Entry Requirements

You need four GCSEs in the C to E or 4 to 2 range including English & Maths, or an appropriate Level 1 qualification. In addition, acceptance on the course is subject to a successful interview. 

What are the assessment methods?

The range of assessment methods includes:

  • Multiple Choice Exams
  • Practical assessments
  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Projects

What are the College attendance requirements?

Your study programme is 16 hours per week over 36 weeks. On average you should be spending 6-8 hours per week undertaking self-directed study. It’s recommended that you spend one day per week to complete your mandatory 150 hours of work experience.

Are there any additional costs for the course?

From September, your clothing should be non-snag and suitable for practical work. You will need a wet weather coat and strong walking boots.

By October half term you will need the following items (costs are approximate):

  • Chainsaw protective boots (minimum class 1) £150                            
  • Chainsaw protective trousers (type C, minimum class 1) £170          
  • Chainsaw protective gloves (type A, minimum class 0) £30             
  • Combination hard hat with chin strap, ear defenders & face protection £70
  • Personal First Aid pouch with rescue knife and whistle £25                                

What are the progression options?

Subject to a successful interview, on successful completion of your course you may be able to progress onto:

  • Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Forestry & Arboriculture
  • Level 2 or Level 3 Apprenticeship
  • Level 2 or Level 3 study programme in Horticulture
  • Level 2 or Level 3 study programme in Countryside Management


You may choose to progress onto full time employment. Opportunities within the industry include:

  • Arboricultural contracting companies
  • local authorities
  • private parks and gardens
  • Forestry Commission
  • National Trust
  • Opportunities also exist for undertaking tree work across the globe

Awarding Body

City & Guilds.

Further Information