Diploma Home Study

Gain advanced knowledge of garden design skills and techniques to become a professional garden designer.

Start Date

Can be started at any time


€1,039 (Easy-pay plan available)


Approximately 6 months

Study Option
Home Study
Course Level
Comparable to level 5 on the NFQ
Entry Requirements
18 years old or over
10 practical assignments
The Garden Design Academy of Ireland is recognised by the International Approval and Registrations Centre (IARC).

Completing this course will enable you to become a garden designer by developing the skills to plan and present your own design projects.

Designed around 10 practical assignments, you will incrementally develop the techniques and an understanding of the industry that you need to succeed as a garden designer.

As a home study student you will have full access to our student area, the Online Learning Centre, which contains course material created by industry experts including: instructional videos, written content and assignments.

Our tutors provide all the support, knowledge and in-depth feedback you need to progress through your course and are always contactable through the Online Learning Centre.

This course can be completed in approximately 6 months*.

*Completion time is based on the approximate time it has taken past students to complete the course. Students have up to 36 months to complete the course.

Send me a brochure


The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in this course.

    • History of Garden Design

    An in-depth look at the history of garden design, covering the ways in which gardens evolved through time and how this influences the way we design today. You will learn about:

    • Mesopotamia
    • Egypt
    • Persia (Iran) & The Persian Empire
    • Greece
    • The Roman Epoch
    • India
    • China
    • Japan
    • Spain
    • Monastery and Castle Gardens
    • The Italian Renaissance
    • The French Tradition
    • English Traditions
    • Principles of Garden Design

    From plant selection to selecting colour schemes, this topic covers the principle components that form the garden designers craft. You will learn about:

    • Balance and Proportion
    • Unity and Repetition
    • Movement or Rhythm
    • Contrast
    • Colour
    • Focal Points
    • Simplicity
    • Know your Materials
    • The Seven Principles of Plant Selection
    • The Elements

    Take an in-depth look at some of the most important elements within a professionally designed garden. From outdoor floors to garden themes, this topic deals with many of the most important elements you will require when designing your outdoor rooms. You will learn about:

    • Path and Patio Planning
    • Decks
    • Living Floors
    • Lawns
    • Garden Walls
    • Living Walls
    • Hedges and Shelterbelts
    • Seaside Themes
    • Cottage Style
    • Mediterranean Style
    • Modern or Architectural Garden
    • Fragrance Garden
    • Wildlife Garden
    • Vegetable Border Garden
    • Rockeries
    • Japanese Gardens
    • Assessment & Presentation

    This practical topic covers all you need to know about assessing a client's wishes and needs, and how to make effective presentations of your ideas to them. Preparing simple base plans at first, you will build up to a concept drawing and then a final working plan. You will learn about:

    • The Garden Area
    • Steps to Effective Measuring
    • What's Above, What's Below?
    • Existing Plants and Trees
    • Recording Sun and Shade
    • Factoring in Hardiness and Microclimates
    • Soil Conditions
    • Ph levels
    • The Client Questionnaire
    • Drawing Tools
    • Creating a Base Plan
    • Title Block
    • Bubble Plan
    • Landscape Symbols
    • Concept Drawing and Working Plan


All our tutors are garden design professionals working in the industry.

The Garden Design Academy of Ireland

Our philosophy at the Garden Design Academy of Ireland is to make high-quality education accessible to all by empowering people to do what they love. Through the power of online and blended learning, our students are able to harness their creativity and practically apply it to succeed in their chosen careers.

Pursue your ambition - because the future is today!

Learn more

Choosing the right course

We offer a range of garden design courses to suit your goals.

Why not contact our experienced staff for advice, or browse to our other courses.

Ask a question

Our experienced team can answer any questions you have about our courses, general enquiries and payment options. Simply complete this form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Garden Design Academy of Ireland ©2024