How long does it usually take to complete the course?
The course usually takes nine months to complete. But you can do it as
quickly or slowly as you want. That's the great advantage of distance
Do I need to finish the course within a certain
You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organizations, we don't
set any time limits.
How much is the course?
The course costs £510 or US $914. You can enrol
by clicking here.
Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there
any extra fees?
There are no other costs or fees.
Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?
Yes, but it costs about 20% more. For this, you need to give us your
credit card details.
Some students put the normal
cost on their credit card, and pay it off over five months, thus saving
themselves the extra cost. But we'll be pleased to do this for you.
us if you would like to pay by instalments.
How could I get my money back if I don't like the course?
Just return the course in good condition within 30 days of receiving
it, and we'll send you a full refund.
And if, after seeking work
at the end of the course, you don't earn at least the cost of the course
inside three months, we'll also refund your fees.
Can I start the course at any time?
Yes. You can start whenever you want.
Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?
It's all from home.
I live in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada ....etc. Is the
course suitable for me?
Yes. We have students in 28 countries. And we have two editions of the
course. One is for North America and those who want to pay in US dollars.
The other edition is for the UK and Europe, and people who want to pay
in sterling. But we welcome payment in any currency.
How can I contact my tutor or the Institute?
There have two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course
The tutor marks your work,
and helps you with any problems. You can fax, e-mail or post assignments
to your tutor, whenever you want.
We don't give out the tutor's
phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their
tutors, who would never get any work done.
But sometimes students get
stuck, or have an urgent query. If so, you can phone a course advisor
at the Institute at any time during work hours. If you leave a message
out of work hours we'll ring you back the next day. You can contact
course advisors as often as you want, and about anything to do with
Is the course accredited? And by whom?
Yes, we're accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council.
You can find them at www.odlqc.org.uk. We're listed under Learning Institute,
our parent organisation.
We're also accredited by
Which Web Trader, and by Public Eye.
Will the course give me credits towards a degree
or some other study?
No. But it will help you set up and run your own
business. And we encourage all students to continue their studies after
completing the course.
Are the tutors practising landscape designers?
Yes, all tutors are practising landscape designers.
Some other organizations use college lecturers, which means you don't
get the information from the real 'coal face'.
Can landscape design
be taught, just like accountancy or the law?
Yes. Only it's a lot more fun!
Will the Diploma enable me to practise professionally?
Yes. The course is designed specifically to help you set up and run
your own practice. Some courses, even at university, seem to omit this
all-important aspect. We give you enough technical knowledge to practise,
and we also provide detailed guidance on marketing, operation and finance
to run your own business.
Will the qualification get me a job in a landscape
or landscape design firm?
No! And here's why. There's a lot of competition
for jobs in these firms. Everyone wants to work for them. And the easiest
way to earn a living is to work for yourself. So on this course we focus
on how you can work from home as a landscape designer. As your own boss,
you'll be in control of your life, and have a wonderful time. Later
on, through networking, you might find that you're on the inside track
for a job with a big landscape design firm. But by then you won't want
to work for anyone else!
Will you show me how to find work?
Yes, the course includes practical guidance of getting
work. You can also discuss this with your tutor or a course advisor.
Is there a final exam?
No, there is no final exam. The course is based on continuous assessment,
through the assignments you send to your tutor.
Also, continuous assessment
lets you check all the time that you're on course to succeed.
So you should look on the
assignments as an exciting challenge. No, it's true! You'll enjoy them.
We promise you!
What happens if I fail an assignment?
You do the work again! 80% of students complete the course without ever
failing an assignment. But you might misunderstand the question, or
produce an insufficiently detailed answer. So the tutor will explain
the problem and ask you to send in the assignment again. When you do
this, your work will be much better.
Can I submit hand-written assignments?
Yes. That's no problem.
Can I submit assignments by E-mail?
Yes. That's no problem.
Can I join the course without prior experience?
Yes. That's no problem. We make no assumptions about
people's prior knowledge.
Can I tackle the topics in any order I choose?
Yes, you can. So, if you want to tackle a particular
topic, you can go straight to that module. This is useful if you have
a job or a client that requires you to know about a particular subject.
You might note that some other organizations supply only one or two
modules at a time.
I haven't studied for years. The
thought of returning to study makes me nervous.
Don't worry. We sympathize. But this
course is nothing like your memories of being stuck inside a stuffy
classroom on a summer's day with an old-style teacher droning on.
a start, this is a subject that interests you (or you wouldn't have
got this far).
getting this deep into the website shows that you can absorb information
and concentrate for long periods of time.
see that we write clearly and simply. And that's how we've written the
course materials. It's true that some organizations write long and boring
pages that make your eyes glaze over. We promise you that our course
is nothing like that.
find this course is informative and enjoyable. In fact, many students
are almost upset at finishing the course!
Do I get the whole course or individual modules
at a time?
We send you the whole course when you enrol. This means
you can study any topic you want to. You can also see what topics are
coming up. Getting everything in one package makes it easier for you
to get an overview of the course. As we mentioned above, some other
organizations supply only one or two modules at a time.
How does this course compare with others?
this is the best course in the world. Bar none. But please examine other
courses before making a decision. Consider these points:
the course comprehensive?
your studies be supported by a tutor? Research shows that people succeed
much better on courses that include a personal tutor.
it interactive? That is, do the course materials regularly make you
stop and think, and do exercises? Too many courses consist of page after
page of boring lecture notes.
it teach you about setting up your own business? College courses are
often weak on this point.
you get a refund if you don't like the course?
how can I find out about other courses?
if any courses are available at your local college or nearby university.
the internet. But beware: lots of dot com entrepreneurs think they can
if you can contact a careers advisor. Careers advisors know nothing
about landscape design,
as they would be the first to admit. And the
careers books they consult will probably suggest getting a three-year
degree in landscape design. Which may (or may not) be a good thing,
but it isn't an option for most of our students (many of whom already
have a degree!).
Can a newcomer break into landscape design
and earn money?
Yes. People are increasingly interested in their home
and garden, and are making increasing use of landscape designers. In addition,
fashions keep changing, so there's always something new in the garden,
and that's an opportunity for you to earn a living.
Are there any restrictions on me setting up as a landscape
None whatsoever. And to keep you straight, we provide
detailed advice on forming a company, keeping records and paying tax.
Do you provide support after I
complete the course?
Yes, you can join as a member of
the Institute, and get continuing access to your tutor and to course
advisors. Plus you get the recognition that comes with being a member
of the Institute.
What's the difference between garden design and landscape design?
In the USA in the past, a landscape designer was more likely to work on hardscaping projects (involving paths, walls and construction, as well as lighting and irrigation). The garden designer was more concerned with planting. But things are changing. Nowadays, garden designers also do hardscaping. (We teach it all, by the way).
Meanwhile, a 'contractor', or 'landscaper', or 'landscape contractor' is the builder. In some countries, such as the USA, you have to be licensed or bonded (insured) to call yourself a landscape contractor.
What's a landscape architect?
A landscape architect has
done a lengthy university degree, and is competent to design open spaces,
especially municipal ones. By law, in some countries you may not call
yourself a landscape architect, but you wouldn't want to anyway. Being
a landscape designer is much more fun.