Master of Horticulture (MHort)

An online Level 6 Award for professional horticulturists

What is the Master of Horticulture Award?

The Master of Horticulture (MHort) Award is designed for experienced horticulturists who wish to advance their knowledge and grow further in their careers.   

A Level 6 Award, competed online over three years, the MHort allows professional horticulturists the opportunity to expand and develop their research, communication, business development and supervisory/managerial skills. At the same time, candidates will engage with a range of industry professionals in the form of programme assessors and fellow candidates.

Please view our MHort Factsheet (1.9MB pdf) for further information on the programme.

The MHort is recognised by the Education Reform Act 1988. It is a degree-level equivalent, and holders of the award may use the designation MHort (RHS) after their name. 

The award will appeal to those motivated by self-directed research within a varied, yet structured, assessment environment. Interaction for the Award is mainly through the RHS MHort Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Applications for 2024 are now open

Applications for an October 2024 start will close at 11.55pm (UK time) on Monday 19 August 2024.

Please email the MHort team at [email protected] to request your application pack.

Missed our 2024 MHort event?

If you are interested in the MHort Award, watch a recording from our 2024 event to discover more about the three-year programme.


Interested to hear more?

Sign-up for one of our Lunch & Learn events to hear first-hand from our MHort alumni, including:

  • Growing credibility & confidence
  • Increasing opportunities & earning potential
  • Improving management style & research skills

What is covered in the Award?

By the end of the Award you will have an overview of the horticultural industry within a global context. This is combined with the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest for the Dissertation Unit in the final year.

You will have acquired improved research, analytical, communication and decision-making skills that will provide you with a better understanding of horticultural issues, debates and challenges, along with appropriate strategies for their management.

  • In the first year you will broaden your understanding of the horticultural environment and develop appropriate skills to underpin your future study. 

  • In subsequent years you will have the opportunity to select scenarios within assessments to deepen your knowledge in areas that are of interest to you, and are relevant to your chosen career.

  • The final year provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate how you would apply your knowledge in a real-life setting.

    You will also carry out research on a topic of your choice, producing an in-depth academic work in the form of a dissertation.

Key documents for 2024

Information for candidates starting the programme starting in October 2024. These documents will be updated when applications for the 2024 cohort open.

For further information about the programme, download the MHort Factsheet:

Download the Factsheet (1.9MB pdf)

How is the Award completed?

  • Delivery takes place online through the Virtual Learning Environment, which allows you to complete the programme around your own work and home schedules
  • You are provided with all of the Unit start dates and assessment hand-in dates at the beginning of the programme
  • The majority of assessments are written tasks varying from reports and essays, to literature reviews and presentations

  • You will engage in professional discussions and complete a viva at the end of the final year
  • All assessments will be marked by a team of experienced assessors, with constructive feedback provided to help you grow in your next assessment
  • At the start of each academic year there are optional launch workshops. This is a great opportunity to meet the assessing team and your fellow candidates
  • Throughout the programme there will be additional optional opportunities to meet with and engage with your fellow candidates and the MHort team, plus wider industry professionals

What are the entry criteria?

For entry into the MHort programme, and to allow you to get the most out of the programme by drawing on your own experience, knowledge and skills, you must hold the following:

  • At least four years of full-time professional work experience in horticulture, at least one of which should be in a supervisory role or position of relevant responsibility
  • A full Level 3 qualification in horticulture
  • A sound level of academic writing
  • Basic IT skills, especially in Word and PowerPoint (or suitable alternatives)

If you are unsure if you meet the entry requirements, or if you have any other questions, please email the MHort team at [email protected] and we will be happy to discuss your individual situation with you.

What are the time requirements?

The programme is completed over three years, but candidates have the option to defer for a year if necessary. Dates for all assessments are issued in advance.
The amount of time you need to spend studying will depend on your own experience and schedule. You should expect to spend time on assessments most weeks and to plan time carefully.

Are there any perks?

In addition to advancing your knowledge and growing further in your career, you will have:

  • Access to all four RHS libraries in the UK

  • Access to a bespoke selection of e-books and online academic journals, to assist with the completion of the Award.

  • ​An online subscription to Horticulture Week magazine is also available.

  • RHS Student membership is provided for all MHort candidates, giving free access to all RHS Gardens, a subscription to The Garden magazine, discounted rates on RHS Show tickets and access to RHS advisory teams, among many other benefits.

  • Fellow MHort candidates will add to your professional network across the globe. There is an RHS Alumni scheme, enabling you to connect further with fellow RHS Award holders.

Any questions about the MHort? Please email the MHort team at [email protected]

Candidate stories

Read about why candidates took the prestigious RHS Master of Horticulture Award, and what it has done for their careers.

Grow your future with RHS Learning

Download our RHS Learning Brochure to discover our range of qualifications, educational programmes, and short courses and workshops.

RHS Learning Brochure (6.2MB pdf)

RHS Learning Brochure

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.