Horticultural Correspondence College Reviews - www.hccollege.co.uk

★★★★☆
4.2 / 5
79% of users recommend this
  • Value For Money

Description (provided by business)

Under new ownership since Spring 2014

A lot has improved and we are determined to give every student a quality learning experience.

We're proud to offer 30+ quality courses developed by leading horticultural experts, including many that follow a syllabus set by external awarding bodies.

If you've any questions or would like support, please contact us and we'll do all we can to help.

Courses include:
  • Become a Gardener
  • Become a Garden Designer
  • RHS Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Horticulture
  • RHS Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation
  • The Principles of Gardening
  • Allotment Gardening
  • Leisure Gardening
  • Organic Gardening
  • Enjoy Herbs
  • Market Gardening
  • Garden Landscape Construction
  • Interior Landscaping
  • ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture (in partnership with RFS)
  • ABC Level 2 Certificate in Forestry (in partnership with RFS)

Summary

The business would like to make the following comment:
The founder and owner of the Horticultural Correspondence College sadly passed away in March 2013. It was a small family run college. In Spring 2014, we took over the Horticultural Correspondence College and it is effectively a new company. It has been relocated and thoroughly reorganised. There is a new management team and a student services team, as well as an invigorated and updated tutorial department.

Media Gallery for Horticultural Correspondence College - www.hccollege.co.uk

Horticultural Correspondence College - www.hccollege.co.uk

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Latest Reviews

★★☆☆☆

“Poor management and poor communication”

written by WillowOrtiz on 01/11/2022

I completed a Level 2 ABC in Arboriculture June 2020 to June 2022. The course material was adequate but some units badly needed updating. Some portfolio questions were very confusing and didn't match the course material. I had to change my original Tutor as he was on a bit of an 'ego-trip' but moderation found he was asking for unnecessary detail. Communication within HCC seemed poor e.g. my final portfolio of work went missing because somebody signed for it without informing the office. The management team didn't inform the office of moderation dates so they couldn't give information out. My work finally went for "emergency moderation" 4 months after hand-in. (I think this was due to the assessment officer being on maternity leave?) Some of the office staff were rude on occasion. (I was chastised for phoning repeatedly to try to find out moderation dates.) They rarely called me back and didn't seem to know what was happening behind the scenes. Overall, I've enjoyed the course but it's been a source of unnecessary stress on too many occasions. I would recommend the Level 2 ABC but not with HCC.

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★★★★★

“Improve gardening knowledge ”

written by MikeSheehan on 12/02/2020

The information supplied as part of the course is very informative and provides the basis for the questions that need to be answered. Research is required to fully answer thé questions and also to be understood for the various topics in each section. I will use this information supplied going forward as a guide and also to refresh my memory. The questions were marked and good feedback giving within a short timeline and some of the comments were helpful in that I looked at the questions a little differently which improved how I researched the next questions slightly differently so that I had an improved understanding and also the marks achieved improved. I fully understood the range of subjects within the course as a relative had already started and gave me feedback

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★★★★★

“Rewarding and easy way to learn”

written by SusieQ23 on 21/12/2019

I was attracted to this course because of the flexibility of distance learning and the variety of subjects to choose from. I was able to contact the college and my tutor very easily when I had any queries. I was surprised about how much depth the course modules went into but enjoyed the challenge very much and found some aspects fascinating. On completion of the course, I felt a real sense of achievement and had learned so much. I think, before embarking on such a course, I would strongly advise potential students to be absolutely sure that they really want to do this. You need to be very disciplined!

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★★★★★

“Growing- your knowledge”

written by Larsen435 on 21/12/2019

Im having great fun and really enjoying my current course with the HCC. It does take time and there is far more to it than I envisaged. I initially found it slightly difficult to get into doing the research, but as I progressed I learnt to handle research slightly smarter, albeit sometimes I do still find it frustrating, but I am learning so much more than I ever thought I would. So far, I have done this on my own and I do think it would be much easier if I had a buddy or buddies to confer with, although my tutor is always at hand if I need help. One of the hardest things is knowing where to go for information, this can sometimes take up alot of time. As my current course is on Allotments, in Spring I intend to touch base with our local allotment association, which I'm sure will make this course even more enjoyable and perhaps easier. I also hope by then to have my own Allotment prepared for lift off! That's when I can put my learning into practice.

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★★☆☆☆

“RHS Level 2 Certificate”

written by drPorterfield193 on 14/03/2019

The course material itself was incredibly detailed and helpful, though I did notice in some instances that the pages repeated themselves in some sections. The reason I wouldn't reccommend this college is because the "tutor support" they offer is fairly subpar. Tutors may take a week to respond to your questions by email, and mine even complained that I'd asked too many (I sent 8 across for the entire first lesson of 200 pages) and that he did not have the time to answer them. When I emailed the college they promised a prompt reply, but have so far not responded after a week. I'd say for distance learning, the material is good provided you don't need much support. And do not expect anything prompt.

Hccstudentadvisor's Comment

Written on: 18/06/2019

The student politely requested a new tutor on 06/03/2019 and we were happy to appoint our head tutor to help her. The student’s issue is now resolved and we are happy that she is continuing with her studies.

Kind regards

Charlotte
Horticultural Correspondence College

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Pixelgoldfish2's Comment

Written on: 07/10/2022

I can attest to this- the first tutor eventually complained that 'nobody had asked me as many questions as you' (I'd sent a list of about 8 after reading the first workbook), and once I'd switched tutors it had gotten a lot better.

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Natalilly's Comment

Written on: 29/06/2019

Can I ask if the student had completed a level 1 before studying level 2?

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Tomcobly's Comment

Written on: 29/09/2022

RHS 2 courses do not require any previous qualifications. The student only complained abourt weak tutoring.

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★★★★★

“Conservation studies- countryside”

written by dgOwens68 on 16/02/2019

Well since my last review, I am on the last lesson of my conservation studies-countryside course. I have enjoyed studying with the college again. The college staff have obviously changed due to the founder passing away and staff moving on to new jobs, I have found that the new staff are just as easy to get on with. As for people saying that the admin staff and tutors don't reply or it takes ages for completed and marked work to come back, well that's just not true, I've never had any problems with my completed work, I've send my work via the post and via email, so I can find any fault with this. The tutors have been super helpful as and when I have asked for help when stuck on a question, the course material is very well written and presented. This course is a 2 year course, and I've managed to almost complete it before the 2 year mark, which for me is September 2019. There isn't anything that I have not liked about this course, the course price is so much better than my local college.

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★★★★★

“Great service, very helpful”

written by ASBarnard1 on 18/10/2018

I attended the HCC as an external RHS Level 3 student. I was studying the theory certificates via distance learning and the HCC is an exam centre close to Plymouth, where I was based last year. I took 4 exams at the HCC and found the staff there very helpful over the phone, via email and in person. The exams were well organised and overall I was very pleased with the service I received. I would highly recommend the HCC for this purpose.

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★★★★★

“Absolutely amazing”

written by slRandall1960 on 05/09/2018

I have reviewed this college before, and as I'm doing the Conservation studies - countryside and OMG I'm loving it. It is the second time I've done this course and I wasn't able to finish it the first time round, but I'm on lesson 7 and just loving it. I'm a full time mummy to an amazing little boy who loves walking in the woods and love nature just as I have always done. The college is super helpful and the tutor that i have is just amazing. As i knew the costs of the courses before i re enrolled on the course that i'm currently doing and it was just fab.

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★★★★★

“Great Course !!”

written by JayleneJarvis on 24/04/2018

I am currently studying ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture. I started my studies last July and am onto my 4th unit. The course is really interesting and I have gained a lot of knowledge from my studies so far. I work full time so during work time when my work is complete I can study within work which I have found really helpful. If you work full time but are looking at doing a distant learning course, I would highly recommend doing a course like this, really easy to follow and you will gain a lot of knowledge.

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★★★★★

“Great Course with lots of choice”

written by KatlovesOrchids on 23/04/2018

Studying with HCC the "pick ten units" Course. Lots of choice so you can pick the sections that are most relevant to you and what you want to learn. The Tutor comments on the assignments are most helpful to aid "better gardening" for a hobbyist. The way the study sections are sent out (next segment with each marked assignment, two at the start) never overwhelms you but ensures that you always have something to work on is great. I would thoroughly recommend the HCC to anyone wanting the convenience of a correspondence course.

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★★★★★

“Who’d have thought learning could be this enjoyable”

written by MJASS on 23/04/2018

Fantastic, easy to read material and supported by a personal tutor backed by experts. What’s not to like. I thoroughly enjoyed the Become a Gardner course and am now actively putting the theory gained into practice. Whilst I don’t personally need to sit the RHS examinations, this course provides all the material to prepare for this - and my Hoticultural Correspondence College certificate has pride of place in my study.

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★★★★★

“Happy gardening”

written by Elsie246 on 12/03/2018

Gardening Pick and Mix Good choice of topics from which to pick 10. All very enjoyable to read with good practical tips as well as background detail. Good to have a correspondence course that still comes with hard copy instead of on-line. End of topic assessments were rigorous and for full answers some extra research was required. Tutor support and feedback was excellent. Clearly marked and extra added comments. The best feedback I have received on any correspondence course, and I have studied many! The topics will arrive in numerical order and there were a few that felt misplaced in difficulty.ie topic 1 was fairly detailed yet topic 8 more straightforward. However, that is a minor comment towards an excellent course.

Tuftylou's Response to Elsie246's Review

Written on: 25/05/2019

Great to hear course is in hard copy format, I've not been able to find this information until reading this review! So thanks!

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★★★★★

“Excellent Horticultural Course”

written by CaroHodges on 19/02/2018

Cannot rate this horticultural course highly enough - RHS, attention to detail, no pressure, fabulous resources.

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★★★★★

“Really enjoyable and learning loads ”

written by on 18/02/2018

Really enjoying the course. At last so many things are starting to make sense. I like that I can work at my own pace and can research as I go along if I think I don't understand something. Does take self-discipline. Tutor has been very supportive and feedback has been very helpful. I haven't had RHS exam results back yet and not having sat written exams for decades it was a bit daunting - not sure how I've done. Very happy though with support provided so far and looking forward to learning more. Techniques in knowing how to properly read the RHS exam questions and answer them for maximum points could usefully be included as a section at the end of Lesson 1.

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★★★★★

“Beyond the Basics is the best”

written by on 15/02/2018

Excellent choice of assignments to complete, i had trouble choosing 10 out of the 30 on offer! I chose a wide range of elements in Horticulture, some that i knew very little about. After completing each assignment i felt i had learnt a lot and this will be helpful to me going forward. As i am an avid gardener there are times of the year when the consistency of my coursework did vary and, although there are no time restrictions on each lesson you are aware of the overall period that is allowed to complete the course. My tutor was excellent with his advice and knowledge of all aspects of horticulture and i found it reassuring to hear from him each time I completed an assignment. I would recommend courses organised by the HCC as i have now completed 2 and am more than happy with everything they supplied within the course package and the support they offer.

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★★★★★

“The most informative material I've come across”

written by Ema55 on 18/01/2018

I have attempted to study elsewhere before starting our plant nursery. I found other material lacking in quality or enough detail. On reflection it was like reading a rubbish book with little explanation or suggestions. The material for RHS level 2 arrived yesterday and I've already started. I'm looking forward to the level 3's to come.....I've as yet to contact my tutor, but so far the material reads like a lesson. like someone is actually talking you through the subject. I'm doing this to add qualifications to my business and experience. I will be taking the RHS exams.

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★★★★★

“Get More gardening”

written by Tritonch on 11/01/2018

After reading about the course, I looked into some previous reports on the internet which were not as good as they could be, however after contacting HCC direct, felt comfortable in taking the course -Start Gardening – The Basics and Beyond. The course arrived with a decent sized folder, a guide to studying, the first two chapters and tips & hints on how to progress. The material is clearly laid out and is easy to follow. Being home study, you are able to pick up and put down as your time demands, however, make time. With home study, it is easy to put down and forget! Due to personal changes from enrolling and other activities, it took me an age (~7 months) to send my second assessment. Contact from the assessor is easy and his help and advice is of great support. He is following my own personal gardening projects and is available for advice. As an educator myself, I'm very impressed with the course, HCC staff and support throughout. After completing the course, however long that maybe due to work / garden projects / hobby & training I am seriously considering completing another course.

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★★★★★

“Turned my hobby into a passion”

written by 1946Martin on 11/01/2018

I took on a home study course with the Horticultural Correspondence College and opted for its flexible modular gardening course “Beyond The Basics’ which allows you to choose ten study areas from some 30 options. I am now half way through and it has hugely extended not just my knowledge of horticulture but my passion for a subject that is key to me in retirement. I have been particularly impressed by the quality of the support I am getting from my tutor who goes through my work in meticulous fashion and offers really helpful suggestions. All in all, I think the course represents outstanding value for money.

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★★★★★

“When it came to the first Unit being delivered to me I...”

written by Jermaineg413 on 10/01/2018

When it came to the first Unit being delivered to me I flicked through it with a slight panic as it took me straight back to the biology lessons in school. Having referred to my tutor (who continually assists and supports me) and thoroughly reading the material, I was surprised by how much I have retained and enjoyed. This was completely new to me, and when I signed up to the course I had been a full time gardener for all of 3 months and so felt as though someone, somewhere was looking at me with a raised eyebrow. I am now 5 units in with some of the highest results on my coursework that I have ever obtained! I would recommend this to anyone that has an interest in gardening, regardless of your educational background as although at first it appeared daunting now I understand the process and the writers style, I am enjoying it.

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★★★★★

“Brillent informative course”

written by oiDaugherty260 on 17/11/2017

Working full time and embracing a worth while new healthy hobby . The information I have not only received ,the back up amazing ,if I had questions, I have enjoyed doing my course tremendously,and am considering enrolling on another ,to improve my knowledge and skills further. There wasn’t anything I found unsuitable about my course in fairness,so I can not say any thing negative about it ?

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Our helpful community of likeminded people will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

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Asked by Michelleconway62 on 30th July 2021 Report this content
Hi, at the moment I'm doing a R.H.S course and im a little stuck on one of the questions. The question is this, imagine you have an allotment at the bottom of a sloping field. It has heavy clay soil over subsoil. The soil is lower than the paths surrounding the allotments after many years of throwing weeds onto the neighbouring bank. A ditch, slightly lower than the plot is nearby. Describe how you would improve the soil to grow vegetables successfully. Would anybody be so kind to point me in the right direction?

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Asked by Tuftylou on 25th May 2019 Report this content
Are the learning materials online videos or in paper format please?

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Answers (1)
Report this content Tritonch Written on: 28/05/2019
Hi Tuftylou The materials are paper format. You get sent a 'chapter' or two at a time for you to work through at your leisure. During the topic there are quizzes to check on what you have learned. At the end of the chapter there are a series of short answer and long answer exam questions relevant to what you have just read. I personally wrote out my answers in rough then typed them up and emailed them to HCC who pass them on to your 'tutor' for marking. The marked papers are then returned to you in about 10 - 14 days with any comments and pointers along with the next chapter. I found the course very easy to manage as I was able to take it to work and complete sections during breaks and then when I went away aswell making it convenient for learning when I was ready. Personally I was able to spend more time during the winter months rather than summer when I was busy with sporting competitions and the garden. I was also able to pass a few gardening questions outside of the course to my tutor who was able to offer excellent advice I hope this answers your question and you have fun on the course. Enjoy.
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