City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate in Arboriculture (360)

About the course

This course is designed for students who wish to develop the core practical skills and knowledge to seek employment in the Arboriculture industry. It will prepare you for entry into a practical employment position within the industry, alternatively it provides an ideal progression route to higher education.

(NB: All programmes are based on credit accumulation. Each unit of study is worth either 10 or 20 credits towards the total amount needed to achieve the qualification).

Students will also receive training and assessment in a range of additional qualifications, which will enhance their employability. During the course students will gain a combination of both academic knowledge and practical skills such as the identification, planting and establishment of trees and shrubs; understanding of the health and safety legislation; foundation knowledge in plant and soil science along with tree and shrub pruning skills. You will gain practical skills in using and maintaining arboricultural equipment including chainsaws (2 stroke and Electric), hand saws, climbing equipment and additional land based machinery.

Course modules

Year 1

Principles of Health and Safety

You will be able to understand common health and safety practices and processes which they will encounter within the workplace. The land-based sector has one of the worst fatal accident records of any major industrial sector and a lack of basic training and/or competency is often a contributory factor. There is a need for new entrants to these industries to gain essential health and safety knowledge in order to minimise harm to themselves and to improve attitudes and behaviour in the workplace. In addition you will have the opportunity to consider factors which are specific to your chosen industry, Arboriculture.

Undertake and review work related experience in the land based industries

The aim of this unit is to give you the skills needed to identify, participate in and review work experience in the arboriculture industry. You will be taught the relevant skills such as CV creation; where to seek and apply for jobs within the arboriculture industry; how to prepare for interview and secure a placement; undertake a period of suitable work experience and report back upon the time in industry.

Land based industry machinery operations

You will study the purpose and operation of land based machines including machine operating and working principles. You will explore routine maintenance and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. You will also develop knowledge of the legal requirements and industry best practice guidance for land based machinery. You will learn how to safely operate and maintain machinery and consider the different conditions in which machinery might operate.

Plant and soil science

You will be able to develop an understanding of soil characteristics and their relationship to crop growth and development. You will investigate how plants grow and develop, through a knowledge of their structure and physiology. In addition, you will have the opportunity to consider factors which influence production of commercial crops and other plants, which provides a basis for plant and soil management techniques.

Principles of tree felling and chainsaw use

The purpose of this unit is to provide you with an understanding of the principles of chainsaw maintenance, felling small trees (200- 300mm at felling height) and stump removal and how these can be applied in practice. You will identify and understand a range of petrol-driven chainsaws and felling techniques currently used within the industry, to develop efficient chainsaw maintenance skills and to carry out basic repairs and troubleshooting.

Identification, planting, establishment and aftercare of plants for forestry and arboriculture

The purpose of this unit is to provide you with an understanding of the identification, planting and care of trees and how this can be put into practice. You will be able to identify trees and shrubs by botanic name and specify woody plants that are suitable for the situation and site. In addition, you will be able to plant a range of tree types and provide immediate aftercare. You will also be able to specify future maintenance need.

Principles and identification of pests, diseases and disorders of trees

You will develop a broad perspective of tree pathology and understand the range of common biotic pathogens and abiotic disorders. The signs and symptoms of common biotic pathogens and abiotic disorders will be described and the life cycles of biotic pathogens will be examined. In addition, you will evaluate appropriate monitoring, prevention and control measures for common biotic pathogens.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

Learners are normally aged 16 or over with a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, including English Language and Maths, or equivalent qualifications.

Available for 19+ students allowing a “fast-track” option to HE. 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above including English Language and Maths or Science or a Level 2 qualification (eg First Diploma at Merit level including at least 1 key skill or functional skills at level 2 in either Application of Number or Communication) or equivalent qualifications.

Additional Entry Requirements:

Applicants for courses in Arboriculture studies are expected to show a strong commitment to the industry and a strong personal statement. Candidates must be willing to work outdoors in all weathers, work as part of a team on practical and theory tasks, work on physically demanding tasks and have a passion for the industry.

Learning and assessment

Assessment of technical qualifications is a mixture of internal practical assessment of skills conducted by the teaching team, internal written assignments marked by the teaching team, an externally set synoptic examination that combines the knowledge and practical skills of all of the mandatory units, an external online exam that combines the knowledge of all mandatory units and an online health and safety exam. The assessments and exams are spread throughout the year.


As a course equivalent to A Level the Level 3 City & Guilds Technical Certificate is an ideal spring board for progression to an Level 4 qualification such as the RFS Certificate in Arboriculture. The Technical Certificate will allow a student to gain UCAS points to progress onto a Higher Education Course such as the following:

* FdSc Arboriculture

* BSc Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

* FdSc Horticulture

* BSc Top-up Horticultural Science & Management


Employment opportunities in the Arboriculture industry is currently excellent. The Level 3 Technical Certificate course provides the qualifications and experience for entry into the industry at an operational level with future prospects for management. These include positions such as climbing arborist; groundsperson; linesperson; self-employed arborist.

Special requirements

Costs that are mandatory for the course:

Chainsaw Boots: approx £100-250

Laboratory Coat: approx £10

Additional Qualifications (19+ learners): approx £150.00 per NPTC assessment.

Costs that are optional for the course:

Clothing/Equipment: approx £150

Trips: approx £50


As part of your course of study you will be expected to source a position of work experience with an employer in the Arboriculture industry. This position is a mandatory requirement of this qualification and will provide you with invaluable insight as to the work you can expect to undertake following your time in study.

Arboriculture at Myerscough

Myerscough introduced the UK’s first Foundation Degree, the first Honours Degree, the first online Degree and, most recently, the first Masters Degree in Arboriculture. We have a highly experienced team of staff who are well regarded in the industry and regularly deliver training and seminars to those working and researching the subject. The College boasts fantastic arboriculture facitilities and is home to the purpose built National Centre for Arboriculture, a state of the art teaching facility for the subject.