Diploma of Landscape Design


  • Study this Diploma of Landscape Design (AHC50610) online when it suits you
  • Upgrade your horticulture & design skills to meet current industry standards
  • This course is currently in the process of being replaced in line with training package requirements to ensure that our courses are current and are relevant to industry practices.

    Contact OTEN to find out more.

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At a glance

Study mode



OTEN – Open Training & Education Network (RTO 90004)
Career Opportunities

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Endorsed by the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers.


Relevant experience & regular access to 2 different landscape sites



Course length
Self-paced (e.g. 38 hrs a week = finish in 1 year, 29 hrs a week = finish in 18 months). Complete within 18 months.
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Written & graphic assignments
Start date

This course is currently in the process of being replaced. Contact OTEN about enrolling.

OTEN – Open Training & Education Network (RTO 90004)

TAFE NSW - OTEN - Open Training and Education Network (RTO 90004) is the largest online TAFE provider in Australia.

You can study OTEN’s accredited online TAFE courses at your own pace, and start anytime.

OTEN’s flexible courses are developed in consultation with relevant industry groups – to ensure you build the skills that are valued by employers.

TAFE NSW - Open Training & Education Network (RTO 90004) trading as Open Training & Education Network


The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


  • Certificate III in Horticulture or demonstrated experience in the landscape design or construction industry

You will also need:

  • Regular access to 2 different landscape sites

If you pay for the course using a VET FEE-HELP government loan, you need to:

  • provide a Year 12 Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (from an Australian agency), OR
  • successfully complete a Language Literacy & Numeracy (LLN) test.

What you'll learn

You'll learn how to:

  • Conduct a site visit
  • Operate CADD programs
  • Complete contract documentation
  • Carry out physiological landscape site assessment
  • Identify an extensive range of plants
  • Plan for sustainable land improvement
  • Develop landscape design concept drawings
  • Develop a schedule of works for landscape projects

Course structure

12 units

Core units

  1. AHCDES503A - Assess landscape sites

    This unit discusses both the means available to the consultant to assess sites and the various assessment types you might be required to provide:

    • user, built form, cultural and heritage assessment
    • desktop analysis site assessment
    • assessment of heritage listed, or rare, threatened or endangered species
    • assessment and application of environmental legislation and controls
    • describing development impacts, and arboricultural assessment
    • recommendations for removal / remediation /augmentation/ enhancement of site features
    • preparing site assessment documentation
  2. AHCDES504A - Design for construction of landscape features

    This unit looks at the details necessary to develop landscape design drawings into landscape construction documentation. It covers the processes involved with the documentation of landscape construction elements and discusses:

    • interpreting and responding to detailed survey, architectural and engineering drawings
    • developing landscape design concept drawings to detailed design and tender drawings
    • landscape materials and their various properties such as strength and durability, as well as appearance and how they are installed in the landscape works
    • specifying landscape dimensions, qualities and finishes
    • documenting landscape plans and details to construction standards
    • providing planting schedules and planting maintenance schedules
  3. AHCDES501A - Design sustainable landscapes

    This unit covers the processes of designing sustainable landscapes and covers:

    • assessing sites for sustainable land use- and identifying any threats to sustainability
    • protecting water resources, riparian zones and vegetation in a development area
    • anticipating climate change impacts on site developments
    • outlining an integrated approach to land and water management
    • current and future environmental legislation and controls that affect landscape sites
    • designing for the health and sustainability of soils and plants
    • utilising new technologies and new landscape products towards sustainable practices
    • preparing detailed plans for sustainable land improvement
  4. BSBDES403A - Develop & extend design skills

    This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop and extend skills as a practising designer.

  5. AHCLSC502A - Manage landscape projects

    This unit covers the process of managing landscape projects and defines the standard required to:

    • receive/prepare landscape project documentation
    • develop a schedule of works
    • order and arrange for purchase and delivery of goods and services
    • organise and manage works program and works team
    • identify sub-contracted work and program and manage subcontractors
    • identify and rectify non-conforming elements to the contract
    • prepare and manage on-going maintenance program until handover
  6. AHCBUS503A - Negotiate & monitor contracts

    This unit covers the negotiation and monitoring of contracts and defines the standard required to:

    • establish agreements with sources external to the enterprise
    • complete contract documentation
    • monitor the performance of contracts
  7. AHCPGD502A - Plan the restoration of parks & gardens

    This unit covers the process of planning the restoration of parks and gardens of historical or cultural significance, developing a comprehensive restoration program of works and the development of a relevant site plan, specifications and work procedures and defines the standard required to:

    • assess a restoration site and develop a concept plan
    • determine the requirements of restoration works
    • document a detailed plan, specification and quotation
    • document all procedures required for restoration and ongoing maintenance
    • document the schedules of work for restoration and maintenance
  8. AHCDES502A - Prepare a landscape project design

    This unit covers the process of preparing a landscape document for Development Approval and covers:

    • responding to the client brief
    • researching and responding to Consent Authority conditions
    • conducting a site visit and preparing a site inventory
    • preparing a site analysis
    • developing softworks and hardworks design drawings
    • developing specification notes, landscape details, and a landscape maintenance schedule
    • preparing a landscape concept plan for Development Application submission to Council
    • project budgeting, timelines and meeting client expectations
  9. AHCBUS504A - Prepare estimates, quotes & tenders

    This unit covers the processes involved with preparation of estimates, quote and tenders and defines the standard required to:

    • research the details of the quoted service and clarify with the client
    • identify requirements for estimate, quote or tender including format, specifications and deadline for submission
    • identify and cost the resources and services required to fulfil the tender and check for availability
    • investigate options for supplies, services, contractors and consultants with current pricing structures and availability
    • develop a work schedule with timelines and expenditure
    • consider potential problems and risks and develop contingency plans
    • develop detailed costing sheets with the final quoted cost, including an estimated margin for risk
    • submit the completed tender to the client with supporting information including details of organisation's previous work and client feedback
    • seek feedback from the client to ensure information supplied is sufficient
  10. CUVACD302A - Produce computer-aided drawings

    This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use a range of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) programs to produce drawings. The focus of this unit is on the technical skills required to operate CADD, not on design skills which are covered in other units. This unit discusses:

    • basic principles of CADD
    • ways in which CADD is used within specific industry contexts
    • typical features and functions of CADD programs, including drawing tools, view displays, edit functions, working with layers, plotting and printing
    • technology skills to use a range of features of CADD software
    • planning and organising skills to plan work tasks in a logical sequence
    • problem-solving skills to identify and respond to the need for adjustments in drawings
    • self-management skills to complete work within agreed timeframes
    • intellectual property issues and legislation associated with the use of CADD
    • WHS issues associated with the use of computers
  11. AHCWRK509A - Provide specialist advice to clients

    This unit covers the process of providing specialist advice and defines the standard required to:

    • maintain technical currency for specialist knowledge
    • maintain a current and documented interpretation of the legislative, environmental and financial implications for industry
    • cultivate and maintain industry wide sources of information and advice
    • determine client needs by professional consultation
    • provide information with comprehensive advice and recommendations detailing implications for the client
    • document financial and implementation issues for the individual client
    • evaluate the relevance, applicability and timeliness of advice by client survey and review of financial benefits
  12. AHCPCM503A - Specify plants for landscapes

    This unit covers specifying plants for landscapes and defines the standard required to:

    • inspect and identify an extensive range of plants
    • determine the suitability of a plant for a purpose
    • evaluate and document the selection of plants
    • specification of replacement plantings
    • monitor and record quality control of selections
    • document a report of the identification, evaluation and specification process

Support and delivery

Studying online explained

When you study online with OTEN, you can:

  • Study from anywhere, when it suits you best.
  • Graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.
  • Get comprehensive support from teachers via phone and email.
  • Access course materials online.
  • Interact with teachers and fellow students via platforms like virtual classrooms, forums and video calls.

OTEN's online courses can also be referred to as distance education. Some hard-copy course materials and assessments may be accessed or submitted via post.

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