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FdSc Arboriculture and Tree Management On Line

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.

Arboriculture - the science and practice of establishing and maintaining trees, is a rewarding and exciting industry to enter. If you are interested in becoming an arboriculturalist or currently work in the industry and want to progress into tree survey and inspection, set up your own business or take on a supervisory role, this is the course for you. This course integrates aspects of science and technology to ensure that you are equipped with the necessary skill set for work at management level.

You will learn how to survey and inspect trees, diagnose decay and integrate tree biology and soil science into tree care and management strategies. A focus is also given to tree production and establishment practices, highlighting a range of current and innovative new techniques to help meet the challenge of planting trees in urban locations. Tree law, tree protection, safe working practices and the social, environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits of trees are also covered. A choice of option modules allows you to develop your skills in either research methods and data analysis or in business and entrepreneurship.

The development of work related practical skills and experiences is an integral part of the Foundation Degree in Arboriculture and Tree Management. A module dedicated to covering vocational skills and the opportunity to carry out an investigative project related to the arboriculture industry are key elements of the course. Many modules contain real-life scenarios for you to apply your knowledge.

Visiting speakers and trips to sites, employers and nurseries will provide you with excellent opportunities for networking within the industry to set you on the path towards a career in Arboriculture and Tree Management.

Course modules

Year 1

Academic and Vocational Skills

This module aims to develop academic, practical and technical skills utilising first-hand experience within a relevant work environment.

Applied Tree Biology

This module aims to develop a thorough knowledge of tree growth and development, tree morphology and anatomy and tree adaptation to a range of environmental conditions. The module will explore the relationship between trees and a range of organisms (e.g. mammals, insects, fungi, bacteria) and allow students to apply sound biological knowledge to cultural and management practices.

Arboricultural Practices

This module aims to promote sustainable practice within the arboricultural industry by providing students with a comprehensive understanding of current techniques and equipment used in a range of arboricultural operations.

Essential Plant and Soil Science

This module aims to provide students with the essential knowledge of plants and soils needed to allow successful management of plant growth and development, concentrating on what plants require from the environment and how these materials are used as well as the properties and importance of soil in supporting plant growth. The module also aims to develop student’s skills in collection, analysis and presentation of data.

Year 2


This module aims to provide the necessary botanical skills to be able to identify a mixture of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants of significance in arboriculture, with some bias towards those most relevant in the UK. It also aims to teach students to understand the importance of a tree’s morphology, ecology, form and function, and cultural associations in tree selection and in conservation.

Pests, Diseases and Weeds

This module aims to deliver the basic diagnostic skills, pathology knowledge and understanding of disease management expected of professional practitioners in the areas of arboriculture, horticulture or turf grass. The module will introduce the range of organisms that can damage plants and then explore the characteristics of each category of organism in some detail. Current theories in pathology and pest management will be explored and a range of case studies, where pathological theory can be related to specific pest and disease situations will be investigated.

Tree Management and the Law

An appreciation of the law and the legal framework as it relates to trees and the wider environment is important to anybody working in arboriculture. This is especially the case when conducting tree inspections for the purposes of a tree health assessment, doing risk assessments, carrying out development site surveys and considering tree protection. The module will introduce methodology for the assessment of tree condition and the interpretation of biological, structural, environmental and historical data. Techniques for preventing or mitigating arboricultural impacts will be evaluated and their merits debated. Emphasis will be placed on the development of reasoned argument to support tree management decisions. Current mapping technologies to accurately represent trees in relation to their local environment will also be used.

Tree Production, Establishment and Biosecurity

This module aims to introduce students to the best industry standards and techniques in the production, movement, selection, planting and establishment of trees in a range of situations and environments from single trees in an urban environment to large forestry scale plantings.

Year 3

Environmental Plant Physiology

This module builds upon the knowledge of plants gained in previous plant science modules. It aims to extend your understanding of how plants interact with their environment and relate this to the management practices employed in industry. It will also consider how plant physiology is influenced by changes in environmental conditions, such as those associated with climate change, and how changes in a plant’s environment lead to changes and adaptations to plant processes that allow them to survive in a range of different environments.

Industry Project

You will use the skills developed in earlier modules to identify a suitable industry related project. Through planning, executing and then reporting on the project outcomes, you will be encouraged to use the industry project to develop your own personal skills as well as professional working relationships with industry contacts. Theories and skills of project management will be developed through supporting lectures.

Research Methods (Option)

The research methods module will enable you to develop a scientific approach to problem solving, which can act as a firm foundation for appraising research throughout your careers. You will gain an understanding of appropriate and inappropriate experimental design and this will enable a critical evaluation of investigational methodology and so enable you to both conduct, and evaluate the quality of investigations in your area of study.

Woodland and Veteran Tree Management

Woodlands provide many potential environmental, economic and social benefits and may be variously used for conservation, recreation and amenity. You will gain an insight into how woodland management practices vary according to the objectives of management, and draw up your own woodland management plan to suit a defined set of management objectives. The veteran trees that enhance both our rural and urban landscapes also need to be managed appropriately. The module aims to give you an understanding of the value and appropriate management of these valuable trees.

Business Development and Planning (Option)

This module will allow you to examine the business process and develop key business skills. Students will take an enterprising idea forward to formulate a successful business plan. Students will research, develop and present a sustainable business with reference to market research. The module will equip students with creative thinking and innovation skills and challenge them to find solutions for a sustainable business enterprise.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

  • 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above
  • BTEC/C&G Level 3
  • 2 Scottish Highers at C or above
  • 3 Irish Highers at C or above
  • International Baccalaureate at 24 points
  • NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline
  • Access to HE Diploma in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants must be involved in the industry, have recent previous industry experience or be able to get industry involvement within a few months of starting the course.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on the course will include the provision of notes, audio-visual presentations and interactive activities via an online learning environment.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support learning materials and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have remote access to specialist software, and an online reference facility.


Learning and Assessment:

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, and tutorials.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students need access to IT hardware and software, and the on-line learning environment and reference facility.

This course is designed to ensure a wide variety of assessment types are undertaken, many of which directly reflect industry-related documentation and practices. These assessment methods will include technical reports, portfolios, individual presentations, laboratory/practical reports and identification tests.

Additional Information:


What Work Experience can I get?



On successful completion of the course, students may apply to complete the BSc Arboriculture and Urban Forestry Top- up degree.


There are opportunities in the arboriculture industry for students with a Foundation Degree in Arboriculture.

Examples of possible careers include:

  • Arboricultural Officer
  • Tree Surveyor
  • Climbing Arborist
  • Team leader
  • Lecturer in arboriculture
  • Arboricultural contracts manager

Professional accreditations

Arboriculture degree courses at Myerscough College have been accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters. This Foundation degree provides an opportunity to progress on to completing an accredited degree course.

Special requirements

Students will need: a reliable broadband internet connection in order to access their learning materials and to communicate with their tutors and classmates.

Additional costs for items that are optional for the course:

  • Chainsaw boots and trousers - £500 approx.
  • Assessments for Industry Certificate of Competence - £400 approx