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Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture (Arboriculture Pathway)

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

100% of our learners who completed in 2019 went into full time employment within the arboriculture industry. They went on to work for a mix of small business, self employment and to work for large employers.

The types of job you could get include:
Forestry contractor/operator
Forest ranger
Tree worker (ground)
Tree worker (aerial)

Overview of the course: 

Arboriculture is the study of tree management. An arborist usually works with individual trees in the environment to make sure they are healthy, safe and well managed. They may be self employed tree surgeons or work for large companies like Amey who employ teams of arborists to maintain trees on construction sites, around the road and rail network and around electricity pylons.
This industry is much bigger than most people think!

Dis you know.... In 2018, there were around 20,900 workers engaged in arboricultural activities and made £709 million in contributions to UK GDP! (RHS)

Entry requirements: 

4 x GCSEs at grade 4 or above which must include either maths or English.
Level 2 Diploma in a land based subject achieved at Merit AND either maths or English at GCSE grade (4) with the other GCSE at grade 3.

Level 2 Functional Skills is accepted as an alternative to GCSE.

*Applications from adult learners who do not meet the entry requirements, but who have previous experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Practical Experience:
You do not need any previous practical experience to apply for this course, however due to the physical nature of the practical assessments, you must be able to safely achieve the practical elements of the course without assistance.

Our entry requirements are in place to support our students in achieving the qualifications they have chosen to study. Following changes in the assessment and grading of GCSE’s as a result of Covid-19, all new full-time students will be regularly assessed by East Durham College at an early stage in their study programme. This is to ensure that students are enrolled onto courses which suit their abilities – following assessment, there may be occasions when learners are transferred to a relevant course at a higher or lower level in order to ensure they are enrolled onto the right course for them to achieve success.


Principles of Health and Safety
Land based industry machinery operations
Plant and soil science
Estate skills
Tree felling and chainsaw use
Identification, planting, establishment and aftercare of trees
and arboriculture
Principles and identification of pests, diseases and disorders of trees
Urban and community forestry projects
Woodland habitat management
Principles of tree science

How is the course assessed?: 

To achieve this qualification you must study for 2 years.
To gain this qualification, candidates will successfully
achieve the following assessments:
- Three externally set, externally moderated
- Two externally set, externally marked exams, sat
under examination conditions
- 150 hours Industry Placement
- Specialist unit assignments

Further study options after this course: 

This qualification will give you UCAS points. You could choose to progress to a range of university university degrees in arboriculture, land & estate management and forestry /woodland management.

Length of the course: 

The course is taught over 2 years. Approximately 50% of your time will be spent in the classroom with the rest being spent developing practical skills.


Houghall Campus, Durham

When does the course start: 

September 2021


Fees for this course are;

Free if you are under the age of 19 on the 31st August 2021

Free if you are aged 19-23 on 31st August 2021 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification – contact us to check your qualifications

Loan funded if you already have a full level 3 qualification or are aged 24 and over on 31st August 2021 - contact us to check your qualifications and for details of how to apply for an Adult Learner loan, which you won’t have to start repaying until you earn over £25,725 per annum.

Alternatively you may self fund the course. If you need to pay fees they are:


*you must have been a legal resident of the UK/EU for the last 3 years

*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (11 Oct 2021 12:15) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.

Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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If you're not quite ready to apply for this course and would like some more information or to speak to a member of staff then send us an enquiry.

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