The Oxford College of Garden Design

The Oxford College of Garden Design is widely regarded as one of the top contemporary design schools in the world and is the industry leader in online education.  Our innovative courses are designed to equip you, with the skills necessary to set up and run your own design business.

Our courses come with full interactive video tutorials as well as webinar led lectures, allowing students to revisit lessons online time and again.

You will participate via weekly online video tutorials, download weekly assignments, have personal weekly webinars with your own personal tutor.  In addition, you will have daily contact with your fellow students and tutors via our virtual classroom where you can ask questions and share your work via the online gallery and forums.

Our tutors 

Duncan Heather

Duncan Heather

Principal & Director

Duncan Heather is one of Europe’s foremost garden designers, to-date having won five gold, one silver & one bronze medal and three best of show awards for his design work. Duncan sat on the SGD council from 2004-7 during which time he was responsible for producing the first industry standard fee scale as well as instigating the publishing of the first standard contract. He is co-author of the Garden Design Specification and is a regular lecturer for the Society of Garden Designers. He originally trained under, top international designer and author John Brookes and was subsequently offered a directorship in 1991, which he declined to concentrate on his own design practice in Henley-on-Thames. Today he lives in Oxfordshire where he both lectures and works, he travels extensively and undertakes a very wide range of projects around the world, from tiny courtyard gardens to large country estates.

Susan Dunstall

Senior Design Tutor

After a background in project management consultancy – essential skills to make sure projects are delivered to time and within budget, Susan qualified as a landscape designer with distinction. 

She set up her own design practice based near Burford in the Cotswolds and now designs gardens for private clients and undertakes commercial designs and planting schemes for hotels and schools working with Architects, Property developers and Landscape contractors.

John Heather

John Heather

Senior Construction Lecturer

Trained as an architect at the AA before joining a private practice and eventually working for a local authority. He is now a visiting lecturer at several of the top UK design schools and is widely respected as being the foremost expert in his field.

John has written the industry standard specification, which has now been adopted by the Society of Garden Designers.

Success Stories

  • Sophie Dixon, SGD Designer of the year & APLD Designer of the year

    Sophie Dixon, SGD Designer of the year & APLD Designer of the year

    Sophie won the Daily Telegraph international design competition scholarship to the Oxford College of Garden Design and graduated with honours before setting up her own practice in her home town of South Molton in Devon. She now deals with both residential and commercial projects from concept right through planning and construction supervision.



    Daniel Lobb originally studied Fine Art Sculpture, a catalyst for numerous installations and commissions, before complete his Postgraduate Diploma course at the Oxford College of Garden Design. Since this time he has focused his creative energy on designing inspirational gardens and public spaces.

  • Catherine McDonald, RHS Medallist

    Catherine McDonald, RHS Medallist

    Catherine’s work is of a modern, contemporary style characterised by simple, clean geometric designs with good spacial flow. Structured lines of trees, clipped hedges and blocks of planting are used to produce an uncluttered effect with a strong architectural influence. She currently works for Luciano Giubbilei in London and has also worked freelance for top designers Christopher Bradley-Hole and Anthony Paul.

  • Sarah Naybour, SGD Student of The Year

    Sarah Naybour, SGD Student of The Year

    On graduating Sarah Naybour was awarded Britain’s Student Designer of the Year by the Society of Garden Designers. She then went on to build up a varied client base in the Oxfordshire area including being commissioned by David Harber to design his show stand on Main Avenue at Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 & 2014.

  • Paul Ridley, RHS Medallist

    Paul Ridley, RHS Medallist

    A graduate (with Distinction) of the Oxford College of Garden Design Post-Graduate Diploma course, I bring my wide interests in design, art and history to the discipline of garden design. An academic background in the life-sciences and extensive plant knowledge helps me to create wonderful plantings appropriate to your new garden. The garden, in its many varied forms, has been a place of physical and spiritual refreshment, solace and recreation for thousands of years – I believe the need for these has never been greater than in the lives we lead today.

  • Olivia Stewart, RHS Young Designer of the Year

    Olivia Stewart, RHS Young Designer of the Year

    “It was a huge decision for me to throw in my job and go back to school, but don’t regret it for one minute. The course was best thing I have ever done but also the hardest I have ever had to work. The tutors were amazing and continue to give the support and confidence I need to succeed, even after graduation.” Now works as a landscape architect in a Swiss design and build firm Simmen Group.

  • Susan Dunstall, RHS Medallist

    Susan Dunstall, RHS Medallist

    A lifelong love of plants and gardening combined with a passion for design, art and drawing brought me to the profession of Landscape and Garden Design after a background in project management – essential skills to make sure projects are delivered to time and within budget. Working with low carbon companies has given me an interest and experience in sustainability and biodiversity, and wherever possible I work towards environmentally sustainable design and the use of locally sourced materials.

  • Charlotte Rowe, RHS Medallist

    Charlotte Rowe, RHS Medallist

    Charlotte Rowe Garden Design offers a full-service garden design consultancy to clients seeking an outside space which is both beautiful and functional. From small courtyards and roof terraces to full-scale rural landscaping, we offer a range of services including the development of the garden design concept, construction management, planting and garden styling. Based in London, Charlotte Rowe and her small team work on landscaping and design projects in London, the rest of the UK and internationally.
    (Attended the Classroom Based Course)

  • Luis Moreno Muñoz

    Luis Moreno Muñoz

    Luis Moreno graduated a few years ago as an Agricultural Engineer, a combination of Civil Engineering and Landscape Architecture. After gaining international experience thanks to his studies in Spain and Italy, he worked for three years as a Site Manager on the construction of public parks and gardens. That was what made him realize garden design was his passion. Since then has collaborated and worked in various projects with leading garden designers and businesses in the area.

  • Svend Rumbold

    Svend Rumbold

    Sven set up Rumbold-Ayers is a landscape and garden design practice, based near Salisbury, Wiltshire. We are a limited company with a small core staff, but we work with a network of professionals trained in related art, design, technical and environmental fields, both within the UK and abroad, to provide a comprehensive service.

  • Robert Littlepage, APLD, RLA, QWEL

    Robert Littlepage, APLD, RLA, QWEL

    Having attended the Oxford College of Garden Design, I realized that there was an opportunity to present a vocational based, hands-on approach to landscape design here in the USA. I gained my landscape architects certificate in 2012 and I now run a successful landscape architects practice in Auburn California as well as the California School of Garden Design.

  • Amani Safarini

    Amani Safarini

    After years of working as a Business Analyst in IT field, I decided to follow my true passion and enrolled in a Post Graduate Garden Design Program at Oxford College of Garden Design, one of the top Garden Design schools in the world. Having successfully completed my studies, my passion has finally led me to my dream job, creating outdoor spaces to suit different needs and lifestyles. I am currently based in Amman/Jordan, I work closely with architects, contractors, and clients, coming up with creative solutions to transform outdoor environments into functional, beautiful living-spaces.

  • Rosalind Rosewarne

    Rosalind Rosewarne

    Rosewarne is the founder of Rosewarne Gardens, a landscape design team based in Bedford, Bedfordshire. Enthusiastic about good planting and great garden design Rosewarne Gardens aims to locate the house within it’s wider environment using the garden spaces to make connections with the landscape it sits within. We utilise the styling, materials and colour palette of a client’s home to strenthen the visual link between the inside and outside spaces. Where possible we aim to use ecologically sound garden materials, to increase the wildlife friendliness and sustainable nature of your everyday outside spaces.

  • Colette Charsley

    Colette Charsley

    She believes that the essence behind good landscape and garden design is to connect to the inherent ‘spirit’ of the place (or genius locii, if you want to be technical). Once identified, it opens the gate to the creation of a beautiful and sustainable design, both in keeping with the site and grounded in its setting. Any garden or designed landscape forms the link between the geometric architecture of the building and the natural landscape. It is therefore vital to have a strong and coherent design that can form this bridge.

  • Jason Loh, Gold Medal Harrogate Flower Show

    Jason Loh, Gold Medal Harrogate Flower Show

    Originally from Singapore, Jason moved to the UK in the 1990s to explore new opportunities. Having been in the property industry for more than 10 years, he decided to explore his creative side and indulged his passion for garden design and horticulture. His design skills were developed and honed at Oxford.

  • Tracy Rich, ALPD Student of the Year

    Tracy Rich, ALPD Student of the Year

    After receiving a Masters Degree in Geography from California’s San Diego State University and a career in Geographic Information Systems in the US and UK, Tracy completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Residential Landscape Design at the Oxford College of Garden Design and now has her own practice Centrally based in Stirling, Scotland.

  • Wendy Matheson

    Wendy Matheson

    WM Garden Design based in Nairn Scotland offers a full garden design consultancy service to clients seeking an outside space which is both aesthetic and functional. From small urban courtyards, gardens and roof terraces to full-scale rural landscaping, a range of services are offered including the development of the initial garden design concept, construction management, planting and garden styling.

  • Bea Ray

    Bea Ray

    Having studied Art History at St Andrews University, Bea pursued a career as a picture researcher, working at the Bridgeman Art Library, the BBC, Heinemann Publishers and then as a freelancer, before enrolling on a Garden Design and Horticulture course at Witney College. This in turn led to her gaining a place on the intensive and highly regarded Professional Diploma course at Oxford.

  • Sabine Friedrich

    Sabine Friedrich

    A lifelong love of plants and gardening, combined with a passion for architecture and design, led me to the profession of garden designer. I studied landscape and garden designer at the Oxford College of Garden Design in the UK, and have completed their online postgraduate level diploma course. I have over the years tested ideas in your own garden for their practicality and suitability. My previous experience in sales, marketing and project management ensure that projects are completed within the given time and within budget.

  • Hannah Wilson

    Hannah Wilson

    I am a fourth generation Garden Designer, with a life-long interest in all things outdoors. Having grown up with my hands in the dirt helping my father, I spent my pre and during university life labouring for a Landscape Gardener. This has resulted in a unique insight into the build process and the practical considerations of this on design.

  • Fiona Daymond

    Fiona Daymond

    At The Designed Garden we welcome garden and landscape projects in the south we relish bringing your brief to life, whether your style is contemporary or traditional Award winning garden designer Fiona Daymond, studied our online post-grad level diploma in residential landscape design (graduating with distinction) and is committed to adding value, whilst fully realizing the potential of the plot.

  • Heather Galley

    Heather Galley

    After many years of appreciating beautiful gardens and dabbling in design Heather decided to further nurture her passion through formal training. She graduated with a Diploma in Residential Landscape Design (Distinction) from Oxford College of Garden Design. Following more than a decade in Project Management and Management Consultancy in and around the construction industry beforehand, she has solid experience of delivering a project not just on time but also within budget, together with a proven track record for surpassing clients’ expectations.

  • Andy Steadman

    Andy Steadman

    I believe that the creation of an outside space is very much a partnership between the client and the designer, beginning with what the client wants to achieve. As a designer I then translate those needs into a design that is beautiful, workable and within budget. A lifelong passion of plants, the great outdoors and landscaping combined with a love for design, architecture, art and sculpture and ten years work within landscape construction and project management has brought me to a profession in Landscape.

  • Ana Mari Bull, RHS Malvern Best Festival Garden 2014

    Ana Mari Bull, RHS Malvern Best Festival Garden 2014

    Having graduated with a distinction in 2011, and also awarded student of the year, she spent a short time as an Intern for Charlotte Rowe. Whilst still a student, she designed a garden which was featured on Channel 4’s programme ‘Grand Designs’. In addition to being a qualified designer, Ana is an RHS trained horticulturist with a passion for plants. Her designs have strong structure, softened by carefully crafted planting. As well as having her own studio, she has joined forces with a fellow student Lorenzo Soprani to form LSV Gardens & Asscociates.

Oxford College of Garden Design
Oxford Science Park,
John Eccles House,
Robert Robinson Avenue,
Oxon OX4 4GP

Telephone: +44 (0)1491628950

Ready to Change Your Life? Contact Us!

Terms of Enrolment


    1.1. The terms of the enrolment form and these terms and conditions constitute the terms of a legally binding contract ("the Contract") between you, the student, any invoice addressee set out in the enrolment form and the Oxford College of Garden Design (the School).

    1.2. Any enrolment application by you will be subject to written acceptance by the School. Our contract with you will begin following this written acceptance and upon payment of the admin fee as set out in the enrolment form.


    2.1. The School's Student Handbook is available here or on the School's website. This contains the School's rules and regulations and advice on how to prepare for and get the best out of the course. You must read the Handbook carefully before the course commences and comply with it and all other rules and regulations issued by the School from time to time.

    2.2. You must complete all of your online course unless prevented by events beyond your reasonable control.

    2.3. Subject to the Appeals Procedure set out in the Student Handbook, the School reserves the right not to issue you with a Diploma or to require you to cease completion of the course if:

    2.3.1. in the view of the Principal, your conduct or  participation is unacceptable; or

    2.3.2. you are absent, for more than 4 consecutive weeks and we have not reached an agreement with you about retaking the courses in the event of illness or any other event outside your reasonable control.

    2.3.3 Your instalment payment is unsuccessful.  

    2.4. The School reserves the right not to issue you with a Diploma if you fail to achieve the required standard.

    2.5. The School reserves the right to change the timing and/or content of any course and to substitute any tutor/lecturer at any time.

    2.6. Places on a course are not transferable.

    1. FEES

    3.1. Enrolment is subject to payment of an admin fee as set out in the enrolment form. The admin fee is non-refundable and will only be repaid if the School is unable to offer you a place on your chosen course or as set out in the contract.

    3.2. Following acceptance of your application by the School as per 1.2, you will be issued with an invoice. You and the invoice addressee will be contractually bound to pay the full amount of the School's fees (including all instalments) in the manner set out in the enrolment form. No refund will be made if you subsequently do not finish the course, or if you fail an exam.

    3.3. If you have elected to pay by instalments and subsequently do not proceed or make sufficient progress with the online course, all outstanding instalments will become immediately payable. If you do not elect to pay by instalments, you and the invoice addressee will be deemed to have elected to pay the full amount of the School's fees before the start of the course as set out in the enrolment form. This fee will be payable within 7 days of you starting the course.

    3.4. In the case of the diploma course, students are advised to take out insurance against personal accident or illness.

    3.5. Where any fee or part of a fee remains unpaid 14 days after the due date, the School reserves the right to:

    3.5.1. charge interest on the overdue amount at 2% above Base Rate per annum from the due date until actual payment; and/or

    3.5.2. suspend you and reallocate your place (without prejudice to the obligation to pay fees); and/or

    3.5.3. Demand payment in full of all outstanding fees and instalments.

    3.5.4 Suspend access to the course material and tuition until the payment is made.

    3.6. If you/the invoice addressee pay by electronic bank transfer, you/the invoice addressee must ensure that the School receives the full amount due after any bank charges that are payable.


    4.2. The School will not be liable for any loss or damages suffered by you, which is indirect, special or consequential or comprises loss of profits or anticipated savings arising under or in connection with this agreement.

    4.3. The School will not be liable for any loss suffered by you resulting from any event, which is beyond the reasonable control of the School.

    4.4 Nothing in these terms of enrolment shall limit or exclude the liability of each party for death or personal injury resulting from negligence or fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.


    5.1. The School reserves the right to cancel a course at any time subject to repayment of any enrolment fee and any fees received in respect of the course or the part of the course that has been cancelled.

    5.2. You and the invoice addressee have the right to cancel the Contract (and have all monies returned by the school) at any time before the date 14 working days after the date of the Contract (the cancellation date) This right to cancel must be exercised by notice in writing. If a notice of cancellation is sent by post, it can be posted at any time up to and including the cancellation date. Or, alternatively, you could use the model cancellation form provided at the bottom of these terms of enrolment. If you start attending the course before the cancellation date, the right to cancel will be lost.

    Your statutory rights are not affected

    5.3. If you wish to cancel your place on the Diploma course and give written notice of cancellation to the School not less 4 weeks before the start of the course (being the first day of the first term), the School will refund any fees paid, less the non-refundable enrolment fee. Refunds will not be made for shorter courses.

    5.4. You are not entitled to cancel the Contract in any circumstances other than as set out in the Contract.


    6.1 We will only use your personal information as set out in our [PRIVACY POLICY].

    1. 7. GENERAL

    7.1. You agree to keep confidential all course materials supplied to you by the School. Copyright and all other intellectual property rights in all course materials belong to the School. You agree to abide by Copyright law applying to any material you may incorporate into your own coursework submitted to the School.

    7.2. You agree to grant to the School in respect of any work produced by you during the course, a perpetual royalty-free licence to copy and display such work for promotional purposes only.

    7.3. The Contract contains all of the contractual terms agreed between you, the invoice addressee and the School. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of this contract.

    7.4. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will contact you to let you know if we plan to do this.

    7.5. No failure or delay by the School in enforcing any of its rights under the Contract shall be deemed to be a waiver of such right.

    7.6 If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force. Each of these paragraphs of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

    7.7. The Contract shall be governed by English law.

    Model Cancellation Form

    (Complete and return this form only if you wish to withdraw from the contract)


    To Oxford College of Garden Design, Oxford Science Park, John Eccles House, Robert Robinson Avenue, Oxon, OX4 4GP, +44 (0) 1491628950,

    I/We [*] hereby give notice that I/We [*] cancel my/our [*] contract of sale of the following goods [*]/for the supply of the following service [*],

    Ordered on [*]/received on [*],

    Name of the consumer(s),

    Address of consumer(s),

    Signature of consumer(s) (only if this form is notified on paper),


    [*] Delete as appropriate

Oxford College of Garden Design
Oxford Science Park,
John Eccles House,
Robert Robinson Avenue,
Oxon OX4 4GP

T:+44 (0)1491628950

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