Skip to content

Science of Gardening

Science of Gardening is for everyone, from avid green-thumbs with a lifetime of experience to those planting their first seedling.

Sustainable living starts at home, so in this unit you’ll learn the science behind traditional and modern gardening techniques, and this will change the way you see your plants, and change the way you garden.

Important and interesting questions for gardeners include: Why are plants arranged into families, and what features do they share? What are plants made of, and how do they grow? Why does soil type and nutrient availability affect plant health? How do seeds know when to germinate, and how does the environment shape the way plants grow? What determines when plants flower and set seed?

Answers to all these questions and more when you study Science of Gardening.


100% HECS Scholarships may be available for domestic students in 2018-19. If applicable, you will not incur a tuition fee or debt when studying Science of Gardening. This unit is offered within the Diploma of Sustainable Living.


Online
Science of Gardening is offered fully online and you can study from anywhere in the world. You can complete the entire Diploma of Sustainable Living fully online.


What you will learn

On successful completion of this unit you will:


  • Be able to describe features of plants, pronounce scientific names with confidence, and identify important plant families
  • Understand the relationship between the internal structure of plants and their use of water and light to grow
  • Understand soil properties (pH, texture, structure) and soil chemistry that contribute to healthy growth of plants
  • Understand the controls of plant development: the signals for seed germination, flowering, and even senescence
  • Be able to manipulate plant growth to produce more flowers and fruit in your garden
  • Understand how vegetative propagation is possible and desirable in many garden plants
  • Understand that sexual reproduction can lead to diversity, and why an understanding of self-incompatibility and ploidy levels is essential in many cultivated plants
  • View gardening through a scientific lens.

Location: Online

Next Intake: TBC

General Enquiries:
ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au
+61 3 6226 6365

What students say...

“I am not really a ‘sciencey’ person, so to try a science course and feel like I was ‘getting it’ has been great!

I especially like that I can look back on the course material to deepen my understanding as I put my new gardening knowledge into practice. Thank you!”


– Claire from Victoria.

Further study opportunities available:

Diploma of Sustainable Living

Fees and Scholarships

Domestic students* may receive a full HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) scholarship for the Science of Gardening unit in 2018-19.

The HECS scholarship is applied to your record as soon as possible after you enrol in the Science of Gardening unit within the Diploma of Sustainable Living or another College approved course. Initially, your invoice in eStudent may reflect the cost of the unit. Sometimes it may take up to a week after your enrolment is processed, but please be assured your correct invoice will appear in eStudent after this time.

You may notice in the University of Tasmania Course and Unit Handbook that the costs of units are explicitly stated. Please be assured that this cost is covered by your HECS Scholarship for the Science of Gardening unit in 2018-19.

Science of Gardening is one of many units available to study under the Diploma of Sustainable Living. Students can study as many of these units as they like under the HECS Scholarships available. Study in 2018-19 may attract HECS tuition fees, however for domestic students these may be deferred under the HECS-HELP Scheme. For further information on HECS-HELP consult the Australian Tax Office (ATO) guidelines.

Students will also receive a waiver for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). The funds from this fee are normally allocated to the improvement of services and amenities for students of the University for both on-campus and online students. For the Science of Gardening unit, the fee has been waived and the waiver will be automatically applied during the enrolment process.

A requirement for all students receiving a HECS Scholarship for this unit is compulsory completion of the eCAF.

The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Completing the form is a requirement for all students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the Science of Gardening unit content. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 524KB).

Should you have any problems submitting your eCAF, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone (03) 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

*Domestic students include Australian citizens or students holding Permanent Humanitarian Visas or with Permanent Resident Status. Citizens of countries outside of Australia (excluding New Zealand), are not eligible to study this unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for Science of Gardening?

The Science of Gardening unit is available to Australian citizens; and for NZ citizens, Permanent Residents and Humanitarian Visa Holders provided all studies are on-shore in Australia. You will need to have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.

Applications are submitted online. Please note that you will be applying for Z1K Diploma of Sustainable Living, as Science of Gardening is a unit within that Diploma.

What are the dates for the next offering of this unit?

The dates for the next session are to be confirmed. If you're interested in being informed when it becomes available, please submit an enquiry.

The current session of the unit is running from 03 December 2018 until 24 February 2019.

It contains a study break from 24-Dec until 30-Dec. No need to study over Christmas! Please note the unit is self-paced, so information will still be available if you wish to go over it during the break.

When do applications close for the next offering of this unit?

Applications are currently closed. 

The dates for the next session are to be confirmed. If you're interested in being informed when it becomes available, please submit an enquiry.

Are there any pre-requisites for the unit?

There are no subject pre-requisites, although you must meet the General Entry Requirements of the University as you are enrolling in the Diploma of Sustainable Living in order to study this unit. If you require any further information, please see the Admission Requirements.

What will I be required to do when studying in this unit?

You should expect to spend approximately 4-5 hours/week undertaking study in this unit.

On successful completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to describe features of plants, pronounce scientific names with confidence, and identify important plant families.
  • Understand the relationship between the internal structure of plants and their use of water and light to grow.
  • Understand soil properties (pH, texture, structure) and soil chemistry that contribute to healthy growth of plants.
  • Understand the controls of plant development: the signals for seed germination, flowering, and even senescence.
  • Be able to manipulate plant growth to produce more flowers and fruit in your garden.
  • Understand how vegetative propagation is possible and desirable in many garden plants.
  • Understand that sexual reproduction can lead to diversity, and why an understanding of self-incompatibility and ploidy levels is essential in many cultivated plants.
  • View gardening through a scientific lens.

I don't own a computer; can I still apply for the unit?

You will need to have access to a computer to complete this unit. If you don't have your own computer, perhaps someone in your family or a friend has one, or you could use a computer at your local library, on campus in student areas, or at the university library.

You also require a reliable internet connection. You should expect to download about 1-2 GB of data each month while studying the unit online.

Do I need to be available online at specific times?

Generally, you can complete the unit work in your own time. Please note that content is usually released on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The unit coordinators may choose to present some content in the form of a live web conference. You will be made aware of this via news items during the semester.

Are there exams or assignments?

There will be ongoing assessments throughout the semester. Assessments could include such items as online quizzes composed of multiple-choice and short answer questions (some of which may be time-limited), online discussion forums and/or presenting your gardening analysis. There are no exams for this unit.

Is there any face-to-face teaching?

No. The Science of Gardening unit is fully online.

Who would benefit from studying Science of Gardening?

Anyone who wants a healthy and productive garden, and is interested in sustainable living. The fundamental science knowledge in this unit will either expand what you already know about gardening, to take your patch of dirt to the next level, or give you a great foundation to build upon as you embark on your gardening journey.

What is the Diploma of Sustainable Living?

The Diploma of Sustainable Living brings together a wide range of topics from across the University, all structured around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Diploma aims to provide students with a range of exciting options to link their lived experiences as individuals, consumers, and citizens with sustainability oriented learning.

it is a flexible, interdisciplinary course that allows students to design their own pathway by choosing a combination of units within four specialisations based upon personal preference, experiences, and passions. Graduates of the Diploma of Sustainable Living will be able to practically apply their knowledge to their homes and in the community, or use it as a foundation for exciting initiatives a core in sustainability.

The Diploma is a potential pathway to further study at Bachelor’s level in a range of science, humanities and health related disciplines. Students will automatically be enrolled in the Diploma by applying for Science of Gardening.

How do I find out more about Science of Gardening units on offer?

Please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

Why is the University offering these units with concession tuition fees?

From time to time the University of Tasmania offers some units with concession tuition fees. These are generally online units which help increase community awareness and skills in areas such as healthy living and social engagement.

For many potential students, the cost of university study is a significant barrier; and those who haven't studied for some time appreciate the opportunity to develop confidence in their ability to succeed at university without the pressure of tuition fees.  In addition, we believe that the development of skills in these units is critical to community advancement and social cohesion – and these concessions are part of meeting our university's broad community obligation.

What do I need to do to enrol and what support is available?

Students must enrol in the Diploma of Sustainable Living to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this unit. 

We hope that you will be encouraged by the quality and flexibility of Science of Gardening, and the academic support available, to continue with further study and complete the Diploma of Sustainable Living. We are aware of the need to manage work-life balance, and we offer flexible learning plans that can help tailor a program to suit individual circumstances. We work closely with our students to support their progression through these learning opportunities.

Is it a requirement that I complete a full course at the University of Tasmania?

The Diploma of Sustainable Living has been designed to be completed step by step as you build your enthusiasm for sustainability oriented learning. We realise that students' circumstances change due to financial and family commitments and there is no formal obligation to complete a course if your circumstances make that difficult. We are here to help you come up with a study plan based on your personal circumstances.

It is possible to have a break from study and return at a later date and to change course, if your interests change.

How do I apply for admission to Science of Gardening?

Applications are now closed.

The dates for the next session are to be confirmed. If you're interested in being informed when it becomes available, please submit an enquiry.

When available, applications are made online via the University applications portal.

What supporting documents do I need to apply for Science of Gardening?

If you are required to provide Citizenship documentation (if you have changed citizenship and are now an Australian citizen) or Permanent residency documentation (if you are not an Australian citizen but living under a permanent residency visa in Australia) you can scan and email them to us at ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au.

What is the cost of this unit?

The University of Tasmania may offer a HECS Scholarship to domestic participants of this unit. You may notice in the University of Tasmania Course and Unit Handbook that the costs of units are explicitly stated.

Please be assured that this is a cost covered by your HECS Scholarship for Science of Gardening unit when studied under the Diploma of sustainable Living.

What is a HECS Scholarship?

The cost of university education is usually shared between the Australian Government and the student, with the student contributing a proportion of the cost and payable to the university. This tuition fee is commonly known as HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme). The University of Tasmania has offered to forgo the student contribution via a HECS Scholarship to all students studying the Science of Gardening unit within the Diploma of Sustainable Living. This arrangement will be negotiated each year and is only guaranteed for one year at a time.

What is an eCAF?

The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Even though there is no cost to a student undertaking the Science of Gardening unit, completing the form is a mandatory requirement for all Commonwealth supported students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the unit content. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 524KB).

When do applications close?

Applications are now closed.

The dates for the next session are to be confirmed. If you're interested in being informed when it becomes available, please submit an enquiry.

When available, applications are made online via the University applications portal.

How will I know if my application is successful and if I have received a place in Science of Gardening?

Once your application has been assessed, and if you have been successful, you will receive a letter/email from the university with details about your new University of Tasmania student username, email address and password. You will use your username and password to access the course content (through the MyLO online learning platform), as well as eStudent to manage your enrolment details and to submit your eCAF.

Please allow 10 working days for us to process your application however if you have not received an email or letter with your password/login details after 10 days, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form so that we check your application.

What happens if my application is not successful? Will someone contact me?

All applicants will be advised about the outcome of their application.

What happens if I begin the unit after the official start date?

The Science of Gardening unit is delivered fully online. For this reason, you can study flexibly to make up for any time that you may have missed. Please note however that there will be assessment tasks due on certain dates, so please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form, to discuss starting the unit late.

How do I get started?

Instruction guides will be available to assist you in the online application and enrolment process. If you have any questions, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

I have received a login and password but I can't access MyLO, UTAS email or eStudent, what do I do?

Please contact the UTAS IT Service Desk for assistance: Ph +61 3 6226 1818 (8:30am - 6:00pm weekdays and 10:00am - 1:00pm weekends and Tasmanian state wide public holidays) or 1300 304 903 (local call charge within Tasmania) or Email: service.desk@utas.edu.au.

I am a previous student and haven't received a username and password, what do I do?

If you have studied with UTAS before, your login details will be the same as they were previously.

If your password has expired, you can change this through the MyPassword Service.

If you have forgotten your login details, please contact please contact the UTAS IT Service Desk for assistance: Ph +61 3 6226 1818 (8:30am - 6:00pm weekdays and 10:00am - 1:00pm weekends and Tasmanian state wide public holidays) or 1300 304 903 (local call charge within Tasmania) or Email: service.desk@utas.edu.au.

What is an eCAF?

The eCAF (electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form) is a government form that is available online through eStudent. Even though there is no cost to a student undertaking the Science of Gardening unit, completing the form is a mandatory requirement for all Commonwealth supported students. Instructions for how to complete the eCAF form will be included in the unit content. Also see eCAF Instruction Guide (PDF 524KB).

What is Census date?

Every unit offered by a university has a published census date. Census date is the last day a student can withdraw from a unit without receiving a financial penalty. For the current offering of this unit this date is 20 December 2018.

As a full HECS scholarship is being applied to all students studying Science of Gardening in 2018-19 however, students may withdraw after this date without receiving a financial penalty - but academic penalty may be applied. For withdrawal enquiries after census date, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

How do I pass the unit without having final exams?

There will be ongoing assessments throughout the semester. Assessments could include such items as online quizzes composed of multiple-choice and short answer questions (some of which may be time-limited), online discussion forums and/or presenting your genealogical work.

What does online learning look like?

Online learning may involve combining online lectures, tutorials, workshops, group work, problem-based learning or practical exercises with other approaches such as:

  • Video-conferencing
  • Resource-based learning (for example using print, video and audio)
  • Independent/group projects
  • Discussion forums

Flexible teaching and learning approaches are:

  • Learner-centred
  • About good teaching and learning practices for all students
  • Less time- and place-dependent than more traditional forms of teaching
  • Ones that increase the learner's responsibility for his or her own learning

Learning modules will be scheduled for release across the semester (often weekly or fortnightly).

When do I receive my unit outline?

Unit outlines will be available on the student unit website (MyLO) when study commences.

What will I be required to do when studying in this unit?

You should expect to spend approximately 4-5 hours/week undertaking study in this unit. On successful completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to describe features of plants, pronounce scientific names with confidence, and identify important plant families.
  • Understand the relationship between the internal structure of plants and their use of water and light to grow.
  • Understand soil properties (pH, texture, structure) and soil chemistry that contribute to healthy growth of plants.
  • Understand the controls of plant development: the signals for seed germination, flowering, and even senescence.
  • Be able to manipulate plant growth to produce more flowers and fruit in your garden.
  • Understand how vegetative propagation is possible and desirable in many garden plants.
  • Understand that sexual reproduction can lead to diversity, and why an understanding of self-incompatibility and ploidy levels is essential in many cultivated plants.
  • View gardening through a scientific lens.

I have started studying this unit and I am struggling to keep up. Where can I get help?

Please contact your lecturer in the first instance.

Alternatively, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form and we will be able to assist you with other options.

What happens if I begin the unit after the official start date?

The Science of Gardening unit is delivered fully online. For this reason, you can study flexibly to make up for any time that you may have missed. Please note however that there will be assessment tasks due on certain dates, so please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form, to discuss starting the unit late.

I have completed my unit. How do I obtain my results?

The official release of results will occur on the date specified in the UTAS calendar. These results will be accessible from 9am on the specified date and are accessible via eStudent.

Can I use my Science of Gardening unit result as credit towards a degree?

The Science of Gardening unit is part of the formal requirements for the Diploma of Sustainable Living.

I wish to enrol in another unit at UTAS. How do I go about this?

To enrol in another unit, you will need to contact the College Office. For further assistance, please contact us by email ASC.Contact@utas.edu.au, phone +61 3 6226 6365, or the Contact Us online form.

Can I get a copy of my results?

You can access your eStudent account to obtain an informal statement of your results. Further information on academic records and transcripts may be found at Examinations & Results.