Plants and Health

Plants and Health

Heartwood’s new Plants and Health course

We are working with an English Awarding Organisation to create a Level 5 Diploma in Plants and Health which will be regulated by Ofqual. We are currently developing the course and will make an announcement in due course as to when the first student cohort will start: the currently anticipated start date is September 2021.

This new course is a non-clinical programme designed for people who would like to learn about herbs and herbal medicine at a professional level for reasons such as:

  • working with medicinal plants in other healing modalities such as bodywork
  • growing herbs or working in herbal medicine manufacture
  • developing group experience workshops with healing plants

PLANTS & HEALTH 2-Year Diploma course outline


All Year 1 modules are core modules with no options

Term 1
  • Medicinal plant knowledge
  • Pharmacology and pharmacognosy
  • Human sciences – how the body works part 1
  • Biophilia
Term 2
  • Ecology
  • Research methods
  • Herbal pharmacy skills
  • Human sciences – how the body works part 2
Term 3 

Tutor-supervised project work


Students choose four modules to study in Term 1, and four to study in term 2 from the following options (those in italics are indicative rather than definitive at present):

Term 1
  • Botany
  • Horticulture methods
  • Ethnobotany and indigenous medicine
  • Poisonous plants
  • Herb-drug interactions
  • Mycology and edible seaweeds
  • Nature immersion therapy
  • Green exercise and nature play
Term 2
  • Rewilding
  • Ethical wild harvesting
  • Greenhouse and nursery management
  • Plants and folklore
  • Quality assurance and quality control of herbal medicine
  • Resilience and Listening skills
  • Plants and literature
  • Plant Intelligence
Term 3

Tutor-supervised project work

Students studying the Plants and Health Level 5 Diploma Course should expect to spend between 23 and 25 hours per week on their studies.

Admission Criteria

For those over the age of 21 who have successfully completed the Heartwood Foundation Course - or who have an equivalent existing qualification and/or experience in a related discipline – applications for course entry will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Those without either prior experience in human or plant sciences or a relevant qualification may be asked to complete a 6-month online Access Course to ensure that they are properly equipped to study for the 2-year Level 5 Diploma.

The fee for the Access Course will be deducted from the Year 1 Plants and Health course fees.

Students who have successfully completed the Heartwood Foundation Course will receive a discount on their course fees for Plants and Health.

Those under the age of 21 will be required to complete the online Access Course unless they already hold an equivalent Level 3 qualification. They will, in addition, need to have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grades A-C / grade 4 or above (including English, Maths and a Science); or BTEC Level 2/First Diploma (in a relevant subject with merit or distinction); or NVQ Level 2; or equivalent Level 2 qualification.

All candidates for entry on to the Plants and Health Diploma without GCSE English at grade C / grade 4 or above need to offer proof of proficiency in English, for example:

  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) / Cambridge C1 Advanced - 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) / Cambridge C2 Proficiency - 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each skill
  • IELTS (Academic) - 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - 69 overall with a minimum of 62 in each communicative skill
  • TOEFL iBT Institution code: 0394 - 100 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing and 23 in each of the other skills
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) - Level III (ISEIII) with merit in each skill

Course Costs (may be subject to minor change)

Per year: £3,300, paid in 10 instalments of £330. Those who pay for a year’s tuition in advance will receive a discount of £300.

Thus the total course fee when paid in instalments is £6,600. If fees are paid each year in advance, the total cost for the course will be £6,000.

In addition to course fees, students should set aside approximately £300 over the two years for the purchase of required text books.

The fee for the 6 month Access Course is £150. This fee will be deducted from the Year 1 Plants and Health course fees.

Those who have successfully completed the Heartwood Foundation Course will receive a £150 discount on their Plants and Health course fees.

In October we will also publish details of other potential sources of grant funding for which students may apply.

There is a non-returnable enrolment fee of £100 for all applicants (payable on confirmation of acceptance onto the course). This £100 enrolment fee will be deducted from the first payment of course fees, and thus does not increase the cost of the course overall.

Visit our online clinic

Heartwood Professional Course in Herbal Medicine

Online Student Clinic

Originally conceived to provide quality clinical training for our final year students during the Covid-19 restrictions, Heartwood Education are now able to offer appointments in our online student clinic to all.

Consultations are taken by final year students, but each session and all treatment is overseen throughout by an experienced qualified herbalist.

Consultations take place via a secure video call (rather like Zoom or Skype), and access to the consultation is restricted to Heartwood students, Heartwood herbalists and you. You will only see the supervising herbalist and the student practitioner involved in taking your case, and it is very helpful if you also use your webcam so that they can see you too.

To book, or find out more, visit

Accessing your online clinic sessions

On the day of your appointment, you will be emailed a secure private link to the online session 10-15 minutes before your appointment time to enable you to access the online Clinic room. We find that Chrome or Firefox web browsers work best - Safari and Internet Explorer don’t seem to work very well, and sometimes not at all.

The consultation part of your appointment takes up to an hour and a half, and you will be asked to return to the clinic session again - approximately two hours after the end of your appointment - for the clinical student and the supervising herbalist to explain your treatment plan, and to organise how you will receive your herbal medicines.

If you live outside of the UK, the supervising herbalist will explain how you can obtain the required herbal medicines locally.


There is a non-refundable £10.00 booking fee for each consultation, but no charge for the consultation itself. Any medicines prescribed are dispensed by the professional herbalist overseeing your consultation. The cost of medicines is usually between £5 and £25 per week, with an average of about £12 per week (excluding postage and packing). A course of treatment usually lasts between 6 and 12 weeks. The practitioner will always seek to reduce the cost of medicines in cases of financial hardship.Medicines will be posted to you directly, and payments can be made online.