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Course Details

Higher Certificate in Science in Professional Horticulture Practice

Course code: BN033 Entry Route into programme:
  • Leaving certificate
  • Mature grounds
  • FETAC graduates
  • Special circumstances
Duration: 2 years part time
NFQ level: 6
Fee: €2,500 per year
Schedule: Online Lectures (synchronous/live and also recorded & available after lecture session) : Tues & Thurs 6pm-9pm ; Classes at ITB every 2nd Saturday, 9am-4pm ; 1 week per Summer (towards end June) 9am-5pm
Award title: Higher Certificate in Science
Credits for Full Award: 120 @ NFQ Level 6
Awarding Body: ITB  

Minimum Entry Requirements

A pass in five subjects (ordinary level) to include Mathematics and English or Irish. Foundation level maths at B2 or higher counts as a subject towards the five passes. Or any full level 5 award.

Mature applicants (i.e. those who are aged 23 years or more on January 1st in the year of entry) applying for the first level of programmes are exempt from this requirement.



Horticulture is the art, science, technology and business of intensive plant cultivation for human use and this course will introduce the learner to all three aspects of contemporary horticultural practice. Horticulturalists will use their skills and knowledge to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities. Horticulture can enhance the built environment, provide recreational opportunity and deepen our connection to the natural world. Students will gain an understanding of design considerations for gardens, parks and sports facilities. There are expanding opportunities in improved food production in a global world and in creating public recreational spaces that are more environmentally sensitive.

There is a growing concern among consumers about environmental issues such as the quality of the food we eat, the environmental cost of its production, the level of pollution in our living areas, the impact of climate change and the loss of green space and other amenities. The course will develop the students understanding of these issues and enable them to address these issues in a horticultural context.

Course Aim

The purpose of the proposed Higher Certificate Award in Horticulture is to equip
students with the skills and knowledge to embark upon a rewarding career in
the Horticulture industry and in the wider Horticulture sector. Successful practice
in this area requires a combination of scientific knowledge, technological knowhow,
and creative design skills, all in the context of an understanding of the industry
perspective. This programme aims to provide this combination of skills and knowledge,
and in doing so to put it certificate holders in an ideal position to operate effectively
within the sector. The intended course objectives are listed in some more detail

  • Obtain a structured knowledge of the scientific topics key to the study of horticulture, especially plant biology and physiology, pests and diseases, soil science, garden design and construction, plant identification, propagation and turfgrass management.
  • Identify and assess the legal and intellectual issues surrounding
  • Can work effectively as individuals, in teams and in multidisciplinary settings by communicating effectively.
  • Acquire the interpersonal and professional skills to work within a
    business environment, understanding the requirements of modern
    commercial organisations and have a feel for the challenges posed to the entrepreneur in establishing a business concern.
  • The successful graduate should recognise the possibilities and
    limitations of their knowledge, especially in fields such as organic
    production and sustainability issues, where there are serious moral, ethical and legal questions. They should be able to communicate their findings to both technical and nontechnical
    audiences, and contribute to the debate on the role of science
    in general, and Horticulture in particular, in society.


Course Structure

The course will be offered over 2 years part time.


Career Opportunities

Careers may include garden and landscape design, establishment and management of green spaces, sports surfaces, horticultural therapy, food crop
production, nursery stock and ornamental plant production and garden centre
management. There is considerable scope for self-employment as garden
maintenance and landscape contractors, specialist growers and florists. There are
increasing opportunities in community development where horticulture can be
used to assist social cohesion.


Course Content

The course covers aspects of Horticulture including

  • Plant Identification and Classification
  • Practical Horticulture, Equipment and Machinery Skills
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Biology and Physiology
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Plant Propagation
  • Landscape Design
  • Landscape Construction
  • Horticultural Business
  • Horticultural Law, Contracts and Tenders
  • Turfgrass Management
  • Vegetable Production
  • Plant Protection

The course will also give students a good foundation in the use information
technology in horticulture, teamwork, research and project development.


Having successfully completed this programme students will be eligible to progress to level 7 ordinary degree – Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and, later, on to a level 8 honours degree- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture


How to Apply ?

Apply Online Now

For further details please contact the marketing team on 01 885 1530 or e-mail

What our students say...


" I chose to study Horticulture as my father works in the business and I had an interest in this while growing up. I chose ITB as the course had a lot of choices and work placement. I really enjoyed the hard landscape construction week & the group project work in the courtyard garden at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. I would like to follow a career in plant propogation, either in nursery stock production or food production. It's such a versatile course and opens so many doors to follow as a career ."

Sinead Hickey,
Horticulture Student

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