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Course Details

Certificate in Historical & Contemporary Parks and Gardens

Course code: HTSC H4029 Entry Route into programme:
  • Appropriate Bachelor of Science in Horticulture or equivalent
Programme title: Historical & Contemporary Parks and Gardens
Duration: 12 weeks
NFQ level: 8
Schedule: Online Live Lectures (recorded & available after lecture time via moodle). Two technical visits to a Park and/or Garden
Start Date: January 2020
Award type: Single Subject Certificate
Credits for Full Award: 5 @ NFQ Level 8
Awarding Body:                         Technological University Dublin  


Minimum Entry Requirements

Graduates of a Level 7 Ordinary Degree in Horticulture or another cognate area.


Students must have a PC with access to broadband to participate in the course.


While the module will deal with parks and gardens in a global context there will be an emphasis on the situation in Ireland, in particular the changes taking place in recent years because of the economic recession.

This module will focus on four aspects of parks and gardens:

Parks and Gardens of Historic significance                          

  • Designed gardens and landscapes from major periods of history, including medieval gardens and monastic crop growing, Islamic and Moorish gardens, the Italian Renaissance, French formal gardens, eighteenth century English landscape styles and the development of North American gardens in the colonial period. This will include gardens that are still extant, as well as historical records of gardens that no longer exist. The student will gain an appreciation of the design features and techniques used through those periods in particular countries,

Plant Hunters and Garden Conservation theorists

  • The major designers and gardeners, and their particular styles or influences through history including Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton. The significant European plant hunters and collectors including Augustine Henry, David Douglas, and Joseph Banks and the plants of significance they introduced to historic gardens and how this influenced gardens during those times. The role of botanical gardens and garden conservation theorists and their work.

Restoration and Conservation methods, techniques and approaches 

  • Sources of evidence in a restoration project. Decision making processes in restorative work and audits of particular extant landscapes types. The limitations of historical knowledge. Decision making in conjunction with other professionals working on garden restoration projects, such as engineers, archaeologists and historians. The importance of conservation and how to achieve it at all stages of the restoration process. Examples of significant garden archaeology projects, and the techniques employed on these projects.

The Development and Management of Parks and Gardens

  • Processes and techniques of developing parks and gardens with an emphasis on green infrastructure and sustainable management practices.  Access and use of government funding and EU initiatives. Discussion on management models, open space strategies, customer surveys and benchmarking. Developing historic gardens attractions as education resources and other functions. Hosting garden events and shows and their impact on the restored landscape. Ideas on income generation to assist management budgets.

Course Delivery

This is an online course delivered by Dr. Christy Boylan, formerly of the Dublin local authorities Parks Departments in weekly sessions of two hours each.  The course includes two visits to parks and/or gardens during the semester, as part of the learning requirement for this module.

How to Apply?


For further details please 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. 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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