Horticulture

What

Horticulture reaches many aspects of peoples’ lives, perhaps without them even realising it; from the food that they eat, to the flowers and plants they purchase for themselves or as gifts, to the gardens, parks and sports facilities they use for relaxation and recreation.

Horticulture is a significant contributor to the Irish economy with Bord Bia suggesting that the Irish Horticultural Industry has an estimated annual farmgate value of €380 million with over 6,000 employed in the sector (full time, part time and seasonal workers).

The ‘Garden Market Value’ research (Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Bord Bia, March 2015), shows Irish consumers’ gardening spend has increased by 22% since 2011 to reach €631 million in 2014. Landscaping, referring to any consumer spend on garden design and maintenance, is valued at €118 million, an increase of 22% since 2011. In 2013, the Federation of Irish Sport estimated that overseas visitors in the golfing sector brought in €202 million to the Irish economy.

The hands-on and practical horticulture courses offered at ITB are designed to develop the knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to work in the dynamic and developing horticulture sector

Who

Many horticulture careers involve physical activity and working outdoors — so if you’re the active, creative, entrepreneurial type, who enjoys challenging and handson work; if you’re interested in biodiversity and the environment, how and where your food is grown and how parks and golf courses are designed and cared for, then you should consider a career in horticulture.

Why

A qualification in horticulture offers the graduate a wide range of interesting and challenging career options; previous graduates have secured employment in landscape design, stadia groundskeeping, garden centres and nurseries, organic and conventional food production, golf course management, parks and gardens management and teaching horticulture. There are numerous employment opportunities in Ireland and worldwide for qualified horticulturists. Many graduates have also successfully established their own businesses in these sectors.

How

Incorporating both the theoretical and practical aspects of horticulture, our courses introduce students to the basic concepts in first year. Expanding and developing this knowledge into more advanced theories and ideas in subsequent years. Students study modules on vegetable and fruit production, organic and sustainable growing, floristry and interior landscapes, food product development, tree management, landscape design and turfgrass management as well as information technology skills for horticulture, starting and managing small businesses and research skills.

We offer practical hands-on opportunities to develop skills through real life practical projects, often engaging with local community groups, to design and build gardens to a brief and within a set budget. In June 2017, Fingal County Council and the ITB Horticulture Department won a bronze medal at the Bloom Festival for their Flúirse Fingal Garden in the Medium Garden category. The students were involved in all aspects, from design through growing the plants, constructing the garden and planting up and putting the finishing touches to the garden. These activities allow students to develop their team-working skills while getting to know each other and their lecturers in a working environment. Work placement is an essential part of these courses, immersing students in the workplace, practicing the skills they have learned and gaining valuable experience in the industry to improve their employability in the future.

“I chose this course as I liked how the course is varied covering all aspects of horticulture from the basics like ‘soil science’ and ‘plant nutrition’ to ‘start and manage your own business’ and industry placement.

The newly constructed horticulture facility is a great resource and has all industry standard equipment such as the new computer controlled irrigation system installed in 2016. In second year, we do work placement which is a fantastic opportunity to experience the commercial reality of life in the horticulture industry.

Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty, this is a very practical course that’s not too difficult especially if you are interested in the subject.”

Shane Halpin
Horticulture

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