BSc in Horticulture (National Botanic Gardens)

Bachelor of ScienceHorticulture (National Botanic Gardens)

Full Time
2020 CAO range:
        182 - 589
Botanic Gardens
3 years
180 ECTS

Lectures and course delivery takes place in Dublin (National Botanic Gardens)

Video: Why study horticulture at WIT

What is Horticulture

Horticulture plays a central role in creating, maintaining, and enhancing the landscapes we live in. Trained Horticulturists play a key role in creating beautiful places for recreation and relaxation. Parks, golf courses, public and private gardens would not be possible without skilled people to design, build and care for them. Even fresh fruit and vegetables, key to a healthy lifestyle, are produced by horticulturists. Horticulture is a diverse industry with wide-ranging career opportunities, from producing plants for garden centres, working on golf courses, or landscaping, right through to fruit and vegetable production.

What is the BSc in Horticulture course?

The WIT BSc in Horticulture course is a full-time, 3-year course designed to train you as a professional horticulturists. You will study horticulture modules, undertake work placement, gain business skills, and graduate from the course having specialised in two major streams of hort study. You will learn about the horticulture industry throughout the whole 3 years by taking frequent field trips to the best horticulture businesses. We recognise that Horticulture students enjoy the hands-on work involved in horticulture so classroom and lab work is balanced with plenty of practical work to practise the skills learned during the course.

The Hort course is run in conjunction with Teagasc. Students can choose to study in one of two locations. Please note, that separate CAO codes are used for the two locations.

  • Location 1: Study in Dublin, at the Teagasc College in the National Botanic Gardens. Course code for the Botanics course is WD097.   

  • Location 2: Study in Waterford, at Waterford IT and in Teagasc, Kildalton College. Course code for the Kildalton course is WD096.

National Botanic Gardens - WD097

Students on the BSc in Horticulture (National Botanic Gardens) WD097 study both at Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Dublin and at Teagasc facilities in Ashtown. Our collaboration with Teagasc, allows you to benefit from the skills and expertise of Teagasc staff who have trained horticulturists for over 30 years. With unrivalled access to the Botanic Gardens plant collection, opportunities to work on the grounds, and skilled staff to teach you, if you want to learn about plants from experts then this course is for you.

BSc in Horticulture Placement

One of the unique features of the BSc. in Horticulture in WIT is that a semester in year 2 is spent on paid work experience with a registered employer in Ireland, or abroad. This 15-week work placement is an opportunity for you to practise the key horticultural skills learned in college and also to work as part of a team in a busy horticultural business. Teagasc has links with Ohio State University’s, Horticulture Internship Programme and every year some of WIT’s Hort students travel abroad on placements in the UK, Europe, the USA and even further afield.

Many students who complete their work placements abroad are employed beyond the 15-week minimum period therefore spend the summer working with their hosts and usually earn the standard industry wage for that position. 

What is it like to Study in the National Botanic Gardens?

If you would like to find out more the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens visit their dedicated facebook page or visit our Teagasc partners website:

Horticulture for Small Holders, the ‘Green Cert’, and Spraying Certification with DAFM.

As well as horticultural knowledge, graduates of the course are deemed to have achieved the equivalent of the ‘Green Cert’ for Stamp Duty exemption for land transfer for young farmers. It also meets the criteria required for schemes and grants made available from time to time. If you have a small holding and think farming isn’t a viable option you should consider a Horticultural enterprise as an alternative land use. Horticultural enterprises can produce higher returns per acre. Graduates of the course are eligible to apply for the ‘Professional User/Sprayer Operators’ Certification (with the DAFM).

Do you take mature students?

Yes, many of our students are mature and love the course. With small class sizes there is plenty of support from lecturers and fellow class mates.

Upskilling or want to improve your old horticultural qualification.

If you would like to improve an older Hort. qualification, or upskill in a specific area of horticulture, it may be possible to study certain modules. Please contact  Cara Daly at to discuss entry requirements, and the opportunities open to you 

In order to facilitate the delivery of programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic, module outline and order may change slightly for the academic year 2020/2021.

Year 1
Semester 1Semester 2
Communication Skills and Computer ApplicationsChemistry for Land Scientists
Horticulture Skills 1Horticulture Building Construction
Plant BiologyHorticultural Mechanisation and Safety
Plant Knowledge 1Horticulture Skills 2
Plant ProtectionPlant Knowledge 2
Soil and Growing MediaPlant Propagation
Year 2
Semester 3Semester 4
Biodiversity and Horticulture Placement
Financial Analysis for Your Business
Garden Management and Plant Selection
Choose one of the following electives:
*Sustainable Food Production
*Landscape Design
*Nursery Stock Production
*Sportsturf Science
*Lab Skills for Plant Micro-Propagation (Waterford Only)
* = Elective module
Electives are run subject to class sizes and timetable constraints. Some electives require prerequisitesTransfer students who have already undertaken placement as part of their previously completed qualification, will be required to complete 6 other modules
Year 3
Semester 5Semester 6
Horticulture Sales and MarketingArboriculture
Introduction to Scientific Writing and Data Analysis Horticulture Project and Seminar
Managing your BusinessLaw for Horticulturists
People ManagementTax for Horticulture
Electives - choose 1 of the following which must be different from the choice made in year 2Choose one elective from group 1:
*Sustainable Food Production*Field Crop Production
*Landscape Design*Garden Centre Operations
*Nursery Stock Production*Greenkeeping
*Sportsturf Science*Landscaping Design Advanced
*Lab Skills for Plant Micro-Propagation (Waterford Only)*Plants and Society
Choose one elective from group 2:
* = elective module*Beekeeping and Pollination Studies
Electives are run subject to class sizes and timetable constraints. Some electives require prerequisites*Computer Aided Design
*Interior Landscaping and Floristry
*Protected Crop Production
*Social and Therapeutic Horticulture

What will I study during the course?

Many horticulturists are managers or self-employed and therefore need business skills as well as horticultural skills so we have designed the course with this in mind.

In Year 1 you will learn key horticultural skills

We introduce you to the diverse world of horticulture where the focus is on learning core horticultural skills and the science which underpins them. You will be provided with training in plant cultivation and knowledge and learn a range of horticultural skills such as propagation, pruning, training and planting. We will teach you how to identify pest and diseases, operate machinery, and manage the growing conditions to produce healthy plants. As horticulturists we are really aware of the need to protect the environment so we place a strong emphasis on safety and the responsible use of chemicals in the environment.

In Year 2 you will develop specialist horticultural skills

Along with a semester-long placement, you will specialise in a specific area of horticulture by selecting one major elective from the following list:  Landscape Design, Nursery Stock Production, Sustainable Food Production, Sportsturf Science. With additional specialist plant knowledge you will be able to confidently select the right plant, for the right place.

In Year 3 you will learn business skills and widen your horticultural knowledge

You will be able to research a horticulture subject of personal interest using our extensive research facilities and expertise, while our hort-themed business modules ensure you have the entrepreneurial knowledge to further enhance your employment prospects. You can revisit the major module list from year 2 and choose an additional major stream of study. In the last semester, as well as business modules and a module on Arboriculture (caring for trees) you can choose two minor electives from a comprehensive list which includes: Garden Centre Operation and Management, Greenkeeping, Food Production, Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Computer Aided Design, Floristry, and Beekeeping and Pollination Studies.

Leaving Cert: Minimum entry requirements for BSc in Horticulture:

5 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
Mathematics: O6/H7

  • Students with a Level 5 or Level 6 with merit of distinction in the new Common award in Horticulture and who sucessfully complete bridging studies, can apply to transfer into Year 2 of the BSc. in Horticulture
  • Students who have completed the old National Diploma or Certificate in Horticulture under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, ACOT or Teagasc can apply to transfer into Year 3.

Advanced and Equivalent Entry for BSc in Horticulture:

What jobs are available to horticulture graduates?

The Horticulture industry is diverse and vibrant and demands a constant supply of trained, skilled, and knowledgeable Horticulturists. In a 2016 survey of our graduates of the previous 5 years, 88% of respondents secured full-time employment within 3 months of finishing the BSc. in Horticulture. Having graduated with more than two major streams of study, many of our graduates have multi-stream businesses of their own.

The following are just a few positions in which our graduates are currently employed:

Follow on study for BSc in Horticulture graduates:

You can complete an add on one year to achieve a level 8 qualification.  This opens up other areas such as postgraduate research and lecturing:

D158 - BSc (Hons) in Land Management in Horticulture

More Student Stories

Driving licence:
Although not essential, prospective students should obtain at least a learner driver permit, or a driving licence for Class B or W vehicles before starting the course. This will allow students gain greater experience on a wider range of the excellent suite of machinery available for students.

Safe Pass:
Students of the Botanics are required to obtain a Safe Pass Registration Card before starting the horticulture course. A Safe Pass Registration Card is required by all students so they can undertake mandatory practical work experience with the OPW on the Botanic Gardens site. Obtaining a Safe Pass Registration Card will also open more opportunities for students to work in other OPW parks and gardens during their work placement in Year 2. Safe Pass training consists of a 1-day course and is offered by a variety of providers across the country.

Students need to obtain the following equipment before starting the course. 

  • A sturdy pair of work boots or shoes with steel toecaps. 
  • Rain gear, work trousers with pockets, and a warm hat and gloves. (Please do not wear jeans to college).  
  • A good quality pair of gardening gloves.

Health and Wellbeing:
By their nature, horticulture-related activities can often lead to scratches from thorns, etc. If worried about the health risks associated with this, it is recommended that you consult with your medical practitioner regarding any precautions you should take (e.g. tetanus risk).

Course Leader

Ask a Course Question

If you need to contact the course leader directly, please use the email address listed above.

If you are considering applying for this course and have particular questions about it or the application process, please use the form below to ask your question.

To ensure your question is answered more speedily, please try to choose the relevant contact point in the drop down menu. If you are unsure of your contact point, please choose "General".