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MSc Organic Horticulture


Course Description

Costs: 2015/2016 Irish/EU €6,000 Fees for 2016/17 TBC

Overview

This course will provide you with the scientific skills to develop, assess and use sustainable organic growing techniques. It will also give you practical experience in a range of horticultural skills.

Training in the organic methods of growing, soil management, disease and pest management, water and nutrient management is complimented and enhanced by presenting the scientific principles behind these methods.

You will also be trained to conduct your own research project in the area of organic horticulture.

Course Details

The aim of this course is to provide you with both the scientific principles and the practical skills of organic horticulture, i.e. the growing of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower crops in a sustainable environmentally protective manner.

A strong scientific foundation to organic horticulture is provided, and this will help you to apply your knowledge to practical effect. For example, an understanding of plant form and function will help you to identify crops which grow synergistically together in inter-crops; this is a mainstay of organic horticulture, and a way of producing better yields.

You will receive training in practical organic growing, both on open ground and in poly tunnels, from experts in the subject. Many different areas are covered, ranging from how to select your own crop varieties to how to erect a poly tunnel. Because one of the factors holding back organic production in Ireland is the lack of targeted research appropriate to this country, this course places great importance on testing new methods, cultivars, etc. in a scientifically rigorous way.

In addition, it is intended to build a body of research knowledge from this course which will be of value to Irish growers in the future.

You will take the following modules:

- Plant Propagation
- Organic Crop Production
- Organic Food Marketing and Business Planning
- Structure and Improvement of Soils
- Nutrient and Water Supply for Organic Crops
- Organic Crop Pest and Pathogen Management
- Research Methods from Crop Science
- Organic Fruit and Flower Production
- Crop Physiology
- Organic Horticulture Research Project

Detailed Entry Requirements

Candidates for the MSc in Organic Horticulture must hold at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree or equivalent in a Plant Science/Horticultural/Biological area or a related relevant degree. In addition, NFQ level 8 graduates with relevant professional qualifications or relevant experience, such as in horticulture or organic production, but not the relevant degree classification may also apply for entry and each case will be judged on a case-by-case basis as to their suitability for the programme, subject to the approval of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science.

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at http://www.pac.ie/ucc. Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here (http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/applicationclosingdates/). For full details of the application procedure click How to apply - http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Course Practicalities

This course is taught by staff from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (School of BEES). It is based at the Centre for Organic Horticulture Research (COHR) at the Liss Ard estate, just outside Skibbereen in West Cork. All lectures, practical classes, workshops and field work are mandatory and take place at this centre.

Part I of the course involves an average workload of 12 contact hours per week (timetabled over two days each week), supplemented by self-directed learning and continuous assessment. This section of the course takes place from September to March.

Part II consists of an independent five-month research project and takes place from April to August.

Assessment

In Part I you will be assessed by a more-or-less equal division of marks between written examinations and continuous assessments of practical elements, in the form of projects, practical reports, etc.

In Part II, your research project is assessed both on the basis of the thesis that you have written and by a public presentation, where you describe the findings from your research work.

Who Teaches This Course

You will be taught by staff from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (School of BEES) along with relevant external experts from the field of organic horticulture. For further staff details, please go to: http://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/staff/

Visit the MSc Organic Horticulture page on the University College Cork website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Candidates for the MSc in Organic Horticulture must hold at least a Second Class Honours, Grade II degree or equivalent in a Plant Science/Horticultural/Biological area or a related relevant degree. See detailed entry requirements.

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Recipient: University College Cork

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