Horticulture - Writtle College



Welcome to Higher Education Horticulture at Writtle College. If you are interested in growing plants, landscaping, plant science, ecology, garden history, or growing your own fruit and vegetables a Higher Education course at Writtle College could be the one for you. These awards cover a wide range of horticultural practices and skills needed in today's marketplace as well offering the opportunity to specialise in specific areas.

As the largest provider of horticulture education in the country you can be assured of engaging with experienced and knowledgeable staff, have access to excellent resources, and join the many previous successful Writtle graduates in the Horticultural industry.

Throughout the course you will have opportunities to engage with industry. Speakers from different sectors of the industry introduce students to the diversity of occupations available and the steps needed to enter particular fields. Students gain a great deal from these speakers and are often inspired to begin planning their future pathways within the diversity of the horticultural industry. Visits to a range of horticultural sites further enhance knowledge of the industry.

Other opportunities are outlined below.

The Chelsea Flower Show

Writtle College has an excellent track record of exhibits at this prestigious international event. Various staff from the Higher Education and Further Education divisions have been involved in these exhibits along with student from both divisions.

Scholarships and Competitions

Writtle students are encouraged to enter competitions and apply for scholarships available to those in horticulture. Students from both Higher Education and Further Education are encouraged to apply for bursaries from the two renowned organisations: the Geoff Hamilton New Gardeners Foundation and the David Colegrave Foundation (www.davidcolegravefoundation.org.uk).

Detail of additional bursaries can be found at www.grantsforhorticulturists.org.uk

The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition is a nationwide competition run by the Institute of Horticulture (www.horticulture.org.uk) for people under the age of 30, the national winner receiving a travel bursary of 2000. The College runs a local heat, the winner of which goes on to the regional final in March and then hopefully on to the national final in May, this year taking place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.

The James Hearsum Lecture Series is another opportunity for students to be involved. James Hearsum started the Plantsmanship lecture series whilst studying on the BSc (Hons) Horticulture programme. Each year six eminent speakers such as Chris Beardshaw, Beth Chatto, Adrian Bloom and Christine Walkden have been invited to present an evening lecture at the College which is open to students, staff and local keen gardeners. This has been such a success that although James has now completed his studies here, the lecture series has continued. Horticulture students working with a member of staff are now involved in organising and presenting speakers. The speakers for the Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 include Andy Sturgeon and James Wong. The success of the 2010/2011 lecture series allowed the organisers to set up a student travel bursary scheme. The lucky recipients undertook their travels to places such as Singapore, France and China during the summer vacation of 2011 and have each presented a short overview of their travels before each of the main lectures. The Inspiration and Learning Travel Award 2012 was launched in the spring of 2012 and we look forward to hearing about the students' latest adventures.

Work Experience Opportunities

The College maintains strong industrial links and encourages students to undertake relevant work experience during the summer vacation whilst undertaking their course. Twelve month practical training placements are also available for students who wish to take time out of their studies for example at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and botanical gardens at Birmingham, Cambridge and Oxford who offer 12 month training programmes. Writtle students regularly secure these placements. Work experience develops practical skills and knowledge along with other skills such as communication and teamwork. Research undertaken at the college shows that combining practical training with theoretical knowledge enhances employability opportunities after graduation. Students having taken work experience believe that having an insight into the real world helps them to mature, gain confidence and make judgements and decisions about their future.

The Future of Horticulture and why you should be part of it

It is an exciting time to be entering in to this rich and varied profession. A key issue is food security; with a growing global population, the scientific knowledge and practical application required to produce crops sustainably and efficiently is highly sought after. Of course the world is a rapidly changing place and the challenge of a changing climate will possibly prove the greatest text of the horticulturist's skills over the coming century, making horticulture a key aspect of future nutrition and health strategies.

There is a strong link between access to green space and the health agenda. In the current culture of addressing the work: life balance, green spaces are ever more popular with public gardens witnessing increased visitor numbers and local authorities recognising the importance of local green spaces through the rising applications for Green Flag status. Private gardens too are precious commodities that also require managing and maintaining. With the Olympic Games coming to London in 2012 and the Legacy Park now being built, the need for trained landscapers and horticulturists will push up demand. This is a very good time to be entering the industry. Don't miss out. Find out how to obtain a great education and enter an industry (more than 90% of graduates in horticulture find full time positions in the industry within six months of graduating) that will be rewarding to you and enjoyed by so many others. How much better can it get?

Yes I am interested - where can I find out more?

Please have a good look through the website pages where you will find full details on the courses offered in Horticulture and the resources that are available. If you wish to come along and visit the college please book in for an Open Day.

Alternatively please contact Mick Lavelle , Recruitment Tutor, or the Sandra Nicholson , Course Scheme Manager.

We look forward to meeting you in the future and are certain that you will not be disappointed.