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What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is the science, technology, art and business of cultivating and using plants to improve human life. Horticulturists create global solutions for safe, sustainable, nutritious food and healthy, restorative and beautiful environments. For many people, the word horticulture may mean gardening but the practice of horticulture is much wider and more expansive than that simple understanding.

Horticulture is practised from the individual level in a garden up to the activities of a multinational corporation. It is very diverse in its activities, incorporating plants for food (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, culinary herbs) and non-food crops (flowers, trees, shrubs, turf-grass, hops, medicinal herbs, grapes for wine, apples for cider). It also includes related services in plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape & garden design/construction/maintenance, horticultural therapy, social horticulture and much more. This wide range of food, medicinal, environmental, and social products and services are all fundamental to developing and maintaining human health and well-being.

Why should I take this Structured Elective?

Human life on this planet is dependent on green plants for oxygen, food, medicines, clothing and shelter. When humans leave this planet they will have to take green plants with them to sustain life.

Those who are interested in science and in particular students of botany can enhance their study of these subjects by gaining additional knowledge of applied sciences, in addition to the principles and practice of actual plant cultivation for human use. Those students of the humanities can explore the applications of horticulture and its impact on the health and well-being of individuals, communities and society. This can be achieved through the study of the principles of horticulture therapy, therapeutic horticulture and the use of horticulture for the development of social capital within communities. From a physical health perspective, students can explore the benefits of horticultural practice and the impact that this has on the human microbiome.

How would this Structured Elective benefit me?

It will broaden your knowledge of plant science and improve your employability as a result of your education and experience in the actual cultivation of plants. You will have a better understanding of the sciences behind food and non-food horticultural products. You will be better able to enhance your own health and well-being and community environment with your knowledge and education in horticulture.

You will have an appreciation for the various strategies to ensure safe healthy nutritious fresh produce and an enhanced ability to discriminate between competing food produce, for example, organic versus conventional produce.

How do I take the modules in this Structured Elective?

  • In order to earn this Structured Elective you must take the specified modules in or after2017/18.
  • To receive this Structured Elective you must take the required modules as Elective modules and not as Core or Option modules.
  • It is suggested that students of the structured horticulture Elective will take the Stage 1 moduleHORT 10020 Plants and People, either or both of the Stage 2 modules:HORT 20020 Fundamentals of Horticulture and/or HORT 20070 Agriculture Botany, in addition to and any one of the listed Stage 3 or Stage 4 modules. Taking these modules in the sequence suggested will enable the student to advance their understanding of horticulture in a natural progression pathway and more fully benefit from the modules at Stages 3 and 4.
Module Title Credits
HORT10020 Plants and People 5
HORT20020 Fundamentals of Horticulture 5
HORT20070 Agricultural Botany 5
HORT40090 Nursery Production & Management 5
HORT40110 Vegetable Crops 5
HORT40120 Protected Crops 5
HORT40130 Fruit & Postharvest Physiology 5

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