Warrenstown College prepares for new horticulture degree

Story by Tom Kelly

Saturday, 29th March, 2008 9:00am

THE Salesian College of Horticulture, Warrenstown, is undertaking the modernisation of college facilities in preparation for the roll-out of a new Level 8 Bachelor of Science in Horticulture degree, to be offered in conjunction with Blanchardstown Institute of Technology through the CAO. 

A modern state-of-the-art science laboratory will be provided for current students and for students of all courses in future years.  Amongst the present facilities at the college are modern classrooms and computer/IT rooms, commercial nursery and ornamentals units, sports and recreational facilities, and modern, comfortable accommodation for up to eighty students.

Warrenstown prides itself on the quality of education and practical training it provides to students on its campus at Drumree, and anticipates another increase in numbers for next September`s student intake.

Currently, the college is busy enrolling students for horticulture courses beginning in September 2008.  The college is holding an Open Day on Wednesday, 2nd April 2008 from 10.30am.

Staff and students will give guided tours of the college campus and facilities, combined with a number of practical demonstrations. Talks on the courses on offer and the career opportunities available to horticulturists will complete the formalities.

Light refreshments will be provided afterwards, with staff and students available for informal discussions.  All are most welcome. (For catering purposes, please advise Ann of your attendance on 01 8259342.)

With a proud history in providing horticultural education, the college is always looking to the future, developing and delivering quality education and practical training to meet the changing needs of the horticulture industry.

The College offers courses in full time, part time or work based mode to cater for the varying needs of the different categories of student.  (For more information on part time or work based modes, please contact the college.)

The Vocational Certificate in Horticulture is offered at three different levels allowing students to develop sound horticultural knowledge and skills, while offering opportunities to progress to higher level courses. Each level (FETAC 4, 5 and 6) is completed over one academic year (September-June) on a full-time basis.

Each of these one year courses offers students an opportunity to study horticulture in a practical, `hands-on` way. Students spend time learning and practising the skills which will prepare them for work in the different areas of horticulture, from landscape construction and maintenance, garden centres, wholesale nurseries, golf courses to fruit and vegetable production. They also study a range of subjects covering relevant areas such as plant and soil science, crop diseases and pesticides, machinery, weather and health and safety. These subjects are examined by Continuous Assessment on a weekly basis.

There is no minimum education entry requirement for these courses (except that students must complete level 5 to progress to level 6) and application for September 2008 should be made directly to the college as soon as possible. Teagasc provides non-means tested grants for FETAC Certificate courses - more details are available from the college.

The three year HETAC-accredited degree of Bachelor of Science in Horticulture is offered in conjunction with the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown (CAO code BN007.)

This Level 7 course offers the student a well-rounded education in all areas of modern horticulture practice.

The degree offers a balanced blend of academic learning and skills development, covering subject areas such as landscape design and construction, garden centre operations, sports turf management, nursery stock, ornamentals and food crop production.

Throughout the course students will acquire a sound knowledge of the identification and use of plants in the environment.  Through their course work in the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, students will receive an in-depth understanding of the concepts and processes of management and information technology.  A period of paid employment within the horticulture industry in Ireland or abroad is an integral part of the second and third years of the degree programme. 

Each student must complete two work experience placements (each of 15 weeks duration) to gain practical `hands-on` experience of work in their chosen area of expertise.  This full time course is accredited by HETAC and a Level 8 degree in Horticultural Business Management can be studied in Year 4. (CAO late applications before 1st May 2008 or change of mind by 1st July 2008 - code BN007). For further information on the college or its courses, please visit our website www.warrenstowncollege.ie or contact: the Principal, Salesian College of Horticulture, Warrenstown, Drumree, Co Meath.

01 8259342 or email: info@warrenstowncollege.ie