MSc Horticulture

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Horticulture is the science, technology, art and business of cultivating and using plants to improve human life. Horticulturists and Horticultural Scientists create global solutions for safe, sustainable, nutritious food and healthy, restorative and beautiful environments.

The MSc Horticulture caters for early career graduates working or intending to work in the global dynamic horticulture production and supply industry. It is designed for students who wish to acquire greater expertise in horticulture, mature students and career changers, and draws on the academic expertise available in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

Today the supply of horticulture goods and services involves a global network of producers, distributors and retailers. While labour is currently a significant part of the cost basis for horticulture enterprises, innovations in technology, logistics and management is disrupting the traditional labour intensive model of horticulture businesses.

With ever increasing demands from the market place to reduce costs, future horticulture enterprises will require highly educated and skilled individuals who can interpret and apply sound scientific knowledge and utilise modern innovative technologies and management systems to provide sustainable globally relevant horticulture products and services.

The minor thesis component offers a very broad choice of research topics that allows a candidate to focus on a specific subject area. Students are assigned an academic supervisor with research interests and expertise in the thesis subject area.

Careers & Employability

Wide ranging career opportunities exist in private companies, public organisations and government agencies in the food and non-food sectors of horticulture. This programme also allows graduates to completely change direction putting them on a radically different career path from their primary degree and advancement to PhD level.

Graduate Roles: 

  • Plant Producers
  • Distribution and Retail
  • Horticulture Therapists
  • Designers
  • Technical Advisors
  • Scientists
  • Business Development
  • Entrepreneurial Roles

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSC Horticulture programme provides students with the education and skills to enable them to attain leadership roles, and to set and maintain professional standards of excellence within horticulture in Ireland and globally. Graduates can become professional horticulturists and horticultural scientists who utilise their scientific education to provide sustainable management of horticulture enterprises, services and organisations. They have the capacity to influence and direct policy and governance at corporate, local, national and international level for the betterment of their enterprise or services and the wider community. Dissemination of knowledge by engagement with the various industry sectors and horticultural services is a key activity for staff and students.

Student education is informed by active internationally recognised research where engagement in learning is through formal lectures, practical classes, scenario based learning, group and individual research project work. Teaching and learning activities are conducted in an atmosphere of fairness, quality, and excellence, which is supported by an assessment process designed to provide students with a record of their academic progress. Their educational experience is enriched by intensive interaction with staff as part of our community of scholars and by their participation in modules and industry/site visits. This programme enables students to develop critical thinking capabilities, to be confident and competent individuals who have the ability to acquire the knowledge necessary for professional decision-making and to advocate for horticulture in a global context.

  • Apply learned skills and competencies in horticultural production of food and/or non-food plants.
  • Combine the use of core laboratory, field and IT skills in scientific study and evaluation.
  • Devise and interpret horticultural studies/evaluations involving the collection, appropriate analysis and reporting of resulting observations.
  • Interpret and evaluate the wider sustainability issues and challenges of plant based food and non-food production.
  • Contribute to and appreciate the objectives of related national, EU and international policy.
  • Integrate scientific understanding in sustainable horticulture production and policy approaches
  • Combine, interpret and apply new scientific, technological & business knowledge to their horticultural practice.
  • Plan and realise sustainable management of biological, human, financial, and social resources, to ensure the success of commercial and non-commercial horticulture enterprises.

MSc Horticulture (D064) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10174.5
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

***Fees are subject to change

  • Applicants must hold a minimum lower second class honours degree, or international equivalent in a biological, environmental, agricultural or related science degree. 
  • Mature candidates will be considered on the basis of relevant experience. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the Programme Director to discuss their eligibility. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent. 
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information .
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes. 

Zian Tang, Student View

I participated in the MSc Horticulture at UCD as a joint programme between Yangzhou University (YZU) and UCD and am very glad I did. UCD is a very reputable college in Ireland. The people are very friendly and the campus is fantastic. The course has a wide range of subjects and several practical courses. I found the tutorials offered by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science College benefited me a lot.

In UCD, you can join many communities and activities to make friends. The students are really nice.

From the Pre- Master course, we learned the skill of essay writing with the support of teachers. UCD is a perfect place to study and carry out research.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Horticulture FT (D064)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised