BSc (Hons) Horticulture

We are pleased to confirm that Writtle University College and ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) are joining together. The merger will happen during the 23/24 academic year. Writtle’s full range of Higher and Further Education courses will continue to be delivered on site at the Writtle campus, enhanced by resources available at nearby ARU. If you are starting your course in September 2024, your degree will be awarded by ARU. Find out more about ARU, including our recent Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, at

This course is ideal for students who wish to keep their options open and not specialise in a particular area of horticulture. It is suited to those who have limited experience of the horticultural industry and who wish to follow a broad approach before deciding on their future career. On completion of the course, students will have acquired a good range of practical horticultural and business skills to equip them for a career in a wide choice of fields.

(30 credits)
Natural Resource Management
(15 credits)
Community Horticulture
(15 credits)
Contemporary Urban Landscapes
(15 credits)
Optional UK / European study tour or equivalent
Crop Management and Technologies
(15 credits)
Global Trends in Production
(15 credits)
International Trade and Markets
(15 credits)



Optional modules
Students can select 30 credits of optional modules from stage two.

These are the modules that are offered in this academic year; however, modules may be subject to change for the following reasons:

  • Staff availability - for example the availability of staff to deliver specialist modules, which cannot be delivered by staff who do not have the relevant specialist expertise.
  • In response to feedback and annual review processes to ensure we continually enhance our programmes. Changes in these circumstances will usually be made for the benefit of students.
  • Student demand - to ensure there are adequate numbers on a module to support the provision of an excellent Learning & Teaching experience.
  • The currency of the relevant module. Some modules are specified at a time when they reflect the issues that are currently topical in the subject area. They may have lost that currency by the time that the student is required to exercise the option. In the circumstances, in order to ensure that students are provided with an appropriate learning experience, those modules will be replaced by those which are relevant to the changing nature of the subject area.

The Writtle University College will endeavour to ensure that any impact on students is limited if such changes occur.


The following information provides the entry requirements for this particular course.

UCAS Tariff Points


GCE A Levels

96 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above

Irish Certificate

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 4 x H3 higher, one of which in a relevant science-based subject

Scottish Highers

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 3 x B

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


BTEC Level 3 Diploma


C & G Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720)

Distinction (96)

C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma

Merit (96)

C & G Level 3 Diploma

Distinction (96)

Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Writtle University College welcomes applicants studying Access to HE Diploma courses. For more information please contact Admissions.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

The student learning experience is supported by a combination of lectures and guest speakers, seminars, laboratory practicals, field work, group work, visits and tutorials. Integration of theory with practical learning is a key element of provision, allowing for a strong vocational focus, active participation and student-centred learning. As students progress through their course, they are guided to use relevant information in an appropriate and effective manner with increasing focus given to independent learning. Students are expected to contribute to workshops and participate in class discussions, to work as part of a team as well as on individual tasks.

Personal development planning (PDP) is viewed as an important part of the Horticulture scheme, and central to reflective and life-long learning. This includes undertaking a personal skills audit and action plan as well as developing employability skills.

Opportunities for learning exist outside of the formal teaching time. The James Hearsum Lecture Series is a series of six evening lectures where eminent speakers such as Chris Beardshaw, Beth Chatto, James Wong and Christine Walkden give a lecture at the College which is open to students, staff and local keen gardeners. Two Study Weeks are run each year and aim to enhance students' learning experience. These weeks are cross-curricula bringing together students from both undergraduate and postgraduate schemes in not only Horticulture, but also from other discipline areas such as design or conservation where the opportunity arises. This might be for a study visit workshops or seminars.

The undergraduate assessment programme is designed to test a wide variety of skills and competencies.

  • Case study projects
  • Laboratory reports
  • Essays and technical reports
  • Examinations - both multiple choice and essay questions
  • Presentations - both individually and in small groups
  • Practical assessments
  • Debates
  • Seminars
  • Dissertation

The appropriateness and range of assessment strategies on the Horticulture scheme have been recognised and commended by the External Examiners. There are opportunities for formative assessment which provides guidance and feedback before the final submission. Assessment can be both on individual and on group work, although no more than 25% of any module assessment would be group work. Work is assessed by tutors and at times by peer assessment also, which in itself is a valuable learning opportunity to develop evaluative skills.

Assignment briefs set out the exact requirements of each assessment including the timing of that assessment. Time management is an important part of the assessment process. Although the course team has taken an overview and planned the assessment framework to ensure a spread of assignments, it will be necessary to work on more than one assignment at once.

As the course progresses students are encouraged to develop critical self-awareness. A written dissertation is undertaken in the final year; guidance is given on the selection of an appropriate subject and the development of a research proposal. This provides an opportunity for in-depth research in to a current and industry relevant topic of particular interest to each student.

It is an exciting time to be entering this wide ranging profession and there is a demand for trained horticulturists; research by LANTRA the Sector Skills Council indicates that over the next few years there will be 3000 vacancies at graduate level in the horticultural industries. Issues such as food security, climate change, relationship between access to green space and the health agenda, developments such as the Olympic Legacy Park means the need for trained landscapers and horticulturists will increase.

A high proportion of graduates in horticulture find full time positions in the industry within six months of graduating. Writtle students have gone on to further study such as post-graduate courses at Writtle and elsewhere or found positions as Local Authority Parks officers, education officers with the Royal Horticultural Society and local authorities, as technical officers in research establishments, as field trial officers, as journalists, undertaken internships with the Historic and Botanic Gardens Bursary Scheme, or as self-employed landscape gardeners.

The University College has good industrial links and encourages students to undertake an industrial summer placement during their course. Such work placements develops practical skills and knowledge along with other skills such as communication, teamwork and to develop confidence. Research undertaken at the University College shows that combining practical training with theoretical knowledge enhances employability opportunities after graduation.

Good to know...

Undergraduate part-time student loans are available to students that have already studied at degree/higher education level before!

Under the equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) exception rule, our Agriculture, Horticulture and Sustainable Food honours degrees are all eligible for part-time funding.

Find out more