MSc 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

Horticulture is seen as the 'Art, Science, Technology and Business of intensive plant cultivation for human use' (Chartered Institute of Horticulture). It is a range of diverse activities from landscaping through to production of food and non-food crops, all of which contribute to human health and wellbeing.

Horticultural graduates need to able to use develop and use knowledge of sustainable practices, new technologies, science and research to produce plants and crops; similarly this knowledge must also be applicable to post harvest practices. With the world's population continuing to increase and climate change impacting upon production, it is vital to continue to investigate new growing systems and to establish new crops which can be grown sustainably and transported to market with minimal losses.

Students studying at Writtle University College will have access to the Research glasshouse, farms and the postharvest unit which undertakes research and trials in conjunction with commercial companies .

Students will examine crop growing using resources at the University and through visits to growers and post harvest facilities; they will develop an understanding of the supply chain from the field through to sale. Together with visiting speakers from industry, this develops students' awareness of the latest trends and research in industry.

The teaching staff have developed close links with industry on a worldwide basis and the research and consultancy work is used to underpin the curriculum.

The course combines theory, practical experience, industrial visits and presentations from industry experts. There are opportunities to participate in trial work and to undertake original research in the UK or abroad. The course attracts both home and international students from many different countries providing a stimulating environment in which to study horticulture. The course is designed to provide the opportunity to study both crop production and postharvest technology in semester one; both areas can be further developed in semester two or other options such as Urban Agriculture are available.

Information about each module can be viewed by clicking on the module title within the table below.

Applied Research (Methods) for Managers
(15 credits)
Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
(15 credits)
Sustainable Crop Production A
(15 credits)
Sustainable Crop Production B
(15 credits)
Postharvest Systems Management A
(15 credits)
Postharvest Systems Management B
(15 credits)
Other Level 7 module
by negotiation with the course team
(15 credits)
Sustainable Global Business Management and Circular Economics
(15 credits)
Strategic Management
(15 credits)
Experiential Learning A
(30 credits)
Sustainable Land Stewardship and Leadership
(15 credits)
Experiential Learning B
(15 credits)
Other Level 7 module
by negotiation with the course team
(15 credits)
Taught Master Dissertation
(60 credits)

40 week study block negotiated between student and tutor (equivalent to 20 weeks for full-time student)



Year three is Dissertation only.
180 appropriate credits are required for the named award.
Compulsory Modules must be taken as part of the course.
Core Modules must be taken and passed to achieve the full award.
Optional Modules students may choose their preferred optional module of those listed, subject to availability. Other optional Level 7 modules may be available subject to availability and the approval of the Course Scheme Manager.

These are the modules that are offered in this academic year; however, the optional modules available 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.

Admissions to this course are subject to the normal policies and procedures for postgraduate students at Writtle University College .

Candidates from the United Kingdom higher education sector will normally hold a first honours degree at 2.2 or above in a related subject (such as horticulture, agriculture, floristry, environmental sciences). Prospective students with a first honours degree in another discipline but with significant work experience in horticulture, agriculture or related areas will also be considered for entrance on the masters’ programme.

Applications from international students will be considered in line with Writtle University College’s Admission Policy. International students will be expected to have achieved the equivalent of the minimum entry for UK students; qualifications and experience will be review by the Admissions Officer and assessed using UK NARIC criteria. Applications from European students will be guided by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Those international students whose first language is not English will be expected to have achieved a qualification in English as a Foreign Language or its equivalent in line with current Writtle University College postgraduate admissions policy.

Consideration will be given to applicants outside the stipulated guidelines if they are able to demonstrate significant relevant industrial experience.

This broad based course is designed for those who already have an interest in horticulture as well as those who wish to develop or update their existing knowledge .

Applicants will normally be graduates in agriculture, horticulture, engineering, biosciences, geography, business and economics or will have extensive relevant industrial experience. There will be opportunities to specialise as the course progresses and the students' knowledge of the subject develops.

Delivery is through a combination of lectures, practical, formative and summative coursework, tutor and student led tutorials, case studies and group work, including seminars and presentations .

It is developed through a series of visits to commercial/industrial and research establishments and through dissertation-related studies. Appropriate knowledge and understanding is enhanced if students opt to undertake their dissertation work in an industrial situation. Students, who undertake their dissertations outside the UK, will also gather a measure of this enhanced experience.

Knowledge and understanding is assessed using a combination of examination (seen and unseen), assessed coursework (lab reports, projects, case studies, presentations) and problem-based learning scenarios which include interpretative exercises.

On successful completion of the course graduates will posses the knowledge and skills to gain employment in management positions with major import/export organisations, with crop producers and horticultural enterprises. There are also opportunities to undertake further research.

Students have the opportunity to undertake trial work and research for commercial partners within the postharvest unit and research glasshouse .