Writtle University College is one of the most famous and well-respected centres for horticultural technology and research. Postgraduate students from the Writtle University College are highly regarded throughout this international industry, and often go on to work on major projects affecting the production, storage and supply of food and fuel crops across the globe.

Postgraduate study programmes

Writtle University College offers taught horticulture awards on a full and part-time basis including Horticulture, Crop Production (Horticulture) and Postharvest Technology.

Each award can be pursued by research, leading to an MSc, MPhil or PhD, and each can be studied on a full or part-time basis. Students considering working towards a PhD should allow a minimum of three years full-time or eight years part-time investigation. Horticulture staff will always endeavour to meet the needs of postgraduate students. For example, provided that suitable arrangements can be guaranteed, it may be possible for students to spend some or almost all of their study period at their own institution or organisation.

Horticulture research and consultancy

Research activity and consultancy work are significant aspects of the postgraduate programmes, covering many aspects of crop production and fresh produce management.

A major research interest is the storage of fresh produce. Current investigations include bedding plants and cut flowers as well as sliced vegetables and tropical fruits. Staff research activity embraces techniques for storage and modified packaging as well as improvements in national and international transport.

Horticultural staff are committed to expanding research and consultancy activity at Writtle University College, which is why the University College is always keen to look at new areas and topics. For example, one of the major UK plant breeding companies has their tomato, pepper and chilli trials based in the University glass houses. The trials also provide dissertation topics for some of the MSc students.

Research partners

The Horticulture department enjoys relations with universities in the UK, such as Cranfield University, University of Nottingham and University of Abertay. Additionally, the department carries out regular consultancy studies for international companies working in Central/Southern Africa, Egypt, Eastern Europe and South East Asia, who produce and trade in fresh produce.