QQI Level 5

This course creates an awareness of the viability of growing your own. The course has been very successful in the college for the past number of years. It concentrates on the growing of food crops, trees, shrubs and decorative plants.   It gives an introduction to Plant Identification and Landscaping which could lead to a career in garden design. The Plant identification module is further enhanced by the continual development of schematic /thematic plantings on campus
The course is designed for applicants who wish to progress to degree level to study horticulture or landscaping. It will also suit the hobby grower who may be considering expanding into a viable area of business and it is ideal for those wishing to work in General Horticulture. The emphasis will be on practical work with the use of the college grounds and polytunnel for growing food and ornamental crops. Biocide use will be kept to a minimum for personal and environmental safety. Students are introduced to Biodynamics and are encouraged to use the Thun planting and sowing calendar

  • maireosullivan@ccoc.ie  


1 year

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture 5M2586

QQI Component Maths 5N1833 (available as option in evening for learners requiring Maths for progression)

€320 including QQI examination fees. (Medical card holders exempt from QQI examination fee of €50) Note: Fees for 2023/24 are being updated.

  • Plant Identification & use 5N2527 This module introduces the concept of plant families allowing students to classify and identify plants in a fun and easy way.
  • Soil Science & Growing Media 5N2530 This module is fundamental to all good horticultural practice. The understanding of soil edaphic factors and their relation to climate is critical to good plant growth and horticultural production
  • Plant Science 5N2528 The Science of Plant Growth overlays the content of all the other modules. It provides the necessary links for a good understanding of the other modules offered on programme.
  • Work Practice 5N1433 Course participants are encouraged to work with employers to gain an understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the horticultural business. This module opens the possibility of employment in the sector in a sprawling coastal area with some notable gardens.
  • Plant Protection 5N2546 This module consists of 40% practical skills. Students observe practical demonstrations, test their own practical skills and propagate a large range of plant types. They monitor and log results of a range of experiments on various plant species.
  • Biodiversity and the Natural Environment 5N2553 This  module equips the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to value the natural environment as a sustainable resource. Gain an appreciation of the role of biodiversity and common threats at genetic, specific and ecosystem level
  • Fruit and Vegetable Production 5N2552 This module provides the learner with an understanding of the principles involved in producing a fruit or vegetable crop from the point of propagation to the point of harvesting.
  • Plant Propagation 5N2547 This modules gives an excellent insight into the production of plants from seed, cuttings & other vegetative means. This module consists of 60% practical skills in polytunnels and in the outdoor environment.
  • Communications 5N0690 – Acquire the writing skills needed for the workplace, learn to speak fluently and coherently in a professional setting, develop interpersonal skills and have an understanding of the impact of ICT on society.
  • Leaving Certificate, LCA or QQI Level 4.Mature students are exempt from Leaving Certificate requirements. All applicants are interviewed. An offer of a place on this courses is contingent on the applicant meeting the entry requirement set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview. CERFL proficiency at B2 for access to Level 5 courses for those whose first language is not English

This is a one year full time course from September to May. Candidates must complete work experience as this is an integral part of the course where students get an opportunity to sample the work environment.

The full QQI Level 5 award facilitates entry, on a competitive basis to a range of third level institutions nationwide. These include:

  • Great progression opportunities to Higher Education colleges.  Special arrangements in place with MTU (CCPS), MTU (Tralee) and SETU (Waterford & Carlow) for preferential entry for Cork College of FET students.

Further details are available from the relevant institutions.

Other courses: Agriculture, Planning and Environmental Management.

Garden centres, formal gardens, self employment. All students can Graduates can subscribe to ‘CCOC college jobs register’ and CCOC LinkedIn alumni for up to date vacancies and networking.

My name is Renatas and I had an enjoyable time, while studying the QQI Level 5 Horticulture course at the West Cork Campus.  It gave me the knowledge and confidence to undertake all the duties of a gardener. This qualification provided me with the confidence and skills that have enabled me to secure a full-time landscaping job locally and I know that I could definitely say it was an excellent investment of my time.

Renatas Odinbergas, Horticulture

I completed the QQI level 5 Horticulture course in Rossa College in 2016. I found the course to be well organised, fascinating and fun, giving a good grounding in all areas of horticulture.

I also found it to be an excellent re-introduction to education and the discipline necessary for successful study. It inspired me to go on to further education and I am now studying for a Level 8 Degree in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology in GMIT, Galway, as a mature student. I would recommend the course to anyone with an interest in horticulture.

Joe Kane, Horticulture