Aiofe Munn
Self-employed, MD at Horticulture Class

I am really glad I did the RHS Master of Horticulture degree, as for me it did two things: opened doors to jobs that I could not have applied for without it, and secondly gave me more confidence in my own abilities.

No-one is good at everything, and I enjoyed some modules more than others, but I learned a lot from all of it and am now self-employed. I work a lot with the Department of the Environment, I am the judge for the Tidy Districts competition and I lecture for a garden school. I don't think my career would have progressed as quickly without the MHort from the RHS.

 


Matthew Pottage
Curator of RHS Garden Wisley


After completing the Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture and having worked in the horticulture industry for a number of years, I was interested in finding a new challenge.

I had solid practical horticultural experience and wanted to build and develop my managerial skills, but needed a programme of study which would fit around my busy schedule. The MHort focused on management within the horticultural realm and I could study at a time to suit me at home.

The assessments were varied, and taught me valuable skills which I use in my day-to-day job –from writing magazine articles to business case proposals and development plans. Studying while I was working full-time quickly taught me to plan effectively, meet deadlines, and to extend myself.

The course gave me insights into different sectors of horticulture, and the current issues within the industry. Having access to extensive online resources was fantastic too, as I could read the latest horticultural research to fuel my curiosity. Although the course is delivered via blended learning, I was able to link up with like-minded individuals – both fellow candidates and tutors. The plant community is a friendly one, and being part of the MHort network has certainly opened doors and allowed me to cultivate friendships with people from the UK and beyond.

Working towards the MHort programme was both challenging and rewarding, and definitely grew my career.
 


Ben Pope
Head Gardener at a private garden in West Sussex

I am currently in my second year studying for the RHS Master of Horticulture degree and very much enjoying the challenges and diverse research that it brings. Having been in my position as Head Gardener for more than 10 years, the MHort has given me new impetus to look outside my current employment and sector of work, engaging more with the broad horticultural industry of today.
 
Beginning the course in 2014 I initially became concerned with the technical requirements and time commitment that the course required. With some questions over my capabilities I deferred for a year and within weeks regretted doing so. Needless to say, after twelve months had passed, I jumped at the chance to continue my studies and now, having successfully written several assignments and completed exams, I feel very comfortable in both the old and new academic skills that I have developed.
 
Where I feel the MHort greatly succeeds is in its ability to sit alongside my current employment. While it does require a time commitment, motivation and organisation from myself, it comes with the support of expert tutors, friendly management staff and an immense online resource, all of which allow for flexibility while studying.

As I write my next assignment I look to my final year of the MHort and the subject of my dissertation. I feel excited at the prospect of producing a body of work that I’m sure will one day in the future serve me well in my continued horticultural career.
 


Stephen Austin
Head of Product Development at Plant Marketing International

In 2014 while working as a Product Manager for Hillier Nurseries, a colleague recommended the RHS Master of Horticulture degree to me, after careful consideration I decided to undertake the three-year qualification.

Working full-time and doing a degree of this kind is not easy; however by undertaking this you learn the skills required to cope with almost any pressure thrown at you in a work (or life) situation. Although the course is completed via distance learning, there is regular contact available from your tutor as well as through fellow contacts on the course. I found the wealth of knowledge from varied backgrounds of horticulture refreshing and a great way to learn more about this brilliant industry that I am a part of.

Since completing the MHort in 2016 I have gone on to travel the globe in search of new plant varieties and now work with some of the most well-known nurseries in all corners of the world. Without taking the decision to study, I would certainly not have so quickly gained the skills that have enabled me to further progress my career in horticulture.
 


Tom Brown
Head Gardener at Parham House and Garden

As a professional gardener you are continuously on a learning trajectory, whether that’s developing your skills at producing delicious vegetables or designing and maintaining a herbaceous border. I enjoy and relish that constant education as a gardener, so to continue my development academically with the MHort programme was always something that I wanted to do.

I applied to the RHS Master of Horticulture degree to help further my career and give myself options in the future by increasing my employability. When looking at other opportunities across the industry, having the MHort is a real advantage, as it shows a level of discipline and the ability to manage a project or workload successfully.

By undertaking the MHort and coming together with other candidates it offered me a fantastic opportunity to meet other professionals and start a network of contacts who were all experiencing similar issues and challenges as I was in my work.

Having completed the MHort degree, I feel much more confident in my work and capable of presenting information much more competently. As a professional gardener, your skill set is proven but this course really stretches your ability to manage and justify information, compile it coherently and meet those deadlines. It’s hard work and you need a lot of motivation (and coffee) to come home from a day in the garden and then to start working on those projects – but it is absolutely worth it in the end.
 


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