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Course Details

Certificate in Health, Recreation & Green Infrastructure

Course code: HTSC H4037 Entry Route into programme:
  • Appropriate Bachelor of Science in Horticulture or equivalent
Duration: 12 weeks
NFQ level: 8
Fee: €360
Schedule: Online lectures one evening per week and 2 field trips (Course starts September 2018 )
Award title: Single Subject Certificate
Credits for Full Award: 5 @ NFQ Level 8
Awarding Body: ITB  

Minimum Entry Requirements

Graduates of a Level 7 Ordinary Degree in Horticulture or another cognate area.

Note :

Students must have a PC with access to broadband to participate in the course.



Horticulture is the art, science, technology and business of intensive plant cultivation for human use and this course will introduce the learner to all three aspects of contemporary horticultural practice. Horticulturalists will use their skills and knowledge to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities. Horticulture can enhance the built environment, provide recreational opportunity and deepen our connection to the natural world. Students will gain an understanding of design considerations for gardens, parks and sports facilities. There are expanding opportunities in improved food production in a global world and in creating public recreational spaces that are more environmentally sensitive.

There is a growing concern among consumers about environmental issues such as the quality of the food we eat, the environmental cost of its production, the level of pollution in our living areas, the impact of climate change and the loss of green space and other amenities. The course will develop the students understanding of these issues and enable them to address these issues in a horticultural context.


Course Aim

The purpose of this module is to give the student an understanding of the concept of green infrastructure which requires that the planning and management of natural areas, open space (including productive land) and ecosystem services be incorporated into established development planning and resource management systems. Students will study the various ecosystem services and functions and their specific, measurable, outcome-based objectives which are essential to justify the various actions in the strategy formulation stage, and for the measurement of success after implementation. For example, an objective for biodiversity enhancement might be the conservation or development of a specified amount of land of a particular habitat.

For recreation, an objective might be to provide an open space of a minimum size within say 500 metres from every home, or to develop a specified length of dedicated cycle path within the lifetime of the plan. For water management, an objective might be to restrict certain developments on lands with a risk of flooding. Examples of green infrastructure elements include ‘Greenways’ the development of a network of pedestrian and cycle trails and improving the connectivity between routes and maximising the recreational potential of state controlled land and assets to promote young people’s engagement in recreation activities.


Course Content

Green Infrastructure Concept and Global Development

  • Introduction to the concept and strategies of green infrastructure that integrates human and natural systems through a network of corridors and spaces in mixed-use and urban settings. A review of various legislation, policies and examples of best practice relevant to Green Infrastructure. Global green infrastructure planning and conservation efforts in Europe and America. Current European Commission policy on Green Infrastructure. Green infrastructure planning in the UK and in Ireland. This section will include information on selected legislation and policies and ecological network classes that govern the design and implementation of green infrastructure.


Mapping Ireland’s Green Infrastructure

  • Consideration of the various elements in terms of the national, regional and local scale and how they relate to the following social and economic benefits: Recreation & Health, Biodiversity & Natural, Coast, Water Resource and Flood Management, Sense of place, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Economic Development, Social Inclusion, Productive Environments – Food, Fibre, Energy. However, the emphasis in this module will be on three benefits as follows;
  • Biodiversity: The biodiversity element is deemed to be the ecological networks approach, facilitating the development and enhancement of core, buffer and corridor areas for the purposes of biodiversity conservation
  • .Recreational and Quality of life: Recognising that Green Infrastructure has more uses than just acting as a location for habitats and species, the Recreation and Quality of Life element includes uses such as recreation, health and clean air site planning, green buildings, energy and transport, that deliver benefits to people.
  • Water Quality and Flood Attenuation: Water courses, floodplains, coastal areas, and wetlands have fundamental roles in relation to provision and maintenance of water and water quality. They also play important and critical roles in flood attenuation by acting as conduits of water, buffers against flooding, and sponge effects for holding water to reduce rapid runoff and controlling water levels.


Case Studies in Green Infrastructure

  • Case studies will be used to highlight the national and international adoption of green infrastructure planning the range of elements and benefits gained but the module will emphasise the work done in Ireland, in particular the approach outlined in “Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland” published in August 2010 by Comhar Sustainable Development Council. These case studies will form part of the continuous assessment for students in groups who will be required to study their details and present them in class sessions.


Course Delivery

This is an online course delivered one evening per week. The course also includes visits to parks and/or gardens during the semester, as part of the learning requirement for this module.


How to Apply ?

Apply Online Now

For further details please contact the marketing team on 01 885 1530 or e-mail

What our students say...


" I chose to study Horticulture as my father works in the business and I had an interest in this while growing up. I chose ITB as the course had a lot of choices and work placement. I really enjoyed the hard landscape construction week & the group project work in the courtyard garden at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. I would like to follow a career in plant propogation, either in nursery stock production or food production. It's such a versatile course and opens so many doors to follow as a career ."

Sinead Hickey,
Horticulture Student

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