Horticultural Research 1

Horticultural Research 1

Course Code BHT118
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Payment Options Upfront & Payment Plans
Delivery Online & Correspondence
Duration 100 Hours

What can good research skills do for you? Good research skills will enable you identify emerging trends and changes that affect horticulture, and to help formulate better strategies, practices and uses for horticulture.

What can good research skills do for you? Good research skills will enable you identify emerging trends and changes that affect horticulture, and to help formulate better strategies, practices and uses for horticulture. Your ability to conduct and present research can lead to innovations that address crucial local and global issues, or to the provision of cutting-edge horticultural services. This course will develop your ability to research and present a critical, written and numerical assessment of information related to social, technological, environmental and economic issues that impact on Horticulture today.

Good research skills will enable you be an innovator in horticulture, and to identify trends, issues, and needs that can create new opportunities and directions in horticulture.

  • This course has been developed by professionals in both Ireland and the UK, with the aim of being relevant throughout the world.

  • This is a module in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Master of Horticulture

Course Structure

The course contains seven lessons:

  1. Determining Research Needs

  2. Searching for Information

  3. Research Methods

  4. Using Statistics

  5. Conducting Statistical Research

  6. Research Reports

  7. Reporting on a Research Project

For many students, their first experience with research occurred in school where they were required to prepare a research report or a presentation on a particular subject. This is the fundamental level of research, and its aim is to gather information on a topic, which is later to be presented to an intended audience (a class, teacher etc). Examples are research on a particular country, animal, or political system.

Another level of research aims at answering a research question (often called the thesis question). The information that is gathered and presented is chosen in order to answer that question. Examples of research questions are: What main social and political factors contribute to poverty in country X? Why is the Madagascan lemur an endangered species? How was language used to justify and maintain the Cold War last century? Well formulated and pertinent questions can lead to meaningful research projects that can greatly increase our understanding of the world and ourselves. The problem with this kind of research, though, is that it can be very difficult to know what questions to ask.

What you will do in this course

  • Conduct preliminary investigations to determine areas where there is a valid need for research in social, technological and environmental issues that impact on horticulture today

  • Conduct an information search into a defined issue related to social, technological and environmental issues that impact on Horticulture today.

  • Explain research methods, including experimental techniques, commonly used.

  • Demonstrate and explain the basic statistical methods used for research.

  • Conduct a minor statistical research project into a well defined area, relevant to your area of study.

  • Prepare a research report in a format which conforms to normal industry procedures.

  • Demonstrate critical analytical thinking, reviewing skills and report writing skills

Scope of Each Lesson

1. Determining Research Needs
Identifying research needs
The research goal
The research question
Other questions to clarify the research goal
Sources of information
What information is required
Depth and breadth of data
Setting realistic research parameters
Constraining factors

2. Searching for Information
Kinds of exploratory research
Primary data research
Secondary data research
Literature reviews

3. Research Methods
Key research terms
A controlled environment
Field trials
Steps in collection and analysis of data
Conducting a crop trial
Setting up a Comparison trial
Running a trial: records and recording
Evaluating the trial
Interviewing skills: procedure, asking questions, types of questions
Ways of handling difficult questions

4. Using Statistics
Overview: Descriptive statistics, Inferential statistics
Official statistics
Reasons for using statistics
Advantages of statistics
Statistics: as guides and motivators
Disadvantages of statistics
Issues to consider
Descriptive statistics
Observed and expected rates
Confidence intervals
Reliability of statistics
Presenting statistics: pie charts, bar charts, histograms
Descriptive statistics: mean, median, mode, variation, variance, standard deviation, correlation, probability, etc

5. Conducting Statistical Research
Collecting quantitative data

Conducting a survey
Form of data
Planning a formal survey
Designing a questionnaire
Common problems

6. Research Reports
Report writing tips
Structure of a report
The report online
Research papers

7. Reporting on a Research Project
This lesson brings together what you have learned in previous lessons, in terms of critical assessment of other authors research papers or reports, and demonstrating your report writing skills. 

Interested? Request a free information pack today!

Finance options

If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant Scheme

Student support

We live in a society where the pressures of daily living are high with financial expenses, personal and work commitments, and mortgage and rental obligations. Then there are the unexpected life challenges that also get thrown our way. With this in mind the thought of taking on study can be daunting for most people. Here at Learning Cloud we understand that life doesn’t run in a straight line it has many ups and downs.

As an enrolled student at Learning Cloud, you are entitled to access a variety of non-academic support services from the Student Services Unit. These supports are designed to walk beside you throughout your studies they will assist you in life’s ups and downs to provide you the best opportunity to successfully complete your chosen course.


  • Careers Counselling Service
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  • Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP)

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How will this course advance my career?

Learning Cloud programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks and Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.

Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school qualification. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions. Though the proof for greater earning potential exists, some might wonder whether the cost of the education warrants the overall expense in the long run.

College Graduate vs. Non-Graduate Earnings

The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) analyses employee earnings data biennially, according to education level. Findings indicate that workers with a qualification earn significantly more than those without. Since the mid-1980s, education has played a large part in potential wages, with bachelor's degree holders taking home an average of 66% more than those with only a high school diploma do. While college-educated workers' wages have increased over the past two decades, those with only a high school education have seen decreases in annual salaries in the same time period (nces.ed.gov).

How else will I benefit from studying with Learning Cloud?

  • Studying online or distance means you can study where you want and at your own pace.
  • Receive career-focused training with practical, hands-on learning.
  • All course materials are provided and all digital platforms are interactive, work on any device and designed to be fun.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition may be available for previous work experience, formal training or qualifications in this field.