Nicola Walter
The great thing about horticulture is that it’s applicable all over the world, which means lots of potential travelling! At Christmas I went to Hawaii to work with tropical plants and conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.

More about Nicola

“I chose to study FdSc Horticulture to gain more skills in the horticulture sector as I am currently self-employed in the area. Brackenhurst Campus seemed like the ideal place to study being in the middle of the countryside, and I loved the vibrant facilities.

“The course has a variety of modules, ranging from the very technical science, to design. It definitely deepens your knowledge of multiple sectors within the industry and is varied enough even within the modules to keep each aspect interesting. There is a huge amount of practical work as well as lectures and coursework is all very different.

“There are so many parts of the course I enjoy! I particularly enjoy the garden design module, as I am quite creative naturally. It is very satisfying creating a design to an industry standard, and develops drawing, visualisation and design skills.

“Plant and soil science is another module I love because it explains the science behind plants and how they survive. It’s amazing to be able to utilise the knowledge from this module when gardening. I am time and time again amazed how plants don’t have brains!

“The course is a lot of fun. Small class sizes make for a great atmosphere, and the tutors are amazing people. The practical skills you gain are invaluable, and the knowledge and thinking skills are exactly what you need in the industry, not to mention really interesting if you’re into the subject.

“The great thing about horticulture is that it’s applicable all over the world, which means lots of potential travelling! At Christmas I went to Hawaii to work with tropical plants and conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. It was amazingly inspirational meeting so many people in the industry, and even exciting when it came to hiking up the mountain and planting out super rare plants.

“I got to experience so much, not just related to my course, that I would never have done if it weren’t for my placement. NTU were amazingly supportive both before, during and after my trip. I gained so many new skills that I was able to bring back to my course and feedback to my cohort, many of which were skills that I have applied to my coursework.

“It has opened my eyes to an area of horticulture that I didn’t really think about before which was conservation. You don’t tend to think of working with plants as exciting, seeing as they’re so slow moving, but seeing the difference you can make to the Earth and the impact that plants make to a habitat was inspiring. I definitely came back a changed person, and can’t wait for my next placement!

“The course tutors are the best. Being a small group, you really get to know your tutors and the lectures are great fun, as well as informative. The amount of knowledge, skills and experience they have between them is phenomenal, and they are really supportive of particular areas of interest that you have, or questions. They know how to challenge you in order to get the best out of you.

“I love living in Nottingham. There’s an incredible music scene and so much going on. There’s a huge independent scene of shops and restaurants, and lots of hidden gems. The bus route from Brackenhurst Campus is great too. It’s very vibrant being a student here. There’s always something to do, and people to meet. I love the city, but it’s really nice to be able to live in a quieter place like Southwell.

“Initially I wanted to go into garden design when I graduated, but after my placement in Hawaii I am also considering working in conservation as I would really like to travel. The great thing about horticulture is that it is such a big industry, from food and farming to design and habitat conservation and working in a zoo, there are so many different kinds of potential jobs you could do. The skills gained on this course are so varied but applicable to many aspects of the industry as well as other industries.”

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