Hydroponics and Horticultural Technology Course
Hydroponics was obscure and almost unheard of until the late 20th century.
Today it is a significant and expanding sector of the horticulture industry; offering lucrative opportunities in many branches of production horticulture. Hydroponic farming can be costly to set up; but it can also be conducted in places where other horticultural options are difficult; and it has the potential to provide much higher returns per acre than any other form of horticulture.
Comment from a Student -"Horticultural management and hydroponics"" Having completed the Advanced Hydroponics Course, I have since gone on to open my own successful hydroponics retail shop, now in it's third year of trading" - Ted
In Summary Hydroponics involves:
- Less land but more produce per acre
- More technology, more equipment, but less water, less need for chemical pest control and less waste products
- Growing plants for more of the year; but a need to watch your plants more closely
- Growing without soil means you can grow in cities, in otherwise unusable areas -and often closer to the end user (which means less transport costs)
Duration – 900 Hours, self pace learning
This Advanced Certificate involves three areas of work:
- CORE STUDIES - four units of compulsory subjects for all students.
- ELECTIVE STUDIES - three stream units for the development of knowledge in the chosen specialisation or industry sector.
- PROJECT - a "management in the workplace project" of 200 hrs involving approved work experience in a small business. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.
CORE UNITS Click on each module for more details
Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.
Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.
Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.
Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.
1. HYDROPONICS I
There are ten lessons as follows:
- How a Plant Grows
- Hydroponic Systems
- Nutrition and Nutrition management
- Plant Culture
- Hydroponic Vegetable Production
- Hydroponic Cut Flower Production
- Solid Media vs Nutrient Film
- Greenhouse Operation and Management
- Special Assignment
2. HYDROPONIC MANAGEMENT (Hydroponics II)
There are eleven lessons in this module as follows:
- How the Crop Plant Grows: Understanding how a plant grows in hydroponics, plant growth factors, manipulating and controlling growth, plant troubleshooting, resources, fruit set management, pollination issues, flower initiation, flower and fruit development etc.
- How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial
- Harvest and Post Harvest
- Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops
- Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)
This module has eight lessons as follows:
- Options for Managing Plant Culture
- Planning a Hydroponic Operation
- System Design Components
- Managing a Hydroponic System in Hot, Humid Conditions
- Water Management
- Nutrient Formulation
- Controlling Nutrient Levels
- Pest and Disease Control
Alternatively you may negotiate to take swap one or at most two of the core or stream modules for a different course as your third module; such as:
- Structures for Protected Cropping
- Environmental Control
- Cladding Materials and their Properties
- Irrigation and Nutrition
- Relationship between Production techniques and Horticultural practices
- Harvest and Post Harvest Technology
- Risk Assessment
GREEN WALLS AND ROOFS
There are nine lessons in this module.
- Scope & Nature of Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Construction Functional and Appropriate Vertical and Roof Gardens
- Climbing Plants and Structures for climbing
- Plants Suited to Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Adaptations for Other Plants in Roof and Vertical Gardens
- Container Growing
- Maintenance –watering, pest control
- Applications/Landscaping –Roof Gardens
- Applications/Landscaping –Vertical gardens
There are ten lessons.
- Aquaponic System Options
- The Science of Animal and Plant Growth
- Nutrition and Controlling Growth
- Selecting and Managing Animal Production: Fish and Crustaceans
- Setting up an Aquaculture System
- Aquaponic Plant Culture
- Applications and Opportunities
- Managing an Aquaponics Venture -including a Problem Based Learning Project
This course was developed by leading international experts including John Mason, author of Commercial Hydroponics (now in it's 8th printing) and Dr Lyn Morgan, author and commercial hydroponic consultant.
This course is internationally accredited through I.A.R.C.
This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.
Here are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:
If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.
The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.
If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.
Procedure for a Workplace Project
This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.
This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.
Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.
For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.
Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.
If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).
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