As the Burnley Gardens turn 150, the University of Melbourne, School of Land and Environment has launched a new Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture, which will start taking enrolments in the first semester of 2014.

The course was designed in response to the evolving challenges of the horticulture industry to produce quality urban environments.

Ms Annette Warner, lecturer and researcher in landscape design, and course coordinator at the Burnley campus said, “The course addresses the many facets of sustainable horticulture for urban environments. Our students will be exposed to the unique combination of research and practitioner-led subjects, managed by our highly qualified subject coordinators. It will be vital training for the urban horticulture industry in Victoria.”

Whist the course draws on existing subjects it also includes new subjects such as urban water management, soils and growing media, landscape technology, and ecology.

There is also a new internship subject acknowledging the importance of industry involvement in shaping student experience.

“This course will suit students with diverse interests; ranging from a passion in plants, design and maintenance of gardens and landscapes, the use indigenous plants, a desire to work with communities, interest in trees and new technologies around green roofs, walls and vertical gardens,” Ms Warner said.

“Our graduates will work in government and private land care sectors. Their roles might be as consultants, small business managers, technical or team leaders, or they may even progress to further study.” The Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture is officially being launched at the Burnley Green Roof garden, Wednesday 20th November 5.30 to 6.30pm.