Learn more about undertaking research in the horticulture sector

This course follows on from Horticultural Research I, but can be taken as a stand alone course if you have some experience in the area.

Excellent for people working in horticulture and looking to take the next step.


This course is a useful stepping stone for people in the horticulture field

Learn how to collect data, create useful visualisations, conduct analysis, and use your work to solve problems.

In this course, you'll learn how to identify issues and priorities, plan a project, and collect and interpret data. Working with your assigned academic, you'll learn how to think and assess critically, and address important issues in horticulture.



This course is split into the following lessons:

1.  Identifying Research Issues and Determining Research Priorities

  • Introduction: first, second, third steps
  • Finding research ideas
  • Brainstorming
  • Steps to brainstorming
  • Mind maps
  • How to mind map
  • Concept mapping
  • Determining research priorities
  • Beginning your research
  • Formulating a research topic
  • Is the research feasible
  • Formulating a hypothesis
  • Terminology

2. Acquisition of Technical Information

  • Literature review
  • Research methods
  • Basic methods of collecting information: experimental, correlation, questionnaires, surveys, tests, document review
  • Naturalistic observation
  • Focus groups
  • Case studies

3. Specialised Research Techniques

  • Selecting a research method
  • Fishbone diagrams
  • Applications for cause and effect diagrams
  • Lateral thinking
  • Lateral thinking techniques
  • Pareto analysis
  • Observations
  • Root cause analysis


4. Research Planning and Designing

  • Project planning
  • Defining the problem, possible solutions and objectives
  • Problem tree analysis tool
  • SWOT analysis
  • Prioritise objectives and define activities
  • Allocate resources
  • Results and assessment

5. Statistics

  • Introduction
  • Data presentation
  • Measures of central tendancy
  • Distributions

6. Conducting Research

  • Collecting and logging data
  • Developing a data base structure
  • Data transformations
  • Analyzing data
  • Managing data
  • Analytical procedure

7. Writing Reports

  • Reporting results
  • Report structure
  • Contents of a research report (example)
  • Pitfalls to avoid


Duration: 100 hours


Key Strategies in Working Out a Research Question

The first step in doing relevant, worthwhile research is to identify areas, social groups, markets, or organisations that might benefit from your work, and what kind of information might be useful. This is a vital step as much of the governmental and private funding today is tied to these constraints.

The second step is to arrive at a specific topic for research, one that clearly articulates the aim of the research, and defines the focus for the research. It defines clearly the goals: what are we doing the research for?

The third step is to consider if your proposed research is realistic. This is a necessary step on the analysis as it will help determining the strategies, how we will approach and study the problem. Can it be done in a realistic time frame? Has it already been thoroughly researched by someone else? Are there still important questions to be asked? Is there enough information? Steps two and three may need to be repeated several times before the final research topic is identified.




Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]

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