2nd Cycle Degree/2 year Master in International Horticultural Science

Degree programme

Programme type 2nd Cycle Degree/2 year Master
Academic Year 2013/2014
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8765
Degree Programme Class LM-69 - Agricolture
Years in which the programme is being held I
Teaching mode Traditional lecture (classroom-taught)
Type of access Open access with assessment of personal competencies
Place of teaching Bologna
Degree Type Joint degree
Partner Universities TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITÄT MÜNCHEN , CENTRE INTERNATIONAL D’ETUDES SUPÉRIEURES EN SCIENCES AGRONOMIQUES (MONTPELLIER SUPAGRO) , UNIVERSITÄT FÜR BODENKULTUR WIEN , INSTITUT SUPÉRIEUR DES SCIENCES AGRONOMIQUES, AGROALIMENTAIRES, HORTICOLES ET DU PAYSAGE (AGROCAMPUS OUEST) , BUDAPESTI CORVINUS EGYETEM , LIBERA UNIVERSITA' DI BOLZANO , HUMBOLDT-UNIVERSITÄT ZU BERLIN
Degree Programme Director Francesco Spinelli
Language English

Programme profile

The objective of the Master course is to form professional figures able to work in global horticultural markets. The overall aim of project is not only to provide a top level program that highly qualifies graduates to deal with the challenge of modern horticulture, but also to equip them the tools to face the rapid changes occurring at European and worldwide levels. To achieve this goal IMaHS programme will exploit the complementary expertises of the 8 partners, the unique integrated structure, where all the semesters are jointly offered by two universities, the structural students and scholars mobility and the research-based master thesis.
The IMaHS graduates will be highly skilled and specialized, but will have, at the same time, a wide background of knowledge, and, an integrated and holistic approach to problem solving issues. Through IMaHS, the students will receive the knowledge and skills to successfully pursue their careers in national and international organizations (private and public) and also be enabled to pursue an academic career. The scientific objectives are clearly.

The programme, worth 120 ECTS, is divided into 4 semesters of 30 ETCS each. All students enrolled in Italy will begin the programme at UNIBO.
In the first semester, UNIBO and FUB will offer the basic courses which include “Ecosystems and Plant ecophysiology”, “Advanced Plant Pathology”, “Managing crop growth, yield and quality” and “Horticultural Economics”.
During the second semester, methodological courses will be offered which include, among others, “Crop biotechnology”, “Research evaluation methods in horticultural economics”, “Systems analysis as a research method”, “Plant physiology and analytical chemistry”. Two different second semesters will be offered providing common core and specific methodological tools to address the problems linked with modern horticulture. The two second semesters will both provide the essential tools to achieve any of the four specializations, but they will differ in the scientific approach to the different topics. The semester jointly offered by TUM and HU, named “From genes to plants”, will be more focused on a biotech point of view to steer the crop production and to develop new crops and new cultivation systems. Whereas, the semester “From plant to genes”, jointly offered by COR and BOKU, will focus on the physiological aspects of plant production and the biotech will be a tool to investigate the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying the interaction between the crop and the environments which affect plant productivity, quality and fitness to the environment. The semester “From genes to plants” will be hosted in TUM where also the scholars from HU will give lessons, whereas, the alternative second semester, “From plant to genes”, will be hosted by COR.
The third semester will allow the students to specialize in particular fields of modern horticulture. In more detail, the four different specializations to be offered are:

- Control and Optimization of Horticultural Systems (TUM-HU)

- Sustainable Systems in Mediterranean and Tropical Horticulture (AGROCAMPUS-SUPAGRO)

- Sustainable Fruit Production (UNIBO-FUB)

- High Value crops (COR-BOKU

The fourth semester is dedicated to a practicum (5 ECTS) and to a research orientated the Master-thesis (25 ECTS) carried out in co-tutoring between two partner universities. In relation with the specialization field of S3, it might deal with specific horticultural issues of student home country. The 30 ECTS of the last semester will be given by the host university, but the defence of the thesis will take place at Bologna University. At the end of the master, all students will be evaluated by a panel of professors of the partner universities (minimum 8 teaching staff). The practicum will be represented by training on how to prepare a research project and a scientific paper and how to organise and present a seminar. Practicum activities in private companies or other stakeholder are also envisaged. However, these activities will be tailored, case by case, on the student needs and the stakeholder requests

UNIBO has specific expertises on management and ecophysiology of fruit trees, on evaluation of processes at ecosystem level and on economics of horticultural products.

TUM has developed specific competences on energy use in production systems and on documentation and evaluation of production processes, on targeted plant production for optimizing intrinsic quality factors, and on secondary metabolism for plant resistance and human health and on plant biotechnology.
BOKU has specific expertise on crop management of ornamental, vegetable crops, and viticulture and will add to the program its competencies on organic and sustainable production systems including soil conservation, biodiversity and biological resource management.
At COR, the courses have been selected from the wide pools of topic offered in the renowned ”Master of Horticultural Science”. COR teaching offer will be focused on the areas of ornamental plants, greenspace development, medicinal plants and vegetable-fungi. HU will make available the expertise, knowledge and experience developed in the field of Horticulture as well as in the field of international study programmes and Erasmus Mundus.
AGROCAMPUS brings specific expertise fields to the course: diversity of horticultural crops and cropping systems, cropping system analysis, genetics and improvement of horticultural crops, evaluation and enhancement of fruits and vegetables quality, horticultural seeds and transplants quality and organisation, integrated pest management in horticultural systems, chain organisation and management, peri-urban horticulture and protected crops.
The Free University of Bolzano (FUB) brings extensive competences in the management of production systems and ecosystems.
SUPAGRO brings to the IMaHS course its specific expertise in different fields: national and international horticultural chains organisation and management, analysis of diversity of horticultural crops and cropping systems especially in Mediterranean & tropical zones, design of sustainable horticultural systems, integrated management of Mediterranean and tropical pest and diseases, genetic diversity and plant breeding, Mediterranean & tropical fruit and vegetable processing.


More information

The degree programme is recognised under the European Erasmus Mundus programme which extends its scholarships to non-EU students.

Scholarships
To promote the international horticultural science / ortofrutticoltura internazionale degree programme activities, the School of Agriculture and veterinary Medicine may offer Scholarships for non-Italian students enrolling at Bologna.


Expected learning outcomes

Conoscenza e capacità di comprensione (knowledge and understanding)
2nd cycle graduatespossess knowledge and understanding in the following fields:
Production:
- Theoretical and practical knowledge on biology, horticulture, and agricultural ecosystem management and ecology, sustainable production, agricultural economics, quality management, which are indispensable for an effective professional development
- Extensive knowledge on the biotic and abiotic factors affecting the production and the processing system and their impact on the environment, product quality and consumer health
- Basic skills concerning horticulture and genetic improvement.
Protection
- in-depth scientific knowledge on the fields of genetic improvement, biology and applied physiology, on the use of real-time monitoring and management methods for sustainable fruit crop production processes
- Understanding of the factors affecting production and yield and the methods used to optimise them.
Supply chain management
- Knowledge of the global horticulture scenario
- Competencies in the use of tools to support the "decision-making system”
- Technical and organisational knowledge and laboratory skills for the quality control of production chain in various fields of fruit crop production.
- Knowledge and understanding of the latest production and processing technologies.

Knowledge in the various learning areas is acquired through individual study and the production of written work during the study programme at Bologna and in the other partner universities. The programme aims to provide a solid knowledge base on the main agronomic, biochemical, physiological, genetic and managerial skills involved in a quality and sustainable production. This knowledge and understanding is assessed in course unit exams and in the production of the dissertation for the final examination.

Capacità di applicare conoscenza e comprensione (applying knowledge and understanding)
2nd cycle graduatesare able to apply their knowledge and understanding in the following fields:
Production
- ability to apply scientific and practical knowledge of biology, horticulture, agricultural ecosystem management and ecology, sustainable production, agricultural economics, quality management in order to establish an optimum management of the horticultural production chain.
- ability to develop ecologically, economically and socially sustainable intervention strategies to optimise human inputs in connection with the environmental factors
- ability to identify the main production and quality characteristics of the species involved and to design specific improvement programmes.
Protection
- ability to identify and manage the critical points of a sustainable fruit production process in real time based on their extensive knowledge of genetic improvement, biology and applied physiology.
- ability to optimise production systems and yields through knowledge of limiting critical factors.
Supply chain management
- ability to support the decision-making process using specific tools such as the knowledge of global horticulture.
- quality control techniques of the production chain in various fields of crop production using technical and logistical knowledge and laboratory skills.
- ability to use the most recent technologies applied to production and processing techniques.

In order to apply the knowledge acquired, case studies offering different problems in each learning area will be presented to students Students will deal with different steps of the decision-making process in order to manage and solve real situations. These abilities are assessed through case studies requiring at the students to propose sustainable and real solutions.

Autonomia di giudizio (making judgements)
2nd cycle graduates
- are able to define the best fruit and vegetable production techniques with a view to environmental protection;
- are able to analyse data and information autonomously to assess the quality and effectiveness of the results obtained in the design of strategies for problem control, nutrition and/or fertilisation;
- are able to evaluate autonomously the problems relating to their professional activity and which may in particular concern the feasibility of horticultural development programmes in both advanced economies and emerging countries;
- are able to assess quality control systems applied to fruit and vegetables and methods for defining internal and external quality parameters;
- can plan activities and strategies to meet objectives, considering times and methods;
Judgement skills are developed in particular through practical exercises, seminars and the preparation of written work as well as in the activities assigned by the supervising professors (tutor and co-tutor) in preparation of the final dissertation.
Judgement skills are assessed through the evaluation of the activities carried out in the various programme locations and the evaluation of the students' ability to work autonomously as well as in groups during the activities assigned in preparation of the final examination.

Abilità comunicative (communication skills)
2nd cycle graduates
- are able to explain and reason their own hypotheses developed autonomously on subjects included in their studies;
- are able to work in multidisciplinary groups;
- are able to work autonomously and adapt to new situations;
- having completed the degree programme held entirely in the English language and having been in contact with different European cultures, have the ability to work jointly on projects and activities with foreign stakeholders in a European context.
Written and oral communication skills are developed in particular during seminars, practical exercises and learning activities which also require the production and oral presentation of written assignments. The above communication skills will also be assessed through the production and presentation of the final dissertation in the English language.

Capacità di apprendimento (learning skills)
2nd cycle graduates
- are aware of and able to assess their own skills in order to continue their learning autonomously to update and improve their skills;
- are able to apply the developed learning methods and tools to update and extend the contents studied, also in professional contexts, and to continue further studies with a high level of autonomy.
Learning skills are acquired throughout the study periods spent at Bologna and the partner universities, particularly concerning self-study, the production of individual projects assigned and the final dissertation and examination.
Learning skills are evaluated through continuous assessment during the learning activities and during the final examination activities.


Course units

The course units are listed according to the chosen curriculum

Extra-curricular activities

English language courses are organized for students enrolled in the 2nd cycle degree programme in international horticultural science / ortofrutticoltura internazionale, and scientific seminar cycles and Italian and English language courses are delivered at the School for Erasmus Mundus students.


International mobility

Students enrolled in the 2nd cycle degree programme in international horticultural science / ortofrutticoltura internazionale must spend the 1st semester in Bologna, the 2nd in Munich and Berlin or Wien and Budapest, the 3rd in Munich and Berlin or Wien and Budapest or Montpellier and Anger or Bologna and Bolzano. The experimental dissertations must be written in coordination with a foreign professor.

Departmental coordinator for international student mobility
Prof. Paola Rossi - paola.rossi@unibo.it


Final examination

The final examination consists in the presentation of a dissertation on an original subject agreed with a Professor of the School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Bologna and a professor from one of the partner universities participating in the Horticultural Science Programme, presented before an examination board. The dissertation is based on the research work carried out during the whole fourth semester.

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master universitario di secondo livello.


Career opportunities

Career opportunities e professionali previsti per i laureati
(Decreti sulle Classi, Art. 3, comma 7)
Graduates may cover the following professional roles and relative functions in the following fields of employment:
Professional figure:
Expert agronomist in fruit and vegetable crops
Functions
• Management of fruit and vegetable production companies;
• Estimation of the production and economic prospects of a company in insurance and banking terms;
• Evaluation and guidance in the field of sales and marketing policies locally and internationally;
• Technical and specialist consulting in different aspects of fruit and vegetable production;
• Design of urban horticulture systems;
• Management of protected/hydroponic horticulture systems;
Career opportunities
Fruit and vegetable production chain companies, public and private practical and scientific experimentation and information dissemination centres.
Competences
• Spirit of initiative, pro-active skills and autonomy
• Ability to work effectively and set priorities
• Ability to analyse and assess the costs and benefits of possible actions in order to make the most appropriate choices
• Problem-solving skills: gathering useful information to assess possible options, identify causes and effects, and make decisions;
• Adaptability to different situations and problems
• Strong interpersonal skills to work with people from different cultural and professional contexts

Professional figure:
Expert agronomist in IPM (Integrated protection)
Functions
• Design and management of integrated control strategies applied to plant problems;
Career opportunities
Fruit and vegetable production chain companies, public and private practical and scientific experimentation and information dissemination centres.
Competences
• Spirit of initiative, pro-active skills and autonomy
• Problem-solving skills: gathering useful information to assess possible options, identify causes and effects, and make decisions;
• Ability to apply general rules to specific problems and demonstrate the possible solutions and utility of the available methods and tools
• Strong interpersonal skills to work with people from different cultural and professional contexts
• Adaptability to different situations and problems

Professional figure:
Expert agronomist in plant nutrition and fertilisation
Functions
• Design and management of nutrition and fertilisation strategies to optimise production;
• Management of protected/hydroponic horticulture systems;
Career opportunities
Fruit and vegetable production chain companies, public and private practical and scientific experimentation and information dissemination centres.
Competences
• Spirit of initiative, pro-active skills and autonomy
• Problem-solving skills: gathering useful information to assess possible options, identify causes and effects, and make decisions;
• Ability to apply general rules to specific problems and demonstrate the possible solutions and utility of the available methods and tools
• Strong interpersonal skills to work with people from different cultural and professional contexts
• Adaptability to different situations and problems

Professional figure:
Expert agronomist in genetic improvement
Functions
• Design and management of genetic improvement strategies;
Career opportunities:
Fruit and vegetable production chain companies, public and private practical and scientific experimentation and information dissemination centres.
Competences
• Spirit of initiative, pro-active skills and autonomy
• Problem-solving skills: gathering useful information to assess possible options, identify causes and effects, and make decisions;
• Ability to apply general rules to specific problems and demonstrate the possible solutions and utility of the available methods and tools
• Strong interpersonal skills to work with people from different cultural and professional contexts
• Adaptability to different situations and problems

Report from corporate and professional associations

IMaHS consortium has an already existing network of collaborations with the key stakeholders in the horticultural production chain. For example, research cooperation with breeders associations and nurseries (i.e. Jintao-kiwigold®, Zespri®, and CIV Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti), companies producing environmental friendly compounds for sustainable agriculture (i.e. Valent bioscience, Biolchim S.p.A, Ajinomoto Group, Valagro S.p.A, Agrifutur) and national growers associations (i.e. Apofruit, Apoconerpo, Terremerse) are already in place in UNIBO. In addition, joint projects are running with Landgard which is Germany´s leading marketing organisation for horticultural products.

This network of collaboration has been further strengthened for the preparation of the HortAlliance (developed for the EMJD DocHort proposal). The HortAlliance was established among 26 members including stakeholders and non-EU and non-university research bodies The above mentioned activities allow gathering precise information on stakeholder needs and requests. Additional information have been obtained with the participation at International symposia, workshops and other stakeholders meetings such as the Macfrut International Convention and Exhibition, Fruit Logistica, Momentum Conferece-Zespri, International Kiwi Organization (IKO).

Discussions on the degree programme were also held during the meetings organised with external stakeholders and students during the last editions of IMaHS (i.e. IMaHS day, 17/12/2010, Palazzo Vespignani, Imola; Symposium on Horticulture in Europe – SHE, Anger 1-5/7/2012; EPPO/Q-detect meeting, Padova 16-18/11/2011 ) and during national and international meetings and conventions (i.e. ISHS, the Macfrut International Convention and Exhibition, Fruit Logistica, Momentum Conference -Zespri, International Kiwi Organization (IKO)). Further information on possible career opportunities were obtained through consultations with some partners, including TUM. The results of these consultations can be found on the website: http://www.fh-weihenstephan.de/gl/berufsfeldanalyse-gartenbau-2008.pdf. Finally, a website was launched ( https://www.unibo.it/fs/fs.aspx?surveyid=e9b0871820449c59ea12d30752156f6 ) to allow consultation with external stakeholders on-line.