Text Box: The European market for horticultural products today is dominated by a few very large trans-European retailers. To compete on such a demanding market, high quality standards have to be met, and there is an ongoing need for information within the industry, concerning the relationship between the production process, post harvest handling and produce quality and marketing. From consumers and society at large, the issues of food security and traceability, demand for functional food, together with the impact of horticultural production on the environment are gaining increasing importance. All this indicates a future need of highly qualified and specialised experts within the horticultural industry in the EU.  The curriculum is designed to take into account the needs of potential employers, like National and European agencies and Ministries, International agricultural and horticultural agencies (e.g. FAO), European enterprises for technology transfer in horticulture at global level, where graduates will deal with: 
Crop quality and safety control and management 
Control of production and protection systems  
Storage and supply management systems 
Value enhancement of Genetic diversity to breeding programs (plant 	hunter)  
Nurseries and seed companies management  
Field and greenhouse management  
Agri-food marketing and management in horticultural companies


Course Organization

Text Box: The learning outcomes will be achieved through teaching, research activities and practicals, encompassing fields 1-9 (tables-1-4). In the learning process, students will interact with the key players of the horticultural industry chain. 
During the Master course the students will acquire general and specific competencies: 
ability to tackle new problems and find solutions
ability to identify bottlenecks along the production chain
ability to transfer natural science to horticulture
competence for basic horticultural science and plant breeding
competence in the use of tools to support “Decision making systems”
ability to write reports in English language
ability to search online bibliographic material
knowledge of global horticultural scenario  
Text Box: 1st Semester: (30 ECTS) fall-winter  

Location: UNIBO – Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Bologna. 
The courses offered at UNIBO cover three main fields of targeted plant cultivation: Sustainable orchard management and post-harvest, Monitoring quality of products and production systems, Horticultural Economics. They include special topics on fruit tree production and orchard protection, fruit quality and traceability, Efficient use of natural resources, and Agrifood marketing and management.

Table 1

Text Box: 2nd Semester: (30 ECTS) spring-summer 

Location: TUM - Centre for Life and Food Science, Weihenstephan, Munich. 

The courses offered at TUM cover two main fields of targeted plant cultivation: environmental safety and intrinsic product quality. They include special topics on Energy use and protected cultivation systems and Optimisation of plant metabolism for both plant resistance and human health.

Table 2 
Text Box: 3rd Semester: (30 ECTS) fall-winter 

Location: BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. 
The courses offered at BOKU cover two main fields of targeted plant cultivation: 
Sustainable vegetable and ornamental plant management, including Integrated and Organic Plant protection and Soil fertility and resource conservation.  
Table 3 
Text Box: 4th Semester: (30 ECTS) spring-summer 

Location: Two of the three Consortium Universities. 
This semester is dedicated to a practicum (5 ECTS – Field 8) and to the Master’s thesis (25 ECTS, Field 9) (Table 4). The Master’s thesis will be jointly supervised by at least two professors from two partner Universities, written and discussed in English. It might deal with specific horticultural issues of the student’s home country. The defence of the thesis will take place at the Bologna University. Thesis and practicum ECTS be considered UNIBO ECTS. All students will be evaluated by a panel of professors of the three Universities (minimum 7 teaching staff) The practicum will be represented by a training on how to prepare a research project and a scientific paper and how to organize and present a seminar.  
Text Box: Table 4

The research project in which students can be involved during their practical and master’s thesis are available at Link

Printable version

IMaHS Administration


Department of Fruit Tree and Woody Plant Sciences

viale Fanin 46, 40127- Bologna - Italy

Phone: +39 051 2096447 (from 10-11 a.m)
Fax: +39 051 2096401

E-mail: segretariat.imahs@gmail.com

For more details contact:

Webdesigner and webmaster Dr. Francesco Spinelli: francesco.spinelli3@unibo.it

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Universitŕ di Bologna
Via Zamboni, 33 - 40126 Bologna - Partita IVA: 01131710376



Course Outline

Text Box: The full-degree programme covers 24 study months divided in 4 semesters.  The Master’s Course will start in October and end in October (the award degree session lasts from October to  	March). The number of credits earned at the end of the Master’s course will correspond to 120 ECTS credits. During semesters 1 to 3, students will spend one semester in each one of the three partner Universities, while semester 4 will be dedicated to a research orientated thesis carried out in one of the three Partner Universities in cooperation with a second partner.  The offered courses, all taught in English, have been selected from a pool of disciplines from an existing International Master’s programme jointly offered by the 
Text Box: three consortium Institutions. Students will have to satisfy minimum credit requirements in horticultural biochemistry and soil fertility, ecophysiology and ecology, economy and marketing, genetic improvement and biotechnologies, protection and horticultural production, cultural techniques. They will then be able to deepen their specialization in selected areas thanks to the wide choice of courses available.

The three Universities are fostering the implementation of a methodology of didactical planning of the courses which involve the major stakeholders at local and international level. The Faculty of Agriculture of the three Universities are playing a leading role in these procedures as the University – enterprises cooperation in this sense has started some years ago. The aim of this process is to create professional profiles which could be appealing for the local, national and international labour market

Field 6

Field 7

Sustainable viticulture vegetable and ornamental plant management - vegetable and ornamental plant production - plant protection and post-harvest

Soil fertility and resource conservation - Soil fertility - Soil protection




Biological Production of Vegetables and Ornamentals


Rhizosphere Processes and Application to Agriculture and Soil Protection


Physiology and management of grapevines


Soil structure: Development, functions and changes in agricultural soil


Genetics in Viticulture


Soil-borne pathogens and symbionts


The ecological basis of biological control


Plant Nematology


Postharvest Technology


Water relations of plants

Field 8

Field 9


Master’s Thesis

Training on preparation of a research project writing a scientific paper preparation and presentation of a seminar

Original research project under the

supervision of professors from two


Field 4

Field 5

Environmental protection - energy use in production systems,  - documentation and evaluation of production processes

Intrinsic product quality - targeted plant production for optimising intrinsic quality factors, -secondary metabolism for plant resistance and human health




Ecophysiology: Technical procedures and principles of protected cultivation


Ecophysiology and crop quality


Energy conservation and alternative energy resources


Biotechnology and genetics in horticulture


Systems analysis as a research method (systems evaluation)


Bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables and secondary plant metabolites

Field 1

Field 2

Field 3

Sustainable orchard and post-harvest management - fruit tree production  - orchard protection

Monitoring quality of products and production systems - fruit quality and traceability - Efficient use of natural resources

Horticultural Economics





Nursery and Orchard management


Not-destructive methods for fruit growth and quality assessment


Agrifood marketing


Diagnosis and control of plant diseases


Fruit tree physiology


Measuring management performance


Insect resistance mitigation to artificial control methods



Environmental stress physiology and ecosystems