Date: 
Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 17:16

The Eden Project has announced that it will offer degree courses for the first time. The degrees will be delivered in partnership with the Cornwall College Group and awarded by Plymouth University.

Eden has a strong pedigree in formal education with more than half a million children visiting the site on school visits since it opened in March 2001. Eden and Cornwall College have also recently launched the project’s biggest-ever apprenticeship programme.

From September 2015, students on a range of courses including horticulture, event management and small-scale theatre will be able to put their skills into action at Eden.

Announcing the initiative, Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, said:  “The future will belong to those who have real dirt-under-the-fingernails skills allied to an intellect that enjoys problem solving.

“Our friendship with Cornwall College led us to work together on shaping some new courses that will create a benchmark higher than any available elsewhere.

“Our passion is to offer the sort of courses we would want to go on ourselves, not dreary stuff. We want to be judged on the quality of our students, as they will become our ambassadors.”

The Eden Project is at its heart an educational charity that seeks to enable learning through innovative visitor experiences and more structured learning activities and programmes. 

Deputy CEO of the Cornwall College Group, Raoul Humphreys, said: “What connects The Cornwall College Group and Eden is a shared passion and belief in the power of learning to shape the world.

We are offering the opportunity to develop both specialist and practical skills up to degree level, through studying and working in a world-class visitor attraction, renowned for its horticulture, visitor experience and ethos of excellence”. 
 
The courses will include a BSc (Hons) Horticulture with specialist pathways in Plant Science or Garden and Landscape Design, foundation degrees (FdSc) in Horticulture and Event Management and HNC/HNDs in Garden and Landscape Design and Small-Scale Theatre (interpretation and storytelling).   All these courses will be studied at Eden, following agreement from Plymouth University.

The Cornwall College Group has chosen these courses because of their unique and specialist learning journey, which aligns to Eden’s ethos.  It’s hoped that these courses will grow over the next three years, attracting students from across the UK and Europe to study at Eden.   

Raoul continued: “The programme of study and student experience will be greatly enhanced through collaboration with the Eden Project. The mixture of resources including Eden’s plant collections, growing environments, nursery and the proposed new teaching facilities coupled with the nationally renowned micro-propagation research facility of Duchy College Rosewarne, will provide an outstanding platform from which to deliver these existing and newly validated horticulture programmes. 

“Studying at Eden will allow students in Event Management and Small Scale Theatre to work in an inspirational environment, with staff with amazing technical abilities, putting theory into practice, developing skills and industry contacts.”

Eden is holding an open day on Saturday February 7 for people who are interested in Eden’s degree programme to come and find out more about the courses on offer.