SETU horticulture students win bursaries to fund travel overseas

Christopher Woodhouse working in Chelsea Physic Garden, London.

After a very competitive process, South East Technological University’s (SETU) School of Science and Computing is pleased to announce the winners of the Una McDermott Travel Bursary for 2024.

Christopher Woodhouse, a second-year student at SETU in Waterford and Kildalton College, was selected as first place winner of the Una McDermott Travel Bursary for 2024.

Christopher will use the bursary to undertake a 15-week internship at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London. From Carlow town, Christopher expressed his thanks to the family of Una McDermott for kindly establishing the prize fund. Christopher remarked that he would try to live in the spirit of courageous travel that Una embodied.

Oscar Grimes in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The Una McDermott Travel Bursary was established by the family of the late horticulture lecturer Una McDermott to honour her memory. The competitive bursary funds educational and skills-development horticulture-related trips outside of Ireland for SETU BSc in Horticulture students. It is a wonderful tribute to a departed, but not forgotten SETU colleague.

Second place was awarded to Dubliner Oscar Grimes, who is using the bursary to undertake the 15-week work placement component of his studies at Birmingham Botanical Garden. Oscar is a second-year SETU Horticulture degree student studying at the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin. Oscar is delighted to have been chosen as a winner and is already in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where he is “having a wonderful time learning and growing”.

The third-place winner was Emma Moore from Dublin, who will shortly be starting her work placement with Summerhill Landscapes in New York. Emma, a second-year student at the National Botanic Gardens, praised the travel bursary for the amazing opportunity allowing students to push themselves, excel and gain experiences.

Fourth place was awarded to first-year SETU and Kildalton College student, Karena O’Mahony. Karena will travel to Logan Botanic Gardens in Scotland this summer to undertake a month-long internship as a student volunteer.

SETU BSc in Horticulture Programme Director, Dr Cara Daly says, “I would like to congratulate all the winners on their awards which are much deserved. We look forward to hearing about their trips and sharing the learning with other students upon their return. Applications this year were of high calibre showing the depth of knowledge, and desire for improvement amongst the SETU student cohort.

“We hope the efforts this year will inspire more students from the programmes to look outside of Ireland for opportunities and experiences to bolster their CVs. Thanks also to the family of Una McDermott for generously establishing the fund.”

Both SETU L7 3-year BSc in Horticulture programmes are now accepting entry to year 1, 2 and 3 via For suitably qualified applicants, shorter 12-week Level 7 Certificates are available for upskilling in areas such Landscape Design, Nursery Stock Production, Sportsturf Science, Garden Management, and Sustainable Food Production. Degree graduates might be interested to hear about the new part-time SETU MSc / Postgraduate Diploma in Biological and Organic Horticulture by distance learning starting in September, 2024. For more information on all the SETU training opportunities, please visit our website.