Master of Science in Horticulture



    The goal of the program is to equip the learners with knowledge and skills to prepare them for professional careers in academia, research, industry and government.



    At the end of the MSc programme, the learner should be able to:

    1. Explain concepts, key principles and practices in the horticulture value chain
    2. Analyse the horticultural industry and apply practical skills to manage real-life situations, and solve problems in the industry
    3. Communicate effectively as a professional with clients and colleagues in real-life situations
    4. Operate effectively and ethically as a team member in the horticulture industry

    Applications of biotechnology in agriculture: bioremediation, crop stress tolerance to biotic and abiotic factors, crop quality and nutrition; gene revolution and crop production; industrial and pharmaceutical products. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) structure and function, gene expression, translation, transcription. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) structure, synthesis and processing; Recombinant DNA technology; Molecular techniques for gene cloning, enzymes used in gene cloning and characterization; cell and tissue culture; genetic engineering, transformation overview; Social and ethical issues in biotechnology, biotechnology policies. Mating systems and breeding methods of field and horticultural crops; male sterility; incompatibility, clones; marker assisted breeding and genetic modification; breeding for disease and pest resistance; tissue culture and polyploidization; breeding major field and horticultural crops; multi-location testing and variety release; breeding rights and their regulations in breeding major field and horticultural crops.


    Students are admitted once every year usually in September with exception of variation that may be caused by unforeseen circumstances. Applications are, however, received all year round and are processed for yearly admission.

    Minimum Admission Requirements

    The following are eligible for admission:

    1. A holder of a degree with at least Upper Second Class Honours in Bachelor of Science in Horticulture, Agriculture, Botany and Zoology, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, or related plant science degree or Bachelor of Education in Science with botany and Zoology option and any other relevant subject from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by Senate.
    2. Holders of a degree with at least Lower Second Class Honours in any of the degrees specified in the common admission regulations with at least two years’ relevant experience as evidenced by research publications, or relevant postgraduate diploma or equivalent qualification from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognised by the Senate may be considered for admission.
    3. Holders of a pass Bachelor’s degree in disciplines specified and a postgraduate diploma in the relevant areas.
    4. A holder of a pass degree in the disciplines specified common admission regulations with at least five years’ work experience in the agricultural related field.

    Credit Transfer and Exemptions

    1. A candidate may be exempted from taking some course units and be allowed to transfer credits of the same up to a maximum of one third (⅓) of the taught units provided that these are from institutions recognized by the University of Nairobi Senate.
    2. A candidate seeking transfer of credit shall send a formal application to the Academic Registrar, through the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, justifying and supporting the request. The supporting documents shall include an official transcript indicating courses that may be equivalent and descriptions and syllabi/ outlines of the courses in which the applicant is seeking transfers of credit or an exemption.
    3. Transfer of credits shall be processed only after payment of the prescribed non-refundable fees.

    Application for admission to Master programmes



    Career Prospects/Attachment Opportunities

    Horticultural flower and vegetable production chains,
    exports companies/limited
    Quality control manager
    Quality standards control agencies
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
    Landscaping services
    Ornamentals and arboreta
    Fruit production
    Garden and lawns management
    Greenhouse and Lathe house management
    National and international research organizations


    Year 1

    Year 2


    1. Registration




    1. Tuition (KES 20,000/ unit)




    1. Examination




    1. Thesis Supervision




    1. Thesis Examination




    1. Laboratory and field fee




    1. ICT services




    1. Library




    1. ID Card




    1. Caution money (Refundable)




    1. Medical fee




    1. Activity Fee




    1. Student organization









    Additional Charges (Ksh)

    1. Convocation                                                          - 1,000
    2. Late registration                                                     - 1,000
    3. Retention of registration*                                      - 2,250/ semester
    4. Extension of studentship                                       - 10,000/ semester
    5. Remark of examination                                         - 1,000/ paper
    6. Issuance of transcripts                                           - 500
    7. Appeal                                                                   - 1,000
    8. Replacement of lost ID card                                               - 500
    9. Thesis processing                                                   - 8,000
    10. Extension of Correction period                              - 2,000 per month
    11. Extension of revision period                                  - 3,000 per month
    12. Extension of supervision   period                         - 6,000
    13. Examination of revised thesis                                - 9,000
    14. Hire of academic dress                                          - 4,000

    *For students who defer, or temporarily withdraw from their studies


    Guidelines for research money for the MSc degree is approximately KES 200,000 but the actual cost will depend on the type of research.

    Philosophy, Rationale

    COURSE DURATION: Two (2) years


    The philosophy of this programme is to train and produce world-class University graduates who can engage at the local, regional, continental and global levels and who will provide leadership and excel in the field of horticulture. The programme is designed to be responsive to the national and international aspirations through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge in horticulture and develop innovations as a foundation for research, academia, managerial and policymakers in the field of Horticulture.


    Over the past two decades, the horticultural industry in Kenya has expanded tremendously becoming a major contributor to the country’s economy and the leading foreign exchange earner and a major employer. However, stiff competition in regional and global markets and the problems encountered in production, processing, financing, and environmental management pose a serious challenge. There is, therefore, a need to build capacity in aspects that increase productivity while managing resources and the environment efficiently, effectively and sustainably.

    The programme is designed with a view of training high-quality graduates with requisite professional and technical skills to effectively handle issues of crop productivity, quality, postharvest handling and value addition. The trainees will be equipped with knowledge and skills on global issues including good agricultural practices, climate change, biodiversity, biotechnology, environmental management and market access. In addition, the trainees will be taught research and communication skills to enable them to develop strategies that will enhance the growth of the horticulture sub-sector. The programme is designed to produce holistic graduates well prepared and equipped to handle challenges and exploit opportunities within the horticultural products value chain.

    Application Information
    Mode of Delivery

    Face-to-Face Mode

    Lectures, seminars, discussions, tutorials, guided practical experiments and demonstrations.

    Open, Distance and E-Learning Mode

    Home and or office-based media using a variety of self-instructional electronic and online self-study materials, such as; written self-instructional study modules, online interactive devices and self-tests, cloud-based content, videos of lectures mediated technical learning materials e.g. audiovisual and e-learning materials

    Blended Learning Mode

    A combination of face-to-face and online learning approaches.

    Contacts of Support Persons

    Prof Richard Ombui Nyankanga

      Contacts: +254 20 4916020; e-mail:

    Prof James Muthomi

     Contacts: +254 20 4916020; e-mail:


    Notable alumni

    Prof. Kimani Waithaka- Professor of Horticulture, University of Nairobi

    Prof. Margret J. Hurchinson- Professor of Horticulture,University of Nairobi

    Prof. Solomon Shibairo- Professor of Horticulture, Masinde Murilo University

    Prof. Daniel M. Mukunya – Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

    Prof. Agnes W. Mwangómbe – Professor, University of Nairobi

    Prof. Rama D. Narla         - Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

    Prof. Eunice W. Mutitu    - Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

    Dr. Robin Buruchara - CIAT Regional Director in Africa CIAT

    Prof. Ezekiel Kiprop – Professor, University of Eldoret

    Prof. John W. Kimenju - Professor, University of Nairobi

    Prof. Isabel Wagara – Associate Professor, Egerton University