Floristry is a diverse and expanding business sector offering a career in a fascinating and dynamic profession that combines creativity, technical ability and business skills. CAFRE is a British Florist Association Member College with an experienced and dedicated teaching team and offers the only full-time course in floristry in Ireland.
Our students have an enviable reputation for competition success, with CAFRE floristry students reaching the final of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Young Chelsea Florist of the Year Competition in seven of the last eight years. Four of our graduates have been awarded RHS Chelsea Medals in this competition and one was a medalist in the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year Competition in 2016.
Our course Open Days in April and October are the best opportunity for prospective students to find out more about our courses, meet staff and students and view facilities at Greenmount. Further details of these events can be found in the Open Days section.
Fees, accommodation and transport
There are no tuition fees for our Level 3 and Level 2 Diploma courses in Floristry and a means tested maintenance grant is available for full-time students studying the Level 2 Diploma in Floristry. Further details can be found in the Financial Support section.
On campus accommodation and free car parking are available and for students travelling to Greenmount Campus by public transport, the campus provides a free daily minibus service for the two mile journey to and from Antrim bus and rail centre. The vast majority of our full-time students are 16–20 years old, so studying at CAFRE is a great way to meet new friends and develop independence and employability skills, yet still feel close to home. The residential support team is on hand 24 hours a day and they help organise a great range of clubs, societies and evening activities for both our residential and non-residential students.
The resources at Greenmount Campus for floristry education and training are unique in the UK. The Greenmount Resource Centre is the hub for student research, business management and ICT, also providing students with superb recreation facilities. Greenmount Campus has two Floristry Studios, designed to demonstrate good industry practice, within the beautiful Walled Garden. The studios have dedicated space for cut flower identification and conditioning, refrigerated display storage for cut flowers and foliage, and design demonstration and practice. They also have retail display windows and a gift wrapping/customer service area.
In 2016, the eco-friendly Plant Studio was opened to house an extensive indoor plant collection which is used by students to study plant identification and care as well as retail display. In addition a large purpose built store for floristry sundries and display materials was developed.
A range of seasonal pot plant and cut flower crops are grown on campus at the Horticulture Training Centre for development and demonstration to growers and florists. Floristry students can see at first-hand how cut flowers, foliage and pot plant crops are produced using modern production methods. Eighteen hectares of landscaped grounds at Greenmount provide excellent opportunities to extend plant knowledge and incorporate natural materials in design work.
The Level 2 Diploma in Floristry provides students with all the basic floristry design and customer service skills needed for employment in retail floristry. Most of our graduates go directly into employment as qualified florists on completion of the Level 2 course and some progress to study for their Level 3 Diploma on a day release basis and secure positions as Senior Florists or Shop Managers.
Many of our students who have achieved their Level 3 Diploma eventually open their own floristry businesses and some specialize in wedding flowers or move into related areas of work such as event management.