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Sportsturf Management Apprenticeship

Entry requirements | How to become an Apprentice Sportsturf TechnicianProgramme CostsProgramme structure | More information 


The National Sportsturf Management Apprenticeship is for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the sportsturf sector or existing personnel employed in a sportsturf facility that would like to gain a recognised qualification.

Programme Title: Sportsturf Management Apprenticeship
Duration: Two years
Certification: Higher Certificate in Sportsturf Management Level 6
Awarding Body: Quality and Qualifications Ireland - QQI

Entry requirements

All apprentices must be employed full time by a ‘SOLAS approved employer’ in a Sportsturf setting.

There are three routes:

Option 1:

Leaving Certificate - Minimum entry requirements are a grade H7/O6 or above in five leaving cevrtificate - or equivalent, subjects. A minimum of grade O6 must be obtained in English. A minimum of grade O6 or a B2 or above in Foundation Level  must be obtained in Mathematics.

Option 2

Holders of a QQI Level 5 - or equivalent, in Horticulture can apply for entry onto the programme.

Option 3

A candidate, 17 and older who does not hold the Level 5 qualifications as set out in categories 1 or 2 above but who has a minimum of 1 years’ experience working as in sportsturf industry, is recommended by their employer and demonstrates the correct attitudes, behaviours and literacy skills, will also be eligible to apply.

Note - The English language entry requirements for the programme are CEF B2+ or equivalent. Candidates with English language levels below CEF B2+ must first reach this minimum standard before enrolling on the academic programme.

How to become an Apprentice Sportsturf Technician

  1. Applicant secures employment with an employer who employs greenkeeping or grounds staff
  2. Employer will start the registration process with SOLAS - The Further Education & Training Authority
  3. Applicants application will be assessed and interview will be held with Teagasc

If successful:-

  • Applicant will be registered as an apprentice
  • Apprentice will be called for off-the-job learning block release 

Programme Costs

The cost of the apprenticeship is €1,500 per year of the programme. Associated costs such as travel and accommodation for the off-the-job block release is extra. 

Programme Structure

Apprentices will be trained in a progressive manner and will get to put their skills into practice during both on and off the job training stages. On successful completion, the apprentice will be fully competent in the role of a Sportsturf Technician.

Employers are asked to support employees throughout their learning journey by engaging line managers and facilitating mentor one-to-ones on a regular basis. Employers will be issued with advice on this on induction.

The block release programme has been designed to minimise the impact of the apprentices absence for the employer. Block release allows for employers to plan for the apprentice’s absence throughout the off season. Attendance is compulsory and apprentices will attend classes, practicals, labs and field trips while off-the-job. Examinations will take place also in this period.

The following stages will be completed as part of the Sportsturf Management Apprenticeship:

Year 1 Autumn/Winter Semester

September/October - Two weeks off-the-job
November/December - Two weeks off-the-job

Year 1 Winter/Spring Semester

January/March -  Two weeks off-the-job

Year 1

Blended learning - weekly throughout

Year 2 Autumn/Winter Semester

September/October - Two weeks off-the-job
November/December - Two weeks off-the-job

Year 2 Winter/Spring Semester

January/March -  Two weeks off-the-job

Year 2

Blended learning - weekly throughout

Programme Modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Sportsturf Management
  • Turfgrass Science & Morphology
  • Sportsturf Grasses & Weeds
  • Turfgrass & Landscape Management
  • Turfgrass Equipment: Set-up, Maintenance & Operation
  • Soil & Rootzones for Sportsturf Facilities
  • Soil Hydrology

Year 2

  • Plant Protection
  • Artificial Sports Surfaces
  • Meteorology, Environmental Sustainability & Ecology
  • Sportsturf Construction
  • Sportsturf Facility Set-up
  • Apprentice Project

More information

If you are interested in this apprenticeship as a career get more information on this apprenticeship on the SOLAS Apprenticeships website 

Potential employers can also get information in the employers section of the apprenticeships website


Marcella Phelan or Eamon Kealy at Teagasc Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, E32 YW08 Tel: + 353 (0)51 644400