BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture* -

BSc/BSc (Hons) Agriculture*

On the course, there is an emphasis on agriculture and related food production and land-based industry enterprises. *Subject to validation for 2023 entry

Course Details

  • Department

  • Qualification

    Level 5
  • Course Type

    Full Time
  • Length

    3 Years
  • Location(s)


Course at a glance

This programme has been designed to equip students with technical and management skills to enter the agricultural supply chain. There is a focus on business productivity and sustainability, the global market, the supply chains it supports, agricultural management systems, enterprise development and entrepreneurship. The complexity of agricultural management is driven by many factors including global population growth, transforming economic and political circumstances, environmental change and rapid developments in technology.



Centre Code


What you will learn

The need for well-trained and educated graduates in agriculture therefore continues to grow. This growth is not only reflected in the number of graduates required but also by the increasingly diverse range of careers available to them.

The BSc (Hons) Agriculture is a multidisciplinary programme designed to provide the knowledge, technical skills and practical abilities required by agriculture and its related industries. In the first year, the programme offers a solid grounding in plant, animal and business-based agriculture subjects and also in the critical thinking and academic skills essential for success both in higher education and industry.

In the second year the programme develops areas of study established in the first year, promotes professional development including powers of analysis and critical thinking, and provides the opportunity to specialise in crop or livestock production. In the final year, research skills and experience are further developed and broader issues are addressed which are essential for graduates entering an industry which is at the core of human existence.

University Centre Askham Bryan has access to the 238-hectare Home Farm, which houses a milking herd of 200 cows, which are milked through a rapid exit parlour and a DeLaval Robot, a state-of-the-art high welfare precision beef facility in which students will actively participate in the use of the latest precision-livestock equipment, research, and industry engagement and a commercial flock of 200 breeding ewes.

Crops grown on the grade 2 arable land, include wheat, sugar beet and maize, using the latest precision field technology and variable rate application techniques and software to maximise arable returns and the production of high-quality forage to improve the performance and returns of the dairy and livestock enterprises.

The Farm also features a new £2.4 million Agri-Tech Innovation Centre dedicated to advanced agricultural and engineering training, the DeLaval Digital Farm and robotic milker which provides live data for analysis and interpretation of dairy cow performance.

On-farm data from the different enterprises is also drawn together using the latest Map of Agriculture software to provide live updates on what is occurring on the farm, the level of inputs and physical performance of the different enterprises’ adding to the learning experience and knowledge of the students on the FdSc Precision Livestock Course.

Year 1 Modules

• Academic Skills

Essential elements of success at Higher Education are to: find, evaluate and critique academic texts, present in an academic format and demonstrate the conventions of writing within Higher Education. This module aims to develop and enhance the key academic skills and competences which enable students to study effectively on higher education programmes.

• Introduction to Business

Foundation Degrees are vocational qualifications intended to prepare students for work in a globalised business arena. This module is intended to introduce the business environment as an exciting, competitive, globalised and financially driven place to work. Students are then challenged to develop the appropriate understanding and basic skills required to function within a business context.

• Introduction to Agricultural Production Systems

The factors which determine and influence agricultural production will be briefly explored. Following this, major systems of crop and livestock production will be examined in the UK context and compared and contrasted with relevant examples of production in other global contexts.

• Soil Science

Soil is an essential resource for plant growth. Understanding essential soil processes and functions will provide a greater appreciation of the relationship between healthy soils and plant production. The module is designed to develop the student’s understanding of the fundamental factors that affect plant-soil interactions.

• Plant Science

Plant science is critical to the future of food, energy and fibre production on a global scale. With a significant increase in the global population predicted over the coming decades, understanding plant processes and sustainable plant production will become increasingly important. Knowledge of the key structures and functions of plants and their associated processes is fundamental to this concept. The module is designed to develop the student’s understanding of the fundamental factors that affect plant interactions.

• Farm Accounts

Financial management of any business is essential to its viability and farms are no exception to this rule. This module will therefore draw on the knowledge developed in technical modules. Farm Accounts examines how farm records can be produced and used to analyse and improve the efficiency of a farm business.

• Agricultural Mechanisation

Mechanisation plays a key role in the majority of agricultural systems. This module is designed to enable students to understand the operating principles of the more common agricultural machines and equipment and to comprehend the management of mechanisation systems into which they are integrated.

• Farm Animal Science

The aim of the module is to enable students to develop the knowledge and understanding of those elements of animal science which underpin the use of animals in agriculture. The module examines animal anatomy, physiology, cell biology, and genetics with particular reference to ethical and sustainable livestock production.

Year 2 Modules

• Academic Development

Developing further the skills and competences required for study in higher education to enable critical writing and reflection. Underpinning knowledge of sampling and experimental design, statistical techniques and advanced IT skills will develop the competences required for undertaking research projects and presenting work in a professional manner.

• Agri-Business Management

This module assists in the preparation of students for the agricultural working environment by developing skills and knowledge of the management of human resources, ethical principles, intellectual property and business processes, and physical and financial resources.

• Livestock Management Systems

Livestock production is the world’s largest user of land, either directly through grazing or indirectly through feedstuffs. Satisfying increasing demands for animal food products, whilst at the same time sustaining the natural resource base (soil, water, air and biodiversity), is one of the major challenges facing agriculture today.

• Crop Management

This module is designed to develop understanding of the management and growth of high quality temperate crops. It deepens knowledge of creating and maintaining the ideal environment for crop growth including activities such as seedbed preparation, provision of nutrients and crop protection.

• Land and Environmental Management

The British countryside is a complex matrix including farming, semi-natural habitats, nature reserves, urban development and its associated infrastructure. Agri-Environmental schemes have been around for a number of years in various forms which provide financial incentives to farmers to work with the environment and protect our native habitats. These schemes are still changing and it is therefore fundamentally important that students in agricultural and environmental subjects are able to work together to both provide food security and sustainable ecosystems.

• Farm Animal Health and Nutrition

This module examines the health and welfare of farmed animals which is essential to livestock production. The major diseases affecting livestock species, how they are caused, prevented, treated and controlled will be investigated. The effects of inadequate welfare and ill health of farm animals will be researched. Animal welfare legislation and its effect on animal health will be explored at a farm level.

• Rural Enterprise Development

Rural diversification is not a novel concept, however developments in government policy, funding and economic climate continue to influence diversification options of rural businesses. Students will develop an analytical approach towards producing a feasibility report and evaluating the complex nature of rural enterprise.

Elective Modules (elect one)

  • Agronomy

The aim of this module is to enable the student to develop a core knowledge of agronomy. Students are required to consider the fundamental agronomic principles applicable to a range of arable crops. Nutrient plans and their suitability for arable crops are investigated. Control strategies for major weeds, pests and diseases are explored. Mechanisms of resistance to agro-chemicals in weeds, pests and diseases are reviewed.

  • Grassland Management

This module will deal with the science underpinning best practice in grassland management, the options available in both extensive and intensive systems, grazing management to maximise food conversion ratios, monitoring of system performance and making decisions based on data.

  • Rural Estate Management

Year 3 Modules

• Dissertation

The aim of this module is to enable the student to further develop skills in the collection, analysis and evaluation of information from a range of sources on an agreed topic. The module provides an opportunity for the student to conduct independent research by deploying established techniques of analysis and enquiry, as well as acquiring new research skills. The module enables students to extend knowledge learnt at Level 4 and 5 and apply it to specific situations.

• Research Methods

The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of different research philosophies and methodologies. Students will develop skills in identifying and critiquing research methodologies as well as undertaking analysis and evaluation of results.

• Business Leadership and Management

In addition to their subject specific skills students preparing for the world of work will need a range of transferable skills in various areas. This module aims to equip the learner with a skill set to enable them to lead and manage in an organisational or team context. The average graduate will be employed in or expected to progress on to a management role within an organisation to do this the skills of leadership and management are essential.

• Advanced Land Management

This module will develop the systemic understanding required to manage a range of agricultural and land based enterprises. Practising land managers must synthesise a broad range of knowledge in order to arrive at creative solutions to long-term and short-term management requirements.

• Global Food Production and Marketing

The global food system will experience an unprecedented variety of pressures over the next 40 years. Globalisation will continue to advance, exposing many production systems to unique economic, political and consumer pressures. At the bedrock of the supply chain, food producers will be further challenged in their role, by the need to balance future demand with supply sustainability.

• Food Chain Management and Technology

The module identifies the actors in and elements of food chain supply systems, and the different types of food chain which exist; the factors affecting food supply chains, their development and sustainability are analysed. The functions within food chains including sourcing and procurement, storage, safety management, quality management, processing, transport, distribution, marketing and traceability are examined.

Elective Modules (elect one)

• Recent Advances in Crop Production

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to examine the challenges and opportunities facing crop production in developed and developing regions of the world and explore recent scientific and technological advances pertinent to crop improvement programmes and crop management systems and their potential to contribute to sustainable and ethical production systems.

• Recent Advances in Livestock Production

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to examine the challenges and opportunities facing livestock production in developed and developing regions of the world and explore recent scientific and technological advances pertinent to livestock and their potential contribution to sustainable and ethical production systems.

• Applied Sustainable Practices

The module is designed to encourage problem based learning and autonomous study skills through research and the subsequent production and presentation of work of a high academic standard. The module will give students an insight into the important areas of environmental management and how the principles of sustainable development can be incorporated into the business strategy of a chosen subject area

Programme Specification

BSc (Hons) Agriculture

Key Information

Applicants should have achieved 84 UCAS points plus 5 GCSE’s including English, Maths and Science at Grade C/4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted in lieu of GCSE’s. Applicants must have successfully completed a full Level 3 study and/or have significant industry experience.

An initial assessment process may be used to inform the College of your current status. Some students may be asked to attend an interview.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) will be considered on an individual basis. If you have any queries in relation to entry qualifications, then please contact the University Centre directly.

Students studying the course may enter a wide variety of roles in the industry such as an agricultural consultant, farm manager, livestock breeding specialist, technical advisor.

Many students may progress further onto a Masters, PhD or other professional body courses.

UK, Isle of Man and Channel Isles Students on BSc Honours Degree/ BSc Ordinary Degree/ BSc Top up/ Foundation Degree/ Extended Foundation Degree – £9,000

Non-Home (Overseas Students) on Honours Degree/ Ordinary Degree/ Foundation Degree/ Extended Foundation Degree – £14,000

Work placement is completed with an external employer which is arranged by the student. Such placements and organisations include farm hand, NFU, trainee agronomist, auction mart, feed mill etc. All work placements are subject to a health and safety check by the college to ensure that placements are suitable and safe. Support can be made available via the module tutor to help locate a suitable placement.

Students on full time three year BSc programmes must complete a minimum of 10 weeks approved work experience to acquire a minimum of 30 placement credits.

Assessments will be designed to give students the opportunity of performing tasks that they would be asked to do in employment.


There is a range of assessment methods used including reports, case studies, presentations, Viva -Voce, continual assessments and exams. Typically each module involves two assessments.

In addition to tuition fees and accommodation if applicable, , students will need to budget for extra costs as part of this course and will be responsible to cover them.

Below is a link to a list with approximate additional course costs to help with your budgeting.

Additional Course Costs (UCAB)

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