FdSc Agriculture

This programme is subject to validation for a September 2022 start.

Course Details

  • Department

  • Qualification

  • Course Type

    Full Time
  • Length

  • Location(s)


Course at a glance

The FdSc Agriculture is designed to give you a combination of the practical and academic skills which are essential to the agricultural industry and its key areas of activity including livestock, crops, business management, machinery and the environment.



Centre Code


What you will learn

In Year 2, the elective modules on offer will allow you to specialise in subjects related to crop production or livestock production. There is a strong focus on business management throughout, supporting you on your degree as well as how this can be applied in your career. The programme also includes the development of employability skills that are applicable across a range of agricultural disciplines.

Making use of the on campus facilities, University Centre Askham Bryan has access to Westfield Farm (114 hectares) with a milking herd of 200 cows and 200 breeding ewes. Cropping cycle included a range of cereals, grass, sugar beet and occasional root crops. This is accompanied with Home Farm (128 hectares) just opposite the campus consisting of grade 2 arable land. The Farm also features a new £2.4 million Agri-Tech Innovation Centre dedicated to advanced agricultural and engineering training. Also partnering with DeLaval for the Digital Farm, our robotic milker milks 55 high yielding cows providing herd management and performance data to our staff and students.

As part of the Institute of Technology, this degree will take full advantage of a new £1.4 million investment in the establishment of a state-of-the-art high welfare precision beef facility in which students will be actively participate in the use of the latest precision-livestock equipment, research and industry engagement.

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.

• Industry Skills

Students will complete a minimum of 150 hours in a relevant approved industry placement, enabling them to relate academic study to the types of work they will be expected to undertake for an employer. The taught component of this module is designed to support students’ skills development as well as developing an awareness of industry health and safety.

• 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.

• Plant and Soil Science

Plant growth is important 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 efficient soil management and sustainable plant production will become increasingly important.

• 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.

• Professional Development

Students studying this module will complete an approved placement of at least 150 hours duration. Students will be able to critically appraise their own abilities and vocational skills within the context of a working organisation. The taught component of this module is designed to further develop students’ employment skills to enable them to reflect on their continuing personal and professional development needs for the future.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Personal Research Project

This module introduces students to the key components of the research process, set in the context of their own specialist discipline. Students plan and prepare a research proposal, critically appraising the research literature from a wide variety of sources. They will then apply research methodology to their chosen subject area to undertake and complete their own individual research project. Skills of analysis and synthesis will be supported in the level 5 module ‘Academic Development’

Elective Modules (elect two)

• 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.

• 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.

• Farm Animal Health and Nutrition

For future food producers and associated industries there is a greater need for sound knowledge of animal health and welfare. Consumer awareness and perception of welfare is now at the forefront of food production. 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.

• 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.

Key Information

Applicants should have achieved 48 UCAS points plus 5 GCSEs including English, Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted in lieu of GCSEs. In addition applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of one year of 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 team directly.

On successful completion of the FdSc Agriculture, students may wish to consider progressing on to the University Centres BSc (Hons) Agricultural Management Top Up. Allowing students to graduate with a BSc (Hons) Degree.

Alternatively, students may wish to consider careers in a variety of industries focused on livestock health and management as well as crop health and management.

Alternatively, students may wish to consider careers in a variety of industries focused on livestock health and management as well as crop health and management.

UK/EU, 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-EU Overseas Students on Honours Degree/ Ordinary Degree/ Foundation Degree/ Extended Foundation Degree – £14,000

This programme requires students to undertake 300 hours of work placement, with 150 completed each academic year.

Work placement is completed with an external employer which is arranged by the student. Such placements 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.

If you are already working in the sector, it may be possible to APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) this element of the course. Evidence of such employment will be needed, outlining duties etc for consideration at the APL panel, where applications will be considered on an individual basis. If you have any queries in relation to this, then please contact the University Centre team directly.


Assessments will be designed to give students the opportunity of performing tasks that they would be asked to do in employment. There are a range of assessment methods used, including reports, case studies, presentations, Viva -Voce, continual assessments and exams. Typically each module involves two assessments.


Extra Curricular

BHS Stages


HE Riding Team

In addition to tuition fees and accommodation if applicable. Students will need to budget for some extra costs as part of this course, which you will need to pay for yourself. Below is a list with approximate cost to help with your budgeting.

Overalls £15- £30

Steel toe cap boots £25- £50

Wellingtons £10- £25

Lab safety glasses £10

White lab coat £10- £20

Optional course trips £20 – £2000 (Dependant on the trip/tour)

Askham Bryan College Video