Foundation Learning -

Course Details

  • Department

    Foundation Learning
  • Qualification

    Level 1
  • Course Type

    Full Time
  • Length

    1 Year
  • Location(s)


Course at a glance

We have access to a range of learning areas including equine, animal care, agriculture and horticulture across our York and Middlesbrough campuses. A General Further Education course is also available if your interests are not in land based subjects. We offer courses at a variety of levels: Entry One: Entry Level Level 1: Stepping Stone and Level 2:

Entry Requirements


depends on your individual circumstances, but we’ll match you with the right course for your needs

Cost for students aged Under 19


for students over the age of 19 please contact us


Entry One

Askham Bryan College, in partnership with Applefields School and the City of York Council are delighted to provide the an exciting and unique provision for young people aged 19 plus with complex needs.

Minster Provision

The college and school opened ‘Minster Provision’ in September in a unique partnership that will assist those with the most complex needs begin a meaningful and smooth transition into adulthood. Both organisations have been developing this new addition to ‘York’s Local Offer’ over the course of the last year.

The provision will be delivered by Applefields School working in partnership with Askham Bryan College. Applefields is a special school for secondary aged students with a wide range of learning difficulties who live in York and the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

This course is aimed at learners who are 19+ years of age with complex needs based working at Entry Level 1 and below. The provision will be delivered by Applefields School working in partnership with Askham Bryan College. Applefields is a special school for secondary aged students with a wide range of learning difficulties who live in York and the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

Assessments through qualification will be through the building of a portfolio of evidence at award, certificate or diploma and dependent on the individual learners.

Learners must meet the following entry requirements:

  •  In receipt of an Education Health and Care Plan
  • 19+ years of age
  • Subject to an interview and subsequent admissions panel
    Future Prospects

Young people with complex needs will be supported as they make the transition into adult life. This may be over two or more years and will involve close working with outside agencies, care providers, community supported living, short breaks, medical services and adult social care. Each student is an individual so the transition path may be very bespoke, and some may transition into adult life and services much quicker than others.

Entry Level

The Entry Level Programmes are for anyone with no formal qualifications who wants to progress in life and work in a vocational area. We welcome applications from students who need more support or have learning difficulties or disabilities and/or an Educational Health Care Plan.

Each Entry Level Practical Countryside Skills course will give you a wide range of transferable skills. There are 4 Study Programmes from Entry 1 to Entry 3.5 (Stepping Stone to L1).

The units you will study include:

• Horticulture and conservation where you will work in our own gardens and polytunnel as well as the general college grounds,
• Animal Care where you will have access to our purpose-built wildlife park and Animal Unit,
• Agricultural Animals and poultry where you will look after our livestock and cattle at the college farm.

You will study in college for 3 days per week. There will be mix of practical and theory sessions with personal development and employability skills will be built into your sessions. We will give you work experience opportunities as a group. If you have not yet achieved a level 4 in English and maths you will continue to work towards these qualifications either in Functional Skills or GCSE classes.

Entry Requirements

You don’t need any formal qualifications but you do need to be willing to work hard and we will need to assess you to make sure we can provide the right support and get you on the right level of programme.


You can move onto a higher Entry Level course or progress direct to Level 1

Level 1 Pathways

Take your first steps on the career ladder and study a Level 1 Land-Based Programme with us. We focus on practical skills, but we will also develop your academic skills over the year.

You will attend College for a minimum of 3 days per week and upon completion of your programme you will achieve a Level 1 Diploma in Land-Based Studies from City and Guilds. There will be no formal exams! You will collect a portfolio of evidence during the course. Each unit will be continually assessed throughout the study programme. Assessments will be spread out during the year and will be either written, oral practical individual or group work.

We offer courses in Agriculture, Animal Care, Horse Care and Horticulture.


Get first-hand experience at our dedicated college farm on this course, ideal for anyone interested in farming and animal and crop production. Develop skills like milking, organising cattle and assisting in lambing, as well as learning through visits to agricultural shows and machinery producers.


This course provides students with hands-on experience caring for a vast range of species, from armadillos and snakes to meerkats and turtles, at our on-site animal unit and wildlife park. Meanwhile, classroom sessions underpin practical learning with theory.


For those who love working with horses, this course provides experience across many different areas of the equine industry. Alongside weekly riding sessions and hands-on care for college horses – including grooming and general welfare – you’ll also learn more about the animals’ needs and characteristics in classroom learning.


Develop a vast range of horticultural skills, such as landscaping, planting, seed sowing and industry-related construction and maintenance. This course is ideal for anyone passionate about flowers and plants, and you’ll get to work across various environments such as woodlands, nature reserves and community projects.

Employability and Personal Development

We will help you develop skills that employers are looking for and also improve your personal performance. 24 hours of work experience in a setting that’s relevant to your qualification will add to your transferable skills.
English and maths

Entry Requirements

Entry Level 3 or above or level 1 Stepping Stone or equivalent qualifications or GCSEs at grades 1-2 (F-G )

If you have not already achieved a level 4 English and maths GCSE, you will continue to work towards these qualifications at a level that is appropriate for you. You will either be studying Functional Skills from Entry 1 – Level 1 or be in a GCSE class.


Upon completion of a full level 1 you can more onto the the level 2 stepping stone of full level 2

Stepping Stone and Level 2

We offer Level 2 Stepping Stone or full level 2 in Animal Care or Horticulture. After a year of study at Level 1, many of our students progress onto Level 2. This can be either in the mainstream section of the college or within the Foundation section. However, for those students who are not quite ready, we are able to offer a unique opportunity to study on our Stepping Stone Programme.

You will study for a minimum of 3 days per week. Students are able to broaden their existing vocational skills from Level 1, develop their ability to study independently, explore career routes within the industry, boost their confidence and much more before they move onto a higher, more demanding level of study.

On completion of a Level 2 Stepping Stone in Animal Care or Horticulture you will be awarded a L2 Certificate in Lands based Studies from either City and Guilds or the Open College Network.

On completion of a full Level 2, you will be awarded either a Level 2 Diploma in Landbased Studies.

Employability and Development

You will undertake 75 – 150 hours of work experience in a setting that’s relevant to your qualification.

Entry Requirements

A Level 1 qualification in a relevant subject or Grades 2-3 at GCSE. We will assess you to direct you to most appropriate level of study.

If you have not yet achieved a level 4 in English and maths you will continue to study towards these qualifications.


A full Level 2 or Level 3 course within the college.

Foundation Learning Taster Events

Askham Bryan College Video