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BSc (Hons)


Year of entry

UCAS code

Institution code: H12


4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement

Start date

September 2020


Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)

Typical offer

96-112 UCAS points

The course

With around 70 per cent of land in the UK devoted to primary food production, agriculture continues to be the mainstay of the rural economy. However, in addition to the science and technology associated with animal and crop production, the modern farm manager must manage an increasingly diversified business and embrace a range of responsibilities for enhancing the environment, integrating production within the food chain and maintaining rural communities. Our agriculture courses give students a thorough understanding of modern agricultural production systems and the underlying scientific and technological principles. They will equip you to manage a sustainable agricultural business in the complex and dynamic rural economy. This is a very broad and challenging remit, and consequently the course is designed to develop a breadth of expertise across a range of sectors. All agriculture students share a common first year, studying the same modules, before continuing with agriculture or focusing on a specialism; this allows students to change course during the first year.

FACTS training

Subject to academic performance, students passing the BSc (Hons) Agriculture programme will be eligible to be entered for free FACTS training following successful completion of their degree.

Entry requirements for 2020

What will I study?

Study time

The percentage of time spent in different learning activities for this year of study:

Assessment methods

This is the breakdown of assessment methods for this year of study:

Not sure which course is right for you? Try our Course Comparison tool to compare modules taught on different courses.

Work placement

BSc students undertake placement in their third year. You will have a dedicated Placement Manager, support officer, and tutor to visit you whilst on placement.  You will usually undertake paid employment for at least 12 months on modern progressive farms or in the agricultural support industries. Agriculture students from a family farm wishing to undertake a farm placement are required to work at least 50 miles from their home farm and are not normally permitted to return to previous employers. Recent placement jobs have included Assistant Herds Person, Harvest Team Manager and General Machinery Operator on a range of arable and mixed farms. Examples of employers include Velcourt, MH Poskitt and Faccenda. Students also have the opportunity to access a range of overseas placements, with the support of supporting agents, where possible. Students may undertake placement in the USA,  Australia or New Zealand, for example. Several commercial scholarship opportunities, linked to placement, are available to apply for, with sponsoring companies paying a significant amount towards the tuition fees of successful applicants.

Teaching and learning

What you study

Students studying general Agriculture study a broad range of livestock, crop production and science, and business management, together with some marketing and mechanisation. In the first part of the course the focus is on practice i.e. what goes on on-farm, and basic biological and environmental science. Areas of study include animal and crop production systems, bioscience and environmental science for agriculture, an introduction to farm business management and marketing, and agricultural mechanisation.

The later parts of the course focus on the applied scientific and business principles that underpin farm practice, and the application of practice and principles to case studies to solve real problems. Areas of study include farm animal production science and nutrition, farm animal health and welfare, soil management and crop nutrition, crop protection, farm business management and economics, business development, people management, and sustainable animal and crop production systems. All students undertake a research or professional project in their final year in a subject area of interest to them.

Teaching and learning

The Agriculture courses at Harper Adams involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions, together with practical classes on the University farm designed to demonstrate principles in practice and the application of scientific, technological and business principles to commercial agricultural and food production.  In addition, the university has extensive links with other agricultural and food related businesses, and external visits and outside speakers are integrated into the programme.  Throughout the course students are expected to apply the skills acquired to solve real-life problems, such that on completion they are able to demonstrate both academic ability and commercial application, which is a combination highly valued by employers. The proportion of independent study increases as the course progresses, particularly in the final year where students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation in a subject area of their choice.

Assessment methods

Assessment is via a balance of course work and examination. Weighting varies depending on course and year of study, but weighting is typically around 65 per cent on course work and 35 per cent on examination; this allows individuals to play to their strengths if they are better at course work than examinations or vice versa.  Types of assignment include appraising production systems on the University farm, whole farm case studies, laboratory based analyses and literature based reviews. Format of assignments varies and includes written reports, essays, technical notes, presentations and oral examinations.  Students receive written feedback on all course work to help them improve.  In addition, first year students undertake examinations in two subjects at the end of the first term to enable them to gauge how they are progressing and feedback is provided on these exams.  Staff are able to provide advice and guidance on revision, and many modules include revision sessions. 


Employability of agriculture graduates is excellent, and there are many diverse career opportunities in all sectors of the food chain. The applied nature of our courses, teaching methods and close links with industry give you the academic, technical and employment skills which are highly sought after by employers.

As an agriculture graduate you may go on to manage farms either at home or elsewhere (e.g., Velcourt, Sentry Farming, Beeswax Farming, Intercrop). Alternatively, you may opt for a career in the support industries (e.g. Frontier Agriculture, NFU) or advisory services (e.g. Brown&Co, Defra, DARDNI, ADAS). Studying agriculture also develops the skills needed for other graduate careers such as accountancy, teaching, journalism and the civil service.

97% Employability

Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

(HESA 2018)


For course related enquiries please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000
Email: admissions@harper-adams.ac.uk


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