Skip to main content

FdSc Agriculture

Key information

Select a year of entry

Level of study


UCAS code

Institution code: H12


3 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A two year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience.

Start date

September 2021


Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)*

Typical offer

72 - 88 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.

Work experience

Agriculture applicants are required to have a minimum of 10 weeks practical experience on a commercial farm by 1st August in the year in which they enter the course. This can be part-time work, accumulated over weekends and vacations, and does not have to be completed as a 10 week block. Despite the COVID situation, opportunities for work experience in agriculture continue to be available and where possible applicants are strongly encouraged to gain the required practical experience as this will be of benefit to them in the longer term in understanding the industry, setting studies in context and placement applications.

However, the University recognises the challenges that the COVID situation may present in relation to gaining work experience and applicants can be reassured that if they are not able to meet the work experience requirement for 2021 entry, that this will not prevent them from gaining their place, provided that they meet any academic offer.

Access to Agriculture Programme

Applicants to Agriculture courses who are likely to meet the academic entry requirements, but who are identified as having minimal/no practical experience, and/or who are unlikely to meet the minimum practical experience requirements due to non-farm/non-rural background, and/or lack of appropriate contacts, can benefit from the Access to Agriculture Programme to gain the necessary practical experience in their first year of study.


3 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A two year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience. Please contact Admissions for further information on this option.


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.

Entry requirements for 2021

Use the drop-down tool to select the qualifications you have or are working towards to see what grades would be required for access to this programme. If you can’t see your qualification or would like any assistance with entry requirements, telephone the admissions team on 01952 815000, email or complete a form to enable them to contact you.

Course fees

The latest fees for this course can be found in our fees and funding section. You will also find course related costs, specific to this course in this area.

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.

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 underpinning science and business principles. Areas of study include animal and crop production systems, agricultural science, 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 and crop production science, farm business management and people management, plus a choice of one of four optional modules in a specific area. In addition, all students undertake a 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.

* During the Covid-19 Pandemic the University is delivering blended learning. Government guidance is being constantly reviewed to establish the learning events which can be delivered face to face. Please refer to our frequently asked questions for further details.

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. 

Work placement

FdSc students undertake placement in their second 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 usually 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 overseas 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.

Course life


For course related enquiries please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000

Key university facts

No. 1

In the UK for graduate employment.

(Graduate Outcomes 2020)


We work with more than 700 businesses to deliver, develop and drive forward higher skills.

Discover Uni


Whilst every opportunity has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information on this course page, Harper Adams University wishes to emphasise that the content is regularly reviewed and is subject to change from time-to-time as required. Our courses undergo reviews to ensure they are flexible, relevant and as up-to-date as possible.

Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.