Institution code: H12
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience, or all who have completed a 12 month placement as part of another approved course
Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)*
96-112 UCAS points
With a long history in applied livestock research, close links with industry, and highly qualified and experienced staff, Harper Adams is well placed to develop your understanding of sustainable livestock production.
The temperate climate of the UK is ideally suited to pastoral farming and livestock production is essential to the rural economy, with around 54 per cent of UK agricultural output derived from the livestock sector (DEFRA 2020).
In addition to the science and technology associated with modern livestock production, livestock specialists need to understand the animal welfare, food quality and environmental issues facing the industry. They must also be able to evaluate and apply advances in biotechnology to ensure a sustainable future for livestock farmers and a competitive market for animal products.
After a common first year, in your second year you will start to specialise in the area of animal science, studying areas such as farm animal production science, farm animal nutrition, farm animal health and welfare and biotechnology, whilst continuing to study more general aspects of agriculture, such as grass and forage production, waste management and farm business management and economics.
In the final part of the course, your specialisation becomes complete and the focus is on animal science, studying areas such as sustainable animal production systems, advances in animal production science, animal breeding and bioethics, animal product processing and a research project focused on animal science tailored to your interests and ambitions.
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.
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.
4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three 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.
The applied nature of this course helps you to develop skills that are in demand within the livestock sector and ancillary industries. Career opportunities are excellent, with students finding employment both on farms as livestock enterprise and farm managers and in the ancillary sector in commercial and technical positions, or you could go on to postgraduate study.
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 email@example.com or complete a form to enable them to contact you.
The percentage of time spent in different learning activities for this year of study:
This is the breakdown of assessment methods for this year of study:
All agriculture students share a common first year, studying the same modules, before focusing on their specialism; this allows students to change course during the first year.
The first year of the course provides a general introduction to agriculture in terms of animal and crop production, underpinning biological and environmental science, an introduction to farm business management and marketing, and agricultural mechanisation. In the second year of the course you start to specialise in the area of animal science, studying areas such as animal production science, farm animal nutrition, farm animal health and welfare, and biotechnology, whilst continuing to study more general aspects of agriculture such as grass and forage production, waste management and farm business management and economics. In the final part of the course your specialisation becomes complete and the focus is on animal science, studying areas such as sustainable animal production systems, advances in animal science, animal breeding and bioethics, animal product processing and a research project focused on animal science.
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 where appropriate. 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 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.
The year-long placement period, in your third year, may be undertaken on either a progressive livestock farm in the UK or abroad or within the animal health and welfare, breeding, nutrition or farm assurance industries in the UK. Examples of employers include BQP, Premier Nutrition, For Farmers, Cogent and Daylesford Organics. 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.
Several commercial scholarship opportunities linked to placement are available to apply for with sponsoring companies paying a significant amount towards the course fees of successful applicants.
For course related enquiries please contact:
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000
In the UK for graduate employment.
(Graduate Outcomes 2020)
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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.