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BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management

Key information

Select year of entry

Level of study


UCAS code

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

Start date

September 2023


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

Typical offer

96-112 UCAS points for A level students. See below for details of entry requirements for other accepted qualifications.

The course

Let us guide you to meet the increasing demand for highly-skilled farm business management practitioners with an understanding of the options available to meet the challenges brought about by new technologies, new policies and societal pressures.

The agricultural industry is changing rapidly and in recent years advances in technology have led to an abundance of food production in the western world. This, together with changes in support mechanisms under the Agriculture Act, will affect farm incomes, the countryside, rural communities and the public purse. Increasingly farmers will need to maximise business efficiency and look to diversify their businesses and find alternative uses for rural land.

After a common first year, in your second year you will start to specialise in the area of farm business management, studying areas such as farm business management and economics, farm business operation and planning and market and supply chain considerations, whilst continuing to study more general aspects of agriculture, such as animal and crop production science, grass and forage production and waste management.

Following placement, in your final year specialisation in farm business management continues, studying farm business strategy, business diversification and people management. You will also undertake an Honours Research Project in a subject area that aligns to your interests and ambitions.

The Harper Advantage

  • In choosing Harper Adams, you are choosing a trusted name with an outstanding reputation in the agricultural sector, a large agricultural student cohort that allows you to build your network from day one, plus extensive industry connections to support your career development.
  • A full placement year in industry as part of your degree, enabling you to put knowledge into practice, develop your network and discover your future ambitions.
  • More than 20 placement-scholarships open to students on Agriculture routes – offering guaranteed placement year job and additional financial support, plus a range of non-placement scholarships.
  • Our far-reaching academic and industry experience and delivery of professional training to industry ensures the course is vocationally relevant and up to date.
  • 494-hectare farm on the campus – so you will have direct access to a commercial farm.
  • Access to subsidised practical skills training and industry recognised certification through the Land-Based Skills Programme.
  • Study at the forefront of agri-tech. Harper Adams is home to the School of Sustainable Food and Farming, Hands Free Farm and the Agri-EPI Centre Midlands Innovation Hub, where industry and practitioner are working together on the latest precision arable and livestock systems. The scope for student projects related to agri-tech grows every year.
  • Common first year means you can change direction in year 1 if you wish.
  • Access to Agriculture Programme to enable new entrants to the agricultural sector to qualify alongside those from more rural/agricultural backgrounds without disadvantage.
  • Consistently outstanding performance in the annual student Farm Planner of the Year competition in which students compete to demonstrate their farm business management knowledge and skills. The Harper Adams team won in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and were runners up in 2019.

Work experience

Work experience forms an essential part of our entry requirements for this course. Details of the experience we need you to have can be found within the entry requirements listed below.

Find out more about work experience

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.


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. Please contact Admissions for further information on this option.


The course provides consultants and farm business managers of the future with the farm business management skills and an appreciation of agricultural systems and the wider rural environment required for a career in farm business management. Careers include farm consultancy (e.g. Promar, Kite, Brown & Co, Bidwells and Savills) and farm management positions within large integrated farm businesses.

Entry requirements for 2023

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 undergraduate fees and funding section. You will also find course related costs, specific to this course in this area.

What will I study?

Optional modules are indicative and may be subject to change.

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

All agriculture students share a common first year, studying the same modules; 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 farm business management, studying areas such as farm business management and economics, farm business operation and planning, and market and supply chain considerations, whilst continuing to study more general aspects of agriculture such as animal and crop production science, grass and forage production, and waste management. In the final year of the course the specialisation in farm business management continues, studying areas such as farm business planning and strategy, business diversification, people management and a research project focused on farm business management. In the final year you continue to study crop and animal production alongside farm business modules.

Teaching and learning

The course involves 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.

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

You will undertake placement in your third year. Placement may be undertaken in a large integrated farm business or with a farm business consultancy company. 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.  Examples of placements have included work as a trainee accountant with Old Mill, a chartered accountancy practice specializing in agricultural businesses, a placement with the farm business consultancy division of Savills and placements with Wilson Wraight. Harper Adams’ excellent graduate employment record shows how employers value the skills, contacts, knowledge and confidence students develop during placement.

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)


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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.

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