This course is designed to provide you with a broad base of agricultural knowledge in greater depth than the level 2 course, incorportating science, husbandry and practical skills all required by the industry today. The programme demonstrates the variety of different career paths that exist. You will go on a variety of trips to farms and industry related businesses will be planned, plus a study tour. Speakers from the industry are also invited.
You will study 9 mandatory units:
- Professional working responsibilities
- You will learn about health and safety legislation, safe working practices, risk assessments, and the professional skills required to work safely and effectively in the land-based sectors. You will develop skills and knowledge of good practice and professional responsibility towards self and others in the workplace, including the duty of care for the environment, relating this to resource efficiency and responsible management.
- Plant and soil science
- (Details to follow.)
- Work experience in the land-based sectors
- As well as investigating employment opportunities, you will examine how good communication and employability skills can improve your prospects in gaining and staying in employment. You will learn how and where to access information about employment vacancies and further courses of study, as well as how to develop your curriculum vitae (CV) and adapt it for specific vacancies. You will also learn how to develop good communication, interview and customer service skills. You will apply for and take on available work experience roles in the sector and reflect on your own progress.
- Estate skills
- In this unit, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage the repair, maintenance and installation of the fabric of businesses and organisations working in the land-based sectors. These include forestry, horticulture and agriculture, as well as more general countryside management. You will learn to plan, implement and reflect on maintenance tasks, including those you carry out yourself and those completed by others such as staff or professional contractors whose work you will manage.
- Crop production
- You will gain the skills needed to identify a range of commercially-grown crops and their products, including annual, biennial and perennial plants. You will find out how and why crops are grown in specific situations and how crop growth is maintained throughout the production cycle. This will include recognising weeds, pests, diseases and deficiency symptoms, together with recommendations of remedial action that can be undertaken. You will understand the principles of harvesting and develop harvesting skills. You will investigate how crops are monitored in store, and consider how crops are treated while there to maintain them in an acceptable condition. You will learn about conditioning, cleaning, sorting and grading, together with the use of associated equipment, in order to maintain or improve the quality of crop products.
- Farm livestock husbandry
- You will explore a range of farming systems and develop specialist knowledge and understanding of farmed livestock handling and husbandry. You will explore farm livestock nutrition and feed systems, creating balanced diets that meet the needs of the animal and the producer. You will develop the skills and experience needed to confidently and safely manage large and sometimes unpredictable animals.
- Land-based machinery operations
- In this unit, you will explore machines relevant to your particular sector of the industry, developing practical skills and understanding of the different conditions in which machinery might need to operate. You will learn how to carry out pre-start checks and maintenance on these machines, as well the safe use and operation of the machine for a variety of tasks.
- Managing agricultural environments
- (Details to follow.)
You will also study 5 of 15 optional units, including:
- Crop handling, storage and quality assurance
- Livestock health and diseases
- Sheep production
- Dairy production
- Root and vegetable production
- Organic production
- Combinable crop production
A minimum of 5 GCSEs with the following grades:
- English 4 or above and maths 3 or above, and
- 3 other GCSEs at 4 or above
Tutorials, oral and written assignments and practical work.
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