A minimum of 64 UCAS points
The UK dairy industry is facing one of its most challenging periods to date. In order to run a successful business, modern dairy farmers need to combine scientific knowledge with practical and business management skills in order to produce high quality milk while minimising cost and safeguarding the environment.
Ideally situated in the premier dairy county of Cheshire, Reaseheath has a national reputation for its delivery of quality training within the specialist field of dairy herd management. This unique course will enable you to develop an understanding of the technical, economic, legal and managerial principles relating to dairy farm businesses, identify the effects of environmental and ethical issues in the dairy industry and offer specialist practical skills associated with dairy farming. The course includes opportunities for practical skills work such as foot trimming, veterinary medicine training and on-farm practical demonstrations. Students undertake a minimum 10 weeks work placement and have the opportunity to go on farm visits and study tours in the UK and abroad.
University Centre Reaseheath is an academic partner of the University of Chester. Foundation degrees, Honours degrees, and Cert Ed are awarded by the University of Chester.
Full-time: 2 years
The HE Agriculture Programmes are based within University Centre Reaseheath’s dedicated £2 million Higher Education teaching facilities and have direct access to Reaseheath’s specialist campus facilities which in recent years has seen over £80 million in investment, including:
- £8 million Advanced Engineering and Agri-Tech Centre
- £8 million National Centre for Horticulture, the Environment and Sustainable Technology, including an automated, LED hydroponic glasshouse and 2021 commissioned 200m2 Vertical Farming Centre.
- £7 million Food Centre featuring commercial dairy processing facilities, butchery and bakery
- Mixed commercial farm of 272 hectares of grass and arable land including grass, clover, maize, forage peas, wheat and barley
- Robotic milking facility (commissioned in 2021) consisting of two Lely A5 Automated Milking Robots, Lely Discovery slurry collector and Lely Juno silage pusher, milking approximately 90 pedigree Holstein cows
- Conventional 32/32 Rapid-Exit parlour system milking 120 cows pedigree Holstein cows
- Expanding Beef-from-dairy beef unit
- A commercial flock of 500 North Country Mule breeding ewes
- Anaerobic Digester
What will I study?
You will gain a wide range of management skills and academic knowledge which will help you to understand the scientific basis of dairy farming and efficient milk production, and enable you to make informed decisions to benefit your business.
The course is broken down into the modules set out below which are completed over 2 years.
16 Modules (all at 15 credits) include:
- Biological Systems in Agriculture
- Agricultural Machinery and Technology
- Farm Animal Welfare and Building Design
- Dairy Production Systems
- Managing the Milk Supply and Enterprise Diversification
- Farm Animal Nutrition
- Academic Skills Development
- Fundamentals of Business and Human Resource Management
- Agriculture & the Environment
- Dairy Cow Genetics and Breeding
- Transition Cow and Youngstock Management
- Farm Animal Health
- Forage Production and Management
- Work Based Learning for Academic Credit
- Research Methods*
- Professional Project*
- Finance and Planning
*Denotes optional modules
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:
31% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 375 hours
Independent Study: 825 hours
22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 262 hours
Placement: 120 hours
Independent Study: 818 hours
Class sizes usually up to 20.
Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and skills valued in the workplace. They include a combination of coursework and timed assessments in both independent and collaborative formats. Coursework may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews and portfolios of evidence. Timed assessments will vary depending upon the nature of the module but will be problem-solving tasks dealing with real-life industry issues which support the development of industry and life skills.
Feedback is supplied via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of submissions are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within twenty working days after the submission date.
Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.
To offer graduates a leading position in the jobs market, students are given the opportunity to enhance their career prospects by taking additional qualifications during their course of study. These could include a range of qualifications such as:
- Safe use of veterinary medicines
- Transport of livestock (short journeys)
- PA1 pesticide application
- PA6 pesticide application
- PA2 tractor mounted pesticide application
- All terrain vehicle handling
- Telescopic loader handling
You can expect to receive your timetable in induction week/the first week of teaching for returning students, a copy will also be found on the Agriculture HE Moodle page.
Lectures for this course will be timetabled up to 3 days per week.
During the level 5 module, work based learning, students are expected to complete at least 120 hours of work experience. This is completed alongside lectures and students are expected to attend all timetabled sessions.
This is a compulsory module; the students are expected to secure the work experience opportunity with guidance and support from agriculture staff.
Financial arrangements will be left to the discretion of the employer, to be agreed with the student, where significant learning takes place and training is provided the value of this experience must be taken into consideration.
- A minimum of 64 tariff points from A and AS level to include Biology A-level
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade MPP in an Agriculture or Science related subject
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade MM in and Agriculture or Science related subject
- City & Guilds Level 3 Technical Advanced Extended Diploma (1080 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MPP in an Agriculture or Science related subject.
- City& Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MM in an Agriculture or Science related subject.
- Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to HE course.
- Dairy herd management
- Dairy farm consultancy
- Dairy sales and marketing
Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on the student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.
If you are an international student or for the latest information on tuition fees visit the student finance page on our website.
All resources will be available through the college library or VLE as E-Books, therefore there is no formal requirement to purchase text-books, although a list of recommended texts can be provided. We promote the use of online journals, webinars and podcasts.
Students are responsible for every day stationary, access to a laptop and PPE (steel-toe wellies, overalls and warm clothes) for external visits. For biosecurity purposes, all PPE for the campus farm will be provided.
Some shows and field trips may have small admission fees (usually £10-20). There may also be opportunity to attend industry events and conferences, the costs of which vary depending on event, but of course are optional.
Students may also get the opportunity to join a UK or International Study Tour, usually £150-£1500 depending on location and duration.
Steel-toe capped Wellingtons or boots – £30+
Waterproof trousers – £15+
Waterproof coat – £20+
Warm clothing and waterproofs are important for an external visit.
Prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer.
University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit the additional financial support pages on our website.
All Higher Education students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath and who apply before 31st July of the year they intend to start their course. For full details on our halls of residence visit the accommodation pages.
We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support when and if you need it during your time with us. These include our Student Services team, Higher Education Support Team (HEST), Library and Learning Resources and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You will find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath here.
Before you apply you can come and visit us at one of our HE Open Events to see what we have to offer. Once we have received your application we will invite you to attend an Offer Holder Day.
Applications for full-time Degrees and Foundation Degrees are made through UCAS. Applications for all other full-time courses such as Access to HE and Level 4 Diplomas should be made directly to Reaseheath via the online application form. You can find out more here.
For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our Higher Education Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.
The replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy with The Agriculture Act is a turning point in the management of our agricultural enterprises. These changes in legislation, development of technologies and an ageing workforce means there has never been a better time to start a career in agricultural management.
Tom Furness Course Manager
This degree covers so many interesting topics. But it’s the extra experiences which make it special – the visits to farms and businesses, the range of speakers and the people you meet. Also the classes are quite small and that encourages discussion.