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.
In your first year, you will focus on gaining a sound theoretical and practical understanding of sustainable agricultural production. You will develop your knowledge and skills in the foundations of agricultural science and production, before specialising in either Dairy Herd Management, Crop Management or Livestock Management in your second year.
In your second year, the Dairy Herd Management pathway will explore different management strategies in key areas such as Genetics, Nutrition, Health and Welfare. This will enable you to effectively combine biological science and animal production knowledge to examine and mitigate the impact of production on global issues such as food security and climate change. In particular, you will explore the role of autonomous and biological technologies, such as our robotic milking facility, and concepts such as OneHealth to improve livestock health, efficiency and sustainability.
The Applied Dairy Investigation module will provide an opportunity for you to engage in a research project at University Centre Reaseheath, in association with the Institute of Sustainability & Food Innovation, enabling you to develop your skills in research methods by conducting applied research in a specific area of dairy herd management.
Rural business management is integrated throughout your foundation degree, covering areas such as diversification, marketing, human resources and accounting. These skills are hugely important in the assessment, monitoring and management of successful agricultural businesses and are often looked for by employers in the food industry. You will also explore the field-to-fork concept and methods of adding value to produce and the overall supply chain.
Upon graduation you will be armed with the toolkit required to progress the dairy industry forward in a career in dairy herd management, as well as progress to the BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture Top-up degree.
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.
*This course is subject to validation.
Full-time: 2 years
The Sustainable Agriculture programmes are based at University Centre Reaseheath’s rural Cheshire campus which has had over £80 million in investment in recent years, including:
- £2 million University Centre teaching facilities
- £8 million Advanced Engineering and Agri-Tech Centre
- £8 million National Centre for Horticulture, the Environment and Sustainable Technology, including an automated, hydroponic, LED-light 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 80 pedigree Holstein cows
- Conventional 32/32 Rapid-Exit parlour system milking a further 130 pedigree Holstein cows
- Expanding beef-from-dairy beef unit
- A commercial flock of 350 New Zealand Highlanders
- 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 principles 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.
12 Modules (all at 20 credits) include:
At Level 4 all Sustainable Agriculture students will study a suite of core modules which will provide the foundations in agricultural science and production to aid specialisation at level 5. Modules will include:
- Animal, Plant and Soil Science
- Sustainable Livestock Production Systems
- Farm Animal Welfare and Nutrition
- Farm Business Diversification and Marketing
- Sustainable Crop and Forage Production Systems
- Agricultural Machinery & Technology
At level 5 students studying the Sustainable Agriculture with Dairy Herd Management pathway will study:
- Environmental Land Management
- Business Management and Finance
- Work Based Learning for Land-Based Industries
- Farm Animal Health and Behaviour
- Sustainable Dairy Herd Management
- Applied Dairy Investigation
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:
Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 360 hours
Independent Study: 840 hours
Year 2: 25% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 260 hours
Placement: 150 hours
Independent Study: 790 hours
Class sizes are usually up 20 students.
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.
Assessments are designed to encourage both academic and workplace skill development. 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.
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 SharePoint page.
Lectures for this course will be timetabled 3 days per week.
During the level 5 module, Work Based Learning for the Land-Based Industries, students are expected to complete at least 150 hours of industry placements. This is completed alongside lectures and students are expected to attend all timetabled sessions.
This is a compulsory module; 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.
- One year top-up route to gain a full BSc (Hons) Sustainable Agriculture Top-Up
- Farm/Unit Management
- Farm and Environmental Consultancy
- Animal Health Advisory & Sales
- Animal Genetics Advisory & Sales
- Farm Business Analyst
- Vet Technician
- Research and Development
As a Higher Education student you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.
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 textbooks, although a list of recommended texts can be provided. We promote the use of online journals, webinars and podcasts.
Students are responsible for everyday 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, which usually cost £150-£1,500 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, Inclusive Learning Team, 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 UCR 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.
It’s a very exciting industry and quite fast changing, particularly in the area of technology. You need specific skills and knowledge to be a successful farm manager and I felt that this degree would deliver both.