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Agriculture Level 3


This is a well established course which is designed to prepare you for a career in one of the UK's most vital industries, agricultural food production. Learners acquire a broad knowledge of all the issues relating to agriculture and the skills and techniques required within the industry.


On this course students will study a range of topic areas, where there may be the opportunity to specialise in a livestock management; Beef and Sheep or Dairy  in the final year of study. During the course students will attend a range of lectures, followed by practical sessions, where you can put theory into practice.

Across both our colleges we farm over 650 hectares of land over four farms based in two diverse locations; within the Vale of York and in Cumbria. The farms include Westfield Farm, based at our Askham Bryan Campus and Home Farm based in nearby Askham Richard. Sewborwens Farm is located on the Newton Rigg Campus and just a short distance away is Lower Beckside Farm, our hill farm in Mungrisedale.

Students at both our Colleges will get the opportunity to make reciprocal visits to partner College Farms in York and Penrith, to study both upland and lowland agriculture, different farming systems in both high and low rainfall areas and alternative land production systems.

Topics studied include a range of livestock husbandry units (beef, dairy, sheep, pigs), crop production (arable, combinable crops, grassland, root and field veg), science (animal, soil and plant), business, mechanisation, estate skills and an investigational project. Please check the specialisms covered at York and Newton Rigg upon application. Work experience is considered a vital element of the programme and you will be required to undertake one day per week, or equivalent, over the two years of the course.

In addition to the main programme, various short courses are offered. Courses may include tractor driving, forklift truck driving, ATV training, safe use of veterinary medicines, first aid and other certificates of competence but charges may apply. For those learners who do not achieve a C at GCSE level, or wish to improve in Maths and or English, there will be an expectation of students to undertake further study and to raise their grades.

During the course we attend, where possible, a range of shows and events, industry visits and farm visits. It is envisaged that learners will spend some time at our partner college's farms in Newton Rigg to study upland and lowland management topics, farming in both high and low rainfall areas and the contrasts between farming in Cumbria and the Vale of York. Visits to our York College from Newton Rigg will allow study of lowland management topics, highlighting the contrast between farming in Cumbria and the Vale of York.

In year one learners may also achieve the 90 credit diploma.

Entry Requirements

Usually at least 4 GCSEs at grade C or above (new GCSE grading levels 4 to 9) to include any 2 from English, Maths and Science with at least a grade D in the remaining subject. Alternatively a suitable Level 2 vocational qualification (Merit or above) with English and Maths at Level 2

Further Study

Progression routes from the programme can include Foundation Degree study leading to Degree programmes in Agriculture or onto a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Agriculture.

Newton Rigg College,
CA11 0AH
01768 893400