Agriculture is a vocation and way of life. Whether you are interested in animals or crops, upland or lowland, intensive or extensive farming systems, the breadth and depth of teaching in the highly popular Agriculture Foundation Degree at Aberystwyth University, will cater for your needs.
This three year course is taught within the highly prestigious Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences in an area renowned for its agricultural innovation, productivity, diversity and beauty.
Here is why we think that Aberystwyth is a great place for you.
- Modern teaching facilities that provides you with the practical skills and scientific knowledge base to underpin your future career
- Visits to farms and businesses that lead the industry in innovation and technical know-how
- Work experience as a component of the course
- Progression route to honours degree level
- Study through the medium of Welsh or English
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 93% student satisfaction (NSS 2018)
98% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 3% more than Biological Science graduates nationally, (HESA 2018*)
This Foundation Degree in Agriculture is a three-year vocational qualification suitable for anyone wishing to develop their farming knowledge or retrain for a career in agriculture. It includes one year working in the agricultural industry.
What will you be taught?
As you progress through the course you will study subjects such as:
- Animal production systems
- Animal science
- Animal nutrition
- Soil and crop management
- Plant science
- Agronomy and crop improvement
- Business, economics and land use
- Farm business budgeting and appraisal
- Agricultural technology
- Agricultural systems
- Food farming and the environment
There may also be the opportunity to gain certification through recognised national vocational organisations such as LANTRA.
Will I gain work experience that makes me more employable?
The 3 year Foundation Degree requires students to complete a 9 month work placement between the 1st and final year. This allows students to experience a whole year on a farm or allied business or organisation. It is popular with students who want to travel abroad and gain farming experience in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and beyond!
It allows students to . . . .
- Experience the agricultural workplace
- Apply academic and vocational knowledge
- Gain experience and skills that make them much more employable.
A world renowned teaching and research institute
- Our students have won the “Biology Student of the Year” award at the European Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Awards, and the Welsh Ornithologists’ Union Student Prize!
- Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) received the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' award at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards.
- Our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in conjunction with Bangor University had the 5th strongest submission in the UK for the Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014).
- RABDF Dairy Crest Dairy Student of the Year 2013 and runner up in 2016
- National Trust and YFC choose Caryl Hughes 2013/14 and Tudur Parry in 2014/15 to run £1m Snowdonia farm
- Successive winners ‘Fferm Ffactor’
- Welsh Young Shepherd of the year and European Young Shepherd 2013
Passionate teaching staff who are experts in their field
Many have won awards for their teaching and they come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with a wide range of expertise and extensive links with the agricultural industry. Make no mistake, you will be learning from the best!
Can I progress onto the BSc degree programme?
Students who successfully complete the Foundation Degree are automatically offered entry into the 2nd year of a suitable degree programme.
Students who demonstrate consistently good performance will be offered entry into the final year of a suitable degree programme.
Want to study in Welsh?
Some of our modules are taught in Welsh as well as English. If you study through the medium of Welsh you may be eligible for a generous bursary.
The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
- Agricultural Technology
- Animal Science
- Business, Economics and Land Use
- Crop and Grassland Management
- Introduction to Livestock Production Systems *
- Soil and Plant Science
- Study and Communication Skills *
- The Agricultural Industry - Scheme Specific Skills *
- The Development and Management of British Habitats *
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
What opportunities exist after studying?
Our graduates have progressed and occupy the following occupations:
- Farm Managers
- Agricultural business consultants
- Agricultural policy experts
- Animal nutritionists
- Technical agricultural enterprise managers.
Following a successful Foundation degree you will be encouraged to progress onto one of our honours level degree courses, and you will advised of your options as the course progresses.
Studying for a degree in Agriculture will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills
Teaching & Learning
What will I learn?
The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year programme.
In the first year you may explore:
- The technologies that are increasingly being developed for and adopted by the agricultural industry;
- The factors that influence land use;
- The primary resources required to operate a rural business;
- Identify management requirements of agricultural grassland and cereal crops;
- The scientific principles governing plant and crop growth processes in the field;
- Livestock production systems and their importance for world food production;
- Consider the role of biotechnology in improved physiology and nutrition science.
In the second year you may study further:
- The UK livestock industries;
- The crop production systems and strategies;
- How to analyse, budge and appraise a farm business;
- The ecological impacts of modern food production methodologies;
- Opportunities to gain certificated practical skills and experience in areas such as using a chainsaw a pesticide application.
How will I be taught?
You will be taught through a balanced programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials, workshops, practicals, study tours and demonstrations.
Our assessment methods take various forms including essays, practical reports and exercises, oral presentations, exams, plans, worksheets, field notebooks and case studies.
You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.
You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.
Typical Entry Requirements
A Levels CC-DDD
GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics or a Science subject
BTEC National Diploma:
24 points overall
The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org