Diploma of Higher Education in Agriculture

Writtle University College
United Kingdom
Study mode
Full-time, Part-time
2 years
Tuition fee (local)
Information not available
Tuition fee (foreign)
USD 28,248

Entry Requirements

  • UCAS Tariff Points: 180 - 240
  • GCE A Levels: 180 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above
  • Irish Certificate: 180 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x ILC higher at B1
  • Scottish Highers: 180 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x higher at B
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MPP (160) in combination with other qualifications (180)
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma: MM (160) in combination with other qualifications (180)
  • C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma: Pass (120) in combination with other qualifications (180)
  • C & G Level 3 Diploma: Merit (160) in combination with other qualifications (180)

English language requirements
If you do not have English as a first language, you will normally be required to demonstrate an IELTS overall score (or equivalent) of:

  • 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements for a Further Education course
  • 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements for a Foundation degree, Higher Certificate or Higher Diploma
  • 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements for a degree
  • 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements for a postgraduate degree

If you have lower scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English Language course, which can lead to entry to the appropriate programme of study.



  • Principles of Agricultural Management - This is a practical module which aims to equip students with the technical skills needed while underpinning this practical knowledge with theory. Students will study aspects of livestock management and handling, crop production, mechanization and business planning. Safe operation of farm machinery will be taught alongside the relevant health and safety legislation. Livestock practicals will involve a range of species and will involve practical handling and aspects of management. This is a hands on module allowing students to gain vital skills needed for an career within the agricultural industry.
  • Climate, Soils and Land Use - Soils and climate are fundamental natural resources that affect environmental sustainability and profitability. This module will develop knowledge of properties of soil formation, soils and the strategies required to manage it for growing plants and various crops. The essential nature of soil, its physical, chemical and biological make-up, are examined, with a view to understanding how these natural processes are essential to plant growth, as well as how they may be harnessed to sustainably manage land and landscapes. Students will also discover how the capability of soil is a prime factor in determining the capability of a site to support the growth of a range of plants, and how this might determine and limit productivity. Fertiliser properties, organic manures and environmental considerations will be emphasized. The fundamentals of weather and climate; the global climate system, climate zones, will also be investigated Ultimately the importance of how this in respect of plant growth, as well as how this essentially underpins the understanding of global climate change is highlighted.
  • Developing Graduateness - This module introduces the School of Sustainable Environment students to the academic and personal skills they will need to make the most their time in HE study. It also begins their orientation to the world of work in their respective target sectors (conservation, horticulture, agriculture and floristry). The module is team taught with some subject specific and some interdisciplinary delivery allowing the students to appreciate the wider context of their subject and to collaborate across a wider range of students than their other modules allow. The module is designed to induct students into the expectations of HE study, e.g., academic literacy and numeracy, ICT skills, constructive team-working, and self-reflection on their progress across all their modules. These aspects of study are contextualised to the students’ interests and aspirations by working with sector relevant material to assist the students in their professional development planning and encourage independence and ownership of their studies and career aims.
  • Biological Processes (AG) - The module introduces key biological concepts and principles providing the foundation for future study. Dealing with life processes and living organisms, it links biological structure and function. Discipline specific themes are developed via partner units of study [e.g. the module Horticultural Science] delivered in Semester 2.
  • Introduction to Agronomy and Cropping Systems - This module provides some basic practical skills and relevant plant and soil academic information for the student. Students will be introduced to the concepts in Agronomy. Practical soil/water issues will be investigated as will the effect of cultivation systems on various soil types and conditions. The module also requires students to observe and record machinery and crop information for use in discussion and assessment. The interpretation of this material is encouraged as is the use of recorded information that is available from the College farm and other sources and is available in the Farms Information Room. The teaching and learning in this module are linked wherever possible to the teaching and learning taking place in the level 4 science modules and is designed to be built on in level 5 husbandry and science modules.
  • Introduction to Livestock and Production Systems - This module provides background information on livestock production in the UK including national statistics and the role of livestock in the wider UK economy. It introduces the concept of a production system, system inputs and outputs with associated resource use. Students will then be guided through the various production systems for each species, for example the UK stratified sheep industry, intensive (indoor) and extensive (outdoor) pig production, poultry (eggs and meat) and a number of alternative livestock species such as Alpaca, Deer and Ostrich. Wherever possible lectures will be backed up with real life examples of production systems, for example indoor pig production, lowland sheep production and semi- intensive beef production at Sturgeons Farm and milk production at Terling Hall Farm.


  • Agrotechnology - This module will help students to understand the importance of soil and good land management relating to UK and EU legislation. Drainage, run off, flooding, soil erosion, and soil compaction will be investigated. Water management will be covered as well as the use of irrigation, water storage & water abstraction licensing and drainage techniques. Farm machinery from planting to harvest will be discussed and the best way of implementing them effectively. Precision farming techniques will also be assessed and evaluated. On farm energy generation will be covered with comparisons between the different technologies currently available. Planning procedures and incentives will be included. Storage of crops to meet crop assurance schemes will be studied.
  • Field Vegetable, Salad and Fruit Crops - This module will give students the opportunity to assess the potential and gain an understanding of root salad and fruit crops which are important in certain parts of the UK and overseas where they contribute significantly to farm output. Specific crops will be evaluated and the agronomy discussed within the framework of Integrated Farm Management to promote the sustainable techniques and the production of high quality produce for multiple retailers and specific markets. Management issues will be evaluated to assess the factors necessary to produce high value field crops profitably to demanding customers. Developments in technology and machinery design will be considered along with the storage requirements of the crops as these are likely to make significant contributions to the efficient production of marketable produce in the future. The opportunity to visit local farmers, processors, packers and retailers will be taken.
  • Academic and Professional Development (AG) - This module is intended to develop scholarly and professional skills in an integrated way in the context of the career aspirations, industry sector and academic discipline of the individual student. It is intended that the flexibility of this module will allow subject specific benchmark standards as defined by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to be incorporated depending on the particular HE programme that the module is serving. In continuing with their personal development planning students will gain a deeper understanding of the need for the development of professional and managerial skills within their industry sector and the development of research skills appropriate to their academic discipline. The module begins by enabling students to develop a critical understanding of career development, and the process of personal development planning for their careers. The module supports the career development learning outcomes described in particular Course Programme Specifications (and related Subject Benchmark Statements). Students develop their understanding of personal development planning leading to the identification of realistic and satisfactory career goals and the skills development and knowledge acquisition that will be necessary to achieve these. In the context of their specific sector the module provides a basis for the student to understand their eventual role in dealing with complex situations as professional practitioners and managers. In order to achieve this it provides an understanding of the key aspects of the operation of organisations which the student may encounter in their career; financial, human and market focused. Exercises and case studies will provide material for students to discuss management issues, typical of those encountered in the “world of work”. This module is also designed to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and thought processes necessary for effective original academic and/or work-focused research. The detailed techniques and approaches used will reflect the student’s academic discipline and will provide a basis for progression on to the Level 6 Dissertation module or equivalent. This module is intended to be carefully contextualised to ensure its relevance to each academic discipline and industry sector. The indicative content, skills development and learning materials are consequently not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive.
  • Combinable Root and Alternative Crops - This module examines the production of a range of economically important crops and builds on the knowledge gained in core Level 4 Agriculture modules. The range of crops covered includes cereals, major oilseeds, legumes (combinable peas and beans), sugar beet, potatoes and other relevant “alternative” crops. Some alternative uses for major crops will be examined. Students are expected to develop a detailed understanding of the agronomic requirements of each crop and an appreciation of environmental considerations. A comprehension of the basic principles of crop protection will be required and emphasis will be placed on the cost effective use of inputs within an Integrated Crop Management (ICM), Integrated Farm Management (IFM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems. Students will also be encouraged to investigate market opportunities and to understand the quality standards demanded by the wholesale and retail customer.
  • Health and Welfare of Farmed Animals - The module focuses on the control of disease control at farm level (including ecto and endo parasitology) with the underpinning science and epidemiology. It includes management of disease including prevention (e.g vaccination/worming programs and farm level biosecurity), cure of disease and issues such as anthelmintic and microbial resistance. The module also examines farm level health and welfare assurance schemes with health and welfare components, disease eradication schemes and farm health planning. National level disease issues are covered in the year three modules.
  • Livestock Science and Technology - This module addresses scientific and technological issues associated with animal production. Indicative issues would be scientific principles into practice (e.g. The use of BLUP and EBV’s) or an actual physical technology (robotic milking, computerized sow feeding etc).

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