Foundation Certificate Agriculture Part Time

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.

Everybody eats, and to help grow food the agriculture industry requires an estimated additional 60,000 highly skilled and qualified people over the next ten years. With the impact of Brexit, and a growing population farming and food will play a vital role in feeding a world population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 (source UN).

Our Foundation Certificate course is designed to develop technical, practical and employability skills to enable you to meet the demands of the agricultural employers in this growth sector. We will make use of our new Farming and Food Innovation and Technology Centre to explore maximised yield from farms and the science underpinning this.

In addition the course will build the foundations to progress onto the final year of the FdSc Agriculture course, which can be completed either by full-time or part-time study. The Certificate consists of six modules, of which a maximum of four can be taken in an academic year, therefore the course will require a minimum of 18 months to complete.

Course modules

Year 1

Agricultural Machinery Management

Students will discuss the principles of agricultural machinery systems and investigate of the strength and suitability of materials in relation to different roles within machinery. Safety systems within machinery will also be considered. You will also develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of primary and secondary data.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy, physiology and environmental assessment are introduced through this core module. With a focus for the agricultural students on livestock, you will explore the fundamentals of animal biology, the module includes some lab practicals.

Principles of Crop Production

Gives an introduction into the principles of growing a range of agricultural crops covering the establishment, nutrition, protection, harvesting and storage of crops. Constraints on crop production from pests, diseases and adverse environmental conditions are also introduced.

Principles of Livestock Production

Introduces the main production systems of a range of livestock produced in the UK. Health, disease and biosecurity, animal welfare standards, breeding, nutrition & costings will be included as students develop a full picture of the UK livestock industry.

Academic and Vocational Skills

A module designed to enable students to maximise their performance both on the course and in the industry to kick start a strong degree and excellent career in the sector. You will gain first-hand experience using a relevant industry environment to develop academic, practical and technical skills. You will record and reflect on their own personal development during the module. The module is fundamental to the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a professional environment and should inspire students through study on the ‘Industry Project’ module at level 5.

Essential Plant and Soil Science

Here students explore the underpinning knowledge and understanding of plant biology and soil science. For plants (crops) students discover how plant form and function relates to their basic needs in terms of light, water, nutrients and reproduction. Soils will enable you to recognise soil properties (in both soil samples and in the field) and their influence on plant growth and development.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

· 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

· BTEC/C&G Level 3

· 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

· 3 Irish Highers at C or above

· International Baccalaureate at 24 points

· NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. This course makes use of the extensive on-site research facilities and the College farms. Students will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations will form an important part of the course. Students will also have access to specialist IT hardware and software including an on-line learning platform.

Students will face a variety of assessments including examinations, essays, debates, assignments, technical reports, group and individual presentations, individual study projects and industry based case studies.

Additional Information:

Study trips are organised to visit a variety of successful agricultural livestock and arable enterprises in the Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Wirral areas. These farm businesses have welcomed Myerscough student visits to supplement the learning in specific modules. Farm diversification and commercial energy generation projects are also visited including wind farms, large scale anaerobic digestion units and biomass plants.

Guest speakers often visit and include industry experts in areas such as crop protection and marketing, agricultural waste management, animal nutrition, livestock technology, AI and breeding. Extra curricula activities include a week long study tour takes based in Europe and attendance at national events and conferences including British Cattle Breeders annual conference.

What work experience can I get?

There are a total of 180 hours of in-built work experience throughout the course. This will be based in an environmental organisation and will be assessed in the Work Skills Development module. In addition, students are strongly advised that any further work experience will enhance their prospects of employment. Students already working for an environmental or similar organisation will not need to carry out any additional work experience, however they will still need to submit work-based assignments to complete the course.


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to progress onto the final year of the FdSc Agriculture run here at Myerscough College.


Graduates will be in a position to apply for posts available in the agricultural industry (and other related industries) including:

Farm Management

Livestock specialist


Farm Business Advisor

Feed Sales Management

Livestock Breeding specialist

Animal Nutritionists

AI Technicians

Veterinary Drugs Representative

Professional accreditations

Students will be encouraged to form links with local and national agricultural organisations such Tenant Farmers Association, NFU, Dairy Co, EBLEX, Breed Societies, RASE and Young Farmers Associations.

Special requirements

Extra Costs

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course include:

  • £100 - Waterproofs, safety boots, wellingtons and overalls

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

  • £1,100 - Field trips and visits (including possible overseas trips)


Myerscough College is one of the leading institutions for Agriculture in the UK. Our courses will help prepare you for a career in the industry, by combining relevant background skills with the knowledge of crop and livestock technology as well as business enterprise.

There is currently a significant demand for highly trained and well educated professionals to enter the industry. This has been fuelled by the increasing awareness that food production, farming, tourism, the environment and rural affairs are all interconnected.

They say: Nicola Chappelhow

"Myerscough gave me a great understanding of different types of agriculture and set me up nicely for my job as a milk recorder."


Alumni – Oliver McEntyre

To anyone looking to study Agriculture or Countryside at Myerscough College, I’d say go, embrace it & leave with the knowledge that the qualification will stay with you for the rest of your career and open doors that might not have been opened without the time and experience Myerscough offers.

Meet Oliver

Access to Higher Education

Gain the skills and confidence to study a degree even if you don’t hold the relevant entry qualifications. Step into the land-based industries with our Access to HE Diploma at University Centre Myerscough.

Find out more

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.