Agriculture and related sciences

Whether you love animals, food, plants, or working sustainably, there are lots of ways for you to engage with these subjects.

There are many fascinating things to learn when studying agriculture and related sciences: animal and land management, food science, economics, horticulture, technology, and environmental conservation. Knowledge in these areas could take you into sectors such as agriculture, forestry, horticulture, engineering and manufacturing, environment and conservation, voluntary and charitable organisations, or even local or central government. You could choose a specialism – like conservation – or work as a manager, consultant, or in research.

Jobs for managers in agriculture and horticulture are expected to grow by 2.97% in the next eight years. 

The impact you could make
  • Manage your own farm, rearing animals or crops in a sustainable way.
  • Spread your love of plant science to the next generation as a horticulture influencer.
  • Be a countryside ranger, looking after land and animal habitats that are open to the public.
What you could study
  • Agronomy and crop systems
  • Agricultural production systems
  • Livestock science and production
  • Crop physiology, nutrition, and protection
  • Sustainable soil management
  • Ecology, biodiversity, and natural resources
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Agricultural mechanisation and technology
  • Waste management, recycling, and energy

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
“Molecular ecology, genetics, behavioural ecology.”
Second year animal behaviour student, University of Exeter
Example assignment
“Human-animal interaction, behaviour management and evolution.”
Second year animal management and welfare student, University Centre Peterborough

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some agriculture and related sciences courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

Hard skills you'll develop
  • Food technology
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Agricultural equipment
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Customer service
  • Organisational skills

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying agriculture and related sciences. The following information is based on a typical agricultural and fishing trades role.

Available jobs
27,724 vacancies in the past year
8.85% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £37,503
85% of students
are highly likely to recommend agriculture and related sciences to others
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)

What is an…. agronomist?

You may not have heard of an agronomist, but if you become one you’ll advise farmers on land management, crop rotation, and soil health, and give advice on things like fertilisers or organic treatments. You might also bring in innovative new technology that can more accurately predict weather, crop growth, and other environmental conditions. Agronomists will have an important part to play in the way we grow crops in future, and harvest our land in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study agriculture and related sciences at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from agriculture and related sciences applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or an SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.

  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.
Hear from Kieran what it's like to do an agriculture apprenticeship at East Lothian Council in Scotland.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around agriculture and related sciences with the following:
  1. Royal Agricultural Society (RASE)

    Browse the news section of the RASE website to find out what’s going on in the industry, including articles on innovations like agritech and regenerative farming.
  2. NFU Student and Young Farmer

    Follow the National Farmers Union student branch on X to keep up-to-date with career opportunities in the industry for young people, and to read their magazine Student Farmer. 
  3. Institute of Horticulture

    Browse the Institute of Horticulture’s careers section to get an idea of what jobs you could do in horticulture. 

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our  advice will help you get ahead in your agriculture and related sciences journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Show your enthusiasm for the subject by mentioning books or content you’ve read, and any related societies you’re part of, such as a local conservation group.
  • Mention any previous experience you’ve had working on a farm, in a local green space, garden centre, or animal sanctuary, for example.
  • Demonstrate your practical abilities through things like gardening projects you’ve done, litter picking, DIY, or other relevant activities.
  • Tell them about your scientific knowledge too, whether that’s something you’ve learned at school or a hobby learning about geology, nutrition, or science experiments outside of school.
  • Illustrate your organisational and management skills, whether that’s through part-time jobs you’ve had, or leadership roles in school or on sports teams.

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