Agriculture and related sciences bring together a wide range of disciplines including, for example, animal and land management, food science, economics, horticulture, technology, and environmental conservation.

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Graduate destinations

15,130 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

69.3% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Professional, scientific, and technical
  2. Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  3. Wholesale and retail trade
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Arts, entertainment, and recreation

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:

A number of courses are accredited by their respective awarding bodies to show they provide the knowledge and skills required by employers in that field, e.g. ecology, nutrition, and arboriculture. There are also a number of veterinary nursing courses on offer that lead to professional accreditation in this career.

Subject combinations and available course options include:

  • single, joint, and multiple subject combinations
  • full-time, part-time, and flexible study options, as well as courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
  • qualifications ranging from BSc (Hons) degrees, through to HND, HNC, and Foundation Certificates

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available in the following areas.

Higher apprenticeships
  • Agriculture – e.g. assistant farm manager
Advanced apprenticeships
  • Zoo/animal keeper
  • Animal/dog trainer
  • Agriculture machinery operator
  • Assistant farm manager
  • Livestock technician
  • Veterinary nurse – small animals
  • Assistant arboricultural officer
  • Gamekeeper/head keeper
  • Horticultural technician
  • Deputy head greenkeeper

Find out more about apprenticeships

Entry requirements

A levels – To get on to a related degree, you will usually need a minimum of two A levels, with three A levels and A/B grades required for the most popular courses. Entry requirements range from BBB to BCC, with the universities and colleges most commonly asking for CCC. Most degrees in this field ask for at least one science A level (biology is often required for degrees in animal science and veterinary nursing), with two preferred by many. It is important to check precise requirements with universities, as some are more flexible around which subjects they regard as a science.

Scottish Highers – Entry requirements for Highers (the most common qualification) range from BBBC to ABBBB, with universities or colleges most frequently requiring BBBB. Occasionally, universities ask for Advanced Highers to supplement Highers. If Advanced Highers are requested, universities or colleges typically ask for AB.

Vocational courses – Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Animal Management Science, SVQ Animal Care (SCQF Level 6)) may be accepted as an alternative to A levels/Highers by some providers. It’s essential that you check alternative entry requirements with universities or colleges

Personal statement

Competition for places can be high so personal statements form an essential part of the selection process. Admissions tutors want to see you have aptitude, interest, and motivation in your chosen subject. Many of these degrees are practical and vocational, which means some previous experience can be important.

Universities will be looking for evidence that you have a real enthusiasm for the subject and related careers, which could be demonstrated by:

  • additional reading and research
  • membership of related societies/clubs – e.g. local conservation group

How to write your personal statement

Key areas of employment

This subject area has a strong vocational link, with the key areas of employment being management, consultancy, development, and research in the following sectors:

  • agriculture, forestry, and horticulture
  • education
  • engineering and manufacturing
  • environment and conservation
  • local and central government services
  • pharmaceutics
  • sales and marketing
  • technical media and journalism
  • voluntary and charitable organisations

Related careers

Examples of related careers include the following:

Where can I find out more?

Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in agriculture and related sciences.

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