Agriculture can be defined as the cultivation of land and breeding of animals and plants to provide food, fibres, medicinal plants and other products to sustain and enhance life. It has been credited as one of the main contributors to the rise of sedentary human civilisation, wherein people settle in one area for longer periods of time. Agriculture dates back thousands of years. The field of agricultural science is fast developing and is having large ecological and environmental effects. A degree in agriculture will allow you to understand the scientific, logistical and environmental aspects of crop and animal production.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Agriculture
Studying agriculture will likely include a large proportion of scientific modules such as biochemistry, natural/environmental sciences and biology. You may also be required to study some business models as well, such as mathematics, humanities and economics. These will give you a well-rounded insight into the ethics and science of the agricultural industry.
Your degree may be taught in a mixture of modes. These will likely include classroom based work, laboratory work and practical based work. This practical work may be undertaken on campus, or you may be encouraged to participate in a work placement to gain relevant experience.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Common specialisation include:
If your course requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you another opportunity to research a chosen area of agriculture.
The accreditation of your agriculture degree will depend on which country you study in and your institution. In the UK, you will most likely graduate with a bachelor of science in agriculture. Other countries may have a different accreditation system. You should check the courses you are interested in to see what award you will be earning.
There is currently no universal certification that graduates must obtain before they can seek employment, meaning you are able to look for a job as soon as you have graduated.
Generally, an undergraduate degree in agriculture will last three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates usually take up to two years when studied full-time.
After successfully completing your degree, you can either seek employment in your chosen field, or continue your studies. Further studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters degree, a PhD, a graduate diploma, or a graduate certificate. If you do choose to study for a postgraduate degree, you will get the opportunity to focus on a more specific area of agriculture.
The entry requirements for this course will vary at each institution. Some universities may require you to have studied certain subjects, and others may expect you to sit an entrance exam. Some institutions may consider previous relevant experience, and some may rely solely on previous exam results.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their agricultural programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Fees for international students are set by the individual institutions. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You make sure that you are aware of how much each course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This may be awarded by your institution, or a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Agricultural graduates will be have the skills to go into a wide range of professions. Jobs in agriculture can be found in many different areas, including farms, forests and nature reserves, among others. You could choose to become an agricultural consultant, a farm manager, or you could work in a research position.
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