Why choose this course?
• Our course offers a wide range of both practical and theoretical modules which means you'll gain hands on experience alongside building your managerial understanding of countryside care
• Our course reflects what countryside management employers really want
• Our excellent facilities for students are of some of the best in the UK
• Your assessments will be based on real life industry projects
• You'll develop surveying and identification skills
• You'll develop livestock handling skills
• You'll undertake fieldwork and practical modules on our beautiful 200 hectare country estate
• You'll build vocational experience highly valued by employers ensuring a successful career in countryside management or further study
About the course
This BTEC course aims to equip students with an understanding of countryside management issues for those aspiring to enter the industry. This award could be used towards entry onto the FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management programme.
Brackenhurst campus is our beautiful, 200-hectare country estate. It is characterised by picturesque woodlands, lakes, working farms and landscaped gardens. The historic country house, built in 1828, serves as the hub of this campus, which is complemented with the latest in student facilities. It is the perfect learning environment for land-based courses and people looking for hands-on education. The estate acts as an outdoor classroom for developing practical skills and techniques associated with countryside management.
Who will teach me?
Andy worked in countryside management as both Ranger and Project Officer and has run his own coppicing business before he came to Brackenhurst in 1995 where he gained his PGCE and Post Graduate Certificate in Countryside Management and Recreation. Andy's research interests are ghost and shadow woodlands, woodland archaeology, livestock grazing in conservation and moorlands studies. Andy is a keen natural historian, and regularly organises student projects within the industry, particularly within the Peak District National Park.
Matt graduated in Countryside Planning in 1994 and subsequently has gained experience across a broad range of countryside management topics. Matt is a keen conservation volunteer and works with the Trust for Conservation Volunteers and the National Trust for Scotland. Additionally Matt spends time within the local authority continuously developing his estate work skills and enhancing his habitat management experience in a variety of different habitats. Since graduating with a PGCE in 2002 Matt has proven teaching experience across further and higher education courses.
Brackenhurst is home to a wide range of wildlife species
Our estate is part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship scheme that supports effective environmental management of farm land and countryside estates. Initiatives include the establishment of six metre field margins of permanent grass to protect hedgerows and ditches from fertilizer sprays and soil leaching. Over the year’s species of wildlife have flourished at Brackenhurst including barn owls, lapwings, yellowhammers, butterflies and moths.
Please see the Applying
Course length: One year full-time
Study location: Brackenhurst campus
Fees and funding:
- 2013/14 entry – Aged 19 to 24 - £1500.00
- 2013/14 entry – Aged 24+ - TBA
Plus a registration fee (£169 for 2012 entry)
What will I study?
- Woodland Habitat Management: You'll learn about woodland ecology and history; how to identify woodland trees and flora and learn to survey and classify woodlands.
- Woodland Management: You'll explore the management principles of woodlands in both theory and practice and learn how to write an industry standard management plan for woodland.
- Greenwood Crafts: Over the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in items produced in a sustainable fashion from our native woodlands. You'll carry out a variety of projects such as willow bed management, pole lathe projects, build a traditional wattle hurdle and design your own greenwood project. Every year the course team demonstrate at the National Forest Wood Fair.
- Heathland Management: You'll learn about the history of lowland and upland heathland and gain practical experience carrying out heathland surveys and undertaking field identification techniques. You'll build your knowledge and develop practical heathland management skills.
- Livestock Use in Conservation Management: You'll study the land management issues in conservation that are being solved by the use of grazing by a variety of herbivores. You'll learn about the management of livestock, develop condition scoring skills, and gain hands on experience during our lambing period with the Brackenhurst sheep flock.
- Farm Livestock Husbandry: You'll develop the knowledge and skills required for the successful care and management of farm livestock. You'll learn to to handle farm livestock in order to carry out specific husbandry techniques including both beef cattle and sheep.
- Farm Habitat Management: You'll gain understanding of Environmental Stewardship, the history and development of farmed landscapes, and learn how to survey farmland bio diversity and use methods to enhance, create and restore habitats.
- Estate Skills: You'll gain practical experience undertaking hedge laying, managing woodland, fencing, tractor driving, surveying and learn how Public Rights of Way work.
- Principles of Wildlife Populations, Ecology and Conservation: You'll be introduced to the fundamentals of ecology, including the ecology of populations and develop the skills to survey a wide range of habitat types and species, such as flora surveys, breeding bird surveys, dragonfly surveys and mammal surveys.
- Understand Ecological Concepts and Application: You'll learn how to apply ecological principles in the field by carrying out surveys, and you'll develop a wide ranging portfolio of species identification skills.
- Investigative Project: You'll have the opportunity to specialise and develop expertise in a specific interest area - such as veteran tree surveys, conservation grazing projects or upland surveys in the Peak District National Park.
- Work Experience (300 hours): Our work-related experience module enables you to develop knowledge and skills that relate to a specific role of employment in the countryside management sector. We have a wide range of work experience providers such as Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission.
- Emergency First Aid (optional): You'll be given the chance to undertake an emergency first aid course alongside your studies.
Where will my learn take place?
You'll mainly be based at our Brackenhurst campus in Southwell where you will spend lots of time on our 200 hectare outdoor classroom estate. Throughout the course you'll also spend time going out on field trips where you'll work on sites all over Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Transport will be provided from campus for trips and activities further afield.
There will be the opportunity to attend a week-long residential field trip to the Peak District National Park. You will spend time carrying out comparisons between Dark and White Peak vegetation, conducting heather moorland assessment surveys, using basic hill skills such as micronavigation; and investigating archaeology and landscape history.
Contact time and typical timetable
Contact time will be 16 hours a week, with home study and assignment work set outside of these hours.
Typical time table is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is by a mixture of practical tests and activities and written assignments, at pass, merit and distinction grades.
How many places are available on this course?
93% of our graduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (Latest DLHE Survey Undergraduate results 2011/12).
Many of our Countryside Management Diploma students go on to study our higher education courses in Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management or Wildlife Conservation.
- FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management
- BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management
- FdSc Wildlife Conservation
- BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation
Popular career destinations:
- Forest Rangers
- Wildlife Rangers
- Estate Wardens
- Wildlife Trust staff
Career development and volunteer opportunities
Each week you'll be given access to the Countryside Job Sheet complete with all the environment based jobs opportunities, work experience and volunteer opportunities in the industry and industry based project opportunities throughout the course.
Where are our graduates now?
We have graduates working for the Forestry Commission, RSPB, and The Wildlife Trusts. A wide range of careers can be pursued and previous students have ventured out into rural tourism, estate management and employment with local authorities, charities and wildlife trusts. Some have secured posts as rangers and wardens for country parks and nature reserves. In some cases, students have set up their own businesses as estate workers and become self-employed.
We can help you find a placement
We will help you arrange a placement with a conservation organisation, where you can gain experience working with wildlife, livestock and the management of many habitats such as wetlands and woodlands.
We have strong links with:
- The Forestry Commission
- Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
- Peak District National Park
- Ancient Tree Hunt
- Four GCSEs including Maths, English and a Science at Grade C or above
- Equivalent qualifications will be considered
Please see the how to apply section for full entry requirement details.
Four GCSEs including Maths, English and a Science at Grade C or above
Equivalent qualifications will be considered
Applications are welcome from mature and international students
How to apply in four easy steps
1) Choose your course. Use our Open Days, course brochures and website information to make an informed choice.
2) Request an application form - call our admissions team on +44 (0)1636 817099.
3) Complete your application form, asking a parent / guardian to sign it if you are under 18 and return to us at:
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Nottingham Trent University
4) We will then process your application and if you meet the criteria for the course, will invite you for an interview at our Brackenhurst campus to discuss your application in more detail with the course tutor.
If you have any questions or concerns when completing your application form, contact our Admissions Team at any time.
Confirming your place
Please let us know your GCSE results as soon as you receive them by calling +44 (0)1636 817099.
We can then confirm your place on the course and send you the relevant induction materials and start dates.
If you want to speak to us about this course, open days or how to apply then get in touch using the following details:
Telephone: +44 (0)1636 817099 (Brackenhurst)
Click here for the latest fees and funding information for this course.
This bursary is means tested and awarded on a sliding scale depending on parent or guardian's income. You need to be holding a firm offer before applying for this and it does not cover the total cost of accommodation. Find out more about the residential bursary.
Please note the following information for applicants
Studied: BTEC Diploma in Countryside Management
Lorna Griffiths is studying our BTEC Diploma in Countryside Management
“As a mature student, the decision to give up a secure job and enrol on the Countryside Management BTEC at Brackenhurst was difficult yet life changing. The mixture of both practical and theoretical modules resulted in an instructive and engaging course, so much so that the course gave me the desire to further my education in environmental studies at Brackenhurst and on completing the BTEC I progressed onto the FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management course. Consequently I then went on to undertake the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation degree course!
Practical skills, the great outdoors and confidence
"My time on the BTEC not only gave me the practical skills I needed to fulfil my dreams of a career in the great outdoors but has also instilled in me the confidence to go out and achieve them. Since undertaking the course I have become a respected member of the National Trust Ranger Team at Hardwick Hall, as well as having a lead role with the Lincolnshire Dormouse Group managing the woodland management tasks, whilst at the same time continuing my degree.
"I would really recommend the course to others considering a career in the great outdoors, this course has opened doors to new opportunities and has changed my life.”
Read more student profiles