About the course
Our Level 2 Technical Diploma in Agriculture is a one-year course and a great opportunity to start your career in Agriculture, while allowing you to retake your Maths & English GCSEs as required. You will develop knowledge and practical skills with livestock, crops and machinery through a mix of classroom and practical sessions, as well as engaging with the farming community through visits and work experience.
Why choose Brackenhurst
Brackenhurst is the rural campus of Nottingham Trent University and, as the centre of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences, we are passionate about the countryside and farming. Our mission is to make you industry-ready and career-focused individuals, so that you are ready to take the industry forward.
Brackenhurst is only a bus journey away from Nottingham City Centre. However, it feels a world away from the city when you see the stunning Nottinghamshire countryside within which Brackenhurst is located. Our college courses run alongside degree courses – all taught by tutors who are skilled, experienced and supportive.
At Brackenhurst we have a commercially managed pedigree beef herd, sheep flock and arable farm that makes up our 200-hectare estate. You’ll have access to an excellent range of facilities including a beef round house, new grain store and lambing building, machinery workshops, laboratories, lecture rooms, computer suites and library. We also have an extensive range of farm machinery including tractors fitted with GPS equipment that you’ll learn with.
Brackenhurst prides itself on providing you with a friendly and supportive learning environment. Our college courses are taught by tutors who have spent time working in industry, therefore transferring their skills and experience, with a focus on making you industry ready.
We have limited on-site accommodation available for students studying on this course. Please contact us for more details.
Links with the Agricultural industry
Brackenhurst has strong links with many local farming businesses, which helps your studies by either allowing us to visit their farm or being a guest speaker at Brackenhurst. Many also provide opportunities for students to complete work experience. Nottingham has a rich variety of farming businesses including field scale vegetable, dairy, beef, poultry, pig and arable farms as well as the allied industries like animal feed manufacturing.
Brackenhurst is easy to get to. We’re just 14 miles from Nottingham city centre, next to the town of Southwell. Find out more about getting here.
What you'll study
This course will provide you with ample opportunity to work outdoors, and build your primary skills needed to work with farm animals and estate maintenance tasks. You will learn the basics about crop husbandry, as well as an introduction to machinery maintenance and tractor driving. These varied sessions are delivered by our own teaching team and technical staff who have extensive subject knowledge and experience.
Working in land-based industries
You will consider the required skills and qualifications for a wide range of career pathways within agriculture. You will learn about professional behaviour and good work conduct and the importance of health and safety within the land-based industries.
Introduction to plant and soil science
You will explore internal structures of plants from cells to transport systems and external plant structures including stems, roots, leaves and flowers, looking at their functions and characteristics. You will also investigate soil types, texture, structure, pH, nutrients and care.
You will explore the machinery used for activities across arable and livestock production. You will develop the skills to carry out correct set up and routine maintenance, and to be able to operate machinery safely so that machinery tasks are completed effectively.
You will develop the practical skills to safely repair and install field boundaries, maintaining farm surfaces and making repairs to farm buildings. You will learn how to provide services such as a water supply to farm livestock.
You will consider some of the different crops grown in the UK as well as the products that come from them. You will develop your understanding of crop establishment techniques and nutrient supply, and learn how to monitor their growth before looking at how they are stored.
You will develop the practical skills needed to work with farm livestock safely and confidently and how to ensure high standards of animal welfare are maintained. You will gain knowledge and understanding of how good farm livestock husbandry relates to profitable farming.
Agriculture work placement
You will consider different career opportunities in the agricultural sector, learn how to apply for jobs and practice your interview skills. As part of the course, you will need to gain and complete a period of work placement experience in an agricultural sector that appeals to you.
In our last ofsted assessment we received a ‘good’ grade with some outstanding features.
How you’re taught
Spending time learning in our industry leading facilities through a mixture of lectures, group discussion, practical demonstrations and hands on experience with livestock, crops and machinery.
An important element of the course are our trips; visits to leading vegetable growers, organic dairy farmers and industry shows allows you to broaden your horizons.
The course includes a work placement allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge in agriculture by working on a farm, enhancing your chances of employment after you complete your studies. You can work with local farmers, agronomists, nutritionists or in connected industries such as the National Farmers Union.
How you’ll be assessed
Your assessments will be by completing written assignments and demonstrating the skills you have learnt in practical assessments.
Careers and employability
The Level 2 course only lasts for one year and therefore you'll need to have a plan for your next academic year. You will need to demonstrate clear attendance and commitment to your Level 2 programme as well as a Merit grade to progress to Level 3 in Agriculture at Brackenhurst.
Future jobs within the agricultural industry that are attainable with a Level 2 qualification include:
- Stockperson: earn up to £20,000 per year
- Tractor Driver: earn up to £20,000 per year
- Apprenticeship: earn up to £15,000 per year
- Farm Park Worker: earn up to £18, 000 per year
In 2019 our college courses had a 99% pass rate.
For 2021 entry you'll need:
- Four GCSEs including maths and English at grade 3 / D or above.
- Students with grade 3 / D in maths and/or English will need to complete maths and/or English Language GCSE retakes as a mandatory part of your study programme.
Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
You will also be required to attend an interview.
Applications are welcome from mature and international students.
Getting in touch
If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.
We welcome applications from international students. Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 to discuss how your qualifications match our course requirements.
How to apply
Applying is really easy. Follow our step-by-step guide below.
Fill in an application form
- Download an application form. Remember to show your passion for your chosen subject in your personal statement.
- Provide contact details for two referees - usually one teacher from your current School or College and one character reference which could refer to any volunteering, work experience or hobbies you may have (i.e. Sea Scouts, sports clubs etc.). Alternatively, this can be a long standing family friend or neighbour.
Come for an interview
- If you meet the criteria for the course, we’ll invite you in for an interview. We’ll send you details of what will happen on the day in advance through the post. Don’t panic! Our tutors are really friendly and will help you to do your best.
Get your offer
- We’ll write to you and let you know how you got on at the interview. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you a place on the course. This offer might be conditional on your upcoming exam results – for example GCSEs.
Accept your offer
- You need to tell us that you want to accept your offer of a place by returning your confirmation slip to us or calling us on 0115 848 5299.
Get your exam results
- If you’re taking GCSEs, you’ll get your results on Thursday 19 August 2021. Other exam results will also come out over the summer. Once you’ve got your results you need to let us know what they are. Then we can confirm your place.
Start at Brackenhurst
- We’ll send out all the information you need to start with us in the post at the end of August. We hold an enrolment day in the first week of September. This allows you to get your student ID and start meeting your new friends and tutors.
Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us at or give us a call on 0115 848 5299.
Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.
Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on how to apply.
Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.
Fees and funding
If you are aged 16-18 and applying for a Level 2 or 3 course
There are no course fees if you’re aged under 19 on 31 August of the year you start your course.
If you are aged 19+ and applying for a Level 2, Level 3 or Access to Higher Education course
If you’re studying your first full Level 3 or Access to Higher Education qualification you may be eligible for free tuition. You will still need to pay the registration fee applicable for your course.
If you are applying for the Level 2 qualification or have already completed a full Level 3 qualification, tuition and registration fees will apply.
To cover the cost of tuition when applying for a Level 3 and Access to Higher Education qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the UK Government. It is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You will not have to pay anything back until your income is over £25,000.
Please visit fees and funding information for more information.
Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on fees and funding.