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Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • Level(s) of study: Further education
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Two years full-time

About the course

Our Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture is equivalent to three A levels and designed to fully prepare you to progress onto Higher Education or directly into the varied careers in the agricultural industry. You will also develop a deeper knowledge and enhanced practical skills with livestock, crops and machinery through a mix of classroom and practical activities. You will also engage with the farming community through visits and work experience.

Download a course brochure

Why choose Brackenhurst

At Brackenhurst NTU, we are passionate about the future of UK Agriculture. Our mission is to make you industry-ready and career-focused individuals, so that you can take the industry forward. Brackenhurst is set in stunning countryside just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre. We are part of Nottingham Trent University. We offer college courses alongside our degree courses, all taught by our skilled, experienced and supportive staff.

At Brackenhurst we have a mixed farm with beef, sheep and arable enterprises on our 200-hectare estate. You’ll also have access to incredible facilities. These include an animal unit, farm facilities, equestrian centre, laboratories, library and gardens and fields that are overflowing with plants and wildlife. Studying with us means that you’ll be a part of an amazing learning environment. You get all the perks of being part of a big university, but you will still enjoy the comforts of a friendly college.

We have limited on-site accommodation available for students studying on this course. Please contact us for more details.

Getting here

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 the opportunity to work outdoors with farm animals, study crops and learn to drive machinery, with support from your course leader and industry experts.

  • Year One

    • Professional Working Responsibilities
    • In this module, you’ll study professional responsible working practices with a focus on health and safety, wellbeing, resource management and waste management in the land-based sectors.

    • Plant and Soil Science
    • Gain an understanding of how plants function. You’ll study different soils and examine how they help plants to grow and develop.

    • Land-based Machinery Operations
    • You’ll study many land-based machines used in agriculture, including how to safely operate, check and repair different machines.

    • Managing Agricultural Environments
    • Learn how agriculture fits in with its environment by investigating the impacts of different farming practices. Develop skills to do habitat and species surveys in order to plan and carry out habitat management.

    • Work Experience in the Land-Based Sectors
    • Students will participate in and research work experience in the environmental and land-based sector. You will also develop communication and employability skills through study and work experience with prospective employers.

    • Crop Production
    • Gain an understanding of different crop species and products and learn how to successfully grow and care for crops.

    • Farm Livestock Husbandry
    • You'll study the care of farm animals and learn how to support the production of milk, meat and wool.

  • Year Two

    • Contemporary Issues in the Land-based Sectors
    • Learn about the role and responsibilities of those employed in land-based industries, and what resources are needed for a successful business, including staying up to date with emerging technologies and new methods of working.

    • Agricultural Enterprise Operations and Supervision
    • You’ll learn about the purpose and day-to-day running of an agricultural business and develop skills to plan, monitor and supervise others working on the farm unit.

    • Agricultural Business Improvements
    • You’ll carry out a review of a business’ performance to identify and recommend changes to how it works in order to improve performance.

    • Estate Skills
    • Learn how to build, repair and maintain habitat boundaries, structures and surfaces in the land-based sector. You’ll develop experience and confidence in using practical skills in a range of situations. Gain an understanding of project management, including knowledge of health and safety and environmental legislation.

    • Root Crop and Field Vegetable Production
    • Develop skills and knowledge for working on a farm producing a range of root and vegetable crops.

    • Beef Production
    • This module will develop your skills in the care and feeding of cattle for beef production. You’ll develop an understanding of the breeding and production systems.

    • Dairy Production
    • You’ll develop the knowledge and skills for dairy production and learn about animal welfare to gain skills in caring for and feeding cows, including practical tasks at a modern dairy unit.

    • Grass and Forage Crop Production
    • In this module, you’ll study a range of forage crops, learning about their characteristics and how to harvest and store them. You’ll also learn about the value of forage crops for feeding farm animals.

In our last ofsted assessment we received a ‘good’ grade with some outstanding features.

How you’re taught

You’ll learn in our fantastic facilities and be taught by tutors who have real-life experience of working within the agricultural industry. You can expect the course to be split so that approximately 40% is practical work and 60% is theory work.

You will be taught through lectures, group discussions and practical demonstrations. You’ll also get to go on trips to different locations, including dairy and vegetable production farms and industry shows such as LAMMA and Cereals.

The course includes a work placement. This allows you to develop your skills and knowledge in agriculture by working on a farm, and looks good to future employers. You can work with local farmers or places like Openfield and the National Farmers Union.

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed through written assignments, presentations, practical assessments, class tests and external exams.

Careers and employability

After completing this course there are a number of options and routes that you can take. You could choose to continue your studies and go onto a higher education course or pursue a career in an agriculture-related industry.

Future jobs within the agricultural industry include:

  • machinery salesperson- you could earn up to £27,000
  • dairy herd manager- you could earn up to £30,000
  • tractor driver- you could earn up to £30,000
  • agronomist - you could earn up to £40,000
  • feed company representative- you could earn up to £43,000

If you are successful and achieve the right combination of results, you’ll also be able to progress on to one of our degrees right here at NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus.

In 2019 our college courses had a 100% pass rate.

Entry requirements

For 2020 entry you'll need:

  • Four GCSEs including science at grade 4 / C or above and including maths or English at grade 4 / grade C or above.
  • If you have grade 3 / D in maths or English Language (where the other subject is at least grade 4 / C), you’ll need to complete GCSE retakes as a 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 20 August 2020. 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.

Any questions?

Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us 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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418