East Durham College agriculture students holding lambs, with East Durham College Houghall Campus logo

Agriculture

Start your agricultural career right here in the North East at East Durham College's Houghall campus!

Choose Your Course

At East Durham College, we've been teaching agriculture for over 80 years. If you're wanting to get into the farming industry, there's no better place than right here at EDC.

Agriculture is a really exciting industry, packed full of opportunities. How about being a crop farmer and providing food for the future? How about raising livestock such as cows, sheep or pigs? Or what about working on farm mechanisation, fixing tractors and other farming equipment? 

Whatever you want to do, it all starts right here at East Durham College's Houghall campus.

You'll be learning from the best - our lecturers don't just teach agriculture, they live and breathe it too.

Our agriculture lecturers have worked for years in the agriculture industry. They're on-hand every step of the way to give you real working experience of life on the farm.

Houghall Agriculture Centre Exterior Cattle and Pig Units.jpg
Houghall's Agriculture Centre

The Houghall Farm - A Truly Stunning Place to Study Agriculture

Thinking of doing an agriculture course at Houghall? 

Set on a stunning 476-acre estate, minutes from Durham City Centre, the Houghall Campus is a fantastic place to study agriculture.

Providing the best facilities for our students is important to us at EDC. That's why we recently invested £12.75 million into the redevelopment of our Houghall campus.

£3.5 million of this investment went into a brand new agricultural centre, closer to the main site entrance. 

Our facilities are a full working farm, just like you'd get when working in the industry. You can expect all of the following at Houghall:

  • Pig Unit - complete with air conditioning
  • Cattle Unit - with 6 large pens and forage storage
  • Crop storage - secure facility for storing harvested crops
  • Huge Estate - with acres upon acres of arable land
  • Crop Growing - including winter wheat, barley, spring beans and lupins
  • Sheep Unit - with lambing season every year
  • On-site butchery to process meat - supplying the college canteen and Durham University
  • Agricultural Machinery - including tractors and seed bed preparation machinery

Why not take a look for yourself? Use our 360 degree tour below to take a look around the Houghall farm (and the rest of Houghall too!).

Houghall has over 200 acres of arable land. On this land, we grow crops which are harvested to feed the college's livestock.

We use our crops to feed our livestock the correct diet. This offers full sustainability and traceability, so the consumer knows exactly what our livestock if fed.

The farm has close partnerships with such names as Agrii and Carrs Billington for crop trials and feed trials. We also work closely with Lloyd Ltd, who supply the college with agricultural machinery.

Tractor at Houghall Durham
The farm at Houghall Campus

Training at the farm is also carried out in close partnership with Trading Standards, training their staff to help ensure food safety throughout the industry.

Careers

What do you think of when you think of a career in agriculture?

Chances are you’re probably thinking of getting up bright and early, perhaps gathering a few eggs from your hens, before driving a tractor round your field, unearthing your latest crop of potatoes.

You’ll probably be thinking of being up to your shins in mud in a pair of thick wellies, or herding some sheep, a faithful sheepdog at your side.

This all, of course, is a part of agriculture and the potential work you could be doing. But what you perhaps didn’t know is this is just a small part of the potential careers you could find yourself working in. There really is a specialism for absolutely everyone in agriculture!

If you love getting outdoors, working hard and growing a rewarding career for yourself, agriculture is for you.

There’s never been a better time to join either – labour shortages in the UK mean 60,000 new people in the agriculture industry are predicted to be needed in the next few years!

Here’s a selection of the careers you could find yourself working in, after your time at Houghall:

Job roles which require at least a Level 2 qualification:

  • Agricultural Fencer
  • Farm Labourer
  • Farm Machinery Technician
  • General Farm Worker
  • Herdsperson
  • Sheep Shearer
  • Shepherd/Shepherdess
  • Tractor Driver

Job roles which require at least a Level 3 qualification (degree/masters maybe required for some roles):

  • Agricultural Building Construction
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Agronomist (Soil + Crop Production Expert)
  • Artificial Insemination Technician
  • Assistant Farm Manager
  • Agricultural Technologist
  • Calf Rearer
  • Countryside Manager
  • DEFRA Officer
  • Farm Animal Nutritionist
  • Farm Auditor
  • Feed Sales
  • Forage Analyst
  • Genetics and Breeding
  • Livestock Auctioneer
  • Livestock Buyer for an Abattoir
  • Machinery Sales
  • Poultry Farm Manager (Broiler/Layer)
  • Research & Development
  • Retail/Wholesale with an Agricultural Merchant
  • Salesperson for a Pharmaceutical Company
  • Teaching (College/Uni Lecturer)
  • Work for Levy Bodies (e.g AHDB)
  • Work for Trade Associations (e.g NSA, NBA and LAA)
  • Numerous Self-Employment opportunities

Progression

If you want to stay in education after leaving us, a Level 3 course will help you get into university.

There you could study many different agricultural degrees. These include such things as Agriculture with Animal Science, Soil Science, Agriculture with Mechanisation and lots, lots more.

Houghall's the perfect springboard, no matter what you want your future to be. Our college slogan is Making Careers Grow for a reason you know!

Short Courses

Check out the details on our Agricultural-related Short Courses or please call the Short Courses team on 0191 375 4714​.

Small Animal Care Courses

The College also offers a range of Animal Care & Animal Management courses.

Download our Agricultural Course Brochure

Agriculture Brochure.png

Would you like to learn more about the range of agricultural courses we have at our Houghall campus in Durham?

Click this link to download a copy of our agricultural course brochure today >>

Enquiries

For general full time or part time course enquires, please call Student Services on 0191 375 4710.

To see full details on each of our Agriculture courses, run at the Houghall Campus in Durham, please click on any of the courses listed below.

Available full time course(s) for 2020/21 listed below:

The full time courses listed below are for the academic year 2020/21, starting September 2020.

Employment Stats & Facts In This Sector

Infographic detailing key employment stats in agriculture and fisheries, these details can be found in the career coach section of our website