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Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

This qualification gives you the opportunity to learn about and build on the essentials of working in farming such as safe working practices in farming, livestock husbandry and crop production, plant and soil science, estate skills and operating agricultural machinery as well as business skills. A specific route will be chosen to specialise in either livestock, arable or farm mechanisation.
Students choosing the livestock option will go to study subjects such as farm livestock health and nutrition, pollution and waste control management, business improvement and farm animal science, plus you will learn about specialist dairy, beef, sheep, pig or poultry production. You will also study further topics such as grassland management or farm habitat management. This would be for you if you really enjoy the aspects of farming relating to animals and their husbandry and production. If you chose the arable option, then you will learn those skills that are particularly important for working with agricultural crops such as pollution and waste control management, business improvement, agricultural spreaders and sprayers plus further subjects such as forage crop production, grassland management, harvesting, storage and marketing of root crops, field vegetable production and combinable crop production.
For the farm mechanisation pathway, you will focus on the agricultural machinery side. You will learn about land-based power units and workshop practice, plus you will study further topics such as repairing compression-ignition engines, mechanical power transmission systems, spark-ignition (petrol) engines, cultivation, planting and application machinery and harvesting machinery.
Centres and providers work with local employers who will contribute to the knowledge and delivery of training. Employers will provide demonstrations and talks on the industry and where possible work placements will also be provided by the employers. This practically based training is ideal preparation for gaining employment in the agricultural industry or specialist further study.

Overview of the course: 

It is a full time two year study programme allowing learners to develop and practise the skills required for employment and/or career progression in the agriculture sector. Sessions will consist of practical and theory taught sessions. Basic skills are required and industry experience is an advantage. Maths and English will be to be studied alongside the programme.

Entry requirements: 

Progressing from a Level 2 Diploma requires a minimum of an overall Merit and be competent at tractor driving. Good attendance from previous year is also required.

Direct entry requires a minimum of 5 x GCSE's at Grade 4+ including maths, English and science and two other subjects. Basic livestock knowledge and tractor driving skills are required for this course. Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.

East Durham College's Houghall Campus is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all our students. The campus, some of which is over 80 years old, has seen over £40m invested in new facilities over the last 4 years. However, there are still some aspects of the site which are not fully accessible and would cause an issue for those with limited mobility or wheelchair users; and due to the nature of the site, adjustments may not always be reasonable at this stage. The College is committed to further investment and improvements of the site, as we work towards ensuring the campus is as assessible as possible. If you have limited mobility or are a wheelchair user and wish to undertake a course at the Houghall Campus, please contact Student Services on 0191 375 4710 in the first instance to discuss your needs and options.

Our entry requirements are in place to support our students in achieving the qualifications they have chosen to study. Following changes in the assessment and grading of GCSE’s as a result of Covid-19, all new full-time students will be regularly assessed by East Durham College at an early stage in their study programme. This is to ensure that students are enrolled onto courses which suit their abilities – following assessment, there may be occasions when learners are transferred to a relevant course at a higher or lower level in order to ensure they are enrolled onto the right course for them to achieve success.


Health and Safety, Livestock, Machinery, Arable, Grassland, Estate Maintenance and Bio-security

How is the course assessed?: 

A range of externally moderated synoptic assignments, externally marked tests, internal tests and assignments.

Further study options after this course: 

In livestock pathway :Herdsperson, Shepherd, Dairyman, Contractor (livestock), Assistant Poultry Unit Manager. In arable pathway : Contractor (crops), Agricultural technician, Assistant head tractor driver, Fixed plant manager, Sprayer operator In farm mechanisation pathway : Machinery technician, Farm mechanic. Foundation Degree

Length of the course: 

2 years
This full time study programme courses may also be available to study on a part-time basis if you are aged 18 or over on 31st August. Please check with Student Services for more details.


Houghall Campus, Durham

When does the course start: 

September 2021


Fees for this course are;

Free if you are under the age of 19 on the 31st August 2021

Free if you are aged 19-23 on 31st August 2021 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification – contact us to check your qualifications

Loan funded if you already have a full level 3 qualification or are aged 24 and over on 31st August 2021 - contact us to check your qualifications and for details of how to apply for an Adult Learner loan, which you won’t have to start repaying until you earn over £25,725 per annum.

Alternatively you may self fund the course. If you need to pay fees they are:


*you must have been a legal resident of the UK/EU for the last 3 years

City & Guilds Group Bursaries
C&G run their own bursary programme to help people who are financially unable to complete one of their qualifications. They award bursaries twice a year for people who wish to study for a City & Guilds qualification, but lack the funds. Their bursaries are grants that cover costs arising as a result of taking one of their qualifications which can include course and/or exam fees, learning materials, travel and childcare. For more detail on the criteria and how to apply, please visit

*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (11 Oct 2021 12:15) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.
Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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