FdSc in Agriculture and Technology


This course, validated by Ulster University, aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills base to allow them to pursue a successful career in the agri-food sector and enable them to cope with ongoing challenges and changes within the industry whilst ensuring that they are both technically and practically competent. This Foundation Degree is available to study on a full-time or part-time basis.

Course overview

The course has been developed to meet industry needs with a particular emphasis on developing initiative and the flexibility to adapt to different employment situations, to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to enter the industry at trainee manager/supervisor level. Successful students will be well prepared for employment leaving with skills in production agriculture, business management and science and technology.

This course is available to study full or part-time. Part-time students will study the same compulsory modules and select from the same optional modules as per full-time provision.

Course content

The course has four key themes:

  • Agriculture Production
  • Business Management
  • Work-based Learning/Employability
  • Science, Technology and Mechanisation

Students undertake core modules in Year 1 Semester 1 but select optional modules in Year 1 Semester 2 and in their final year. Modules totalling 240 credit points are required to obtain a Foundation Degree. Students can opt to complete the programme in two years by selecting the short work placement option or 21/2 years if they select the year long work placement. Students are encouraged to select the year long work placement to improve their knowledge and understanding of the sector and increase employability following graduation.

Course Structure

Year 1

Students are required to complete the following modules in Year 1;

  • Introduction to Business Management
  • Animal Science
  • Academic Development & Employability
  • Farm Technology & Mechanisation
  • Enterprise Studies
  • Grass Systems
  • Arable Crop Studies

Students will select one of the modules to study in Year 1, Semester 2;

  • Livestock Husbandry, Health & Welfare
  • Farm Machinery
  • Production, Principles and Practice (Horticulture)

Year 2 Semester 1 (or for those opting for the long Work Placement option – Year 3)

Students are required to complete the following module;

  • Farm Business Management

Students will select two from the following module options

  • Option A: Crop Production Systems or Ruminant Production Systems
  • Option B: Improving Business Opportunities or Pig and Poultry Production
  • Option C: Farm Buildings & Mechanisation

Year 2 Semester 2 (or for those opting long Work Placement option – Year 2)

Students are required to complete the following module;

  • Work Placement

Students will select two from the following module options

  • Developments in Agriculture
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organic Agricultural Production
  • Research Methodologies & Data Analysis

For module summary information click here.

Work Placement

Work Placement provides students with an insight into the agri-food industry and an opportunity to work with business leaders and managers.

All students are required to undertake a work placement which is worth 40 credits at level 5, during which students develop technical and commercial expertise. Students have the option to either take a full year out on work-based learning or they can undertake a short placement which is achieved through a period of relevant work amounting to at least 400 hours. Placement opportunities are available in the UK, Ireland and overseas for example New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.

Students are encouraged to undertake work placement within the agri-food industry. However, students may undertake work placement on a suitable farm provided that it is not in the vicinity (within 10 miles) of the home farm and meets the requirements associated with studying at a higher education level. Students are encouraged to develop practical, technical, business and managerial skills during their placement and avail of the opportunity to demonstrate transferable skills in ICT, problem solving and communication. CAFRE has an Agricultural Placement Manager to provide students with help and guidance throughout the placement.

Progression opportunities and career destinations

Data from CAFRE’s Student Destination survey for the last three years shows that 95% of Foundation Degree Agriculture graduates have either obtained employment or progressed to higher education within six months of graduating.

Students who meet the necessary requirements may have the opportunity to progress onto the second year of Honours Degree programmes including Environmental Science at the Ulster University and the BSc Agricultural Technology course run in partnership with Queen’s University, Belfast. Alternatively students may apply for entry onto other Honours Degree courses at CAFRE or other universities. Historically over 30% of graduates have progressed to Honours Degree programmes.

There are career opportunities in farming and enterprise management as well as marketing, sales, contracting and consultancy. The college maintains close links with farmers and industry and this provides students with an excellent opportunity to develop contacts with potential employers.


Higher Education provision at CAFRE is supported through a diverse range of mechanisms including Bursary Support from industry. A number of bursaries are available to full-time students studying at Higher Education courses at CAFRE. Students will be eligible to apply for bursaries when they are registered on the course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must satisfy Ulster University’s general entry requirements and normally have at least 40 UCAS tariff points at A2 Level (including a Science* subject) and at least two A2 Level passes. Applicants must have four appropriate GCSEs or equivalent, including English and Mathematics at Grade C or above.

*A-Level Biology or Chemistry are preferred but Geography, Technology, and other cognate subjects are acceptable if a Grade C or higher has been achieved in Double Award Science at GCSE level or a Grade C has been achieved in two separate science subjects at GCSE.

Applicants are normally required to have at least three months relevant practical experience, to include livestock husbandry skills and operation of farm machinery in an agri-business.

Enhanced entry criteria may be applied subject to demand for this course.

For other qualifications and equivalencies, please consult the UCAS website Tariff Tables

Key staff

Dr Stephen Graham

Dr Stephen Graham

Senior Lecturer (Agriculture)Agriculture,
Greenmount Campus