BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Apply for 2024

Throughout the course, there is an opportunity to gain additional qualifications for work on modern arable and mixed farms. These include certificates in Rough Terrain Fork Lift Truck Use, PA1 & PA2 Sprayer Certificates and many more to add to your qualification base.

Assessment breakdown

  • Unit based internal assignments
  • External assessments to include theory exams and practical synoptic evidence

Course details

Dates & Location

The academic year runs from September to June.


3 years


If you will be over 19 on the start date of your course you maybe required to pay tuition fees. Please contact to confirm.

Entry Requirements

You'll need to have achieved 4 or more GCSEs between grade 9-4 (previous grade structure A*-C) including English, Maths and Science

Successful completion of a related Level 2 course at Merit or above and/or related experience in farming, would be advantageous 

While I was at Plumpton I soon found that I was particularly interested in dairy farming. In my middle year I had the chance to truly hone my skills as part of a farming business, which has certainly made me more employable.

Holly Morris

Student, Level 3 in Agriculture

Future Opportunities

The agricultural industry has a vast spectrum of careers. The study of agriculture is relatively niche in the UK therefore, there is a demand for individuals with agricultural knowledge and experience to take the industry forward. 

Achieving a high grade on a Level 3 programme will open students to higher education degrees such as Sustainable Land Management or similar degrees at other universities.

Many agri-businesses offer traineeships / higher apprenticeships to keen and high-achieving agricultural students. 


Year 1

During the first year of the programme the aim is to lay down the fundamental principles of agriculture. This will be delivered through practical skills development on the College farm as well as through taught practical and theory based sessions. As the year unfolds you will build confidence and competence in a range of agricultural skills, practices, activities, and duties. Dependant upon qualification of study, modules include:

  • Professional Working Responsibilities
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Work Experience in the Land-based Sectors
  • Estate Skills 
  • Crop Production 
  • Farm Livestock Husbandry 
  • Land-based Machinery Operations 
  • Managing Environmental Activities in Agriculture


You will have the opportunity to take part in routines on our college farm and work hands on with its four enterprises: calves, dairy, sheep and pigs, up to four weeks in the academic year.

Year 2

The second year provides an opportunity for learners to practice these skills through an extended period of work experience. Many choose to do so in subject areas where they see themselves in the long term which allows learners to seek employment across the UK and further afield around the world. This not only provides a fantastic industry experience but also offers the opportunity to meet new people and experience a different way of life.

  • Middle year placement
Year 3

The final year allows learners to combine all elements of the previous two year's studies and start to develop the business and decision making skills required to operate and run modern farming enterprises. Overall the Level 3 agriculture programme provides a diverse range of opportunities and real employment openings in general modern agriculture.

  • Managing activities For agri enterprises
  • Contemporary issues in land-based sectors
  • Agricultural business improvements 

Pathway specific units

Either: Or:
  • Livestock pathway
  • Livestock Health and Diseases
  • Sheep production
  • Beef production
  • Livestock Nutrition
  • Arable pathway
  • Combinable Crop Production and Processing
  • Grass and Forage Crop Production
  • Land-Based Workshop Practices
  • Selecting and Managing Land-Based Machinery


You will have the opportunity to oversee and manage the Level 2 and Level 3 Year 1 students carrying out their routines.

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