What is agriculture?
Agriculture is both the theoretical study and practical application of farming, such as the cultivation of cereals.
What do you learn on an agriculture degree?
A degree such as agricultural sciences will study the practice of farming both in microcosm and the wider picture, and in doing so will explore the ethical and environmental solutions to feeding a global population that continues to expand.
Courses can include modules such as cropping and pasture sciences, and plant nutrition. Agronomy will focus on particular on plant and soil sciences, working with business to finds ways to both optimise yields and foster sustainable farming.
Agricultural economics, meanwhile, will incorporate applied economics with incisive research into agriculture, analysing finances and the impact of finance systems such as tariffs on industry, while also exploring ways to maximise the utilisation of natural resources.
A degree in agriculture gives you the knowledge and skills to manage agricultural businesses, or work in the areas of agricultural sales, food production and farming journalism.
- Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Fish farm manager
Rural practice surveyor
- Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Field trials officer
Try to gain hands-on work experience as this will increase your chances of getting a job after graduation. If you don’t have the opportunity to complete a placement year as part of your course, look for relevant work in the holidays.
This may involve going to local commercial farms and asking if they have any extra work or seeing if you could shadow someone who works in farm management. There may also be local voluntary projects that involve agricultural or environmental work.
Back in High school
Study of the sciences are at the core of any agriculture degree, and a student must make sure to be well versed in the basics of chemistry and mathematics before applying.
Economics can also be an important part of agriculture, and a course such as business studies may teach a student skills that are applicable to their further studies.
The most valuable science to study prior to reading agriculture at degree level is biology, which is an important element of the subject in areas such as the breakdown of plant life and people’s dietary needs.
An additional subject to study before applying for university or selecting your major in agriculture is geography, for courses involving skills such as data collation and topography are applicable to the subject.
Agriculture is a mix of academia and practical work, and for that reason those who have spent time working on or merely being present at a farm, can produce a résumé that gives them an edge over other students.