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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Enrol on the Certificate In Agronomy today - study the production and harvesting of different crops with ACS.

  • Study different crops - grains (cereals, pulses, and other grains), and root crops.
  • Learn about different crop production methods.
  • Learn about crop scheduling.
  • Learn about harvesting and post-harvest management.
  • Study the chemistry of soils and water.
  • Understand soil composition and testing methods.
  • Choose Elective Modules to tailor the Certificate to a qualification that suits your own goals.
  • Start studying at any time with expert guidance and support from our specialist tutors.

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Study Agronomy with this Certificate from ACS - learn about the factors of successful crop production and harvesting.

  • Learn about crop production and the differences in production for livestock and human consumption.
  • Learn about different crop production methods.
  • Understand soil types and sustainable approaches to soil management.
  • Learn about land degradation and other soil problems.
  • Learn about properties of soils and plant nutrition.
  • Start at any time - fit your studies around your existing commitments.



  • Course Duration: 600 hours.
  • Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.
  • Content: Study 3 Core Modules, and then choose 3 Elective Modules.
    The Core Modules focus on Agronomy studies, whilst the Elective Modules enable the student to specialise in areas such as soil management and irrigation.
    The Modules are summarised, below. Please follow the links in the Module titles to access the respective pages for each.



Agronomy I BAG306

Agronomy can be broadly defined as the practice and study of field crops for use as human food, animal feed, fibre, oilseed production and some industrial products. In this 8 lesson module, students will learn the principles and practices that underpin commercial broad acre crop production. They will develop an understanding of how to store and manage seeds, and be conversant with the various factors affecting crop growth. Different crop types are covered within the module, from their cultivation through to harvesting. The module is completed with a special project which will allow the student to apply their learning and demonstrate their understanding of the processes of crop management from planting through to post-harvest.

The 8 lessons are as follows:

  • Lesson 1. Introduction To Agronomic Practices
  • Lesson 2. Culture - What Influences Crop Growth
  • Lesson 3. Crop Husbandry Practices
  • Lesson 4. Seed And Seed Management
  • Lesson 5. Arable Cereal Crops
  • Lesson 6. Arable Broadleaf Crops
  • Lesson 7. Harvesting
  • Lesson 8. Crop Management - Special Project
Agronomy II - Grains BAG309

This module comprises 9 lessons which concentrate on cereals, pulses, and other grains. Students will learn about different grains and their growing requirements. Lessons will take students through the different production systems and the processes of growing through to harvesting of grains, before specific lessons on different crop types - Wheat, Spelt, Tritosecale, Oats, Barley, Rye, Maize, Sorghum, Millet, Rice, Pulse Crops, and Pseudo Cereals (Chia, Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, and Sesame Seed). The module is completed with lessons which look at the production of grains for human and livestock consumption  - the differences between these, post-harvest processing and storage.

The 9 lessons in the Agronomy II module are:

  • Lesson 1. Introduction to Grains (Cereals)
  • Lesson 2. Grain Growing and Processing: Infrastructure and Machinery
  • Lesson 3. Wheat, Spelt, Tritosecale, Oats, Barley, Rye
  • Lesson 4. Maize, Sorghum and Millet
  • Lesson 5. Rice
  • Lesson 6. Pulse Crops
  • Lesson 7. Pseudo Cereals
  • Lesson 8. Processing Grains for Human Consumption
  • Lesson 9. Grains for Livestock Consumption
Agronomy III - Root Crops BAG306

This 10 lesson module focusses on the growing of root crops, including potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, yams, and cassava grains. Students will learn about the important differences in growing practices for root crops, and study the elements of root crop production – including soil management, crop scheduling, weed control, and pest management. The module concludes with the management of the harvest and post-harvest processes.

The 10 lessons in the module are:

  • Lesson 1. Scope and Nature of Root Cropping and the Botany of Roots
  • Lesson 2. Cultural Practices A: Soil Management, Crop Scheduling and Soil Water
  • Lesson 3. Cultural Practices B: Weed control, Pest Management
  • Lesson 4. Potatoes
  • Lesson 5. Carrots and their Relatives
  • Lesson 6. Turnips and their Relatives
  • Lesson 7. Beets
  • Lesson 8. Taro, Yams and Sweet Potato
  • Lesson 9. Other Root Crops
  • Lesson 10. Harvest and Post-Harvest Management



Students are to study 3 of the Elective Modules shown below.

Soil Management - Crops BHT103

The 7 lessons in this module will provide successful students with a broad understanding of the physical and chemical properties of soils. The module aims to develop a student’s skills in the sampling and field testing of soils for the basic physical and chemical properties. The module includes lessons which look at managing and ways to sustain soils, as well as developing an understanding of remedies for land degradation and problem soils.

The 7 lessons in the module are:

  • Lesson 1. Physical And Chemical Properties Of Soils
  • Lesson 2. Soil Testing Methods
  • Lesson 3. Sustainable Soil Management
  • Lesson 4. Soils And Managing Earthworks
  • Lesson 5. Land Degradation And Other Soil Problems
  • Lesson 6. Soil Science And Health
  • Lesson 7. Soil Management
Soil and Water Chemistry BSC307

This 10 lesson module aims for students to gain basic understanding of the dominant geochemical cycles on earth and be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic chemistry including atoms and their components, elements, compounds and chemical reactions. Students will look at chemical reactions that occur within the soil and learn about different methods of testing soils and how to classify soils. They will also look at the chemical composition of water (seawater, groundwater, surface water, potable drinking water), and the testing of water. The module concludes with a Problem Based Learning Project concerned with water chemistry in agricultural environments.

The 10 lessons in this module are:

  • Lesson 1. Soil Chemistry: An Introduction
  • Lesson 2. Soil Chemical Processes
  • Lesson 3. Soil-Chemical Testing
  • Lesson 4. Soil Chemistry – Applications in Agriculture
  • Lesson 5. Soil Chemistry – Applications in Environmental Management
  • Lesson 6. Water Chemistry - Introduction
  • Lesson 7. Water – Chemistry of Water Sources and Drinking Water
  • Lesson 8. Water – Chemical Testing
  • Lesson 9. Water - Applications in Agriculture and Human Health
  • Lesson 10. Water Chemistry - Applications in Agriculture, Problem-Based Learning Project
Soil Management - Agriculture BAG103

Learn about soil properties and requirements in agriculture, and how to apply that knowledge at a management level in an equine business. This 8 lesson module looks at different ways to maintaining soil health, how to ensure that soil is optimised for the production of relevant crops and how to deal with issues such as land degradation and acidity. Although soil cultivation was in the past considered essential practice, there are other ways to managing soil which are discussed in this module.

The 8 lessons in this module are:

  • Lesson 1. Introduction: Soils And Soil Classification
  • Lesson 2. Properties of Soils and Plant Nutrition
  • Lesson 3. Soil Testing Methods
  • Lesson 4. Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems
  • Lesson 5. Soil Management on Farms
  • Lesson 6. Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements (Part A)
  • Lesson 7. Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements (Part B)
  • Lesson 8. PBL Soil project - Soil Investigation and Report
Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105

There are 8 lessons in this module which looks at managing soils in a sustainable manner and to improve them and provide for healthier plant growth. Students will study soil science and health and learn about testing methods for soils and plant tissue.

The 8 lessons in this module are:

  • Lesson 1. Physical and Chemical Properties of Soils
  • Lesson 2. Soil and Plant Tissue Test Methods
  • Lesson 3. Soil Science and Health
  • Lesson 4. Container Growing
  • Lesson 5. Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems
  • Lesson 6. Soil Management Applications
  • Lesson 7. Organic Techniques and Soil Management
  • Lesson 8. Soils and Managing Earthworks
Crops I (Outdoor Plant Production) BHT112

The Crops I module comprises 10 lessons covering all aspects of the production of different crop types (tree fruit, soft fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, herbs, and nuts). The broad-based studies will equip the student with useful knowledge on the principles of crop production – the types of crop to select, appropriate sites, managing nutritional requirements and the different systems used for growing crops outdoors.

The 10 lessons in this module are:

  • Lesson 1. Crop Production Systems
  • Lesson 2. Organic Crop Production
  • Lesson 3. Soils and Nutrition
  • Lesson 4. Nursery Stock Production
  • Lesson 5. Tree Fruit Production
  • Lesson 6. Soft Fruits Production
  • Lesson 7. Vegetable Production
  • Lesson 8. Cut Flower Production
  • Lesson 9. Herbs, Nuts and Miscellaneous Crops
  • Lesson 10. Crop Production Risk Assessment
Irrigating Crops BHT304

This is a 10 lesson module.  As with our other irrigation modules, this module looks at soils and different irrigation systems, but with a specific focus on practical application and the watering of crops.  The module includes lessons on all areas of water handling, including drainage.  The module is completed with the student designing and operating an irrigation system for crops.

The 10 lessons in the module are:

  • Lesson 1. Introduction
  • Lesson 2. Soil Characteristics And Problems
  • Lesson 3. Estimating Plant And Soil Requirements
  • Lesson 4. Drainage - drainage systems, dams, etc.
  • Lesson 5. Types Of Irrigation Systems
  • Lesson 6. Hydraulics - discharge and flow rates, etc
  • Lesson 7. Pumps And Filters
  • Lesson 8. Selecting The Right System For The Plant
  • Lesson 9. Trickle Irrigation
  • Lesson 10. Design And Operation Of Systems



You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.


The Certificate In Agronomy requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100-hour modules (3 Core Modules plus 3 Elective Modules).

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the six 100-hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass six examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.

This qualification is accredited by IARC (International Accreditation and Recognition Council).


At ACS we provide you with more than just a set of course notes.

Your 'learning package' includes:

  • Course notes.
  • Self-assessment quizzes.
  • Assignment feedback.
  • You can interact one on one with a professional tutor with decades of experience - just email, phone or log on to chat to connect with them.
  • Depending upon your course, your studies may involve independent research, interviews, practical exercises, assessments, Problem Based Learning projects, and more.



  • Quality - our courses are developed and tutored by experienced professionals, with real world experience.
  • Relevant - our courses are relevant to today's world, with teaching that you can apply to real life situations.
  • Independent - ACS were established in 1979 and remain an independent distance learning school, meaning we remain fully focused on the development and teaching of our students. 
  • Flexible - our courses can be started at any time and studied at your own pace, therefore fitted around your existing commitments.
  • Choice - other than offering a wide range of courses in a multitude of disciplines, we provide the options of either online studies or eLearning - you choose the option which best suits you, so you can determine where and when you study.



We invite feedback from our students; follow the link to view Student Testimonials

"I have found the course material to be comprehensive and informative and have learnt a lot and really enjoyed my year of study. The office staff at ACS have always been helpful and efficient and quick to respond to requests or queries. My tutor, Adriana, was encouraging and supportive, as well as being really thorough in the way she marked my assignments. I had not studied for 20 years ... and the feedback and reassurance I received from my tutor made all the difference."
Katherine Parry - Horticulture Course


Our tutors are more than happy to help and advise you with any questions regarding the course. Please contact us if you have any questions at all.


  • Learn about growing different crops - learn about managing soils, crop scheduling, harvesting and much more.
  • Study by distance learning - fit your studies around your work.

Why delay? Get started today.

  • It's easy to enrol - just go to the box at the top right-hand side of this page, select your study method and payment options.



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Meet some of our academics

Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

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Business OperationsA text book for business students, or a guide book for anyone operating a business. Six chapters: Daily Challenges of Running a Business, Managing People, The Law, Fiance, Product Management and Risk Management.
Farm ManagementThe Farm Management ebook is a valuable piece of equipment for any farming student or current farmer. Improve your farm management skills or learn new skills and techniques. The topics covered within this Farm Management ebook include 1/ Scope and nature of the farm industry, 2/ The farm site, 3/ Production systems, 4/ Managing livestock, 5/ Managing pasture, 6/ Managing crops, 7/ Managing equipment and materials, 8/ Computer applications, 9/ Farm structures and buildings, 10/ Financial management, 11/ Marketing, 12/ Farm planning, 13/ Staff management, 14/ Water management and 15/ Diversification.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.