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Duration (approx) 1000 hours
Qualification Foundation Diploma

Farms Can be Smaller than You Think!

  • Learn about which animals and plants need less space than others (e.g. poultry, pigs, fish, cut flower orchids, tomatoes).
  • Understand the growing methods which can produce more in a smaller space.
  • Learn about ways of farming unused spaces in urban areas (e.g. vertical and roof gardening; indoor production).
  • Study Urban Farming with ACS, add value to what you grow - greatly increase your profits, without increasing the need for additional space.

If you choose appropriate intensive, high value produce and use innovative production with smart marketing, a small urban space can often be turned into a productive farm enterprise.




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Local produce - learn to grow produce in a small urban space

Modern technology and smart management has changed the face of modern farming - and change is only set to continue. Farms no longer need to be tens or hundreds of acres as they once were. Depending upon what you grow and how you grow it, some modern farms are less than an acre in size, and sometimes even less than half an acre. 

With pressures on availability of land and desire by consumers to buy locally grown and environmentally considerate produce there are lots of advantages to farming in urban areas.

  • Learn about environmentally friendly, sustainable produce.
  • Understand self sustaining ecosystems.
  • Learn about intensive food production with aquaponics.
  • Improve and develop your own business or improve your career prospects.


Course Duration: 1,000 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 seven Core Modules and then choose three Elective Modules.

The Core Modules cover Sustainable Agriculture, Permaculture Systems, Poultry, Commercial Vegetable Production, Aquaponics, Nursery Growers Course, Agricultural Marketing.

Then choose three Electives from – Protected Plant Production, Green Walls and Roofs, Hydroponic Management, Cut Flower Production, Herb Culture, Culinary Herbs, Medicinal Herbs, Berry Production, Self Sufficiency, Goat Husbandry.

The Core Modules for the Foundation Diploma in Urban Farming are summarised below.  Follow the title link for further information on each.

Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
This module presents many different techniques and general measures which may be adopted in part or full to move a farm toward greater sustainability.  The 8 lesson module looks at ways to encourage the adoption of techniques that help to preserve, maintain and work with natural resources in order to maintain the balance of ecosystems.  The module covers a number of different areas of sustainability, from looking at different ways of farming (natural, organic), detailing specific areas of consideration such as soils and water, to wider aspects such as the financial and social elements.

Permaculture Systems BHT201
A permaculture system is a unique landscape where all the plants and animals live in a balanced and self-sustaining ecosystem.  Through 8 lessons, students will learn about the principles of permaculture.  Understanding natural systems and the elements of a permaculture system – animals, plants, environment – will enable students to develop plans for permaculture systems.  Included within the module is a lesson on relevant technologies, including solar and wind energy, bio fuels, water recycling, and more.

Poultry BAG208
Learn to manage poultry on a small or large scale, for production of eggs, meat or young birds. This course covers all aspects of poultry care and management including: Terminology, Breeds, Nutrition, Diseases in Poultry, Layers, Broilers, Incubation, Brooding, Record Keeping, Economics & Marketing; and is relevant to free range or other forms of production.

Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
Through 8 lessons students will learn the principles to grow and harvest a wide range of vegetable crops for a commercial market garden.  The module will encourage students to adopt sensible planning approaches and looks at different cultures employed in the production of vegetables (including hydroponic and greenhouse production), and includes lessons which focus on areas such as pest control and irrigation.  The module goes beyond sole considerations of vegetable production with lessons on harvesting, and the marketing of produce.

Aquaponics BHT319
With this 10 lesson module, Aquaponics students will study this intensive form of farming where the two main elements - fish and plants - support each other.  Crucial to understanding aquaponics, is the development of the student’s knowledge of plant and animal nutrition and growth.   The module covers the essential hardware elements and by the end of the module, students will be conversant with the different options available and will be knowledgeable in the identification and rectification of problems.  

Nursery Growers Course VHT101
This is an introductory module which shows the beginner how to get started in the nursery business. Students will learn how to propagate plants, decide what to propagate, how to start a small inexpensive operation, and to go about selling what they grow. Part of every lesson is devoted to the important area of building up a knowledge of plants. Through six lessons students will learn how many established nurseries have started out slowly as a small part time operation, and how they can follow the same path.

Agricultural Marketing BAG304
The manager of a rural business faces continually changing conditions rarely experienced in other industries.  They have to continually consider, evaluate, assess the numerous changes and types of information that may affect the success of the business. Although crucial to the success of the business, the manager also needs to understand the unique markets within which they operate, and how to capitalise on market forces to maximise their profit.  This 8 lesson module looks at establishing marketing objectives and strategies for a farming business, whilst showing students how to identify markets and understand the components of the marketing mix.  The module includes lessons on customer care, market research, promotions, and managing marketing.

Students are to select 3 Electives from those listed below.  Follow the title link for further information on each.

Protected Plant Production BHT223
Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
Hydroponic Management - Hydroponics II BHT213
Cut Flower Production BHT221
Herb Culture BHT114
Culinary Herbs VHT242
Medicinal Herbs BHT227
Berry Production BHT309
Self Sufficiency I ASS100
Goat Husbandry BAG223

Local produce - learn to grow produce in a small urban space
Modern technology and smart management has changed the face of modern farming - and change is only set to continue. Farms no longer need to be tens or hundreds of acres as they once were. Depending upon what you grow and how you grow it, some modern farms are an acre or less in size.  

With pressures on availability of land and a desire by consumers to buy locally grown and environmentally considerate produce there are lots of advantages to farming in urban areas.

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.

How the Foundation Diploma is Assessed
The Foundation Diploma In Urban Farming requires approximately 1,000 hours of study. It is made up of ten 100 hour modules.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the ten 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 ten 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).


  • Quality Courses - Our courses are written by experienced professionals with real world knowledge and experience.
  • Teaching and Support - Experienced tutors with industry exerience, plus a full support system for students means they are supported at every stage of their studies.
  • Relevant - We are an independent college which means we have the freedom to review and revise our courses as often as we need to in order to ensure they stay relevant to today's world.
  • Flexible Studies - You get to study at your own pace, and you benefit from online studies which mean you choose where and when to study.
  • SAVE MONEY - Become an urban farming expert.  Get started on this flexible qualification.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us, our specialist staff are always happy to advise and provide assistance.  Please, get in touch, use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Timothy WalkerB.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed. Former Director, Oxford Botanic Gardens.
Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
Barbara Seguel B.Sc. M.Sc.Agricultural science graduate, biologist, marine scientist, aquaculturist and educator. Barbara has worked on farms, in ecotourism, education and publishing. She is widely travelled, having been educated in both California and Chile; and having worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Dr. Lynette MorganBroad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Check out our eBooks

Growing & Using Capsicums & ChilliesDiscover the ideal growing conditions for the plants that will see you producing healthy plants and bumper crops. Learn to identify different varieties of chillies and capsicums and cook some great recipes with the fruit.
Growing & Knowing LavenderThe Growing and Knowing Lavender ebook is full (117 pages) of wonderful information, stunning pictures and great facts on lavenders. The ebook covers ideal growing conditions, propagation and a guide to the different Lavender species and cultivars.
Aquaponics eBookThe Aquaponics ebook will give you a great understanding of how to start your own aquaponics production. This 65 page ebook provides you with enough information to start your own home production and even manage issues as they arise. This is a great way to become more self-sufficient and produce a sustainable food source for your own household. Aquaponic farming allows individual families to grow a much wider range of produce, in a much smaller space. They can provide the protein needed for their diet (from fish), as well as the vegetables and fruit they need. Aquaponic systems can be as small as a few cubic meters; or as large as many acres. They are an ideal way of improving productivity on a hobby farm; can be used by restaurants to produce the freshest produce on site, or established inside buildings, in big cities, for urban farming.
Profitable FarmingDiscover new ways to make money from your farm and broaden your perspective on the farming industry. A few things in life are certain; change is inevitable and people need to eat. Learn to embrace change as an opportunity and improve your ability to forge a sustainable career in farming.