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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Learn about Managing and Improving the Operation of Farms

  • Learn about processes of planning.
  • Understand more about approaches to management.
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of soil science.
  • Learn about sustainable approaches to soil management.
  • Learn how to plan and conduct research.
  • Learn how to farm effectively whilst conserving resources, and minimising waste and environmental impact.

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Learn about Managing and Improving the Productivity of Farms

  • Understand approaches to improve the operation and productivity of farms.
  • Learn about planning and management.
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of soil science.
  • Learn how to farm effectively and conserve resources, whilst minimising waste and environmental impact.
  • Learn how to plan and conduct research.
  • This is a 900 hour course requiring the completion of 6 Core Modules and a further 3 Elective Modules.
  • The Elective Module selection provides students with the opportunity to tailor their studies to particular areas of interest.


Students are to complete the following 6 Core Modules; further details for each module can be accessed by following the links in the module title:


Students are to select 3 Modules from the following:


You can start the course at any time. You study by distance learning - choosing when and where you study. You are supported in your studies by our expert tutors.

Each module comprises a number of lessons. At the end of each lesson there is an assignment which is to be submitted to the School for marking by your tutor. This will be marked and returned to you with your tutor's comments and any suggestions for further reading.

To pass the Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Farm Management) you need to pass the assignments on all modules, complete an Industry Project, and pass exams on all of the other modules. Exams are usually taken at the end of each module at a time and place to suit you.

Sample Course Notes - What Is Planning and Why Is It Important to Farm Management?

Farm Management involves the whole operation of a farm or agricultural business as a profit making venture, as such it involves the balanced integration of all aspects of these businesses. 

Good farm related management does not just depend on following a set of routine procedures. It involves constant re-assessment of procedures and the need to be aware of new developments in technology, fluctuating costs and markets, and climatic patterns, as any small changes in these can significantly alter the economic viability of an enterprise.

Planning might relate to physical or tangible things such as the physical layout of an area of land, or intangible non physical things, such as the way manpower and other resources might be allocated in the workplace.

Formal planning helps to define the farm business’s goals, establish and overall strategy and develop individual plans. Formal planning is important because it:

  1. Provides direction
  2. Reduces uncertainty
  3. Minimises waste and redundancy
  4. Sets goals/standards for control
  5. Assesses external and internal impacts to object relationships within the business
  6. Sets planning timeframes (i.e. for review/completion etc.)

Plans can be broad in scope involving every aspect of a farm's future; or they can be narrow e.g. covering the way a small number of people will work for a short period of time. Strategic plans are plans which have been developed with the purpose of meeting these goals. A strategic plan utilises predetermined "strategies" in its approach to management.

There are some aspects of business management that are universal to all successful enterprises and financial management is one of these. Understanding what is involved in financial management is very important. Annual budgeting, medium and long term plans, where to go for finance, what are the best investments for profit etc. are things that must be decided and reviewed continually as part of the financial management process.

Studying with ACS

Our courses have been developed over many years and are continually reviewed and updated where required. They are delivered by highly qualified tutors who have extensive experience in their field.

ACS courses are designed for application in the real world, providing students with the opportunity to develop skills and sound, fundamental knowledge. They will encourage students to learn, to research and to network.

Feedback from our students highlights the aims and relevance of our courses:

"This course allowed me the freedom to work within the industry & learn at the same time. I learnt a lot of new and diverse calf rearing options that have now better prepared me for the 'real world' of calf rearing and my new role within the dairy industry. A great 'grounding' course, even for those who are hands on in raising calves. I have recommended this course to a few calf rearers already! I'd be happy to highly recommend the course to anyone with an interest in raising the next quality batch of calf replacements on their farm."
Tiffany Gordon - Calf Rearing Course

Why Study This Course?

This course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about farm management. For example -

  • farm workers
  • farmers
  • agricultural staff
  • smallholders
  • veterinary staff
  • conservation workers

The course will provide you with a detailed and advanced knowledge of farm management.

You can study the course in your own home and at your own pace.

Learn more about farm management.

Improve your job and career prospects.

Set up your own agricultural business

You can enrol on the Advanced Certificate In Agriculture (Farm Management) today.

Any Questions?

Please click here to contact a tutor


Request a course handbook here.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

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.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
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.

Check out our eBooks

Animal Feed & NutritionThe Aniaml Feed and Nutrition ebook is a comprehensive guide to animal feed and the nutritional requirements of different animals.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
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.
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.