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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Organic Farming Course - A fascinating course which encompasses a variety of topics relating to sustainable, chemical free farm production

  • Update your knowledge of organic farming for the modern world.
  • Improve how you run your business.
  • Learn about organic farming to improve your career prospects.
  • Study in your own time and at your own pace.
  • Learn from organic farming experts – our tutors!

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Learn about integrated farm management systems, organic management issues, sustainable soil management and much more.

Adopting an organic approach to farming can make great sense, providing foods free from artificial chemicals, and creating a more sustainable environment. 

Students taking this course will:

  • Learn about integrated farm management systems.
  • Understand organic management issues.
  • Be conversant with sustainable soil management, and much more.
  • The course is suitable for farmers, farm workers, agriculture students and anyone working in farm supplies and services.


Course Duration: 100 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.

Lessons: The course comprises 10 lessons as outlined, below.

Lesson 1. Introduction to Organic Farming
Scope; Nature; History; Types of organic farming.

Lesson 2. Integrated Farm Management Systems
Rotation design; Cash crops; Managing waste; Permaculture; Polyculture; Biodynamics etc.

Lesson 3. Organic Management Issues
Certification; Environmental concerns; Marketing; PR.

Lesson 4. Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
Composting; Mulching; Green manuring; Cover crops; Organic fertilisers.

Lesson 5. Weed Management
Selecting appropriate techniques of control; Weed identification.

Lesson 6. Pest and Disease Management
Animals; Plants.

Lesson 7. Livestock Management I
Beef; Dairy; Sheep; Pigs.

Lesson 8. Livestock Management II
Poultry; Goats; Alpacas; Ostriches; Deer.

Lesson 9. Pasture
Pasture Varieties; Management Principles; Intensive systems; Nitrogen fixation; Correct seed mix; Risks with legumes.

Lesson 10. Crops
Wheat; Plant Fibre; Hay and Silage; Mung Beans; Sesame seeds, etc.


On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the scope and nature of organic farming in today’s world.
  • Select appropriate organic management systems for different organic farms.
  • Understand the environmental, economic and political issues concerning organic farming.
  • Explain the role of living organisms and decomposing organic matter in creating and maintaining an appropriate soil condition for successful organic farming.
  • Determine and apply appropriate weed management practices for an organic farm.
  • Select and apply appropriate pest and disease management practices for both animal and plant production on an organic farm.
  • Design an appropriate system for organic production of cattle, sheep and pigs.
  • Design an appropriate system for organic production of poultry and other miscellaneous animals.
  • Design an appropriate system for organic pasture management.
  • Explain the broad-acre organic production of a grain or legume crop.


Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Investigate Organic industry such as, Certifying Organisations, Producers or organic farming groups in your locality or region.
  • Determine allowable inputs to an organic farm certifying in your area.
  • Discuss how an organic farm requires more labour than a conventional farm.
  • Visit an organic farm, either a real visit or virtual visit if that is not possible.
  • Prepare a plan for an organic farm.
  • Describe the conversion process for one of the organic farms.
  • Investigate organic market potential.
  • Prepare a compost heap.
  • Prepare a diagram of a healthy soil food web.
  • Prepare a weed collection (25 weeds – either pressings or illustrations).
  • Determine appropriate weed control within allowable organic farming limits.
  • Describe the life cycle of three animal parasites.
  • Describe habitat requirements of various predatory insects.
  • Survey one or more farms regarding animal production systems.
  • How can the animals above be integrated into a vegetable or fruit production system.
  • Determine organic solutions to different farming problems.
  • Investigate different pasture management systems.


Conventional farming often depends on using artificial fertilisers and chemicals to:

  • Grow crops and animals.

  • Improve pastures for animal grazing.

  • Control weeds, pests and diseases.

Artificial fertilisers give excellent short-term gains
For very little work, farmers that use such fertilisers are able to make a living from even the poorest quality soils. However, we pay a high price for those quick returns. Both long and short-term fertiliser use causes a range of environmental problems including soil salinity, algal blooms in waterways, nitrification and erosion.

Sustainability - the organic approach
A very significant part of organic farming, whether animal or crop production; is to create fertile, well structured soils that support both plant and soil animal life without harming the environment. Organic matter is recycled through the system to provide nutrients for plants and to improve and maintain the condition of the soil.

All animals raised in certified organic operations must be allowed access to the outdoors, and kept in living conditions that accommodate the natural behaviour of the animals.

They must be wholly fed on feed from organic sources. They may not routinely be given antibiotics, hormones or medications, but they may be vaccinated against certain diseases. Diseases and parasites are controlled through preventative measures such as sanitary housing, stress reduction, rotational grazing and balanced diet.


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.


  • Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.


If you are looking for a course to -

  • update your existing farming knowledge
  • expand your knowledge to organic farming
  • improve your job and career prospects
  • gain detailed knowledge of organic farming

Then this is the course for you.

You can study at your own pace and at a location that is convenient to you.

If you have any questions at all, our agricultural tutors are more than happy to help, so please ask.

Please click here to contact a tutor Or 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.
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.

Check out our eBooks

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.
Organic GardeningFor decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
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.