Countryside Management (with Placement) at Harper Adams University - UCAS

Course summary

The World is facing a number of global crises – biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, climate change and threats to food and energy supplies. The FdSc Countryside Management provides the skills and knowledge necessary for graduates to work in the countryside sector. There is a focus on practical skills relevant to land management, wildlife conservation, and habitat management. The course also provides skills in visitor management on land with multiple uses such as in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and on a smaller scale at countryside sites such as Country Parks and nature reserves. A key feature of the programme is the emphasis on applied and practical applications and opportunities which take advantage of the University’s close links to the countryside management industry. In addition, practical learning is facilitated through the estate, university farm and the proximity to a wide range of natural resources in the surrounding countryside. The programme will suit applicants who have a passion for practical working in an outdoor environment and who wish to work with a diversity of countryside stakeholders including conservation bodies, farmers and landowners, and recreational visitors. Expertise in areas including climate change adaptation and mitigation, water management, sustainable energy, land use and food security are integrated in this programme to train a new generation of professionals. A key focus will be practical approaches to the productive management of land whilst balancing the needs of society for a healthy environment. This will include thriving biodiversity, clean water and air, and safety from natural hazards (such as floods and extreme weather) wrought by climate change, agricultural intensification and the demands of a growing UK and global population. Graduates will develop the skills to address sustainable development issues. This course will provide a combination of underpinning theory and practical application to demonstrate key concepts and allow students to develop their own specialist areas of interest. This programme is interdisciplinary in nature and students can expect to gain a wide variety of insights into land and countryside management. Students will also gain transferable skills for use in employment or continuation of their studies to a top-up year and graduation of BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability.


The course is comprised of modules covering primarily countryside management along with environmental and sustainability themes. The course also contains cross disciplinary subjects in fieldwork, personal development and project management. Each module is worth either 10 or 20 credits and each academic year of the course carries a weighting of 120 credits. Each module has a web page on our Virtual Learning Environment. Here tutors upload material such as presentations, videos, and links to key sources for independent study. Material used in face to face teaching is uploaded in advance of classes, so that students can prepare and subsequently follow up to reinforce their understanding. Many modules also include practical work in the university laboratories, on the university farm, or at locations (e.g. nature reserves) nearby. Each year includes at least one residential field course as detailed below. The first year of the course comprises ‘Core’ modules (meaning all students study the same subjects): · Professional Practice in Countryside Management (20) · Fundamentals of the Physical Environment (20) · Contemporary Issues in Sustainability (20) · Ecological Principles (20) · Environmental Survey and Field Skills (including two residential field courses) (20) · Skills for the Natural Scientist (10) · Communicating Science in a Digital World (10) The second year of the course is spent on placement with an employer. Students then return to re-join their peers for the final year of the course. The third year of the course builds on the themes introduced in the first year and includes two optional modules allowing students to specialise into woodland or more urban regeneration. Students also complete their own individual project on a topic of their choice that draws on the main themes of their degree. Third year modules are: · Research Methods (20) · Environmental Quality and Development (20) · Countryside Recreation and Visitor Management (20) · Practical Research Skills (including a residential field course in Europe) (20) · Final Year Project (FdSc) (20) Plus one of two optional modules: · Brownfield Reclamation and Flood Management (20) · Woodland Management (20)

Assessment method

The course uses a range of assessment methods, including written material and verbal presentations. Written work takes many forms, such as traditional reports, essays and literature reviews, but also writing in a style appropriate for popular magazine articles, social media posts, advisory and briefing notes, consultancy reports, and business and site management plans. The emphasis throughout the course is on authentic assessment, which means that work must be prepared in styles and formats that are relevant to the work place. The majority of assessments are coursework. Where ‘examination-style’ assessments are used, these are Timed Open Book Assessments where students produce work to a short deadline (e.g. 24 hours) with access to support materials, rather than being closeted in a traditional invigilated examination room for several hours. All modules include opportunities for formative assessment, for example where tutors provide constructive feedback on students’ draft work before the final version is submitted for marking. Other innovative ways of formative feedback include peer to peer support, mini pitches of ideas, quizzes to cement learning and gradual development of key skills such as presentations. Harper Adams University has a thriving Learning and Teaching department with best practice techniques shared at numerous in-house events where innovative methods for teaching and learning are critiqued and developed. Students submit their work online. Marking and provision of feedback is also carried out online. Students can submit work, and access feedback, while off-campus. During the placement year, students’ progress is assessed through a review process involving the student, employer and academic tutor, designed to identify their Continuing Professional Development needs. The students must also produce two pieces of work tailored to their individual roles and assessed by their academic placement tutor, combined with an assessment of their overall performance completed by the employer. The Final Year Project (FdSc) is a student’s opportunity to pursue their interests and develop a project within the themes of their course. The project is often directly applied in nature, providing a useful experience for supporting a graduate’s progression into employment or into further study. During the project the student is supported by their individual supervisor through regular online and/or face to face meetings.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

This course is not available to international students requiring a student route visa as it exceeds the maximum amount of time permitted to study at level 5.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

The course team are happy to consider applicants with a wide range of qualifications and applicants with qualifications not listed are welcome to contact the Admissions team for advice.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
EU £16500 Year 1
International £16500 Year 1

Additional fee information

This 3 year course consists of 2 years on campus at a cost of £9,250 per year with a placement in year 2 which costs £1,850 (Fees for International students are £16,500 per year with a placement in year 2 which costs £3,700). Details of additional costs in addition to course fees can be found in the Fees and Charges brochure available at
Countryside Management (with Placement) at Harper Adams University - UCAS