This course is now FULL. We are still accepting applications but for a WAITING LIST only.
Do you like the idea of working outside ‘on the land’? There are lots of different career options in the land industries, including horticulture (gardening), landscaping, tree surgery and agriculture. These sectors create many economic, environmental and social benefits, employing large numbers of people. Our agriculture courses provide you with a great learning experience, largely due to our partnership with the Dean Estate in Kilmarnock. Much of our outdoor learning takes place there, providing a realistic setting, as well as the opportunity for you to work on real projects with Estate staff.
If you’re thinking about a career in the land industry, this course is a great place to start.
For entry to this course you’ll need:
- A real interest in working outside ‘on the land’
- Three National 3s or equivalent OR a relevant NC course at SCQF Level 3 or equivalent
- An interview with us
If you don’t have any formal qualifications, but have life experience, then we’ll also consider you for a place, so please call us for a chat.
This course gives you a great introduction to working in the land industries. It’s mainly practical, with just a small bit of theory here and there. Most of the time you’ll be based at our facilities at the Dean Estate. You’ll be outside in all weather, so pack your boots (and your lunch!) and experience the good, healthy feeling you get from gardening.
Here’s just some of what you’ll be doing:
- You’ll develop basic gardening skills such as routine garden, grass and plant maintenance.
- You’ll look at farming and learn about the common crops grown in the UK the different soil types. You’ll then grow your own crop, learning how to prepare your site, establish the crop, monitor progress and keep it healthy.
- You’ll explore forestry, learning all about trees and the main uses of commercial timber species. You’ll develop skills in planting, handling and storing forest trees, how to ‘beat up’ (replace) unsuccessful young trees and fit tree shelters.
- You’ll learn about estates and how to carry out a range of maintenance tasks, including repairing a fence or pathway, refitting a water trough or pruning shrubs. You’ll also focus on a specific environmental area and learn how to monitor it for plants and wildlife.
- You’ll develop skills in basic hard landscaping features, from paths and ponds, to steps and seating. Working with our Bricklaying department, you’ll build a feature as part of a team.
- You’ll develop skills in ‘soft’ landscaping (the bits that don’t involve construction) such as planting, weeding and pruning.
You’ll also have the opportunity to:
- Go on work experience placements, such as at the Dean Estate, a golf course or plant nursery.
- Grow your own produce at the Dean Estate for a veg and plant sale, held at Dean Castle Country Park and on campus.
When you successfully complete this course, you’ll have the choice of:
- Moving onto a Level 5 course such as NQ Garden and Landscaping
- Seeking to start your career in horticulture with employment/Modern
Apprenticeship in horticulture, landscaping, greenkeeping, estate maintenance, country park ranger, etc.