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Build your agricultural career at one of these top 5 UK agricultural colleges

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Working in agriculture is a diverse, practical and satisfying way of life. It is a secure and growing sector, remaining at the forefront internationally for economic growth and productivity, and the sheer diversity of agricultural jobs and careers means that there is something for everyone.

One of the benefits of pursuing a career in agriculture is the variety of routes (both academic and non-academic) into establishing a successful career; this flexibility is a key benefit of working in this field. Developing skills in one of the many disciplines within agriculture will leave you well placed to perform any number of farming jobs, agronomy jobs or agricultural service jobs.

Traditional academic training still offers an excellent and all-round method of being suitably prepared for the rigours of UK farm jobs. A world-class agricultural education can be readily obtained at any one of the UK's leading agricultural colleges. Not only will the basic principles of farming, land and livestock management and business be taught, students will also benefit from working and training at the cutting edge of international agricultural research and technology and be equipped to bring innovative and evidence-based practices into the workplace.

Following the completion of a course, diploma or degree, agricultural graduate jobs await and offer the opportunity to build practical experience and expertise on sound academic foundations.

Agricultural colleges are a great choice for:

+ New entrants to agriculture.

+ People already working in agriculture in jobs such as livestock jobs or horticultural jobs.

+ Those looking to pursue graduate and post-graduate training in agriculture.

+ Agricultural workers who want to formalise, top-up or extend skills and training they already have.

The UK's agricultural colleges attract candidates from around the world, making them an excellent choice for those keen to network and build international relationships. It is also one of the few subjects that touches on a variety of academic discipline, from biology to politics.

If your appetite for the campus lifestyle has been whetted, here are our top 5 UK agricultural colleges.

Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

This is one of the world's oldest agricultural schools and is consistently ranked as a leading university in the UK. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including:

+ Agricultural Management

+ Equine Science and Business Management

+ One Year Farming

+ Wildlife Conservation

In addition, a range of practical short courses delivered from their Rural Innovation Centre are offered to equip those in rural jobs perform their roles optimally. Rural Skills Courses include training in arboriculture, machinery and vehicles and pest control.

Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire.

This university is well known as a specialist provider of agricultural training. Set within a 550-hectare working farm, Harper Adams delivers over 50 different courses to an international student body.

A broad curriculum awaits at Harper Adams University with courses across applied biology, engineering, zoology and veterinary sciences. A strong post-graduate curriculum is also offered including a range of agricultural research degrees. Harper Adams sees its strong research culture as key to answering some of the world's most pressing problems. Projects include research into crop health, soil and water management and agricultural education.

Scotland's Rural College

Head up north for one of the country's leading agricultural institutions which was formed from a merger between Oatridge College, Elmwood College, Barony College and the Scottish Agricultural College. SRUC, as it is known, is based in Aberdeen and offers a combination of training, research and industry consulting. Its degrees are awarded by either Glasgow or Edinburgh Universities. SRUC has a strong offering of land-based courses including:

+ Agricultural Bioscience

+ Ecological Surveying

+ Forestry

+ Gamekeeping

Alongside the strong academic delivery, students can gain exposure to SRUC's strong and impactful research in a variety of agricultural disciplines. An expansive and international alumni and friends network offers great opportunities for securing competitive agricultural job vacancies.

Askham Byran College, York

Established after World War II as the Yorkshire Agricultural Institute, this Higher Education College offers courses spanning animal management, veterinary nursing, motorsport and floristry. Agricultural education and training is delivered across a range of centres located in some of the most hardworking and beautiful areas in the UK, including Penrith (Newton Rigg College), Middlesborough and Saltaire. Alongside traditional degree courses, the college places a strong emphasis on vocational training with practical certificates from the RHS that are geared to lead into a range of horticultural jobs. Askham Byran is committed to making its graduates employable by developing the necessary life and work skills for a successful career in agriculture.

Rothamsted Research

For those seeking to nurture or mature a post-graduate research career in agricultural science, or take up agricultural education jobs, Rothamsted stands out as a world-class non-profit organisation that is wholly focused on research that impacts farming on a global scale. The organisation has an exceptionally high rate of research publication, with several hundred papers published annually in some of the world's leading journals. This agricultural institute is equipped with the resources and equipment to undertake large-scale and long-term research projects and is the world's oldest research station that has been in continuous operation. Rothamsted is also making a big push for entrepreneurship amongst their academics with 'hack-athons', business management and intellectual property training forming a key part of the centre's activities.

The UK's agricultural colleges represent some of the best opportunities for quality academic training in agriculture in the world. Alongside these 5 featured agricultural universities, there are a further 60 universities which offer some kind of agricultural training. A degree in agriculture may be needed for agrochemical jobs, land agent jobs, surveyor jobs, and agricultural finance jobs so it is well worth familiarising oneself with the necessary qualifications and job descriptions to find the course that is best suited to your needs.

If you are completing a course or have just graduated, now is definitely the time to look for agricultural recruitment opportunities that will help you in building a thriving career. Browse our expansive range of farming recruitment opportunities and keep updated with our advice and tips on how to stand out both on paper and at interview.

If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at:

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