Certificate In Agriculture

Agriculture Certificate for new farmers, those seeking employment or a qualification. Gain knowledge and skills to run or work farms in: cropping, dairy, beef, pigs, poultry, horse studs and more.

Course Code: VAG001
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Run the farm, don't run around in circles.

You should study this course if you:Need to develop the essential knowledge and skills required to run a farm 
  • Want to enhance your employment prospects in the agricultural sector

  • Want to maximise return on your investment

This course is designed for both the new and existing farmer or those aiming towards employment in this field. It will give you the knowledge and skills required to run or work confidently i a variety of agricultural environments.

Core units equip you with all the basics needed for general animal health, farm management and all important marketing skills.
Choice of three elective units from a list that includes animal husbandry, soil and pasture management and gives you the opportunity to explore specific aspects of the agricultural industry, including livestock activities such as calf rearing, poultry, beef or dairy cattle, and vegetable and cereal cropping or pasture management.

The course is excellent for learning the fundamentals of farming, to use as a refresher course, or for further skills development.

Learn and receive feedback from a supportive and dedicated team of tutors with a wealth of theoretical knowledge, industry and practical experience.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate In Agriculture.
 Farm Management BAG104
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Agricultural Marketing BAG304
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 15 modules.
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Soil Management (Agriculture) BAG103
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Calf Rearing BAG207
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Pasture Management BAG212
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Agronomy BAG306
 Organic Farming BAG305

Note that each module in the Certificate In Agriculture is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Choose your path

This course allows you a choice so you can focus on what you need, and develop a different and specialist set of skills that will differentiate you, and give you an advantage over other agriculture graduates. For most students, it is best to wait until you complete the core modules before choosing electives. In the light of what you learn in the first half of the course; and opportunities that are opening up to you, you will almost certainly be finding modules are needed more than others.
How to approach your assignments
Each lesson in the preceding list culminates in a set task (or tasks) and an assignment. The set tasks are designed to give the student the opportunity to research information beyond what is supplied in the course notes. In conjunction with the assignments they provide the student with the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the topic and apply what they learn to "real life" situations and scenarios. It is important that students actively engage in the learning process through the opportunities provided in the set tasks and assignments.
Students are required to submit assignments at the end of each lesson. These assignments are sent to the relevant tutor for comments and feedback. Students use this feedback to guide their knowledge and to assist them in completing the following lesson assignment. Assignments should be submitted in sequence with sufficient time between submissions to allow for tutor feedback. Students may already own a farm, plan to buy a farm, or work on a farm; but this course may be used for a lot more than just learning how to run a property.

Learn to Plan and Manage a Farm that is Successful

The first step toward improving a property may be to develop a development strategy by drawing farm plan.

A plan drawn to scale and illustrating important attributes such as contours, creeks, hills, cliffs, etc. will aid in the formation of usable land and the most economic land use. Detail such as existing trees, river banks, fences, soil types, summer and winter winds will all be beneficial in the planning and future processes. Some of this information may be available from previous farm owners, local council departments and even Lands Departments.

Siting of existing building structures and knowledge of work patterns and access routes can will allow better planning of new site location and efficient time management.

Sheds and house residence that are placed close together reduce time to get from work to home, aid in better husbandry of animals/crops, improve the security around the farm, reduce transportation between various components of the farm. If it is new farm location, careful placement of the buildings may even reduce costs (eg. house close to road will reduce costs of supply of electricity, water and other services).

Position of the house and appropriate farm buildings should consider agricultural value of land, central location of house to all usable land, proneness to flood, etc. Good land should not be built on - it should be reserved for agricultural use, however if this site is flood prone, then a compromise needs to be reached. Check how often the land, or each part of the land does flood

Exact location of building may also be determined by use and function in the overall plan of farming, Eg. hay shed should be downwind to residences in case of fire; piggeries, poultry sheds, etc should be placed downwind to that of the major buildings of land owners or residences of farm hands, due to dust and odour. Consider the downwind land uses in neighbouring parcels of land.

Always remember to allow appropriate spacing and thoroughfare for machinery and ensure safety in terms of overhead power lines, deep gully near access routes, and degree slopes on the land.

Having a natural source of water on the land is every farmers dream. Considering it is actually a resource, many districts require registration for tapping the resource. Extra care is needed when looking at the potential of farm pollution into the water ways by others upstream of your farm. Water problems can relate to underground water movement as well as more obvious surface water.
 Both types of water can bring pollutants from outside of the property. Note that a licence is usually required to sink a bore or to install a pump from a surface water supply (eg. river or lake), with the volume controlled by the licence requirements.

Water is important for crops, animals and humans. The quality is important for all there users and therefore having an water purity and quality assessment is recommended. In remote districts, water conservation techniques are crucial - such as techniques of water harvesting, selection of dryland species.

Fencing is to be placed to maximise land use, assist ease of access through the property, mark off damaged areas (eg. unstable ground, erosion prone soil) and restrict animal grazing.
Priority planning on the farm refers to identifying those items on the farm which need to be done first and foremost before other tasks are taken care of. Example, this may mean to finish the fencing on the deer farm before the shed extension is started. In another situation it may be as simple as fixing up the house so that you can safely live in it before you can tackle other farm buildings.

Money is one of the biggest burdens for the farmer. With the owner looking at alternative and new farming practices, he/she must identify financial limitations they are presently subjected to. Once identified, they can then plan for a future with the new enterprise fully aware of financial constraints., These constraints may slow down the full farm operation, however it is a safe management strategy for the farmer to follow - take one step at a time, do not jump in head first.

There are many opportunities for qualified farm workers. The farming landscape is changing rapidly and farmers now need a solid education, along with farm experience, in order to compete and be successful in this competitive field.  A course such as this can give you a sound start in this industry or give you a qualification - if you have experience but can't back it up with a qualification.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduates may move into any of a wide range of things, including:

  • Farm Worker or Manager

  • Farm Owner (small or large)

  • Agricultural Services or Supplies

  • Agricultural or Produce Marketing Consulting

  • Teaching

  • Media

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.
Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.

Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.
For several years, Cheryl managed the distance education courses for Warwickshire College (a large UK government institution), out of their Moreton Morrell campus. In more recent years, she has co authored several books including titles on Horse Care, Dog Care and Poultry. Along with this solid background in edication, she brings a wealth of practical experience, having held positions including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jade Sciascia

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

Kerry Claydon

BA-BSc (Psychology, Computer Science, Aquaculture), BSc (Hons Microbiology), PhD (Microbiology), Diploma in Brewing Science

Kerry has over 20 years’ experience in various fields of microbiology including aquatic microbiology, medical microbiology, agricultural microbiology, and brewing microbiology. Kerry has been the Director of several health programs within Australian and Asia and is a passionate teacher and tutor.

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

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