Specialist Award in Agriculture

Develop specialized skills in agriculture with this program in farm practices or animal husbandry. 500 hours of distance education.

Course Code: VAG027
Fee Code: PA
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Specialist Award
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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY for people working in Agriculture

For people with past studies or experience who want to develop "specialist" knowledge in a particular aspect of agriculture.
  • Professional Development
  • Self paced course, start any time, study from anywhere
  • Broaden or deepen your knowledge of Agriculture
  • Improve work prospects on the farm, in farm services or related industries

A proficiency award a course of study designed for people who already hold qualifications and/or experience in the discipline. While assuming that you already have a broad understanding of agriculture, it acknowledges that you may have areas of weakness that you need to strengthen; whether that be in husbandry,marketing, management or something else. The course is designed to allow you to concentrate your studies on the areas you need to strengthen, without needing to revisit the other areas of agriculture which you have already mastered.

 

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Specialist Award in Agriculture.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 24 modules.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Farm Management BAG104
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Soil Management (Agriculture) BAG103
 Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) BAG203
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Goat Production BAG223
 Irrigation -- Agricultural Irrigation BAG213
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Pasture Management BAG212
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Agricultural Marketing BAG304
 Agronomy BAG306
 Animal Breeding BAG301
 Horse Breeding BAG307
 Organic Farming BAG305
 

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


Other Options

 
1. If this course isn't quite what you are looking for; talk to us. We can often modify a qualification to switch one or more of the modules for something different.  See how our selfdesigned courses work. Click here
 
2. Why are you studying? If your main goal is to get a job, study might, or might not be what you need. It pays to find out before you commit to a long program of study. We can help you find out.
  • The book "Getting a job" by our staff has been designed to help you understand the workplace, what employers look for, and how to put yourself in the best position to get a job.  Click to see details about this book.
  • Our Free Career & Course Counselling service provides a unique opportunity to communicate with a professional person from the industry you are looking to work in. Click here to make a connection.
3. If you are uncerain about committing to a big course at this stage; you might consider starting with a less demanding course. Short courses offered include: Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Health, Animal Feed and Nutrition, Animal Health Care, Natural Health Care for Animals, Diagnosing Animal Diseases, Animal Behaviour, Animal Breeding, Animal Behaviour, Horse Care I, Horse Care II, Horse Care III, Equine Behaviour, Horse Breeding, Dog Psychology and Training, Cat Psychology and Training, Pet Care, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Calf Rearing, Sheep, Pigs, Goat Husbandry, Poultry. Irrigation, Pasture Management, Agronomy, Vegetable Production, Herb Culture, Outdoor Crop Production, Aquaculture. Marine Aquaculture, Aquaponics, Cut Flower Production, Farm Management, Agricultural Marketing, Organic Farming, Sustainable Farming.
 

Tips for Keeping Farm Animals Healthy

The farmer needs to be familiar with the normal, vital signs of his animals, so that he can recogise signs of ill health.

The vital signs include:

  • Pulse rate
  • Respiration rate
  • Body temperature

These signs should be measured at rest.

In addition to vital signs, the farmer should continually observe the natural habits and behaviour of stock. Any changes in behaviour should be investigated immediately as it could be due to illness.

The earlier a farmer can treat sick animals, the better. Illness causes individual cells in the animal to break down and die. If treatment is started quickly, the cells can be stopped from degenerating. If treatment is delayed, the damage done by illness can be considerable, including loss of condition and irreparable organ damage.

A healthy animal will be interested in food. It will graze as normal, or in the case of penned animals, look forward to the next feed. It will drink its normal amount of water (this is easily checked with penned animals, but more difficult with animals out grazing).

Healthy animals appear bright and alert and show a normal response to humans (i.e. probably moving away as you approach if it is a grazing animal, or approaching if it is very used to human company). Brightness is most apparent in the eyes. The animal will show interest in unusual noises and sights.

The healthy animal's coat and skin will be supple and in good condition. Hair is one of the first parts of the body to register ill health, and it will also look dull if the animal is lacking some essential vitamins or minerals.

The colour of the mucous membrane is a good indicator of health, as it shows the condition of the blood. Mucous membrane is found around the eye, on the gums, inside the mouth, and at the entrance to the anus. In healthy animals, it should show a salmon pink colouring (but not vivid red).

The healthy animal will pass the normal number of droppings per day; and the droppings will be neither too loose or too dry for the type of livestock, and will be passed easily. If you press your ear to the side of the animal, you should be able to hear rumbling noises -signs that the digestive system is working. The healthy animal will also pass normal coloured urine.

Ruminants which are in good health will spend the normal number of hours chewing the cud. Healthy animals will also spend a normal number of hours resting each day.  Again, by watching the animals day-to-day, you will notice the changes that occur in the animal's habits if they do become ill.


CAN STUDY HELP YOU GET WORK?


There are many more aspects to gaining employment than what you have studied:

  • Your attitude
  • Your passion for the field of work
  • Your presentation
  • Your ability to communicate well

All of the above contribute to your success in gaining employment - emplyers look for all-rounded people.
Study can certainly help though - especially today when competition is quite fierce. Showing that you have bothered to study and gain a qualification shows an employer that you are serious abouit your chosen profession. It also makes you more able to communicate effectively about the role during an interview.
 

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

Warwickshire College in the UK midlands is an affiliate of ACS Distance Education

Warnborough College in Ireland and England are affiliated with ACS Distance Education

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 $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) 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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If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




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

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

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu





Tutors

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

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.

Gareth Pearce

Gareth has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in a variety of colleges and universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Universities of Melbourne and Bristol, having previously graduated in Agricultural Science and gained a PhD in Livestock Behaviour and Production. He also has post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

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