Learning & Training Opportunities

Learning and Training


Common routes into farming and farm related jobs: work experience, modern apprenticeships, college courses, vocational training and further and higher education courses.

The following list includes training and education opportunities at all levels whether you have no qualifications, National 4’s, National 5’s, Highers, or a degree . This list is not exhaustive.

Lantra Scotland https://www.scotland.lantra.co.uk has a large amount of information on the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge required in land-based, aquaculture and environmental sectors.

In particular they have nearly 500 short certified training courses for those wanting to enter the industry or those already working in it. Examples:

  • Tractor Driving
  • Chainsaw use
  • Fencing
  • Lambing
  • Lift truck operating
  • Cattle hoof trimming
  • Deer management
  • Sheep shearing
  • Dry stone walling
  • Forestry
  • Trailer towing
  • Saddle fitting

They also have information on careers in:

  • Horticultur
  • Game and Wildlife
  • Equine and Horse Care
  • Aquaculture
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental conservation
  • Fisheries management
  • Land-based engineering
  • Trees and timber

Contact Lantra for information on Modern Apprenticeships.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) (https://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/20008/study_at_sruc) has six campuses in Scotland: Aberdeen, Ayr, Barony (Dumfries), Elmwood (Fife), Edinburgh and Oatridge (West Lothian).

The Colleges have a wide range of courses including:

  • Landscaping
  • Veterinary
  • Horticulture
  • Countryside management
  • Agriculture
  • Animal care
  • Equine and Horse Care
  • Land-based Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Rural skills

Some of these courses require no formal entry qualifications at Access or NC (National Certificate) levels, and there are also courses requiring National 5’s and Highers for HNC, HND and degree courses. There are also postgraduate courses.

Your local college has educational courses in subjects relevant to careers in agriculture and rural industries.

North East Scotland College (Aberdeen) (nescol.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Engineering
  • Applied sciences
  • Mechanical
  • Business

Ayrshire College (www.ayrshire.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Garden landscaping
  • Tree surgery
  • Wind turbine technician

Borders College (www.borderscollege.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Fork lift driving
  • Horse care
  • Pesticide control
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • Tractor driving
  • Livestock Handling
  • Gamekeeping
  • Engineering

Dundee and Angus College (dundeeandangus.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Applied sciences
  • Dry stone dyking
  • Agricultural skills
  • Renewable energy
  • Estate skills
  • Animal care

Dumfries and Galloway College (www.dumgal.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Butchery
  • Wind turbines
  • Accounting

Edinburgh College (www.edinburghcollege.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Business

Fife College (www.fife.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Biological sciences
  • Engineering
  • Fork lift truck driving

Forth Valley (www.forthvalley.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Food hygiene
  • Biotechnology
  • Civil engineering

Glasgow Kelvin College (www.glasgowkelvin.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Building engineering
  • Business Joinery

Glasgow Clyde College (www.glasgowclyde.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Horticulture
  • Bookkeeping
  • Landscape management

Glasgow, City College (www.cityofglasgowcollege.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Quantity Surveying
  • Nautical courses
  • Mechanical surveying

South Lanarkshire College (Kilbride) (www.south-lanarkshire-college.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Applied science
  • Horticulture
  • Horticulture

Lanarkshire, New College (www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Apprenticeship in engineering
  • Animal care
  • Food hygiene

Newbattle College, Dalkeith (www.newbattleabbeycollege.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Beekeeping
  • Rural skills
  • Adult awards

West College, Clydebank, Greenock (www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Administration
  • Applied science
  • Mechanical engineering

West Lothian College (www.west-lothian.ac.uk) courses include:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Food science and technology

University of Highlands and Islands, (10 college campuses north and west from Perth) (www.uhi.ac.uk) wide range of courses at different levels including:

  • Rural development
  • Horticulture
  • Equine studies
  • Aquaculture
  • Agriculture
  • Bookkeeping
  • Forestry
  • Marine science
  • Deer management

Universities in Scotland: search courses using UCAS (www.ucas.com). Universities offer a wide range of courses including Agriculture, Animal Science, Business, Engineering, Food, Biological sciences, Marine science, Countryside management. Highers required for entry.

Additional Career Information

Skills Development Scotland (www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk) is Scotland’s national careers service. They provide careers information, advice, guidance, and information on work based training programmes. They are also a resource for information on Modern Apprenticeships.

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Katrina Robb

A really rewarding industry

“It’s important to keep rural jobs going. There are not that many (farrier) apprentices being trained in Scotland, so it would be good to encourage more people to do the job.”
Katrina Robb , Farrier
Stuart Lowe

No such thing as an average day

“There’s no such thing as an average day. It can be anything from ploughing to driving in the grain or repairing dykes and fencing. That’s what keeps it interesting.”
Stuart Lowe , Agricultural Contractor