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Gain the core knowledge and skills you need while pursuing your interests within the agricultural sector.

Studying within a modern campus setting and at our nearby working farms and facilities, your degree will be built on a foundation of core modules that ensure you meet the industry's expectations for highly qualified Reading graduates.


Theory and practical learning

You will get a broad view of the agricultural sector. Many of our lectures involve practical activities on our farms, so you'll get an insight into modern agricultural production and research.

You will also be trained to use certain laboratory and farm facilities, and participate in seminars, industry visits and consultancy-based projects and assignments.

Learn from industry experts

Our academics and researchers influence government policy, new innovation and product development. They are actively engaged in world-class research and they tailor their teaching to reflect changing trends and emerging technologies within the sector.

When transferred to a teaching environment, our research enables students to develop research skills that are highly regarded by employers.

What you'll learn: BSc Agriculture

You will primarily focus on the applied science underpinning agricultural production and will learn how to use biology and technology to meet crop and animal production targets and achieve environmental objectives.

During the first year of study you will gain a fundamental understanding of crop and animal science and production, soils and global sustainability issues. You will also begin to develop your research skills, and our agriculture in practice module enables you to visit a range of farming enterprises.

During the second year you will deepen your understanding of agronomy and animal production, further develop your research and experimental skills, undertake a mini work experience placement and go on a residential study tour.

From the second year you will also be able to tailor your course to your interests through a mixture of optional modules across BSc Agriculture. Additionally, you can choose to specialise in one of three different pathways in crops, livestock or horticulture.

In your final year, you will undertake a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, and study agricultural technology alongside your choice of optional modules.

What you'll learn: BSc Agricultural Business Management

You will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful manager of a business, and develop your critical observation and analysis through contact with a wide variety of businesses and organisations.

During your first two years of study, you'll gain a general insight into UK, European and world agriculture, and the foundations will be laid for a thorough understanding of the many aspects of production processes in agriculture.

In the final year, you will follow modules that have been designed to complete your understanding of business management, and undertake a special business-related project that is presented as a dissertation.

You also have the opportunity to work on live projects gathering valuable business skills and experience. The Barclays programme is an important part of Reading's Agricultural Business Management (Case Studies) module. You’ll see your project brought to life, building your confidence and expanding your knowledge through real-life experience.

"Working with the lecturers at Reading and our client, I support the whole project including walking the farm with the students, identifying what lenders are looking for from sound proposals, sitting on the interview panel to hear the proposals, and feeding back to the groups at a class level. The project helps Barclay's to keep in touch with the latest thinking.”

Karl McConville, National Director of Landed Estates at Barclays Agriculture

Study abroad

Stand out from the crowd by considering our Study Abroad option. By choosing to do a four-year degree, you can apply to study at one of our partner institutions for a year, or spend six months abroad and another six months working in the sector.

In an increasingly international and mobile world, studying abroad can help boost your future employability. It provides an exciting opportunity to acquire numerous transferable and desirable skills, and study specialisms additional to what's offered at Reading. It's also a fantastic life experience.

To qualify for the Study Abroad option, you must meet the requirements of the host institution. This option is highly competitive and is therefore not guaranteed.

All courses offered by our partner universities are taught in English.

Learn more about studying abroad


A year working in industry gives you an opportunity to put what you've learned into practice, develop professional skills and make contacts within industry – it's a time to separate yourself from the competition.

Doing a placement as part of a four-year degree opens the opportunity to put learning into practice at a very early stage, and gives you closer insight into the agricultural sector while developing useful links with the agricultural industry.

Even if you already know what you'll be doing after graduation, you'll have the chance to learn from other people and see how they approach and solve problems, organise businesses, and manage their staff.

You can apply for one of the many advertised schemes or develop your own tailored placement by liaising directly with employers.

Recent students have spent a year in the UK with:

  • John Deere
  • Waitrose
  • McDonalds
  • Frontier Agriculture.

Placement support

There's lots of support available to you throughout your placement process.

We have a dedicated placement officer who offers support including CV checking, and a large Careers Team who organise one-to-one support sessions as well as employer-led events.

International placements

Many of our students will choose to travel internationally for their placement.

Recent countries our students have completed placements in include:

  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Italy
  • India
  • France.

Six-month placements

On a four-year degree, you have the option to spend six months on a placement with the other six months spent studying abroad.

Summer placements

Many of our students undertake three months of paid work experience during the summer vacation to gain further insight into the career path they want to pursue.

You can also participate in a six-week placement linked to research undertaken at the University. These placements are generally completed in the summer before your final year.


Our courses

The Department of Crop Science, collaboratively with the Department of Animal Sciences and Department of Agri-Food Economics and Marketing in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, offer two distinct agriculture courses. BSc Agriculture and BSc Agricultural Business Management are available with foundation and placement year options.


Why study with us?

We have more than 125 years’ history of educating agriculturalists. We are ranked 8th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2025). Ranked 27th in the world. 

Life in the Department

Join our Agriculture Society to meet new people, socialise, network, and get experience in conference and event management.