Our BSc Agriculture course covers everything that impacts production in the supply chain while considering global goals relating to the sustainability of our food production.
The University of Reading is the highest-ranking UK university in this subject area and ranked 11th in the world for Agriculture and Forestry (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 - Agriculture & Forestry).
BSc Agriculture focuses on studying the science underpinning food production, and you will learn how to use biology and technology to maximise crop and animal production to meet targets and achieve environmental objectives, while gaining valuable practical skills.
Our agriculture programme also offers you distinct opportunities to specialise. You can study a broad-based agriculture course, or specialise in crops, horticulture or livestock after your first year. If you select a mix of optional modules in your second and third years, you will graduate with our highly esteemed broad-based BSc Agriculture degree.
If you choose the crop science, horticultural science or livestock production pathway through your optional module selection, and complete your final year independent research project in your specialist area, you’ll be eligible to graduate with one of the following specialist degrees:
- BSc Agriculture and Crop Science
- BSc Agriculture and Horticultural Science
- BSc Agriculture and Livestock Production
You don’t need to choose whether to take a specialist pathway until the end of the first year of our BSc Agriculture course, giving you the time and flexibility to decide what suits you best.
As part of the degree all students can study globally recognised farming practices on the University's own farms. These include livestock production (Centre for Dairy Research and the Department of Animal Sciences), agronomy and horticulture (Crops Research Unit and Department of Crop Science) and environmental enhancement (Department of Sustainable Land Management and Centre for Agri-Environmental Research).
You'll have the opportunity to visit a wide range of local farming businesses, rural estates and businesses in the related sectors and hear from speakers at the forefront of the industry, from agronomists to those involved in the livestock and dairy sectors, giving you the chance to network and build relationships while you learn. Previous visits have included Waitrose’s Leckford Estate, Syngenta and NIAB TAG.
In one of our most popular modules you will grow a winter cereal, test it in the lab for quality and then sell it to merchants. You will also complete a residential study tour within the UK to look at different farming enterprises as part of this degree.
In the final year, your independent research project allows you to choose a subject that inspires and interests you. This could involve a farm, including your home farm, research at the University or an enterprise that you’ve had contact with during the course.
Outside of the curriculum, the student-run Agri-club runs the UK’s largest student conference. It gives you the opportunity to debate key issues like food security and self-sufficiency and get your voice heard.
If you would like to complete a one-year work placement in between years two and three, you should consider studying BSc Agriculture with a Placement Year. In the past, students have undertaken their year in industry in the UK with Frontier Agriculture, Greenvale AP Ltd, and Waitrose and Partners, as well as internationally, in Europe and New Zealand. You will be supported by our Placements Team who will assist with finding and supporting your year out.
Some students can also participate in six-week summer placements linked to research undertaken at the University, which are generally completed before the final year.
For more information, please visit the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development website.