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Land Based Studies

Why study Land Based Studies?

The Land Based Studies course is ideal for students interested in gaining the skills needed to work in the land-based sector. A wide range of units are available covering horticulture, agriculture and animal care.

There is a large practical element to the course; much of it is spent outdoors working with plants and animals at Mary Hare School and also involves offsite visits to a local farm and other animal care and horticultural establishments.

Students will study a range of units which will typically cover care of farm animals, plant propagation and plant maintenance.

What does the course cover and what is expected of you?

These courses can lead to a wide range of careers within the horticulture and animal care sector for example caring for plants in a nursery or garden centre, working as a groundsman (or woman!) or care of animals on farms.  Students will also spend time on a farm doing practical work and during the spring participate in lambing; there is also the opportunity for placements at a range of animal and horticultural establishments.  

The students help with looking after the chickens during term time; they sell the eggs that the chickens lay, and the money goes towards buying their food and anything else that they may need. 

The horticultural element of the course entails learning a range of techniques including preparing soil for planting, plant identification, plant propagation and maintenance of garden tools. The school is well-equipped with a heated rooftop greenhouse and a garden where skills can be practiced.  Students will be provided with polo shirts and sweatshirts to wear for practical work and overalls to wear on the farm. They will require wellington boots. 

It is important to wear extra layers and warm socks in cold winter weather and also bring a warm coat for outdoor tasks.

Students are expected to turn up on time and if they are unable to attend the lesson they must have the courtesy of informing the teacher 24 hours before the lesson. If a student misses a lesson, they will be required to find a suitable time with the teacher to catch up with the lesson that was missed. 

Where can it take you?

These courses can lead to a wide range of careers within the Horticulture and Animal Care sector for example caring for plants in a Nursery or Garden Centre, working as a Groundsman (or woman!) or care of animals on farms.

Course assessment

The Land Based Studies course consists of various options in terms of the number of units undertaken and the resulting qualification which can be tailored to individual students. There is some theory work, a few tests and a lot of practical work.

The teachers will explain what is required in terms of evidence for each of the units. All students are required to do written assessments in addition to their practical work. The teacher will take photos and videos of practical work that will be submitted to the exam board as evidence towards the tasks completed. All assignments will have set deadlines and it is very important that work is submitted on time.

Teacher's Tip

‘Land based studies is definitely a course for which you need to ‘roll up your sleeves’ and get stuck in to lots of different practical tasks. This means that students need to enjoy working outside and not worry too much about getting muddy occasionally!’