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Countryside Advanced (Level 3)

This study programme will ensure that you will develop the foundation skills and vocational knowledge needed for employment in land-based industries. The Extended Diploma in Countryside Management is designed to provide a springboard for you to progress onto a university degree, or to find work in the countryside industry, which includes sectors as diverse as habitat conservation, game management, conservation and environmental assessment to estate management. It also provides training for people who are interested in working in allied industries, such as equipment sales, land-based industries, retail and recreation.

“I studied Countryside Management for two years on a Level 3 programme. My favourite units were Gamebird Production, Game Management and Deer Management. I took part in incubating 350 pheasant eggs and rearing them to poult stage ready to go to the shoot. The practical skills I gained at college has helped me to get my dream job as an underkeeper.”

“During my studies I did lots of practical habitat management of wetlands, woodlands and farmland on the College campus and off site. There was good support from the tutors to help with theory work.”

Josh - Countryside Management Level 3


I had already been working as a protective species ecologist but when I was made redundant I looked to expand upon my existing skills.  I knew that Shuttleworth College had an excellent reputation because I had already studied there 12 years ago, so it was lovely to go back and study a different course.

I’m really enjoying the practical side of things, such as going out and conducting surveys and learning how to use a camera trap.  One of our teachers used to work for the Environment Agency, so he’s been able to give us insight into how they undertake surveys and what standards they expect.

We’ve had the opportunity to gain lots of work experience on the course which is great. I’ve had a placement at the Community Tree Trust in Clophill, which specialises in collecting local provenance and the native seed of trees, shrubs and wild flowers from ancient woodlands throughout Bedfordshire.

I’m also doing work experience with the forestry team on the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate.  The work includes a lot of traditional skills such as scything, tree planting, hedge laying, putting up fences and woodland management.  I’m also conducting a few surveys for them including a Great Crested Newt survey and Water Vole survey.  It’s all extremely valuable experience and I’m developing great skills that will be useful for my future career.

Sarah - Countryside Level 3

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need at least four GCSEs grades A*-C including English, Maths and Science; or an equivalent Level 2 qualification supported by good references and a minimum of functional skills at Level 1 in Maths and English.

Course content

  • Subject units:
    During the first year of your study programme you will cover at least nine of the following units and in the second year you will study a further nine...
    • Investigative project in the land-based sector
    • The principles of wildlife populations, ecology and conservation
    • Estate skills
    • Tree felling and chainsaw use
    • Environmental interpretation
    • Countryside tourism and recreation
    • Heathland habitat management
    • Business management
    • Land-based machinery operations
    • Grassland habitat management
    • Ecological concepts and applications
    • Freshwater and wetland management
    • Urban habitat conservation
    • Coastal management
    • Deer management
    • Vertebrate pest and predator control
    • Woodland habitat management
    • Principles of game management
    • Tree establishment and protection
    • Principles of forest recreation 
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • You will be given the opportunity to go on a range of trips in the UK and abroad, and enter competitions and participate in conservation and game management.
    • The College works closely with the local community and employers to give you the experience of the working environment.
    • You will also study to achieve the following additional qualifications:
      • Survey techniques
      • Pesticide application
      • Employability skills
      • Livestock husbandry

At the end of your first year you will have achieved the Level 3 BTEC 90-credit Diploma, or the BTEC 60-credit Subsidiary Diploma in Countryside Management. At the end of your second year you will have achieved the Level 3 BTEC 180-credit Extended Diploma in Countryside Management. 

Assessment methods

You will be continually assessed as the study programme progresses using a variety of methods, including presentations, case studies, assignments and practical assessments.

Further study and career options

Upon completion of this study programme you could progress on to a university degree in a related subject, or find employment in the land-based industries.

Additional information

If commuting to Shuttleworth College will be difficult for you, then you can choose to live in our halls of residence on campus. Priority is given to those who live the furthest distance from the College so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. Visit our accommodation page for more information -

During the course you will have the opportunity to achieve additional professional qualifications. Please be aware that there may be an additional awarding body cost for these qualifications. In order to partake in the course you will be required to wear clothing suitable for working outdoors, including steel-toe capped boots and protective overalls for all practical sessions. To take part in this course there will be an additional fee of approximately £45 for required clothing, and £660 for trips/visits; you can apply for support towards these costs at the beginning of the course.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 10/09/2018 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Shuttleworth College B367

Apply Online

Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £21,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information

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