Biological, Environmental and Rural Scs. - Aberystwyth Univ.

FdSc Countryside Management

Biological, Environmental and Rural Scs. - Aberystwyth Univ.
In Aberystwyth

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Important information

Typology Foundation degree
Location Aberystwyth (Wales)
Duration 2 Years
  • Foundation degree
  • Aberystwyth (Wales)
  • Duration:
    2 Years

Facilities (1)
Where and when



Aberystwyth (Cardiganshire/Ceredigion)
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Aberystwyth University, Penglais, SY23 3DA


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To take into account

· Requirements

GCSE * (min grade C) Mathematics or a Science subject *** UCAS Tariff 80 points in any subject(s) International Baccalaureate 24 European Baccalaureate 60% * All schemes require grade C in GCSE English or Welsh or an acceptable equivalent. *** Key Skills level 3 Application of Number acceptable in lieu of GCSE Maths.

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Course programme

Foundation degrees are vocational qualifications in higher education aiming to bridge the gap between initial entry to higher education and honours degrees, and are designed to allow progression to honours level. If you are seeking a practical job working in the countryside, for example on a nature reserve or for The National Trust or national parks, then this Countryside Management foundation degree provides an essential first step. For those wishing to follow a vocational route to degree level or those who wish to retrain for a career change, our Foundation Degree in Countryside Management is an excellent route to achieving your objectives. You will receive every encouragement to progress onto the final year of the BSc (Hons) degree scheme. This foundation degree extends the wide range of countryside courses already provided at Aberystwyth and builds on the recognised expertise of the Institute of Rural Sciences in applied, vocational courses. This course will provide you with a sound practical and scientific knowledge base to underpin your career in the countryside industry.

Key features

  • Vocational 2 year course with work experience
  • Skills development
  • Potential progression to honours degree
  • Year 1 HND modules / year 2 BSc modules
  • Summer work experience
  • Continuous assessment as well as examinations
  • Study tours and visits
  • Realism and relevance
  • Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and supportive staff

Content and Structure

Countryside managers need a wide range of skills and knowledge of the issues and processes that combine to create the countryside that we know, and therefore this course includes a diverse range of subject matter:

Year 1
The first year of study is made up of HND modules - practical estate skills; habitat ecology; geology and landform; countryside recreation; tourism; agriculture; rural community development; archaeology. There is also a week's study tour in semester 2, which seeks to analyse locations and activites by bringing together material from the different topics which you have covered.

Practical estate skills - you will spend one day a week learning the skills required to carry out practical estate work. This will include such crafts as dry stone walling, hedge laying, fencing, tree planting and rights of way work such as bridges, gates steps and stiles.

Work Experience
The course's vocational nature is reinforced by a structured period of work experience between Years 1 and 2. This is an assessed part of the course and allows you to apply your knowledge in a practical context. The work experience may be tailored to meet your particular interests.

Year 2
The second year of study is made up of BSc modules - wildlife management; forestry and woodlands; rural tourism; visitor management; human impact on the environment; rural communities; planning; understanding the landscape; advanced information technology; research methods. You can select from a wide range of optional modules to develop further your own particular interests.

Progression to BSc (Hons)

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Degree, students may progress onto the third year of one of the University's countryside related (Hons) degree schemes.


You will be assessed through a mixture of continuous assessment and formal examination. Continuous assessment is in the form of assignments, which are designed to be as realistic as possible and will develop your skills as well as your knowledge. Example assignments include:

  • Stile or foot-bridge construction
  • Producing an environmental web-page
  • Field visit log books
  • Production of a conservation management plan
  • Designing a community action plan

Additional information

Career opportunities: Typical employment opportunities have included countryside estate workers, rangers and wardens, access officers, conservation officers, community workers, environmental interpreters and educators. Organisations employing this type of staff include national parks, the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, and local authorities. Within the industry we are considered to provide an excellent grounding for entry into a countryside management career.

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