Level 3 Diploma in Smallholding Management
This Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at those with an interest in running a smallholding, either in an employment capacity, or simply for pleasure, or to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.
The course will provide students with a sound understanding of all aspects involved with managing your own small hold, ranging from designing the build right through to marketing your service.
Module 1 - Introduction to Smallholding Management
This first unit of the Diploma in Smallholding Management course will introduce you to the concept of running a smallholding, or of achieving self-sufficiency. The unit will provide you with the foundation knowledge required for further studies related to running a smallholding, and will help you to clarify your aims. It covers the following:
- Clarifying your aims - why do you want to run a smallholding? What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to make a profit or are you looking for a sustainable self sufficient lifestyle?
- Finding suitable land and property, and assessing it to make sure it meets your needs
- Making plans for your land - livestock or crops? What do you hope to do with it?
- Business planning and raising finance for purchase
Module 2 - Building design
Unit 1 gives a general introduction to finding a suitable smallholding, and this unit continues on from there to work with plans for buildings on your smallholding.
It looks at the following:
- Conversion of existing buildings
- Dealing with rules and regulations such as planning permission
- The design of suitable new buildings for a variety of uses, including the types of building materials that can be used, together with their advantages and disadvantages.
Module 3 - Livestock selection and Management Part 1
There are many types of animal that could be kept on a smallholding, depending on land type, restrictions in place, size of area etc, as well as personal choice. This unit introduces the topic and covers:
- The selection of suitable species, taking into consideration space, time, effort and cost
- Keeping poultry
- Keeping other small animals, such as bees
- The health and veterinary attention required by livestock
Module 4 - Livestock selection and Management Part 2
The subject of choosing suitable livestock and the keeping of animals is so large that it has been divided into two parts. This second part continues on from module 3, and covers the following:
- Keeping sheep
- Keeping pigs
- Keeping cattle
- Keeping horses
- Other species, such as goats and alpacas
Module 5 - Grassland Management
The maintenance of land is extremely important, particularly if livestock are being kept in a relatively small area. This unit looks at the subject of grassland management, according to the types of species of animals being kept.
The following topics are covered:
- Assessing soil type
- Preparing and fertilizing ground
- Removal of weeds
- Maintenance of grazing
- The importance of timing when carrying out certain tasks associated with land management
Module 6 - Machinery and Equipment
Although small scale farming may not require as much in the way of equipment and machinery as a large scale farm, some machinery and equipment will be required in order to run the smallholding effectively. This unit covers the following:
- Working out what you will need
- Manual tools versus powered machinery
- Choosing suitable machinery
- Maintenance of machinery
Module 7 - Growing Vegetables, Fruit and Flowers
This unit looks at the concept of a 'market garden' and introduces you to the growing of various plants on a smallholding. By the end of your study on this section you will have been introduced to the following topics:
- Choosing suitable crops according to land type
- The importance of rotation of crops
- Planting and sowing, and the work involved
- Increasing yields
- Allowing the public in to 'pick your own' and the implications of this
Module 8 - Financial Management
Even if your smallholding is not expected to make a profit, effective smallholding management requires sound financial management in order to be successful.
The following topics are discussed in this unit:
- Bookkeeping and maintaining financial records
- Grants that are available
- Budgeting and financial forecasting
Module 9 - Marketing and General Management
Following on from the previous unit, this section looks at the importance of good management of a small business enterprise or successful self-sufficient unit, and also covers the important legal issues that need to be complied with. It covers the following:
- Commercial production of produce versus self-sufficiency
- Selling your produce
- Dealing with paperwork
- Health and Safety issues and how to comply
- Employment of labour on a smallholding
Module 10 - Ethical and Environmental Issues
This final unit of the course examines the various environmental impacts of farming on a small scale, and looks at the legislations affecting this type of activity. You will be introduced to the following topics.
- The disposal of waste from farming activity
- Organic methods of farming
- The impact on the environment and how to reduce or minimise negative impact Keeping up with changes in legislation relating to environmental issues