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Countryside & Wildlife Management (Level 3)

The Extended Diploma is a two year full-time study programme in countryside management. You will study 15 units, three of which are externally assessed. This study programme includes a broad range of units to enable you to develop the knowledge and technical skills required to work this area. The sector is diverse and includes habitat conservation, estate management, conservation and environmental assessment and game management. Areas of study include countryside and estates skills, managing habitats, wildlife ecology, countryside recreation and plant and soil science.


I started at sixth form after school but after a year decided to change direction and come to College instead. I’d always had an interest in the environment and I realised that Shuttleworth was the right place to achieve what I wanted to do.

My favourite part of the study programme is the ecology side; learning how ecosystems work and carrying out surveys. I am planning on going to university after College to study ecology further and focus specifically on marine ecology.

The facilities here at College are brilliant and you can contact your tutors at anytime. They help you to get the grades you need, but it is up to you to put the work in and decide how you want to work.

I was part of the Gardens Team on the Woburn Estate for my work experience placement. There was lots of cutting back of plants and maintaining trees and I found that I was much more confident both using the machinery, and in other aspects such as plant identity, thanks to the skills and knowledge I had acquired in lessons.

If you’re interested in the environment and the countryside then I would say definitely apply for this study programme. It gives you both the knowledge and experience in industry that you need to progress.

Aaron - Countryside & Wildlife Management Level 3

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need:

Duration: 2 years
• 4 GCSEs grades 9–4 ideally including English and maths 


• Agriculture or Countryside at Level 2

Course content

Subject units:

Mandatory units include:

  • Professional Working Responsibilities
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Contemporary Issues in the Land-based Sectors
  • Work Experience in the Land-based Sectors
  • Countryside Estate Skills Activities
  • Managing Environmental Habitats
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Management
  • Countryside Recreation
  • Managing Countryside Visitor Activities
  • Woodland Management

You will also study a number of specialist units, which may include:

  • Land-based Machinery Operations
  • Game keeping
  • Freshwater and Wetland Management
  • Controlling Countryside Pests and Predators
  • Coastal Habitats Management
  • 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
  • You will need to complete a period of work experience with an employer in the sector during year 1 and 2. This will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained at College in the workplace
  • 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

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. There are also externally set assessments for Professional working responsibilities, Plant and Soil Science and Contemporary issues in the land-based sector. These are written examinations lasting one hour 30 minutes each.


• Countryside Management BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Plus English and maths qualifications if required

Additional qualifications (at an additional cost) include:

  • NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Brushcutters  & Strimmers 
  • NPTC Level 2 Award in Chainsaw Maintenance & Crosscutting 
  • NPTC Level 2 Safe Use of Brushcutters and Trimmers Award 
  • NPTC Level 2 Safe Use of Chainsaws Award.

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points for the Extended Diploma. 

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 you will be required to pay up to £60 for materials. There will also be non-compulsory trips of approximately £500.

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 Apply

You will need to apply online via the University of Northampton's website at: – it is recommended that you use Google Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox as opposed to Internet Explorer.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Shuttleworth College SOB367

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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.

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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.

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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 £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information