What will I learn?
This A Level equivalent course that will teach you the fundamentals of conservation, wildlife management and the environment. You will develop both your practical countryside skills and your understanding of ecology and the environment.
You’ll work both on the 450 acre College estate and off-site on work placements with conservation organisations and you may also take part in fascinating study tours and site visits to places such as the World Heritage Dorset coastline, the New Forest and South Downs National Parks, the Cairngorms National Park and the London and Oxford National History Museums. You will also visit and be involved with the day-to-day management of a range of local conservation sites working in conjunction with a range of countryside professionals and organisations.
You will learn the principles of ecology and environmental science providing you with a strong base of knowledge in addition to acquiring invaluable practical skills that will significantly enhance your employability and opportunities to continue your studies in higher education.
As a Sparsholt student you’ll benefit from our lecturers’ strong links with conservation organisations including the National Trust, RSPB, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Hampshire County Council – some of your potential future employers.
Year 1 – To achieve an Advanced Technical Diploma you will study all of the following;
• Wildlife population surveys, ecology and conservation
• Habitat management (Woodlands, Heathlands, Farm and Freshwater and Wetlands)
• Estate skills
• Countryside recreation
• Machinery use, maintenance and operation
• Health and safety
• Work experience
Year 2 – To achieve an Advanced Technical Extended Diploma you will, after completing year 1, move on to study the following;
• Physical and biological environmental processes
• Ecological concepts and applications
• Work experience
• Environmental interpretation
• Tree felling and chainsaw use
• Greenwood crafts
• Habitat management (urban, coastal and grasslands)
• Deer management
• Specialist project
• Freshwater and wetlands and woodland habitat management
Optional Additional Qualifications
- NPTC Chainsaw cross cut and maintenance
- Species ID certificate
- NPTC Brushcutters and strimmers
- NPTC Wood chipper
- NPTC All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or (RTV)
- Deer Stalking Certificate – Level 1
What grades will I need?
English and Maths GCSE at grade C/4, plus three other GCSEs at grade C/4 or a Merit grade at Level 2.
Applications from mature students are encouraged and will be considered on an individual basis.
What can I study next?
- Degree courses in Ecology and Conservation, Environmental, Land Management, Countryside Management, Environmental Management and Marine Conservation.
This course gives you UCAS tariff points for entry to University. Complete a full Level 3 qualification with us and we’ll guarantee you an offer of a place on one of our relevant University Centre Sparsholt degree courses. Admissions Terms & Conditions apply – for full details go to Sparsholt.ac.uk/university-centre
- Assistant conservation officer
- Nature reserve warden
- Countryside ranger
- Ecological surveyor
- Practical Estate Ranger/Worker
- Environmental education officer
- Self-employed habitat contractor