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BSc (Hons) Sustainable Land Management (Top-up)

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. Some of the modules on the course are taught at the University (see course content). The course will broaden the students' view of the management of the UK's rural resource. It will include the analysis of the legislation, issues, policy and planning that drive rural change; an examination of landscape scale ecology and investigation of land use from a sustainability perspective. It will also give you an opportunity to investigate a topic of your choice through a research dissertation. The UK countryside is a multi-function resource which has to balance the needs and interests of leisure, conservation, industry, food and farming. Furthermore, this rural resource is a product of thousands of years of anthropogenic management which has produced the countryside we see today. There is a considerable responsibility placed therefore on managing it appropriately. Designed for students with some knowledge of the UK countryside, this programme offers a specialised route to top-up to an Honours Degree in Rural Resource Management for students holding a Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject.

Course modules

Year 1

Applied Conservation Science (Option)

This module aims to examine current conservation strategies, critically evaluate their effect on biodiversity through research and discussion. The module will investigate the management of ecosystems, the strategies used to conserve them and develop skills in habitat and population management alongside methods for predicting future trends.

Developments in Global Land Use

This module critically evaluates the issues with current global land uses. In particular, it will focus on subjects such as climate change, energy use, water management and soil degradation and how current techniques could be altered to achieve lower impacts. Students will explore the methods by which changes in rural land uses can ameliorate environmental change and point to a more sustainable future.

Research Project (Double module)

This module will provide an opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of the student's own choice which is related to their substantive areas of study. Students will work independently, under limited supervision, in order to develop and demonstrate their academic skills and abilities. The dissertation will normally be based on an academic topic using primary and/or secondary data collection techniques. In both cases academic theory is to be critically evaluated and applied to the research topic.

Applied Ecology and Land Management

This module explores the ways in which ecological principles can be applied to help mitigate some of the crucial ecological problems caused by changes in land use and urban development in the UK. Students will learn about the key ecological principles at the population, community and ecosystem levels, and will then investigate how these principles can help guide management decisions, policy and environmental practice.

Sustainable Livestock Science

Students will explore the advances in the application of scientific research to emerging sustainable extensive and intensive livestock production systems, including water and feed use efficiency, animal nutrition and breeding.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject or 2 years (one at Level 4 and the other at Level 5) of Honours Degree work in a related discipline achieved at 'pass' standard or above. Applicants with alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively. Applicants must also produce evidence of successfully completing a research based module at level 5. Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent. All offers may be subject to successful interview.

Learning and assessment

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops. Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.

Students will face a variety of assessments including examinations, essays, debates, assignments, technical reports, group and individual presentations, individual study projects and industry based case studies.

Additional Information: Study trips may be organised to a variety of successful rural enterprises and landscape scale projects in the North West. Farm diversification and commercial energy generation projects may also be visited including wind farms, large scale anaerobic digestion units and biomass plants.

What work experience can I get?: There is no formal industry placement on this course. Through core modules and electives students will gain hands on experience in a variety of scenarios to build skills that can be used in a working environment.


On successful completion of the course, students may apply for further qualifications such as MSc, M Phil, PhD.


There is increasing pressure on organisations to build links between agriculture and newer methods of managing the land. The top-up degree is therefore aimed at students who want to pursue careers within organisations such as DEFRA, Environment Agency, Natural England, local planning authorities, Councils, advisory bodies and land management consultancies.

Other opportunities include countryside ranger, ecological surveyor, farm conservation advisor, education officer. Many job opportunities exist within the conservation and commercial sectors, and potential employers include the Environment Agency, River Trusts, Natural England, Local Authorities, National Trust, Canal and Rivers Trust, Wildlife trusts and private consultancy.

Professional accreditations

Students will be encouraged to develop and maintain links with local and national land based organisations such as the National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, Local Authorities, National Parks and AONBs, River Conservation Trusts and Ecological Consultants.

Special requirements

Extra Costs: Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

Field trips and visits - £1000 - £1500

Waterproofs and safety boots - £100 - £150

Students examine the latest brood of hatchlings
Students examine the latest brood of hatchlings

Countryside Studies

The management of land for the conservation of flora and fauna, general recreation, environmental education and urban regeneration requires a blend of skills. These include an understanding of ecological principles, a sound knowledge of management and the practical ability to carry out conservation techniques – from river catchment systems to rural and coastal habitats.

Many job opportunities exist within the conservation, gamekeeping and commercial sectors, and as part of your progamme you will have the opportunity to develop countryside craft skills such as hedgelaying and drystone walling, useful for a range of future careers.

Myerscough College student with plants in the college laboratory.
Myerscough College student with plants in the college laboratory.

Access to Higher Education

Gain the skills and confidence to study a degree even if you don’t hold the relevant entry qualifications. Step into the land-based industries with our Access to HE Diploma at University Centre Myerscough.

Find out more
UCLAN | Myerscough Associate School
UCLAN | Myerscough Associate School

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.