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BSc (Hons) Rural Resource 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.

Applied Ecology (Taught at UCLan)

This module provides students with a working knowledge of how ecological principles affect the lives of all, using examples drawn from industries and practices. These demonstrate how fundamental concepts of ecology are utilised to promote production and profit, often at the detriment of the environment.

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.

Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Systems (Option) (Taught at UCLan)

This module focuses on the practical and institutional difficulties facing application and use of EIA, EMS and related procedures, the performance and potential of different forms of environmental and policy assessment, and their relationship to Sustainability goals. The material is integral to 'real life' situations, and aims to enhance students' awareness of the employment market.

Field Work (Option) (Taught at UCLan)

This module is based entirely around a residential field visit where students will study a number of ecosystems in detail and explore some of the techniques used to understand and investigate the natural world.

Policy Developments in the Rural Environment (Option)

This module focuses on the global political, economic and legislative developments and how they will affect the rural environment in the future. The module will establish the economic framework within which land use operates and the direction in which legislation and policy are headed.

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.

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 - £150

Waterproofs and safety boots -£80

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