Certificate in Agriculture VAG001

A great foundation for working in Agriculture or running a farm

This is a 600 hour course comprising 3 core modules as listed below and 3 electives (choose from over 40 different options). 


 To obtain this certificate you must successfully complete assignments in all six modules and pass an exam for each module (additional exam fees apply). If you fail to meet any requirements, you are given the option of resubmitting or resitting exams, until requirements are satisfied.

Duration:  600 hours


Core Modules: Most applicants for this certificate are either adults or have successfully completed at least year 11 at secondary school. Younger students who have not completed year 11 may study this certificate, but should expect to take longer than the usual 600 hours to be successful.

Course Structure:

Core Modules:

Module 1. Farm Management (BAG104)

Learn to analyse, diagnose and make decisions related to management of a farm business. The course relates to managing all resources, including: Production; Staff; Physical Resources; and Natural Resources. You learn strategic planning, whole farm planning, and how to prepare a business plan.

Module 2. Agricultural Marketing (BAG304)

Develops the ability to analyse and manage marketing problems in an agricultural enterprise. There are eight lessons covering: Marketing and economic theories; Target marketing; Promotions techniques (including advertising; Handling (ie. transport and storage; Market Research methods; Customer service.

Module 3. Animal Health Care (VAG100)

Develops understanding of veterinary and animal health care practices. This course provides a starting point for someone seeking to develop a career in the veterinary industry, or a broad grounding for the health care of domestic pets or farm animals. The module covers topics such as various pest and disease problems, their symptoms, and treatments in a variety of animals; animal behaviour and handling; materials and methods used in professional animal healthcare; legal and administrative considerations.

Plus three (3) Electives (choose 3):

These can be any 100 hr modules that are relevant to agriculture and do not cross over with the core modules above. Normally the electives will be chosen from the following.

  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Agronomy
  • Organic Farming
  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Animal Health
  • Poultry
  • Pig Husbandry
  • Goat Husbandry
  • Sheep
  • Beef Cattle
  • Dairy Cattle
  • Aquaculture
  • Mariculture
  • Aquaponics
  • Horse Care I
  • Protected Plant Production 
  • Outdoor Plant Production
  • Soil Management
  • Herb Culture
  • Viticulture
  • Mushroom Production

Below is more information about some of the electives:

Sustainable Agriculture
This course presents many different techniques and general measures which may be adopted in part or full, in order to move a farm toward greater sustainability, whether the concerns are commercial, environmental or something else. Improving sustainability is sometimes as simple as changing what is being farmed or how it is being marketed; but it may also be a multi facet problem that requires changes in a whole range of farm management practices. This course was developed by our principal, John Mason author of the best selling book "Sustainable Agriculture 2nd ed." published by Landlinks Press (CSIRO)

Organic Farming

Organic farming has been adopted by some farmers for economic reasons, others for ethical or sustainability concerns. Whatever the reason though for going organic, there is no doubt this method of farming is here to stay.  Learn to manage both plant and animal production in a more natural and environmentally sensitive way. Lessons include:

  1. Introduction to Organic Farming
  2. Integrated Farm Management Systems
  3. Organic Management Issues
  4. Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
  5. Weed Management
  6. Pest and Disease Management
  7. Livestock Management I
  8. Livestock Management II
  9. Pasture
  10. Management Principles
  11. Crops

Animal Anatomy & Physiology
Lessons are as follows:

  1. Introduction, Cells & Tissues
  2. The Digestive System
  3. The Circulatory System
  4. The Urinary System
  5. The Nervous System
  6. Respiration
  7. The Reproductive System
  8. Muscles & Meat
  9. The Skeleton
  10. Animal Growth, Development & The Endocrine System
  11. Comparing Different Animals

Animal Health

Learn to care for the health of any type of animal (focus is on mammals and birds) and understand the scope of services offered by animal care services, including in veterinary practices. his course is appropriate for anyone interested in working with animals including on a farm, a wildlife park or a veterinary practice. It is a sound foundation course and designed to cover most of what is found in a typical veterinary assistants course in many countries around the world.

Learn about: Terminology, Breeds , Nutrition, Diseases In Poultry, Layers, Broilers, Incubation, Brooding, Record Keeping, Economics & Marketing.
For farmers, farm workers, breeders, amateur enthusiasts or anyone seeking to develop a sound in depth foundation understanding of poultry.

Develop your ability to independently analyse and make decisions about the development and management of freshwater aquaculture enterprises. Aquaculture is the farming of water creatures for human consumption. This subject is concerned with the culture and care of fresh water aquatic animals.

Horse Care I
Learn to manage the daily requirements of a horse at grass. The course aims to develop:

  • The ability to handle horses using a range of different procedures
  • Skills to evaluate a horses conformation
  • An understanding of diet
  • Knowledge of grooming procedures
  • An ability to develop appropriate management procedures
  • Knowledge of commercial opportunities, including trading horses. Protected Plant Production

Soil Management (Horticulture)
Good soil conditions are critical to the healthy growth of most plants. Over eight lessons this course will develop an understanding of physical & chemical properties of soils, the ability to carry out simple tests and determine soil characteristics, and to decide ways of treating a soil to improve its ability to grow plants.

Outdoor Plant Production
Designed to gain broad knowledge on outdoor crop production, from flowers to fruits and vegetables, this course is a basic step to start a commercial venture on many types of crops. The course consists of ten lessons that cover site selection, crop selection, soil management, cut flowers, vegetables, berries, nuts, herbs, tree fruits, other crops, managing a market garden and more.
Student comment (M.Simpson): "This course has been excellent.... I would be willing to recommend this course to any of my friends and colleagues"

Herb Culture
This is designed to develop a solid grounding in herb growing and the herb industry. An average student will take around 100 hrs. Half of the course deals with general herb culture, including identification, soils, mulching, feeding, watering, propagation, pest & disease control, harvest, storage, processing, companion planting, nursery management and herb farming. The remainder of the course involves detailed studies of major groups of herbs such as: mints, thymes, lavenders, scented geraniums, garlic, roses, artemisias and parsley.

This includes lessons on the history of viticulture, the modern wine industry, grape varieties and their characteristics and uses, cultural practises, soils, vineyard design, planning and layout, improving crop quality, harvest & post harvest procedures, winemaking, marketing and more.

Mushroom Production
This is a comprehensive 8 lesson course covering how to grow mushrooms on either a small or large scale. Emphasis is placed on the Agaricus species (the Champignon), though other commercially important edible fungi are also considered. Growing, harvesting, marketing, storage, pest and diseases and even ways of cooking and using mushrooms are covered.



You can get two things from studying this course:

1. Learning - Your knowledge understanding and awareness of agriculture will be greater than before you started studying.

2. A qualification - A document to prove you have satisfactorily completed this course.

In the short term, the qualification may be useful to show to potentrial employers (if you plan o work for someone other than yourself).

The greater benefit in the short term; and the only real benefit in the long term though, is what you learn. The people who shine through, impress others and succeed in agriculture, will always be those who know and understand more; are aware of the nature and scope of their industry; then have the character , personality and drive to take up and exploit opportunities that appear before them.

Doing a course may not guarantee you a job, but it will set you apart from those that have not studied at all and it will improve your personal choices when applying for jobs.

Each job listed usually gets a huge amount of response – when employers choose people to interview they will look at a range of factors – what you have studied will be just one of those factors. You need to be able to catch a potential employer’s attention – stand out from the rest.

So what do employers look for?

  • Great communication skills: verbal, written and also the ability to use a computer.
  • Problem solving skills: thinking on your feet and working through problems in an orderly way.
  • Efficiency: doing things in a logical order without compromising accuracy improves efficiency.
  • Knowledge and skills demanded of the job.
  • A passion for the work and willingness to learn.
  • Presentation and grooming - people who present as being well organised and well-groomed will impress.

How Will A Course Help Me To Gain those Skills?

Choosing electives that are appropriate to the times and your situation will help.

At ACS our courses focus on Problem Based Learning so this enables the student to develop these skills and at the same time using this learning method also improves you knowledge retention and recall.

What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?

  • Choose electives you are passionate about – be open to learning and use this course to start building your future. Today we are expected to keep learning and studying in order to keep up with a world that is rapidly changing. Learning is a lifelong experience. Study a course that makes you stand out - a qualification that is different to all the other applicants will always catch the attention of a boss, and may be the difference between getting an interview or not.
  • Network with people in the agriculture industry, attend conferences and trade shows – make yourself known to people in the industry in general.
  • Try to build a range of skills – multi-skilled people catch the eye of the employer or potential employer.
  • Write a good CV and ask for help if you need it. Tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask -no cost. Resume Writing services can also be used, but they charge.
  • Recognise your strengths and use them. Acknowledge any weaknesses and work on improving them. Be realistic and pragmatic and make the most of assets you have.


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Fee Information (CT)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $3,278.00  1 x $2,980.00
B 2 x $1,727.00  2 x $1,570.00
C 4 x $924.00  4 x $840.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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