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A Unique New Professional Qualification

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A Unique New Professional Qualification

Date Published: 03/08/2015

A unique new professional qualification, designed by Scotland's Rural College for agricultural consultants and other sector specialists, has been welcomed by industry representatives.SRUC's brand new post-graduate Diploma (PgDip) and Masters Degree (MSc) courses in Agricultural Professional Practice can be studied part-time and on-line."There is a high demand in the industry for well trained, qualified staff who not only have specialist knowledge but also the ability to get their message across to clients," says Caroline Daniel, Agriculture Programme Leader with SRUC."We have aimed it at professionals such as consultants, agronomists, animal nutritionists and farm business managers who want to extend their professional knowledge and skill. It is for graduates or others with significant work experience."The course, validated by the University of Glasgow, will start in September 2015. Capitalising on SRUC's wide experience in delivering distance learning it is designed to help those in full-time work or coping with family commitments."We expect Diploma students to take two years to complete the course, although there is room for more time", comments Caroline Daniel. "Those progressing from PgDip to the MSc will take a further year as they have to complete a research project."With five compulsory and three optional modules to study a typical student is expected to complete four modules a year, studying for an average of 12 -15 hours a week. Two residential study weekends, held each year on SRUC's Aberdeen campus, are also strongly recommended.The compulsory modules to be covered include Professional Leadership and Management, Business Planning & Decision Making and Project Management. Among the optional choices are Nutrient Management, Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine or Grassland and Fodder Crop Protection.With over 100 years experience of providing advice and consultancy to the agricultural sector SRUC has deep resources to draw on. In preparing the course education staff involved colleagues from SRUC's Research and SAC Consulting Divisions, in addition to heeding industry advice.Sandy Ramsay, Head of SRUC's own SAC Consulting Solutions, with 25 offices employing some 140 consultants across Scotland and the north of England believes it offers real added value."The sector has been needing this kind of structured approach to developing professional consultants for some time. It offers those involved in the day to day delivery of services to clients an opportunity to gain additional skills and knowledge at a nationally recognised level in the appropriate areas. We will certainly be supporting it and using it to support of our own business activity."For the Institute of Agricultural Management, which promotes high standards in the business and practice of agricultural management, Director Richard Cooksley says:"The IAgrM are very pleased to support this initiative and promote the SRUC course. To achieve the P.Agric - our Professional Grade of membership - members must be able to demonstrate they have the necessary academic and practical skills to meet the required standard. This course fits perfectly and we would accept it as evidence of CPD."To find out more about the course and how to apply go to:http://www.sruc.ac.uk/pgappOr contact SRUC Aberdeen Campus and caroline.daniel@sruc.ac.uk or phone 01224 711083