Course at a glance


This diploma is designed at those with an interest in running a smallholding, either in an employment capacity, or simply for pleasure, or to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. The course will provide students with a sound understanding of all aspects involved with managing your own small hold, ranging from designing the build right through to marketing your service.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will explore an introduction to small holding
  • Review building designs and features
  • Explore varieties of livestock
  • Review different varieties of machinery an equipment
  • Discover finances and billing

This course consists of Ten Units and is a qualification awarded by Oxford Learning College, in its own right; with the quality assurance of a leading awarding body (CIE Global) that hallmarks this professional qualification.

Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO: 1

Students must select and demonstrate clearly relevant knowledge and understanding through the use of evidence, examples and correct language and terminology appropriate to the course of study. This assessment, involves two written assignments: one halfway through the course and following the final unit. Both are assessed and graded by the assigned tutor, according to college procedures. The grading procedure if Pass or Fail. If you Fail an assessment you have the opportunity to amend where your tutor has highlighted and resubmit.

AO: 2

Students must critically evaluate and justify a point of view through the use of evidence and reasoned argument. Students can include evidence in different formats to support their written work such as documentation or images to support their course remembering Confidentiality and Data Protection.

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, OLC require students’ to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to studying a complex subject matter; organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate and Harvard referencing of citation and sources. In this Specification, SPG will be assessed in all tutor marked assignments (TMAs)

To ensure that we maintain quality standards; all our students written assignments are subject to our plagiarism policy and procedure.

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma course requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Course Content

The whole level three diploma has TEN specific units of study, which are sub-divided into topic areas these are:

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 1: Introduction to Smallholding Management

The first unit introduces you to the concept of running a smallholding, or of achieving self-sufficiency. The unit will provide you with the foundation knowledge required for further studies related to running a smallholding, and will help you to clarify your aims. It covers the following:

  • Clarifying your aims – why do you want to run a smallholding? What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to make a profit or are you looking for a sustainable self sufficient lifestyle?
  • Finding suitable land and property, and assessing it to make sure it meets your needs
  • Making plans for your land – livestock or crops? What do you hope to do with it?
  • Business planning and raising finance for purchase

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 2: Building Design

The unit will discuss how to find a suitable smallholding, and this unit continues on from there to work with plans for buildings on your smallholding.

It looks at the following:

  • Conversion of existing buildings
  • Dealing with rules and regulations such as planning permission
  • The design of suitable new buildings for a variety of uses, including the types of building materials that can be used, together with their advantages and disadvantages.

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 3: Livestock Selection and Management Part 1

The unit explores the various types of animal that could be kept on a smallholding, depending on land type, restrictions in place, size of area etc, as well as personal choice. This unit introduces the topic and covers:

  • The selection of suitable species, taking into consideration space, time, effort and cost
  • Keeping poultry
  • Keeping other small animals, such as bees
  • The health and veterinary attention required by livestock

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 4: Livestock Selection and Management Part 2

This unit helps you when choosing suitable livestock and the keeping of animals is so large that it has been divided into two parts. This second part continues on from module 3, and covers the following:

  • Keeping sheep
  • Keeping pigs
  • Keeping cattle
  • Keeping horses
  • Other species, such as goats and alpacas

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 5: Grassland Management

In this unit you will be exploring how land is extremely important, particularly if livestock are being kept in a relatively small area. This unit looks at the subject of grassland management, according to the types of species of animals being kept.

The following topics are covered:

  •  Assessing soil type
  •  Preparing and fertilizing ground
  •  Removal of weeds
  •  Maintenance of grazing
  •  The importance of timing when carrying out certain tasks associated with land management

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 6: Machinery and Equipment

This unit will review the small scale farming may not require as much in the way of equipment and machinery as a large scale farm, some machinery and equipment will be required in order to run the smallholding effectively. This unit covers the following:

  • Working out what you will need
  • Manual tools versus powered machinery
  • Choosing suitable machinery
  • Maintenance of machinery

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 7: Growing Vegetables, Fruit and Flowers

Here you will be introduced to the growing of various plants on a smallholding. By the end of your study on this section you will have been introduced to the following topics:

  • Choosing suitable crops according to land type
  • The importance of rotation of crops
  • Planting and sowing, and the work involved
  • Increasing yields
  • Allowing the public in to ‘pick your own’ and the implications of this

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 8: Financial Management

In order to do this smallholding is not expected to make a profit, effective smallholding management requires sound financial management in order to be successful. The following topics are discussed in this unit:

  • Bookkeeping and maintaining financial records
  • Grants that are available
  • Budgeting and financial forecasting

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 9: Marketing and General Management

Here you will review the previous unit, this section looks at the importance of good management of a small business enterprise or successful self-sufficient unit, and also covers the important legal issues that need to be complied with. It covers the following:

  • Commercial production of produce versus self-sufficiency
  • Selling your produce
  • Dealing with paperwork
  • Health and Safety issues and how to comply
  • Employment of labour on a smallholding

Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma Unit 10: Ethical and Environmental Issues

This final unit of the course examines the various environmental impacts of farming on a small scale, and looks at the legislations affecting this type of activity. You will be introduced to the following topics.

  • The disposal of waste from farming activity.
  • Organic methods of farming.
  • The impact on the environment and how to reduce or minimise negative impact.
  • Keeping up with changes in legislation relating to environmental issues.


This Accredited Level 3 Smallholding Management Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.