Countryside Skills and Deer Management for Conservation NQ

What is special about this course?

This exciting course combines a range of practical countryside skills and industry awards with an emphasis on the sustainable and integrated management of deer in a variety of landscapes.

It covers a wide range of practical skills, as well as specialising in Deer Management. This helps keep your employment options open.

You will meet potential employers and have a 3 week work placement in deer management.

You will gain Industry Awards in specialist skills such as Dry Stone Walling, Pesticides, Chainsaw Use, Quad Bikes and First Aid, as well as your SQA Awards and College Certificate.

It lasts 19 weeks, November - March and you may be able to study whilst in employment.

During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills.  Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills

Entry requirements

  • Candidates must be at least 16 years of age by the start date of the course.  Some work placement and industry award options may have a lower age limit of 18.
  • Candidates must have an interest in, and enthusiasm for, taking on the whole package, from practical and often physically demanding outdoor work in all weathers, to classroom-based study.
  • There are no mandatory entrance qualifications. Candidates must be able to demonstrate eagerness and ability to study, and will ideally have relevant qualifications and/or experience:  NC Rural Skills SCQF 4, Standard Grade /National 5 Geography and Biology, and some proven practical skills. Each applicant will be considered on merit.
  • Candidates should have qualifications in the essential skills of Communications, Information Technology and  Numeracy at SCQF 5/National 5/Standard Grade credit, or be able to demonstrate equivalent competence.
  • Mature students are very welcome.
  • All applicants will be invited for interview.

Entry to this course is at the discretion of the College.

  • Practical countryside skills. ( eg. fencing, foot paths, outdoor structures, working with timber, using tools and machinery)
  • Habitat studies
  • Countryside recreation and access
  • Industry training awards
  • Embedded development of core and essential skills
  • Sustainable deer management
  • Practical deer management
  • Deer behaviour
  • Work placement in a deer management environment.

More than just your subject

Imagine coming out of college with your subject qualification PLUS a portfolio of skills endorsed by employers. That’s exactly what you will get with us. Our skills+ portfolio is part of your full-time course. You will develop skills in digital literacy, entrepreneurship, metaskills, work-readiness, net-zero, wellbeing, and the skills you need for your future aspirations. Our skills+ portfolio becomes your portfolio to take away with you. Whilst studying your subject you will build your skills+ portfolio and gain confidence and resilience along the way.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You normally need to commit to 18 hours per week (2-3 days) of blended learning time consisting of timetabled learning and personal study.

For the practical elements of your course, some of your timetabled learning will probably take place in and around the Broadford College Centre.

Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone & camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How long will my course last?

19 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Broadford

Start date

This course typically starts in November and runs until March


Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please read our Fees & Funding information pages for more information regarding residency, previous study and bursary rates. Please contact if you have any further questions.

Rest of UK students : For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), with a term-time address in Scotland, studying full time, the course fee is £5,800.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or not. However you must complete an application even if you know that you're not entitled to EMA.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.


Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The course aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to progress to employment in a range of Countryside roles, from estate workers and land managers to forestry, biological recording, and environmental education. Further study options include  HNC in Game Keeping, Forestry, Conservation & in Wildlife Management.

Is there more information available online?

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We are currently taking enquiries for 2022/23 for this course.
Please contact us here to discuss.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. UHI West Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.