Crofting and Countryside Skills Certificate (NC Rural Skills) SQA Level 4

What is special about this course?

The Scottish countryside is a fantastic natural wonder and many of us have an increased sense of personal responsibility towards its sustainable use. Careers within the land sector are on the increase and it is a rewarding area to be involved in.

If you would like to work in the great outdoors and see yourself make a real difference to the environment around you, then this full-time SCQF level 4 course will introduce you to a range of practical skills and approaches to land use which will help you reach your full potential.

The course aims to take a broad approach, introducing you to a number of sectors including: livestock & agriculture; horticultural; forestry;   environmental studies and transferable estate skills.

With a balance of both practical and theoretical work you'll acquire a good range of skills together with a thorough understanding of how and when they should be applied.

There is a real focus on you uncovering your preferred skill and you'll have the opportunity to take relevant industry approved training.

Core Skills are an integral part of the course. These will be closely tied in with the other units you are studying and will enable you to move on with confidence to your next educational step or place of employment.

Entry requirements

No previous experience or qualifications are necessary, however a keen interest to work in the outdoors and an enthusiasm for this sector are vital. You must also be reasonably fit and happy to work in all weathers, and be able to safely follow instruction in the use of tools and machinery under supervision. Basic literacy is required and students should have reached the minimum age of sixteen. Mature students are welcome, and all candidates will attend an interview.

Areas for study could include:

  • Crofting & Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Gamekeeping
  • Horticulture
  • Environmental Studies
  • Estate skills
  • Fisheries Management/Aquaculture
  • Industry approved training courses
  • Livestock Husbandry
  • Rural environment
  • Core Skills - Communication, Numeracy and ICT  

    While on the course you will have the opportunity to achieve some land based industry certificates. These will come from the following selection and will depend on the area of speciality you choose.

    • Chainsaw crosscutting and maintenance (Lantra)
    • All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) Operations (Lantra)
    • Dry stone walling
    • Brush cutting/trimmer (Lantra)
    • PA1 Safe handling, storage and legislation (Lantra)
    • PA6 Handheld applicators and knapsack spraying (Lantra)

    How will I study my course?

    • Full Time

    How long will my course last?

    You will study 21 hours (3 days) per week for 34 weeks.

    Where can I study my course?

    • Broadford

    Start date


    How much will my course cost?

    Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please contact your local college learning centre or Student Services for more information.

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

    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.

    If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to EMA or not. However you must apply for EMA even if you know that you’re not entitled to EMA.

    If in any doubt or if you want detailed information, please call student services on 01397 874321.

    What funding can I apply for?

    Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

    Further information on course fees & funding can be found here.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    On successful completion of this course you can progress on to related further education and higher education courses in your preferred skill or into industry related employment.

    Is there more information available online?

    You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

    Apply for Crofting and Countryside Skills Certificate (NC Rural Skills) SQA Level 4

    We are no longer taking applications for 2017/18

    I want to start in 2018/19

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College 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.

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