Degree Programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises, 240 ECTS credits> Course structure and key learning outcomes
Students can specialize in Farm production; animal husbandry and the health care of domestic animals, crop production, rural environments and water management or Management of rural enterprises (farms). These are just a few of the available areas in which students can enhance their expertise.
Bachelor of Natural Resources
Level of qualification
The degree programme leads to a higher education degree which is a first cycle Bachelor-level degree in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). According to the eight-level classification of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and National Qualifications Framework (NQF), the degree represents level 6.
Specific admission requirements
Please see the Applicant's Guide or the website http://www.seamk.fi/hakeminen
Applicant's Guide's instructions are written in Finnish for degree programmes taught in Finnish and in English for degree programmes taught in English. On the website, application and instructions are in Finnish language for the degree programmes taught in Finnish.
Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Prior learning can be recognized by a team consisting of Head of the Degree Programme, Student Counsellor and Lecturer of that specific course.
Qualification requirements and regulations
Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.
The constructivist theory of learning emphasises the active role of students and their own experiences in their education, which helps them to understand what is being taught. The teacher acts as facilitator of the learning process.
Characteristics of learning:
1. Students set their own learning objectives, e.g. Personal Study Plan.
2. The information to be learned is connected to students' world of experiences, work and working environment.
3. Open communication between the students and teacher is nurtured to deepen the understanding of the information to be learned and to evaluate learning experiences.
4. The process of learning is emphasised in the studies, not merely objectives and contents.
5. Together with the teachers, students monitor and evaluate their own learning and the learning of their peers. Learning is systematically developed based on feedback. The feedback is discussed together with the students, and they lead the development of the learning situations.
Teaching involves the use of various topic-related, applied methods. The variety of teaching methods is used in the programmes to support students' professional development, readiness for the working world and professional expertise. Students attend lectures, engage in independent information acquisition, work in projects, work online, do practical assignments and exercises, and participate in co-operative learning.
Profile of the programme
Studies in the degree programme involve lectures, independent study, practical training and a final thesis. At the beginning of their studies, students make a Personal Study Plan with the assistance of a student counsellor or tutor. Students then progress in their studies according to the objectives in the plan.
Contact teaching is a combination of theory and diverse practical studies. Studying in the programme is flexible, and students can concentrate on courses most interesting to them. The seasons and periods of growth and harvest in the fields and forests, as well as the reproduction cycles of the farm animals set the pace for studying in the degree programme. In addition to classroom lessons, students do practical work and exercises on a weekly basis, especially during their first year of study. Modern facilities for farm animals, laboratory work and teaching and the school farm enable students to engage in hands-on, problem-based, reflective learning.
In addition to the Basic Studies, other courses involve the study of plant production, livestock husbandry, forestry, and courses pertaining to technology, agricultural economics, business economics, consultation, biology and environmental protection. The practical training consists of training on a farm and specialization training in Finland or abroad. Students do a final thesis at the end of their studies. The faculty has been very flexible as regards the types of topics chosen for theses. However, students should consider the advantages of their chosen topic in obtaining work and in their future career. Immense co-operation between the various faculties in the university of applied sciences ensures that students have the opportunity to choose from an extensive, diverse selection of courses. At the end of their studies, students are required to write a final thesis.
Students partake in period of fieldwork during the summer after their second year of study. It takes place at the beginning of the summer and at the end. During this time, students put the theory they have learned in the classroom over the winter into practice. Students have usually made a field trip to Central Europe during the summer, which gives them a breath of the farming culture in other countries.
Beginning the studies:
Students begin their studies in the Degree Programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises with one- day orientation in which the structure and the practices followed in the programme are presented. Students are introduced to their tutors and other new students. The tutors assist new students during their first few weeks of study. Each new student is assigned a personal tutor, although naturally all of the tutors are there to extend their help.
Contact teaching primarily takes place Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4:15 pm. One weekend during the first autumn semester students take part in work on a pig farm. The first year of study begins with a practical training period on the school farm in Ilmajoki. The practical training consists of harvest work and caring for livestock. Students who have completed basic studies in agriculture do not participate in the 5-week training period.
General studies and practices:
During their first and second years of study, students study basic and field-related subjects that are common to all students. These general subjects include computer technology, language studies, mathematics, biology and environmental protection, plant production and livestock husbandry, economics, forestry and subjects in technology.
The summer after students' first year of study is also a time of practical training on a farm. It begins at the beginning of May and ends at the end of September. At this time, students gain knowledge of the type of work carried out on a farm. There are numerous farms around Finland where students may do their practical training. They may also do it abroad.
The second year of study begins at the beginning of October and ends at the end of April. During this time, students study the subjects they have chosen in their Personal Study Plan. For the most part, students partake in field-specific courses during the second year of study. They may also choose 5 credits of elective studies from the range of courses in the entire university. One credit is equivalent to 26 hours of student work. The 5 credits may include courses offered by other universities of applied sciences or academic universities.
Students partake in period of fieldwork (referred to as "Growth Season") during the summer after their second year of study. It takes place at the beginning of the summer. During this time, they put the theory they have learned in the classroom over the winter into practice. Students have usually made a field trip to Central Europe during the summer. The trip familiarises students with the agriculture and culture of other countries. Students are required to pay for the trip themselves and therefore they have usually gathered the funds together through various events and jobs during the winter. Taking part in the trip is not compulsory.
During the third year of their studies, students focus on their line of specialization, which amounts to 40-45 credits. Students may choose more extensive study modules and individual courses. They have the opportunity to specialize in pig husbandry, potato production, rural environments, water management, environmental engineering, management of rural enterprises (farms) and production design, rural development, and the health care of domestic animals. These are just a few of the available areas in which students can enhance their expertise.
Students put their specialised skills to use during the summer after their third year of study when they partake in specialised practical training. The training lasts 75 days and takes place between May and August. Students enquire about the place where they can do the training either independently or with the help of a training supervisor. When choosing the place to do their specialised practical training, students should consider their career plans and placement in the working world. Oftentimes, the specialised practical training spawns an idea or commission for a student thesis, which they do at the end of their studies.
The extent of the thesis is 15 credits. During the thesis writing process, students exhibit their knowledge of their profession through the research of a chosen topic. The faculty has been fairly flexible as regards the topics chosen for theses; however, students should consider the long-term advantages in their career and employment when choosing a topic.
Agronomists typically work as consultants for livestock husbandry and plant production, as specialists in administration, education or research, and as rural developers. Developing agricultural enterprises requires professionals with a university of applied sciences degree; indeed, many agronomists run their own enterprise. There is a diverse range of job opportunities for agronomists and they find work easily.
It is possible and highly recommended for students to apply to study abroad f.ex. in Germany or U.S. for 3 months or do their practical training abroad. The School has connections in several countries to do the training , f.ex. in Estonia or Germany.
Access to further studies
Students who have completed this programme are eligible to continue on to a university of applied sciences master's degree programme in natural resources.
Structure of the studies
The degree programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises (240 cr) comprises basic and professional studies (125 cr), specialisation studies (40 cr), elective studies (10 cr), practical training (50 cr) and a final thesis (15 cr). Each of these parts of the programme is divided into modules and courses. The recommended time to complete the programme is four years.
Examination regulations, assessment and grading
Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.
Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences and instructions for graduates at Intra.
Mode of study
Young students study full-time in this programme. Students in adult education study part-time through a diverse range of teaching methods.
Head of degree programme
Ms Anu Katila, tel. +358 40 830 2430, e-mail: anu.katila(at)seamk.fi
ECTS departmental coordinator / International coordinator
Mrs Anna Tall, +358 40 8302 136 e-mail: anna.tall(at)seamk.fi
Mrs Eija Putula-Hautala, tel. +35840 8303 953 , e-mail: eija.putula-hautala(at)seamk.fi
Mrs Kirsi Fors, tel. +358 20 124 5704, kirsi.fors(at)seamk.fi