HND Agricultural Science candidate information

HND Agricultural Science The HND Agricultural Science aims to develop candidates’ knowledge, understanding and skills in the science underpinning and supporting the agricultural industry, together with an understanding of the economic, environmental and ethical context in which the agricultural sector operates. It will prepare candidates for degree-level studies or for employment at technical or supervisory level in this sector.

You will have the opportunity to develop: 

  • a wide range of practical, laboratory, scientific and technical skills, and an awareness of safe working practices, health and safety issues and business management
  • knowledge and understanding of the biological and physical sciences of relevance to the agricultural industry;  the applications of scientific principles and techniques; crop and livestock production systems, their management and the economic, environmental, regulatory and animal welfare issues that influence these sectors
  • an element of vocational specialisation in an area such as farm-scale renewable energy generation, wildlife management or the quality and processing of agricultural produce

Employment and progression opportunities

The HND Agricultural Science may potential lead to positions such as:  Field technician; Crop trials assistant; Agricultural officer; Animal welfare officer; Technical representative for agricultural supply industries (feeds, seeds, silage additives, animal health products, semen).

The HND Agricultural Science is designed to articulate with Year 3 of BSc Agricultural Science programmes. This articulation route may provide opportunities for you to enter employment at a higher level, and will also open up a much wider range of possible career pathways, such as: Farm conservation adviser (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG)); Trainee agricultural consultant (SAC); Field trials manager; Assistant farm business manager; Crop consultant; Ruminant nutritionist.

There are other progression routes to related courses at other Higher Education establishments which further broaden possible career pathways. You are advised to check any specific entry requirements with the appropriate university admissions departments at an early stage of your HND studies.


As with all SQA qualifications, access to the awards will be at the discretion of the centre, but examples of formal entry qualifications include two Highers (at SCQF level 6) or 1 ‘A’ level pass (SCQF level 7) to include Biology or Chemistry, plus

  • either English and Mathematics at Standard Grade at SCQF level 5/GCSE pass level or equivalent
  • or a National Certificate Group Award or other qualification at SCQF level 5/6 in a related subject area such as Agriculture, Life Science, Applied Science, Biological Science, Biotechnology, Science and Technology

It is also recommended that you have achieved the Core Skills of Communication, Numeracy, Information Technology, Problem Solving and Working with Others at SCQF Level 4.