Start an Urban Farm

  • Explore the possibilities.
  • Learn what can be Produced, and How.
  • Start a high tech or low tech Farm in the City.
  • Learn about poultry farming, vegetable production, sustainable agriculture, marketing and more.
  • Make this a bespoke qualification to suit your own goals and career aims - choose elective modules that cover your particular areas of interest including hydroponics, vertical gardening, herbs, berries, and goat husbandry.

Explore the possibilities of urban farming

  • Space is often limited and/or expensive in an urban environment - learn what can be produced in urban locations, and maximise the productivity of available land.
  • Understand how to create a sustainable environment - ensuring longer term viability and productivity.
  • Learn about marketing - how to sell goods locally or further afield.
  • Course duration: 1,000 hours of self paced study. Course Code - VAG034.
  • Start at any time - study where you want to, with the guidance and support of our specialist tutors.

With pressures on availability of land and a desire by consumers to buy locally grown and environmentally considerate produce there are lots of advantages to farming in urban areas.

The modules on offer in this course all have potential application to intensive farming. Farming can be viable on a small property if you are growing appropriate things using appropriate techniques. Urban areas may not be appropriate for producing wheat, rice or for farming large animals; but some produce does not necessarily need acres of land to be economically viable. Farming in urban areas has one major advantage - being close to the end user. Produce does not need to be transported so far, and the customer gets much fresher produce.


Course Structure - The Modules

Core Modules

The Foundation Diploma In Urban Farming comprises 10 modules (5 compulsory Core Modules plus 5 Elective Modules that students select from the electives list).

For further details on each module, including lesson listings, please follow the links in the titles below:

Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
Permaculture Systems BHT201
Poultry Management BAG208
Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
Agricultural Marketing BAG304


Elective Modules 

5 electives can be selected from any of the following:

Protected Plant Production BHT223
Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
Hydroponics I BHT224
Aquaponics BHT319
Hydroponic Management - Hydroponics II BHT213
Cut Flower Production BHT221
Tissue Culture BHT306
Mushroom Production BHT310
Herb Culture BHT114
Culinary Herbs VHT242
Medicinal Herbs BHT227
Berry Growing BHT309
Self Sufficiency I ASS100
Goat Husbandry BAG223
Nursery Growers Course VHT101


Duration: 1,000 hours


Sustainable Ways of Farming

As a student you will learn about many different techniques and general measures which may be adopted in part or full to move a farm toward greater sustainability.  You will look at the adoption of techniques that help to preserve, maintain and work with natural resources in order to maintain the balance of ecosystems.  This will involve different areas of sustainability, from farming (natural, organic), including specific areas of consideration such as soils and water, to wider aspects such as the financial and social elements.

Natural Farming

Natural farming works with nature, rather than against it. It recognises the fact that nature has many complex processes which interact to control pests, diseases and weeds and to regulate the growth of plants. Chemicals, such as pesticides and artificial fertilisers are being used more and more, even though they can reduce both the overall health of the environment and the quality of farm produce. Undesirable long-term effects such as soil degradation, and imbalances in pest-predator populations also tend to occur. As public concern grows these issues are becoming increasingly important. Farming the natural way aims to ensure quality in both the environment in which we live and in the produce we grow on our farms. 
There are a variety of ways of growing plants that work with nature rather than against it.

Organic Farming

Practices which are typical of organic systems are composting, intercropping, crop rotation and mechanical or heat-based weed control. Pests and diseases are tackled with naturally-produced sprays and biological controls (e.g. predatory mites). Organic farmers generally avoid the use of inorganic (soluble) fertilisers and synthetic chemical herbicides, growth hormones and pesticides.

One of the foundations of organic farming, linking many other principles together, is composting. Bacteria and worms act to break down the waste products by skilfully combining different materials, balancing carbon and nitrogen levels and blending coarse and fine ingredients,. Composting produces a valuable fertiliser that can be returned to the soil. Natural biological cycles are promoted, ‘wastes’ are re-used and the need for external supplies of fertiliser are reduced or cut altogether.


In its strictest sense, permaculture is a system of production based on perennial, or self perpetuating, plant and animal species which are useful to people. In a broader context, permaculture is a philosophy which encompasses the establishment of environments which are highly productive and stable and which provide food, shelter, energy, etc., as well as supportive social and economic infrastructures. In comparison to modern farming techniques practised in Western civilisations, the key elements of permaculture are low energy and high diversity inputs. The design of the landscape, whether on a suburban block or a large farm, is based on these elements.

A permaculture system can be developed on virtually any type of site, though the plants selected and used will be restricted by the site’s suitability to the needs of the varieties used.

Farming Methods: Hydroponics

Hydroponics is the process used to grow plants without soil. As such, the grower is taking “control” of the plant’s root environment, and losing the benefit of “mother nature’s” finely tuned mechanisms which normally control that part of the plant’s environment acting as a buffer against adverse conditions e.g. too high a pH.

Hydroponics is not an easier way to grow things, but it is a more controlled way of growing plants! Growing in hydroponics can offer the following advantages:

  • It can reduce the physical work involved in growing.
  • It can reduce the amount of water used in growing.
  • It can allow more efficient use of inputs such as fertiliser and pesticide, hence significantly less chemical is used.
  • It can allow a greater control of waste product, thus eliminating or at least reducing soil degradation or other forms of environmental damage.
  • It can save on space - more can be grown in the same area.


Develop your skills and knowledge in urban farming

You can enrol on the Foundation Diploma In Urban Farming at any time. If you have any questions about the course, please get in touch with us today. You can phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752 or use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE