What courses? Agriculture; agricultural science; agricultural engineering; animal management; land management; conservation; countryside management; rural studies; forestry and arboriculture; agri-business; farm business management.

What do you come out with? A BSc.

Why do it? "Agriculture is the study of the science and management of producing crops and animals. If you’ve heard people talking about whether there’s going to be enough food to feed the planet and it’s got you thinking about how you could help – agriculture’s the subject for you. You learn about how plants respond to their environment and how to manage crops to get the best yields. How animals grow and how their nutritional requirements change with growth. Agriculture is one of the few degrees that links science with business: you also learn how to market your produce and draw up business plans – often working in teams and participating in business competitions. The degree equips you for lots of careers and there is a strong job market for people with agricultural knowledge. You could be advising growers on how best to produce a good crop of bread-making wheat, doing research on how to reduce the impact of farming on the environment or running your own farm business. All this - and you don’t have to come from a farm to apply." - Dr Stephen Ramsden, associate professor in management and director of University Farm, University of Nottingham

What's it about? Farming, broadly speaking, although agriculture is an umbrella term covering a range of scientific and practical disciplines based on the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms in order for the human race to survive and prosper (pretty important, really). Whether you’re interested in crops, animals, farm management or the marketing of farm produce, undergraduates have plenty of choice with around 20 higher education institutions offering agriculture courses in the UK. While general agriculture courses, such as Nottingham’s, give a wide-ranging insight into different elements of the industry, students can dedicate their degrees to specialising in specific areas such as agri-business, plant and soil science, dairy production, and animal health and welfare.

Study options: Three years study for a BSc on the whole, although some courses run to four. All of the Royal Agricultural College’s undergraduate courses include a six-month placement at the end of the second year, whether the overall course length is three or four years, while Harper Adams offers full sandwich years as part of its four-year courses. Nottingham gives students the opportunity to study a year at one of its partner institutions in Europe, leading to a Certificate in European Studies.

What will I need to do it? For more scientifically-focused courses such as soil science or ecology, you’ll usually need to have studied two sciences at A-level, and Nottingham asks for this for its general agriculture BSc as well. Work experience is often taken into account too, and Harper Adams ask that students complete 10 weeks before commencing the course. Grade requirements vary, but a typical offer from both Nottingham and Harper Adams is BBC to BCC. Many institutions offer HNDs and foundation degrees as alternative, and more vocationally-based, entry routes.

What are my job prospects? Farming is a massive industry, and, in its crudest sense, we’re always going to need to eat, so jobs will never run out completely. Agriculture graduates are scarce in relation to demand at the moment, and with increasing concern over food security and sustainability, it seems to be a great time for those with skills and knowledge to offer. Graduates find themselves in farm management, research and advisory work; and sales and marketing of agricultural products. More specialised students are likely to find themselves working in that area or consulting on the subject. According to The Times' Good University Guide 2012, 38 per cent of graduates walked straight into graduate-level jobs in 2009, with an average salary of just under £19,500.

Where’s best to do it? Nottingham came top over in the Complete University Guide 2012, followed closely by Reading and then Harper Adams, which also came second for student satisfaction, after Aberystwyth.

Related degrees: Biological sciences; chemistry; earth sciences; ecology; business and management; veterinary sciences; zoology.

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album