CURRICULA > MULTIMODAL IMPLEMENTATION > DEGREE PROGRAMME IN AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ENTERPRISES

Degree Programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises
Bachelor of Natural Resources, 240 ECTS


Bachelor of Natural Resources

  • Programme
  • Curricula
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Name of the Degree Programme

Degree Programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises

Specialisations

Students can specialize in Farm production; animal husbandry and the health care of domestic animals, crop production, technolgy or Management of rural enterprises (farms). These are just a few of the available areas in which students can enhance their expertise.

Qualification awarded

Bachelor of Agriculture

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.

The description of the level of the Degree is included in the Statute, at
http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170120

Specific admission requirements

Eligibility for studies at a university of applied sciences is stipulated in the Universities of Applied Sciences Act 932/2014.
Please see the websites www.opintopolku.fi and www.seamk.fi/haku.

On the websites, application and instructions are in Finnish language for the degree programmes taught in Finnish.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning (RPL)

The RPL procedure means the identification and recognition of the student’s previously acquired learning. The student has the opportunity to apply for the recognition of their competencies if the competencies correspond to the learning goals of the Degree Programme. The identification process is closely connected with the preparation of the student’s personal curriculum and is updated during personal counselling discussions.

The identification and recognition practices are presented in the RPL Instruction of SeAMK. It specifies how recognition of competencies is applied for, how the application is processed, and how the student is informed of it. The instruction lists the RPL contact persons of each Degree Programme, who counsel students on matters related to the process.

In the assessment of prior learning, for example the following evidence is used:

– certificates on training programmes with similar content and other training programmes
– testimonials and further clarifications by an employer
– interviews of the student
– written and oral exams or reports
– functional or written assignments or other evidence
– presentations, portfolios

The final project/thesis and the Maturity Test cannot be submitted to the RPL procedure.

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 (incl. graduation requirements)

Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

Pedagogical approach and learning environment

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. Modern facilities for farm animals, laboratory work and teaching 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.

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. Understanding the strucutre and responsibility of the whole food chain is important.

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.


Specialization:

During the third year of their studies, students focus on their line of specialization, which amounts to 35 credits. Students may choose more extensive study modules and individual courses. They have the opportunity to specialize in milkproduction, crop 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.

Occupational profiles

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.
After completing the vocational language studies the student is able to communicate in spoken and written situations related to his field of study. He can search for information and follow the development of his professional field in the target language.

Internationalization

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.

For excange students there are Study Programme From Field to Fork 30 ETCS. Programme runs at autumn period.

Access to further studies

After three years of work experience, the student will be eligible for further studies for a Master’s Degree in the field in question.

Structure of the studies

In accordance with the Universities of Applied Sciences Act, the studies of a Degree Programme consist of basic studies, professional studies, practical training promoting professional skills, free elective studies, and a final project/thesis. The extent of the studies is 60 credits a year.

The degree programme in Agriculture and Rural Enterprises (240 cr) comprises basic and professional studies (130 cr), specialisation studies (35 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.

The curriculum includes five seams permeating through the studies and extending over them. They are based on SeAMK’s reports, studies and strategy, as well as on the national and international recommendations and regulations related to education provided by universities of applied sciences.
- The Information Search seam strengthens the student’s professional and field-specific information search skills throughout the studies.
- The Internationalization seam secures the improvement of the student’s international competencies during their studies.
- The studies corresponding to the Entrepreneurship seam help the student understand the central and growing role of entrepreneurship in society.
- The Sustainable Development seam makes the student aware of social responsibility and helps them understand the diversity of sustainable development as a working life skill.
- The seam of Career Guidance helps the student recognise their competencies and own strengths. It also includes working life knowledge, job search skills, and lifelong learning.

Students have the opportunity to include multidisciplinary, working life-oriented project studies in their personal curricula (FramiPro).

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Please see the Degree Regulations of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

The assessment scale of 1 to 5 was prepared in accordance with the scale below. It is also used assess competencies based on prior learning.
Link

Graduation requirements

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

Mrs Anu Katila, tel. +358 40 830 2430, e-mail: anu.katila(at)seamk.fi

Student counsellor

Mrs Anu Katila, tel. +35840 8302430 , e-mail: anu.katila(at)seamk.fi

Coordination of international mobility

Tiina Välimäki, 040-830 4127, tiina.valimaki(at)seamk.fi, Coordinator, Outgoing student exchanges to Europe
Maria Loukola, 040-830 2240, maria.loukola(at)seamk.fi, Coordinator, Incoming and outgoing student exchanges outside Europe

Student services

Tel. +358 20 124 5055, studentservices@seamk.fi

Coordination of Practical Training

Mr Jussi-Matti Kallio, + 358 40 6807 150, e-mail: jussi-matti.kallio(at)seamk.fi

Field of study

Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary
The classification of the educational field is based on the international ISCED classification used by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Learning outcomes

The degree programme leads to Bachelor-level degree in agriculture.

Generic and subject specifc competences

Competencies are extensive knowledge entities, or combinations of the individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They describe qualifications, performance potential, and the ability to cope with professional duties.

Common/general competencies are fields of know-how common to different Degree Programmes, but their special characteristics and importance may vary between professions and work assignments. General competencies form the basis for professional activities, cooperation, and the development of expertise. According to Arene’s (Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences) recommendations, general competencies include learning skills, ethical competence, cooperation skills, innovation skills, and internationalization skills. In addition to the above-mentioned competencies, entrepreneurial skills and quality management skills are emphasized in the degree studies of SeAMK as competencies common to all.

Degree programme-specific competencies form the basis for the development of the student’s professional expertise.

Work-based learning and work placements

The student’s salaried work during their studies and the competencies achieved through it can be used in order to complete a course. This is referred to as employment-integrated learning, and it can also be related to voluntary work or hobbies. It is essential that the things learnt through working contribute to the attainment of the learning goals of the course. Learning achieved through employment-integrated learning can be verified, for instance, through skills demonstrations and assignments.