Find a career that feels natural to you

Whether it's a career in agriculture or countryside management, we provide expertise and practical training within a unique working farm environment.

New facilities at the Farm

Our newest building, the £1.4m Livestock Technology Centre, provides opportunities to use the latest developments in agritech in state-of-the-art facilities.

Be involved in exciting events

Common Leys Farm's reputation for high-quality training and facilities means we host a range of events and visits for the public and dignitaries; our Agriculture students play a big part in making sure these run smoothly, giving them valuable experience.

Every day, there is something different that needs doing, new challenges to face and exciting things to learn.

It could be helping with lambing, calving and farrowing, or using the high-tech Shearwell electronic tagging and ID systems to track live data in the Livestock Technology Centre.

There's a lot of work to be done around the rearing and selling of the production animals at the farm, including visiting local farmers and livestock markets; you'll be involved at every stage, gaining a better understanding of the whole process.

If countryside management is more your thing, gain the fundamentals behind undertaking wildlife surveys, setting up camera traps and pond dipping, and how to use estate maintenance equipment like strimmers and ride-on lawnmowers.

Dreaming bigger? Then learn how to drive tractors and hitch-up trailers or earn your chainsaw ticket for a future as a tree surgeon.

Staff Profile: Ed Noble

Staff Profile: Ed Noble

Ed possesses to two very different degrees – one in Ancient History from Warwick University, and a Graduate Diploma in Agriculture from the Royal Agricultural University.

His career has also been varied, including working as a teacher of Latin in Warwickshire, a barista, and as Assistant Farm Manager for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Ed joined the College during a time of restructuring at Common Leys Farm, where he took the post of Farm Manager. Away from work, Ed fills some of his spare time as a sheep farmer.

"I've had two main career ambitions in life, alongside farming on my own – to run a farm park and a college farm. I've been lucky to be able to do both, with the role at Common Leys Farm coming at just the right time.

There is endless variety at the Farm and always fresh challenges to face, with no two days ever the same! What I really enjoy most here is delivering practical, industry-specific instruction and looking after all the livestock we have on-site throughout the year.

It's no overstatement to say there's a special atmosphere at Common Leys Farm. It's a small campus, which means we can be more attentive to our students, rather than being lost within hundreds of others, and we can form our own community. There's a great camaraderie and spirit among the staff and students and we wouldn't have it any other way."

Staff Profile: Matt Timms

Staff Profile: Matt Timms

From school, Matt came to Common Leys as a student and completed the Level 3 Animal Management course and progressed to Reaseheath College (part of Chester University) to study the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Foundation degree.

He has worked at Cotswold Farm Park (alongside Adam Henson, who regularly appears on Countryfile) and was part of the animal display team that showed visitors around the farm. He then moved to another farm near Cirencester before coming to work at the College in 2015 as an Agriculture Technician & Instructor.

"Doing my AET and NVQ Assessor qualifications have helped me to plan and structure lessons and discover different methods of teaching and keeping students engaged, which I combine with the experience I've gained from working on farms.

My favourite thing about working at college is the level of enthusiasm from the students; the best part of the job is when you end up working with a really engaged group. Having the new Livestock Technology Centre has also been a massive benefit as we now have the most up-to-date technology and our resources meet industry standards, which is great for the students as it prepares them for the work place.

I also have a great working relationship with my manager Ed as we share a similar vision and ambition for how the farm should be run."

Did you know?

Anna

Agriculture, Level 3

Previous school:
Chipping Norton School


I really enjoy the practical side of the course, such as working with the animals and doing my chainsaw license, which will give me more employment opportunities, like working on a large estate.

The tutors here are really supportive, and I feel like I'm doing the subject I most enjoy now rather than school, where I was doing subjects I didn't like.

I've applied for an apprenticeship at Blenheim Palace and see my career developing in the animal industry.


I really enjoyed my time at Abingdon & Witney College. To start with, the tutors were really helpful if you ever had any problems with certain parts of the course, supporting you to overcome challenges.

It's also a great course to work alongside new people with the same interests. It produced a great team atmosphere, where we all helped each other to look after the animals.

If I had a favourite part of the course, it was definitely having the chance to learn about and gain practical experience with the different livestock on-site, especially the rare breeds.

Olivia

Agriculture, Level 2

Previous school:
Cirencester College


The challenges the course brings are brilliant! Every day that I'm at the farm, there is something new to learn or a problem that needs a solution. Having to think on your feet opens up a lot more opportunities to try different things.

The College and the course were highly recommended to me by several friends. Agriculture is my passion and is great to be working in these brilliant facilities.

Your future career

Agriculture Research Officer

Conservationist

Estate Manager

Farm Manager

General Farmworker

Livestock Manager/Worker

Tractor Operative

Wildlife Warden

Agriculture Course Listings

Agriculture, Level 1 Diploma

School Leaver EFCP100P

This is a one year, Level 1 course designed to give you an excellent introduction to working in farming. The course has a good balance of theory and practical to help you learn and practice the skills needed to work in the Agriculture industry....

9th Sep 2019 - 3rd Jul 2020

Monday to Friday

Agriculture

Common Leys Farm

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Agriculture, Level 2

School Leaver EFCM116P

This is a one year, Level 2 course designed to give you an excellent introduction to working in farming. The course has a good balance of theory and practical to help you learn and practice the skills needed to work in the Agriculture industry....

9th Sep 2019 - 3rd Jul 2020

Monday to Friday

Agriculture

Common Leys Farm

View course details
Agriculture, Level 3

School Leaver EFCN200P

This course combines both the theory and practical aspects of crops and livestock management. The course covers the practical applications of agriculture as well as the advanced aspects designed to give you a broad spectrum of knowledge and the oppor...

9th Sep 2019 - 3rd Jul 2020

Monday to Friday

Agriculture

Common Leys Farm

View course details
Conservation & Countryside, Level 1 Diploma

School Leaver EFCM113P

This one year full-time course introduces students to a variety of practical tasks that would be encountered in the conservation and horticultural industries. You will be working with a range of tools and equipment. You will be based at the Common Le...

9th Sep 2019 - 3rd Jul 2020

Monday to Friday

Agriculture

Common Leys Farm

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Countryside & Conservation, Level 2

School Leaver EFCM109P

This is a one year Level 2 course aimed at young people who wish to pursue a career in the countryside industry. This course provides a broad introduction to countryside, tree and conservation work while offering opportunities to enhance academic qua...

9th Sep 2019 - 3rd Jul 2020

Monday to Friday

Agriculture

Common Leys Farm

View course details