You can spread the cost of our course with Interest Free Credit on selected courses**.
This is exclusively available for a limited time by calling us on 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777.
Horticultural Correspondence College Limited is registered in England no. 03819370. Lyne Akres, Brandis Corner, Devon, EX22 7YH. Horticultural Correspondence College is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, register number 774548 and acts as a credit broker and offers finance through the Deko platform, which is provided by Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd. Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Reference number 720279. Credit is provided to UK residents with a UK bank account, subject to age and status.
The need-to-know basics for a modern day shepherd
This course is ideal for anyone considering a career working with sheep or already involved in sheep farming. It is also suitable for leisure learners who want to know more about or keep sheep. You will gain a very good basic knowledge of sheep husbandry combined with an understanding of the biology of the sheep. Topics covered include the choice of breed, pregnancy and lambing, grazing management, meat, wool and milk production, sheep health, financial planning and organic production.
- A course that provides an excellent basic knowledge of sheep husbandry, enabling you to manage your flock more effectively and productively
- Flexible home-study learning so you can fit your learning around your work and life
- Quality course material and excellent tutor support – to help you achieve your goals
- On successful completion you will receive an HCC Certificate
- Suitable for both amateur and professional graziers
- No previous experience needed
How the course works
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace, studying when and where you choose.
This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by sheep farming experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
There is no formal examination. On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You have 2 years to complete the course.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
All learners are eligible for an NUS Extra card.
What you will learn
Lesson 1 – A history of sheep farming and the British sheep industry
- Covering the domestication of sheep and the development of current breeds
- Main UK production areas and the links between them
- Appendices covering the more important breeds and explanation of the ‘peculiar’ terminology associated with sheep
Lesson 2 – The biology of the sheep
- Anatomy of the sheep
- An outline of the skeleton and muscles
- The anatomy of the digestive and reproductive tracts
Lesson 3 – Reproductive management
- Reproduction being the key to successful sheep production
- The hormone systems that control the oestrous cycle
- Optimising the number of lambs produced and manipulation of reproductive systems
Lesson 4 – Pregnancy and lambing
- The physiology of pregnancy and parturition (lambing)
- The normal lambing process and identifying the most common problems encountered
- Care of the new-born lamb and causes of lamb mortality discussed
Lesson 5 – Feeding and nutrition
- The composition of feeds to ensure healthy and reproductive sheep
- The nutritional requirements of the animal and meeting the needs by optimal combination of available feed resources
- Examples of the calculations involved in formulating rations for ewes and lambs
Lesson 6 – Sheep systems and grassland utilization
- Up to 90% of a sheep’s nutrition is based upon grass
- This lesson looks at grass production and the choice of appropriate seed mixtures for sheep grazing
- Systems of grazing management including indigenous forages on hills and upland
- Evaluation of the winter housing of the sheep flock and the problems associated with grazing
Lesson 7 – Meat production
- Examining the basic concepts of lamb growth and the factors that influence it
- The main systems of management for a lamb flock
- The selection of lambs for slaughter and the factors that influence carcase composition and quality.
Lesson 8 – Milk and wool production
- The physiology of milk production and the composition of sheep milk
- Nutrition and management of the milking ewe and the ‘mechanics’ of milking
- The economics of sheep milking are discussed
- An examination of the physiology of wool fibre growth and discussion of wool grading, quality and the production of a quality fleece.
Lesson 9 – Sheep health and disease
- Sheep diseases
- The signs of health (and disease) in sheep
- Husbandry techniques to minimise disease incidence
- The causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of some of the more important diseases
Lesson 10 – Planning, management and finances (including organic production)
- The financial aspects of running a sheep enterprise
- The development of a business plan, the allocation of expenses and the availability of financial support
- The concepts involved in organic sheep production highlighting those areas of conventional sheep husbandry that would run counter to organic principles
- Costing for an organic sheep enterprise.
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 6-12 months*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
You do not need previous farming knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.
There are 2 ways you can enrol
- Pay the total course fee of £295 in one sum and also receive a special gift from our selection – free
- Pay a deposit of just £95, followed by 4 instalments of £50