Diploma of Agriculture

Course Details

Build farm management skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification. This course is designed for farm managers or emerging leaders who would like to improve their farm management skills.

  • Course Information

    Our Diploma of Agriculture course is offered as a flexible self paced online course.

    ***Fee-Free enrolment for eligible NSW students, contact us for more info***
    • Choose from cropping, livestock, soils, business management, and people management units.  
    • Enrol at any time for online learning
    • Take up to 2 years to complete in a self-paced online format
    • Spend just the time you need to understand the materials - not affected by other students working faster or slower than you need

    There are no prerequisites however some course entry requirements do apply, see below for more details.

    Your learning time includes not only the time you spend working on the course materials, but also your time for reflection and thinking about what you have learned as you go about your normal activities. We estimate the total learning time may be up to 20 hours per week for some students. Of course, this will vary according to your existing skills and knowledge.

    Student Handbook

    • Be actively engaged in farming/ horticulture, or have ready access to and knowledge of a farm/horticulture business which can be used for completion of assessment tasks. As a guide, your chosen farm should show these characteristics:
      • Operated as a business for profit
      • Have a commercial scale
      • Have agricultural enterprises such as commercial crops or livestock
      • Be close to where you live so you can be physically on it regularly (eg weekly)
      • Be able to provide you with details of past production, management processes, costs, prices etc. Advanced Diploma units will require access to past financial records
      • If you are not part of the farm business, RuralBiz Training may require you to provide contact details for the owner or manager to confirm your access to the farm
    • Have access to a computer with at least Windows 7, Word 97, Excel 97, Adobe Reader and satellite broadband internet connection or similar. If you have a Mac computer, we suggest you talk to a computer technician about installing the Windows environment
    • Basic computer skills e.g. use of internet, email, basic word processing skills
    • Completion of Year 12 or equivalent or be able to demonstrate similar literacy and numeracy levels. All students complete a literacy and numeracy test as part of our enrolment process

    RPL is a process which assesses your existing knowledge and skills gained through work or prior study. You can do part, or all, of your Diploma by RPL. You can apply for RPL at enrolment or at any time during your course.

    If you have done previous accredited training in any field we may be able to offer you direct credit transfer for units in this course. Contact us if you think this applies to you.


    You'll be supported all the way in your course. Your team will include:

    • You!
    • Your trainer
    • Your Guardian Angel - your mentor and cheer squad who helps resolve any issues related to your progress
    • LLN specialist - helps students who want a hand with reading, writing or number work, particularly in assessment tasks.

    Your trainers are well qualified, practical people who are managing their own farm businesses or providing services to farmers.

    Click here for more about the RuralBiz Training trainers.

  • Units

    The following information relates to the general Diploma of Agriculture. Information on the specialist cropping Diploma is further down.

    A Diploma of Agriculture requires 10 units of competency made up of:

    • A minimum of five (5) units from elective group A
    • A minimum of three (3) units from elective groups A or B
    • A maximum of two units may be chosen from Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma units in the AHC training package, or any other currently endorsed training package or accredited course. Chosen units must be relevant to jobs in Agriculture (Other)

    Units available by training with their elective groups are listed below for the Diploma of Agriculture.

    All units in the Diploma of Agriculture listed on training.gov.au are available by RPL.

    AAHCAGB518 Develop climate risk management strategies
    AAHCAGB513 Develop a farm plan
    AHCAGB512 Plan and manage infrastructure
    BAHCAGB519 Plan and monitor production processes
    BAHCAGB521 Select and use agricultural technology 
    AAHCLSK509 Develop and implement a breeding strategy
    AAHCLSK504 Develop livestock health and welfare strategies
    AAHCLSK510 Develop production plans for livestock
    BAHCORG402 Manage organic livestock production
    AAHCBAC512 Develop production plans for crops or pastures
    AAHCBAC509 Plan and manage long-term weed, pest and disease control in crops
    AAHCBAC513 Apply plant biology to agronomic practices
    AAHCBUS511 Manage enterprise staff requirements
    AAHCBUS513 Market products and services
    AAHCBUS516 Develop and review a business plan
    AAHCBUS517 Monitor and review business performance
    BAHCBUS518 Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports
    BAHCWRK512 Plan, implement and review a quality assurance program

    OtherAHCSOL406 Sample soils and interpret results
    AAHCSOL505 Monitor and manage soils for production
    AAHCSOL508 Manage soils to enhance sustainability
     Work Health and Safety
    AAHCWHS502 Manage work health and safety processes
  • Cost

    Your fee for this course will depend on the the availability of a subsidy from your State and your eligibility. To view a summary of all current course fees and subsidies please click here or contact our office for more information.



    VET Student Loan

    If you'd like to enrol in this course but would like to defer the fees, you may be eligible to use a Vet Student Loan. Vet Student Loans are Australian Government loans that help eligible students pay for all or part of their tuition fees for higher level VET courses (diploma, advanced diploma) undertaken at approved providers. Additional information is available here (VET Student Loans) or by contacting our office or by visiting the government's Study Assist website: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/. A VET student loan gives rise to a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.  The maximum amount that can be loaned for this course through the VET Student Loans (VSL) program is (in 2024) $18,097.

    • provide a copy of your Australian senior secondary certificate, OR
    • achieve the required standard in an approved literacy and numeracy test.

    Payment Plan

    Want to make smaller, regular payments throughout your course?

    The payment plan option consists of establishing a direct debit for payments deducted weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly from your nominated bank account or credit card, across the duration of your enrolment. There is a $13.64 establishment fee and an administration charge (Amex, Debt Collection: 5.5% or Direct Debit: 4.5%) on all payment plans. The establishment fee is paid in your first instalment and the administration fee becomes part of your scheduled deduction. Payment plans are administered by DebitSuccess – www.debitsuccess.com.au

    Upfront payment

    Individual students can pay up to $1,500 of their course fee up-front. An employer or organisation  can pay up to 100% of a learners course fee up-front if they are an employee or member of the organisation.

  • Delivery

    Self-paced online learning

    Use resources and information in our online learning site (RuralBiz Online) to work at your own rate, at times that suit you. You will find resources to help you learn including videos, quizzes, print materials and links to other useful websites. This site also has a forum where you can post comments and questions for other participants and your trainer. It will also be the spot to upload your assessments, receive trainer feedback and track your progress. Some units require interactive online sessions or printed manuals.

    Interactive Online Sessions
    These are run in our Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom where you work with a trainer and other participants. You will be able to see a presentation on your computer screen, hear the trainer and other group members, and ask questions or make comments. One of our previous participants described it as being like "two way radio with pictures" but it also has a whiteboard, chat function and many other tools useful for training. Some sessions are also recorded for listening back at a later date. These sessions are usually run on demand when there is a group of at least 10 participants to attend.

    Printed Manuals
    Many of our units use a printed manual, giving you time to explore the online learning environments while having familiar materials at hand.

    Face to Face learning at Armidale NSW

    A blended learning format that is designed to develop farm production and management skills through the combination of study and integrated engagement with industry and practical experiences. Students elect to major in livestock or crop production. Students will complete the Diploma in 12 months on location in Armidale NSW. This course is suitable for school leavers as well as more experienced farmers. Contact our office for more information.

    Semester 1 2022 commences 28 February


    Your assessment tasks are designed for you to apply your learning to your own farm. In many cases, you produce a valuable resource for ongoing use in your own business - such as an e-Farm Plan which is easily updated or business, cropping or livestock plans.

    Past students have found that they continue to use and adapt these plans well after they have completed their qualification.

    You'll attend an AgForum in each unit - an online informal discussion with other students about day to day issues of interest in agriculture.


    At enrolment, we work with you to design an individual training plan that meets your needs and course rules, so you can complete your course within the 2 year timeframe.

    We know that farmers have busy periods during the year depending on their district and type of farming. We also recognise that family issues mean some students will need time out during their course.

    If you find you are unable to keep to your training plan, you can talk to your guardian angel and amend it as needed.

    Remember, we're working with you to make your study possible!

  • Benefits

    Key Benefits

    • Flexible - self paced online or online group delivery
    • Everyone with an internet connection has equal access to training
    • Training is delivered to you - wherever you have internet access
    • No travel time or travel costs
    • Access to online materials 24/7
    • Access to the best trainers who are farmers themselves, not just trainers who can visit your district
    • Work in groups from a wide geographic area
    • Training can continue even if you are travelling or cut off by floods or other natural disasters
    • Assessments are submitted online - fast turnaround times
    • Student Card - purchase some items at discounted prices
  • Pathways

    Further Education or Training:

    Further training pathways from this Qualification include, but are not limited to:


    Job roles vary across different industry sectors. Possible job titles relevant to this qualification include:

    • Farm production manager
    • Production unit manager
    • Agronomist
    • Station/property manager