Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

In an ever-changing agricultural environment, new entrants into the field of agriculture have placed new demands on the nature and scope of extension. The novice farmer’s level of expertise and skills require that they be served in an innovative way, thus the revision in conventional Extension training curricula. The Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development, and Extension is aimed at the needs of the Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services within private and government organisations in order to assist their workforce in attaining further skills and knowledge through participatory learning, enhancing appropriate knowledge, skills, and values to make informed decisions on sustainable agriculture and rural development challenges and issues, taking into account both scientific and social dimensions. At the core of the ADSARD (Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture) course, is the facilitation of mobility and development of agricultural extension officers as reflected in the National Extension Recovery Plan of the South African Government.

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120 credits | 18-month course

Students are required to have sound and proven practical experience relevant to the agricultural environment. Evaluation will be done on a continuous basis, as well as an integrated assignment of all the themes within the Advanced Diploma Programme.
The programme intends to deliver graduates who can act ethically and professionally, and can think in an analytical way, communicate with policy makers, interact effectively with the public, and evaluate and apply relevant information from literature and secondary data sources.

Admission requirements

After completion of the NSC (National Senior certificate) and obtaining a NQF level 6 certificate or equivalent qualifica­tion, candidates may apply for admission to the Advanced Diploma in Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition, ap­plicants are required to have sound and proven practical experience relevant to the agricultural environment.

Only groups of 25-100 applicants (sponsored by their employers) will be considered for enrolment and presentation of the Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

To be admitted to a first diploma, a person must:

  • at least be in possession of a National Senior Certificate that has been certified with an applicable en­dorsement by Umalusi; and
  • take the National Skills Test(s); and attain a minimum admission point (AP);
  • and have an achievement level of no less than 4 (50%‒59%) in the language of instruction of choice (English or Afrikaans); and
  • comply with the specific rules of admission to the relevant qualification, including the se­lection rules as set out in the relevant faculty rules.

Recognition for prior learning

The qualification can be entered in part or in whole through RPL. Applications for assessment of prior learning are governed by the regulations of the Uni­versity of the Free State and supported by the RPL Centre, in collaboration with heads of departments and programme directors in the programme.

Learning assessment

For each theme, a com­plete study guide and material will be prepared. Continuous evaluations will be done as well as and integrated assignment of all the themes within the Advanced Diploma. Group work is done to develop team skills and independent studies are undertaken to develop research skills. 


Faculty Manager: Velaphi Makgwahla
T: + 27 51 401 3199

Marketing Manager: Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531

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