Study agriculture full time at Tocal
Why study at Tocal?
Tocal is renowned as a leader in practical training for the agriculture and horse industries. The CB Alexander campus is located in the picturesque Hunter Valley about 180km north of Sydney. Tocal is the only residential agricultural college in New South Wales and has large commercial farms where students learn practical skills hands on.
Who should come to Tocal?
School leavers and others interested in a career in general agriculture, stock horse breeding and training or agribusiness will receive a great head start by studying at Tocal. Our courses prepare students to take up roles that lead to many satisfying careers on the land including:
- Station hand / Stock person
- Farm management
- Local Land Services, rangers and officers
- Stock and Station agency
- Horse breeding and training
- Wool classing
- Rural journalism
- Stud grooms
- Rural merchandising and agribusiness
- Farm consultancy
- Rural contracting
- Farm machinery operator
- Vet nursing
- Horse dentistry/chiropractic
What will I study?
Studying full time at Tocal involves practical work on the College and local farms, practical skills training and case studies covering a wide range of topics. You will also develop communication and team skills through the many excellent personal development opportunities.
Depending on the course you are taking you will study units such as:
- Beef, sheep, horse, poultry and dairy production
- Farm machinery operation and maintenance
- Crops and pasture production
- Farm safety
- Animal health and welfare
- Plant pests and weeds
- Environmental management
- Farm chemicals
- Precision farming
- Livestock feeding and nutrition
- First Aid & Emergency response
- Wool classing
- Farm maintenance and repair
- Horse health
- Horse nutrition
- General horse husbandry
- Horse breeding
- Care of broodmares and foals
- Handling weaners and yearlings
- Horse breaking and training
- Stock sale preparation and showing
Fulltime study programs
There are two entry level, fulltime study programs at Tocal's CB Alexander campus:
- The Tocal Agricultural Production program* provides training in a wide variety of skills and knowledge. It prepares graduates for entry into a diverse variety of Australian agricultural industries and enterprises.
- The Tocal Stock Horse Breeding and Training program* provides some general agricultural training and heavily specialises in the skills and knowledge needed to breed, train and work with horses.
*When successfully completed, both entry level programs result in the award of the AHC30116 Certificate III in Agriculture.
An advanced course, the AHC40116 Certificate IV in Agriculture is available as a fulltime study program at Tocal's CB Alexander campus. It provides the skills and knowledge for graduates to work as senior farm hands, farm supervisors and in agribusiness.
Students gain experience on Tocal's commercial farms and others throughout the Hunter Valley. Practical work includes working with beef cattle, horses, dairy cattle, sheep, farm machinery, poultry, pastures and fodder crops and farm maintenance. Students are also trained in a range of practical farm skills covering livestock husbandry, tractors and machinery, fencing, motorbikes and quads, chainsaws and other useful skills.
Tours to nearby farms and horse properties are a regular part of the course. Industry tours to specific farming regions throughout NSW also occur annually. In some years optional tours to New Zealand or Japan are organised to study agriculture in countries with close trading ties with Australia.
What are the admission requirements?
Students are required to have completed year 10 or equivalent, to meet minimum requirements in English and Maths and have a strong interest in a career in agriculture or horse husbandry.
Most students gain entry to the AHC40116 Certificate IV in Agriculture course after successful completion of the Certificate III in Agriculture. Direct entry is possible provided prerequisite skills and knowledge are adequately demonstrated. Normally this requires, as a minimum, completion of the HSC Primary Industries and/or Agriculture AND reasonable farm experience eg. equivalent to working one year full time on a farm.
How long does the course take?
- Both Certificate III in Agriculture programs (ie. Agricultural Production and Stock Horse breeding and Training) normally require one year of fulltime study to complete requirements;
- The Certificate IV in Agriculture course is normally attempted by students in their second year. It is a fulltime course that concludes with a second off campus placement for one month in mid October;
- While studying the Certificate IV in Agriculture fulltime course, it is possible to attempt the AHC50116 Diploma in Agriculture online. Resources are available to support Diploma studies but in order to complete it within the same year, students must be disciplined and able to organise their own independent study. Successful completion of the Diploma provides considerable credit towards a Degree at several Australian universities [details].
How do I apply?
Before enrolling in first year, students will need to decide if they want to take the general Agricultural Production program or specialised Stock Horse Training and Breeding program. Then:
- Complete the application and medical history forms below (Online preferred but paper copy available)
- Provide copies of your most recent school results (plus work references if having left school for over a year)
- Arrange an informal interview at the College. Interviews are held during Open Days. Students who are unable to attend an open day can arrange an interview at another time. In some cases you can have an interview by phone.
When should I apply?
- Applications for the Stock Horse Training and Breeding program close by end of October
- Applications for the Agricultural Production program close in mid December. Later applications may be considered in January if places are still available.
- Register to receive Tocal information by mail or email
- Download the Tocal College Student Handbook
- Download the course prospectus and Tocal College - Full time course descriptions
- Attend one of our open days
- Apply online or download an application form
- Check out our articulation arrangements (credit for study at Tocal) with Australian universities
- Contact us