Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology)

Agritech lab-01

About the Course

The part-time Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) or PTD UAT, allows participants to develop competencies, skills and knowledge needed for a career in the agriculture industry. Participants will learn more about the agricultural technologies for food production, farming process and management, urban farming technology and systems, agribusiness and sustainable farming.
Upon completion of the part-time diploma, participants can get a head-start in their careers in the agricultural sector taking on roles ranging from agrotechnologists to produce and marketing specialists.

Target Audience

Working professionals in the agricultural sector who are looking to upgrade their skills and qualifications, and those who are keen to join the agricultural industry.

What is so unique about this programme?

The part-time Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) is the first full-qualification course in Singapore that focuses on urban farming. Through this programme, you will learn how to:

  • Grow vegetables with latest technology
  • Control climate condition for better crop yield
  • Boost Singapore’s food resilience

How often do I need to attend the course?

Lessons will be held two times a week at Republic Polytechnic, Woodlands.

Day of Lessons  Duration 
Weekday 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 12:30pm

Note: Some lessons will be conducted via e-learning. 

The Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) comprises of five Modular Certificates (MCs) that focuses on a specific area of expertise that will enable participants to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills. 

Participants will be awarded the Modular Certificate (MC) upon successful completion of each certificate programme. The Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) will be issued upon meeting 50% of attendance requirement and passing all coursework and assessment.

Module Synopses 

1. Certificate in Basics of Food Production 
This certificate provides an overview of the principles and concepts behind production of plant based materials for food. Students will learn the requirements needed for organisms to grow and function properly in order to operate and manage urban farms efficiently. Students will also be able to identify the type of farm system and ecosystem best suited for their produce.

Growth and Development of Agricultural Produce

Students will be introduced to the organisation of cells into tissues and organs, and how they interact in terms of their anatomy and physiological function. This module will compare and contrast mechanisms of nutrient intake and energy production in living systems. The integration of all major metabolic systems will be studied, with emphasis on physiological functions. Examples of green leafy vegetables will be reviewed to discuss and assimilate theories and concepts in this module.

Managing the Natural Resource Base for Farming

This module provides a basic understanding of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and water as natural resources for farming, including topics such as the effect of water quality and quantity on agricultural systems. The topics covered in this module will include soil texture and fertility, the effect of soil flora and fauna on soil conditions; soil management to optimize and maintain production efficiency and water quality analysis.

Agriculture Nutrient Management

This module provides a broad understanding of the basic principles of nutrition as applied to leafy vegetables in farms. It will identify the essential nutrients required by plants for growth and how plants in return provide nutrients to animals and humans. Students will learn about the basic principles and concepts of plant and human nutrition. They will gain an understanding of how balanced nutrition can assure proper growth and maintenance and add value to the farm produce.

Agro-Ecosystems and Farming

Students will be introduced to different types of agricultural farms, providing a relation between fresh produce, their growth requirements and building the most suitable ecosystem. This module allows the student to understand the different ecological factors and parameters that affect farm production and their application in the farm ecosystem and farm planning process. Students will also learn more about managing farm externalities, such as the use of pesticide or fertiliser runoff and their effects on the wider ecosystem.

Project on Food Production/ On- the-job training (60 hrs)

Students on the Earn-and-Learn Programme (ELP) track will be involved in on-the-job training at their place of employment. A project on understanding the basic requirements of a farm set up for primary production will be designed in consultation with the employer. In addition, students will benefit from hands-on experience in handling a plant and acquire a greater understanding of its physiological needs.
 

2. Certificate in Farming Process and Management 

This certificate will provide students with the knowledge to manage plant growth, diseases and pests, as well as a greater understanding of how to use pesticides safely and responsibly.  Students will also learn how to carry out selective breeding for higher-yielding varieties to enhance business output.

Disease: Causes and Identification

This module provides an overview of diseases that inflict damage to leafy vegetable production. A range of disease-causing agents including pathogens and pests will be discussed. Besides investigating the various disease symptoms and their causes, students will also learn how to identify diseases through visual observations and early detection through modern diagnosis methods.

Integrated Pest Management

This module covers the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in farm setups. IPM is a holistic approach for the selection and use of pest control which ensures favourable economic, ecological and social consequences. In this module, students will learn more about the various pest management methods such as traditional preventive practices, mechanical and biological controls, and the responsible use of synthetic pesticides. Students will also learn the concepts of pest acceptance levels and economic injury levels that will enable them to carry out risk assessment and identify appropriate control measures.

Breeding Techniques and Seed Stock Management

The anatomical and physiological basis of reproduction will be taught to facilitate the understanding of various modes and mechanisms of plant reproduction. Students will learn about selective breeding and propagation for improving quality and yield, while also understanding germplasm collection, maintenance and propagation for sustainable farms. Different principles, concepts and methods of selecting, collecting, cataloguing and maintaining seed stock will also be discussed.

Traceability of Farm Produce

Food safety and the shelf life of fresh produce has become a growing concern for consumers and farmers. Proper post-harvest handling and traceability of produce improves risk-management for food businesses and ensures quality harvests while allowing regulators to withdraw or recall products quickly if identified unsafe. This module will introduce post-harvest handling and processing of fresh produce and quality management systems to ensure farm setups and operations are monitored regularly. New technologies enabling traceability of fresh produce for vegetable farms will be presented to help students understand how to adopt such technologies in a farm setup.

Project on Farming Process and Management / On- the-job training (60 hrs)

Students on the ELP track will be involved in On-the-Job training at the place of employment through a project involving plant health and yield management.
 

3. Certificate in Urban Farming Technology and Systems

This certificate introduces students to urban farming in and around large cities through soilless farming techniques (hydroponics and aquaponics). Students will be taught the design, operation and management of urban farms, including the use of advanced computer technology like CAD to better visualise design and presentation of concepts. Students will be introduced to the collection and analysis of large data sets generated from monitoring systems installed on urban farms. Finally, consideration will be given to the impact of the design and operation of urban farms upon the environment

Green Tech Farming

This module will discuss the importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the use of material and energy flow management. Besides understanding the challenges and limitations of green technologies, students will learn to contextualise and review the energy-effectiveness of some existing methods including hydroponics, soilless farming and integrated polyculture/aquaponics. Optimising these farming systems and the ideal conditions to successfully cultivate different varieties of plants will also be discussed.

Design, Operation and Management of Urban Farms

Urban farming is constrained by land space, light and water resources. This module will teach students design principles that optimise use of resources, including the use of vertical spaces, industrial buildings, private domestic spaces, shipping containers and urban voids. Students will also learn about the regulatory frameworks and bodies governing the operation and management of urban farms.

Introduction to Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Computer-Aided Design is a popular tool in the engineering design, analysis and manufacturing process. Students will learn the fundamentals of 3D CAD modelling techniques, simulating assembly and translating their design to 2D engineering drawing. Students would also be able to analyse engineering data, form fit and layout of their design and present their design in either 3D or 2D snap shots.

Environmental Analytics

This module covers the quality of data used in data mining, and how to apply appropriate data cleansing and transformation techniques to organise and prepare data for analysis. Students will also learn to process the data using the business intelligence software, Tableau, and use it to generate results on interactive graphics. This data can then be used for forecasting and improving productivity.

Project on Urban Farming Technology and System/ On- the-job training (60 hrs)

Students on the ELP track will be involved in On-the-Job training at the place of employment consisting of a project on urban farming technologies.
 

4. Certificate in Agribusiness
This certificate provides an overview of agricultural business with a view to supplying the nutritional needs of the global population. It will provide students with a framework to understand and manage production, sourcing, supply chain and risks. In addition, students will be introduced to the regulatory and funding frameworks that are relevant to agribusiness.

Agribusiness in Food Production and Supply Chains

This module presents the basic nutritional needs for a healthy society, and analyses the flow of food and nutrition from primary production to consumers, and finally managing food waste. It covers the geographical requirements for agriculture, the effect of global climate change on arable space, the distribution networks that bring foods to consumers locally and globally, geo-political factors that can disrupt this flow, market penetration of new products, determination of pricing based on supply and demand, and the strategies to cope with mounting food waste.

Agribusiness Risk Analysis and Management

This module covers general business risk assessment. Students will learn how to identify, mitigate and manage the risks unique to agricultural production. In addition, markets, finance, institutions and human resources relating to the industry are explored. The role of innovative insurance and new info-comm technologies and mobile media for risk management will be discussed.

Innovation, Ethics and Patent Law

Students will explore opportunities for innovation in agriculture in the areas of, automation, data analytics, genetics, breeding, distribution and marketing. Ethical issues related to foods will be discussed. Students will also learn the basics of intellectual property (IP) including the concepts of background and forward IP, types of IP and the laws governing the implementation and enforcement of IP.

Automation and Mechanisation in Agriculture

Students will learn about monitoring systems and how to incorporate and integrate digital data, feedback loops, positive and negative actuation to achieve different levels of automation. Machines including robotics that facilitate farm operations by reducing the dependency on humans will be introduced.

Agribusiness Regulations and Funding

Through this module, students will become familiar with important enablers of successful businesses – government policies, regulations, financing, human resources and “Freedom to Operate”.The regulations governing the operations and management of agricultural business in Singapore will be reviewed. Students will also be made aware of sources of funding available from agencies like Enterprise Singapore and AVA, and through other fund-raising platforms like cloud sourcing.

Global Logistics Management

This module covers the principles of efficient and effective management of logistics in international business. It examines aspects including purchasing and reverse logistics as well as global logistics trends and security challenges. Optimisation models for logistics decision-making and supply chain design will also be introduced.
 

5. Certificate in Sustainable Farming
This certificate provides an overview of the principles and concepts of maintaining sustainable farming operations. It will provide students with an understanding of process design, planning, control and improvement of farm practices that support the environment, public health and human communities.

Farm Waste Management

This module will explore the handling, collection, storage and management of farm waste. Students will understand how agricultural waste can be managed through composting and develop the skills to address planning of composting systems and the economics of farm waste management.

Organic Farming

This module explains and defines organic farming, with particular emphasis on crop diversity, soil and weed management, biological pest control and genetic modification. Students will also learn how to obtain organically farmed produce certification, identify international and regional food standards for organic certification.

Post-harvest Technologies

The aim of this module is to provide fundamental knowledge and skills to manage agricultural post-harvest. Students will study key topics such as pre and post-harvest physiology, eating quality and its retention, controlled atmospheric storage, modified atmospheric packaging and post-harvest pests and diseases.

Urban Ecology and Biodiversity

This module is an interdisciplinary field of study that helps students recognise the interdependency of ecology and human urban centres. The module covers fundamentals such as soil, water cycle, ecosystems and biodiversity in the context of urban farms. Topics on resource utilisation and farm-to-table are discussed. The need for sustainable technologies and development through environmental impact assessment, environmental economics, circular economy, legislations, and intergovernmental accords are also covered.

Project on Sustainable Farming

This is a project that will assess students’ understanding of the requirements of sustainable farming. Through hands-on experience, students will be well-versed in maintaining sustainable farming operations.

Commencement Date Duration Venue
June 2021 900 hours, 2.5 years Republic Polytechnic, Woodlands

Applicants should possess one of the following combinations of qualification and work experience: 

  • 3 GCE ‘O’ Levels passes including English (Grade 1 to 7), Science (Grade 1 to 6) and 1 relevant subject (Grade 1 to 6) with at least 3 years of relevant work experience; 
  • NITEC or NITEC in Technology/Services (GPA 3.5 and above) with at least 2 years of relevant work experience; 
  • Higher NITEC or Higher NITEC in Technology/Services with at least 1 year of relevant work experience; 
  • Relevant WSQ Diploma with at least 3 years of relevant work experience. 

Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be considered for admission to the course based on evidence of at least 5 years of relevant working experience or supporting evidence of competency readiness. Suitable applicants who are shortlisted will have to go through an interview and/or entrance test. The Polytechnic reserves the right to shortlist and admit applicants.

Singapore Citizen

Fee Subsidy Eligibility Modular Certificate Net Fee Course Net Fee
SME-sponsored $ 337.50 $ 1,687.50
40 years & above $ 327.42 $ 1,637.10
below 40 years old $481.50 $ 2,407.50

Singapore Permanent Resident

Fee Subsidy Eligibility Modular Certificate Net Fee Course Net Fee
Self-sponsored $ 1,290.42 $ 6,452.10
SME-sponsored $ 337.50 $ 1,687.50

Non Singapore Citizen/ Permanent Resident

Modular Certificate Net Fee Course Net Fee
$ 3,235.68 $ 16,178.40

*Note:

  • Payment may be made using SkillsFuture Credit.
  • All fees quoted are inclusive of GST.
  • From 1 July 2020, Workfare Training Scheme (WTS) and fee subsidy under WTS will cease. WTS will be replaced by Workfare Skills Support Scheme (WSS). For more information on WSS, please refer to https://www.wsg.gov.sg/programmes-and-initiatives/workfare-skills-support-scheme-individuals.html.


Republic Polytechnic reserves the right to make changes to the course fee and application closing dates without prior notice. The commencement of each course is subject to sufficient number of participants. 

All information is accurate at time of publishing.

 

Last updated on 26 Jun 2020

Need more help?

If you are still unsure about which course to pursue, please contact our Academy for Continuing Education.  

Republic Polytechnic reserves the right to make changes to the course fee and application closing dates without prior notice.  The commencement of each course is subject to a sufficient number of participants. All information is accurate at time of publishing.