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, which can be completed in 2 years. You will acquire relevant skillsets through inhouse experiential learning using RP's agritech facilities and immersion programmes at commercial farms. 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 are conducted via Home-Based Learning (HBL), eLearning and onsite.

Day of Lessons  Duration 
2 to 3 Weekdays 6:30pm – 10:30pm
(to be scheduled)
half day or full day 

Note: Practical lessons and hands-on sessions will be conducted at Republic Polytechnic, Woodlands. 

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.

Participants who are enrolled into PTD UAT MC 1 will be automatically enrolled into MC 5 at the same time. MC 5 will be conducted within the same period when MC 1 to MC 4 is conducted. Course fees for MC 1 and MC 5 are payable at the start of the course. 

Module Synopses 

Modular Certificate 1 (MC 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 will benefit from hands-on experience in handling a plant and acquire a greater understanding of its physiological needs.

2. Module Certificate 2 (MC 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.

Farm Waste Management

This module provides students with the overview in the operations of handling, collection, storage, and management of farm waste. Students will gain knowledge on how agriculture waste can be managed through composting. It covers the skills and knowledge needed to address planning of composting systems and economics of farm waste management.

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

Students will be involved in a project involving plant health and yield management.

3. Modular Certificate 3 (MC 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.

The Applications of Computer-Aided Design in Urban Farming

Computer-Aided Design is a popular tool in the engineering design, analysis and manufacturing process. In this module, students will learn and apply the fundamentals of 3D CAD modelling techniques, simulating assembly and 2D engineering drawing for systems that can be used in an urban farm. Students are also required to analyse engineering data, form fit and layout of their design and present their design in either 3D or 2D snap shots. Students would also be exposed to prototyping methods for development of solutions in urban farming that can be easily done through a computer-aided design.

Automation and Mechanisation in Agriculture

Students will learn the basics of monitoring systems, incorporating digital data, feedback loop, positive and negative actuation, and integration of these components to achieve different levels of automation. Machines including robotics that facilitate farm operations by reducing labour force will be introduced.

Post-harvest Technologies 

The aim of this module is to provide the learner with the fundamental knowledge and skills to manage agricultural post-harvest. Students will study keys 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.

4. Modular Certificate 4 (MC 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 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. 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.

Agribusiness Regulatory and Funding

Students will be introduced to important enablers of successful businesses – government policies, legislations and financing. Acts and regulations of respective agencies governing the setup, operation, and management of agribusiness in Singapore will be covered. Areas include the sale of food, cultivation of plants, managing plant pests, plant importation, trade effluent discharge, fire code, building code, and workplace safety and health. International obligations in the areas of food safety, plant protection, and trade in endangered species will be covered. Students will also be exposed to sources of funding available from respective agencies like the Singapore Food Agency, ENTERPRISE Singapore etc.

Traceability of Farm Produce

Food safety and good shelf life of fresh produce has become a growing concern for citizens and farmers of many countries. Proper post-harvest handling and traceability of produce improves risk-management for food business allowing operators or authorities to have good quality harvests and at the same time respond to a need to withdraw or recall products if identified unsafe. The module will introduce post-harvest handling and processing fresh produce, and quality management systems to ensure farm setups and operations are monitored regularly. Introduction to new technologies enabling traceability of fresh produce for vegetable farms will enable students to adopt such technologies in a farm setup.

Agribusiness in Supply Chains and Logistics

This module analyses the flow of food and nutrition from primary production to distribution to consumers, and finally managing food waste. It also covers the principles of efficient and effective management of logistics. It examines different aspects of logistics including purchasing and reverse logistics as well as global logistics trends and security challenges. 

Standards for Agriculture

Students will be introduced to the importance of standards, and the process of certification and accreditation. An overview of global and regional agriculture-related standards will be provided, together with regional developments in mutual recognition arrangements to facilitate trade. National standards related to agriculture, such as those for good agriculture practice, clean and green urban farms and organic production, will be covered in detail.

5. Modular Certificate 5 (MC 5) - Certificate in Sustainable Farming Practice and Immersion 
This certificate consists of two 90 hours modules that allows students to acquire practical skillsets through experiential learning conducted in RP's urban farming facilities such as The Greenhouse, Agriculture Technology Innovation Laboratory and commercial farms. Students can practice essential skillsets through laboratory work and structural activities in RP’s facilities. Students will be given opportunities to be trained in agriculture related industry with hands-on practical sessions in a farm. Students can gain relevant knowledge, professional skillsets and competencies relevant to farming sector.  

Farming Practice through Inhouse Experiential Learning

This module will introduce various hands-on practical techniques and skillsets that are essential in urban farming in Singapore.  Students will learn the principles of the techniques, have hands-on experience, and practice of skillsets through laboratory work and structural activities in RP’s indoor agricultural laboratory, greenhouse and other inhouse laboratories and agri-food tech facilities.  

Farming Immersion through Industry Experiential Learning

This module is designed to provide students with an industry immersion experience through practical learning and practice in a farm in Singapore.  Students will be given opportunities to be trained in agriculture related industry with hands-on practical sessions in a farm. It helps students to gain relevant knowledge, professional skills and useful competencies relevant to the sector.  It also allows students to apply knowledge, skillsets and techniques learned from the classroom to the industry.

New Intake Commencement Duration Mode and Venue Schedule Application Start and End Date
April 2 Years Online Learning & Face-to-face lesson at Republic Polytechnic Weekday (6:30pm - 10:30pm) and Saturday (9:00am - 6:00pm) 13 January 2023 - 5 March 2023

Application outcome will be released at least 3 weeks prior to course commencement

Note: RP reserves the right to reschedule/cancel any programme and amend information without prior notice.

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

Qualification Requirement(s)

‘O’ Levels

• At least 3 ‘O’ Level passes in the following subjects:

- English Language (EL1 or EL2) Grade 1 – 7

- Any Science subject Grade 1 – 6

- Any 1 relevant subject subject Grade 1 – 6

• and at least 1 year relevant work experience

Higher Nitec

• GPA ≥ 2.0


• GPA ≥ 1.5 AND at least 1 year relevant work experience


• GPA ≥ 3.5


• GPA ≥ 3.0 AND at least 1 year relevant work experience

Higher Nitec in Technology/Services

• GPA ≥ 2.0 AND at least 1 year relevant work experience

Nitec in Technology/Services

• GPA ≥ 3.5 AND at least 1 year relevant work experience


• Relevant WSQ Advanced Certificate (or higher) AND at least 1 year relevant work experience AND Level 6 WSQ Workplace Literacy SOA and Workplace Numeracy SOA

Do not possess any of the above qualifications

• Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be considered for admission to the course based on evidence of at least 2 years of relevant working experience

Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be considered for admission to the course based on 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.

Click here to see the fees

Note: Payment for Modular Certificate 1 (MC 1) and Modular Certificate 5 (MC 5) must be made upon enrolment into the programme. 

Last updated on 21 Apr 2023

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