Work-Study Certificate leading to a Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology)

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About the Course

This Work-Study Programme (WSP) will provide opportunities for fresh ITE graduates to deepen their skills and knowledge needed for a career in the agriculture related industries. Suitable candidates will be matched with a relevant job offered by a WSP partner company, in opportunities such as:

  • Agrotechnologist / Agrotech Specialist
  • Agriculture Produce / Marketing Specialist
  • Sales / Sourcing and Marketing Executives
  • Quality Control / Assurance Specialists in agriculture and agribusiness

The WSP partner company will provide 18-month structured on-the-job training and mentorship, to better support participants' transition into the workforce. The participants will also be sponsored by their employers to undertake part-time upgarding through 3 Modular Certificates of the Part-Time Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) or PTD UAT.

The PTD UAT course provides the necessary knowledge and skills in agricultural technologies for food production, farming process and management, urban farming technology and systems, agribusiness, and sustainable farming. The Work-Study Programme aims to provide a pathway for career development and further education through three (3) Modular Certificates (MCs). At the end of this programme, participants have the option to complete two (2) additional MCs for the award of the PTD UAT.

Participants who complete the WSP will also receive $5,000 incentive.

Target Audience

Fresh ITE graduates who are working in, or keen in joining agriculture related  industries. 

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

Under the Work-Study Certificate programme, you may enjoy additional benefits such as sign-on incentive with full-time employment, assigned company mentor, well-structured training, and career advancement opportunities.

Upon completion, you will have the option to complete two additional Modular Certificates for the award of the Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology).

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.

This Work-Study Programme will take 18 months to complete.

Additional 12 months (2 MCs) to be completed on personal time for the award of a Diploma.

Modular Certificates under Work-Study Programme

Certificate in Basics of Food Production

  • Growth and Development of Agricultural Produce
  • Managing the Natural Resource Base for Farming
  • Agriculture Nutrient Management
  • Agro-Ecosystems and Farming
  • Project on Food Production / On-the-Job-Training

Certificate in Farming Process and Management

  • Disease: Causes and Identification
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Breeding Techniques and Seed Stock Management
  • Traceability of Farm Produce
  • Project on Farming Process and Management/ On-the-Job-Training

Certificate in Urban Farming Technology and Systems

  • Green Tech Farming
  • Design, Operation and Management of Urban Farms 
  • Introduction to Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Environmental Analytics
  • Project on Urban Farming Technology and System / On-the-Job-Training
 

Additional Modular Certificates leading to the award of Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology)

Certificate in Agribusiness

  • Agribusiness in Food Production and Supply Chains
  • Agribusiness Risk Analysis and Management
  • Innovation, Ethics and Patent Law
  • Automation and Mechanisation in Agriculture
  • Agribusiness Regulatory and Funding
  • Global Logistics Management

Certificate in Sustainable Farming

  • Farm Waste Management
  • Organic Farming
  • Post-harvest Technologies
  • Urban Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Project on Sustainable Farming

Module Synopses


1. Certificate in Basics of Food Production
 

Growth and Development of Agricultural Produce

Students will be introduced to the organization 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 basic principles and concepts of plant and human nutrition. They will gain an understanding of how balanced nutrition can not only assure proper growth and maintenance but 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 of an ecosystem that is best suited.  This module provides a general overview of the need to understand the different ecological factors and parameters that affect farm production, and how some of the key concepts, principles and parameters can be used in understanding the farm ecosystem and for farm planning process. Attention will also be paid to managing farm externalities such as pesticide or fertilizer runoff and their effects on the wider ecosystem.

Project on Food Production / On-the-Job-Training

Students on the Work-Study Programme track will be involved in an On-the-Job training at the place of employment. The project will be structured with the employer and are expected to execute the project at the workplace. A project on understanding the basic requirements of a farm set up for primary production will be designed. Through hands on experience in handling plant. Students will acquire a greater understanding of plant’s physiological needs.

 

2. Certificate in Farming Process and Management
 

Disease: Causes and Identification

As the global population rapidly rises, there is an ever increasing demand on sustainable agricultural practices. One facet of sustainable agriculture is the management of pests and diseases. This module will provide an overview of the diseases and its causative agents that inflicts damage to local and/or regional leafy vegetable production. A range of disease causing agents including pathogens and pests will be discussed. Students will study various disease symptoms and their causes. Disease identification through visual observations and modern diagnostic methods for early detection will also be discussed.

Integrated Pest Management

For managing pests and diseases, the farms need to adopt a holistic approach that focuses on combination of effective controls, responsible use and desired consequences. The module will provide students an understanding of the principles of Integrated Pest management (IPM) and its use in farm setups. Students will be able to appreciate IPM as an approach for selection and use of pest control actions that will ensure favorable economic, ecological and social consequences. Students will learn various methods to manage pests, such as, traditional preventive practices, mechanical and biological controls, and the responsible use of synthetic pesticides. Students will be made familiar with the concepts of pests acceptance levels and economic injury levels that will enable them to carry out risk assessment and identify appropriate controls to be used conscientiously. 

Breeding Techniques and Seed Stock Management

General anatomical and physiological basis of reproduction will be discussed as a foundation to facilitate the understanding on various modes and mechanism of reproduction for plants. Students will learn concepts and methods of selective breeding and propagation for improving quality and yield. The module will also provide an overview of germplasm collection, maintenance and propagation for sustainable farms. The students will be introduced to different principles, concepts and methods for selecting, collecting, cataloguing and maintaining seed stock for future. A range of traditional and modern methods for plant propagation will be discussed.

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.

Project on Farming Process and Management/ On-the-Job-Training


Students on the ELP track will be involved in an On-the-Job training at the place of employment. A project designed for understanding the management of plant in order to improve plant health and/or yield will be structured with the employer and are expected to execute the project at the workplace.

 

3. Certificate in Urban Farming Technology and Systems 

Green Tech Farming

This module will discuss concepts such as material and energy flow management under the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Besides understanding the challenges and limitations of the green technologies, students will learn to contextualise and review the energy effectiveness of some existing methods through selected case studies that include hydroponics, soilless farming and integrated polyculture/aquaponics methods. Students will learn the specific requirements of these farming systems, and incorporate green tech concepts to optimise conditions for successful cultivation of different varieties of plants.

Design, Operation and Management of Urban Farms

Urban farming are constrained by land space, light and water resources. This module will teach student the design principles that emphasise optimal use of resources, including the use of vertical spaces, industrial buildings (including roof tops), private domestic spaces, shipping containers and urban voids (eg. spaces under flyovers and bridges). Student will also learn the operation and management of urban farms within the urban environment, including compliance with regulatory frameworks and relevant authorities.

Introduction to Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

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

Environmental Analytics

Students will learn about the importance of good data quality in data mining, and apply appropriate data cleansing and transformation techniques to organize and prepare data for analysis. Students will also learn to process the data using the business intelligence software, Tableau, and effectively use it to generate results on interactive graphics. This will allow student to employ these data for forecasting and improve productivity (management).

Project on Urban Farming Technology and System / On-the-Job-Training

 

Students on the ELP track will be involved in an On-the-Job training at the place of employment. A project designed for understanding the technologies of urban farming will be structured with the employer and are expected to execute the project at the workplace.

 

4. Certificate in 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 distribution to consumers, and finally managing food waste. It covers the geographical requirement 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 introduces general business risk assessment. Students will then learn how to identify, mitigate and manage the risks unique to agricultural production, markets, finance, institutions and human resources are explored. The role of innovative insurance and new information-communication technologies and mobile media for risk management will be discussed.

Innovation, Ethics and Patent Law

Student will explore areas in agriculture that are still open for innovation, including automation, data analytics, genetics, breeding, distribution and marketing. Ethical issues related to foods will be discussed. Students will learn the basics of intellectual properties (IP) including the concepts of background and forward IP, types of IP (patents, copyrights, trade secrets etc) and the laws governing the implementation and enforcement of IP.

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.

Agribusiness Regulatory and Funding

 

Students will be introduced to important enablers of successful businesses – government policies, regulations, financing, human resourcing and “Freedom to Operate”. Regulations from respective Agencies governing the operations and management of agricultural business in Singapore will be reviewed. This ranges from compliance with building code, trade effluent discharge, pest control, invasive species limitation, CITES, ICN listings, import and export permits, food safety compliance, food handling and logistics regulations. Students will also be exposed to sources of funding available from respective agencies like Enterprise Singapore, AVA, cloud sourcing and other innovative fund-raising platforms.

Global Logistics Management

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

 

5. Certificate in Sustainable Farming 

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.

Organic Farming

This module explains and defines what constitute organic farming, including crop diversity, soil and weed management, biological pest control and genetic modification. Student will also learn how to obtain organically farmed produce certification, identify international food standards for organic certification and regional variations in standards.

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.

Urban Ecology and Biodiversity

Human activities have impacted the ecology of urban centres that threaten its own existence. 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

A project on understanding the requirements of sustainable farming will be designed. Through hands on experience, students will gain knowledge and skills on maintaining sustainable farming operations. 

 
 

Commencement Date

Duration

Venue

June 2020 18 months RP ACE @ Woodlands


Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents who are either of the below:

  • ITE graduates from relevant course who are hired within 3 years of graduation or completion of National Service (Operationally Ready Date);
    • NITEC (min. GPA 2.0) graduates with no relevant work experience  
    • Higher NITEC graduates with no relevant work experience

  • Current employees who have graduated for more than 3 years but within 5 years from the date of graduation or completion of National Service (Operationally Ready date). Admission will be reviewed and approved by RP on a case-by-case basis.


Relevant courses from ITE*

NITEC Higher NITEC
  • Applied Food Science
  • Chemical Process Technology
  • Floristry
  • Facility Technology (Landscaping Services)
  • Electronics, Computer Networking and Communications
  • Microelectronics
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Technology
  • Facility Systems Design
  • Landscape Management and Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Business Information Systems
  • Electronics Engineering
  • IT Systems and Networks
  • Retail and Online Business

Singapore Citizen

Fee Subsidy Eligibility

Modular Certificate (3 MCs) Net Fee during Work-Study Programme

Modular Certificate (2 MCs) Net Fee after Work-Study Programme

Course Net Fee

SME-sponsored

$417.06

$337.50

$1,926.18

40 years & above

$404.46

$327.42

$1,868.22

below 40 years old

$597.06

$481.50

$2,754.18

Singapore Permanent Resident

Fee Subsidy Eligibility

Modular Certificate (3 MCs) Net Fee during Work-Study Programme

Modular Certificate (2 MCs) Net Fee after Work-Study Programme

Course Net Fee

Self-sponsored

$1,617.84

$1,290.42

$7,434.36

SME-sponsored

$417.06

$337.50

$1,926.18


*Note:

• 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 29 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.