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

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About the Course

This Work-Study Certificate (WSCert) 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 WSCert 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 WSCert partner company will provide 12-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 upgrading through 2 Modular Certificates (MC 1 and MC 2) 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 Certificate aims to provide a pathway for career development and further education through two (2) Modular Certificates (MCs).

Participants who complete the WSCert 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 leading to a Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology), you may enjoy additional benefits such as sign-on incentive with full-time employment, assigned company mentor, well-structured training, and career advancement opportunities.

Participants have the option to complete three (3) additional MCs to attain the full PTD UAT qualification.

Note: MC 5 begins concurrently with MC 1 and 2, WSCert participants should enrol for MC5 before the start of the programme if they wish to attain the full PTD UAT qualification.

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
Saturday
(to be scheduled)
half day or full day
 

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

This Work-Study Certificate leading to a Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology) will require participants to complete Modular Certificate 1 (MC 1) and Modular Certificate 2 (MC 2).

Additional 3 Modular Certificates (MC 3, MC 4 and MC 5) to be completed on personal time for the award of a Diploma.

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. 

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

MC 1 - 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

MC 2 - Certificate in Farming Process and Management

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

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

MC 3 - Certificate in Urban Farming Technology and Systems

  • Green Tech Farming
  • Design, Operation and Management of Urban Farms 
  • Automation and Mechanisation in Agriculture
  • Post-harvest Technologies
  • The Applications of Computer-Aided Design in Urban Farming

MC 4 - Certificate in Agribusiness

  • Traceability of Farm Produce 
  • Agribusiness Risk Analysis and Management
  • Agribusiness Regulatory and Funding
  • Innovation, Ethics and Patent Law
  • Standards for Agriculture
  • Agribusiness in Supply Chains and Logistics

MC 5 - Certificate in Sustainable Farming Practice and Immersion

  • Farming Practice through Inhouse Experiential Learning
  • Farming Immersion through Industry Experiential Learning

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 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
 
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

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.

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


Students on the Work-Study Programme 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 
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 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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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 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. The role of innovative insurance and new information-communication technologies and mobile media for risk management will be discussed.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

 

5. Certificate in Sustainable Farming Practice and Immersion 
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.

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. 

 
 

Please click here to view the updated course schedule and fees on the Skills Training & Enhancement Portal (STEP).

WSP Eligibility

Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents who are: 
- within three years of graduation from ITE or the Operational Ready Date (ORD) for full-time National Servicemen, or
- within five years of graduation from ITE, and if their employer is a participating company.

Course Entry Requirement

Applicants should possess a relevant NITEC (min. GPA: 2.0) or Higher NITEC Certificates from the feeder programme as listed here


Please click here to view the updated course schedule and fees on the Skills Training & Enhancement Portal (STEP).

Last updated on 16 Feb 2024

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