A sustainable future needs skilled, knowledgeable and passionate new farmers and gardeners

The Biodynamic Agricultural College’s work-based training teaches a holistic, ecological approach to growing food and nurturing the land and people. You’ll learn practical skills working on some of the most incredible working farms in the UK while also developing a deeper understanding of how to produce high-quality food in cooperation with nature.

The training is designed along the lines of a classic apprenticeship, allowing you to earn while you learn. Working alongside experienced farmers and growers, you’ll gain the practical skills and confidence needed to run an agricultural enterprise. You’ll also take part in periodic seminars, bringing together students from across the UK to explore biodynamic principles, learn from over 30 teachers on a wide range of topics and reflect on how to apply what you’ve learned.

The training offers an OFQUAL regulated qualification: unit overview

Crossfields Institute level 3 Diploma in Biodynamic Farming and Growing

With more than 20 years of experience in the provision of agricultural education, we offer the most established professional training in sustainable farming in the UK. What are you waiting for? Learn how to farm with all life and be a part of the real food revolution!


How the Training Works


Applicants approach work placements from the list of farms and gardens who are active training centres. Applicants are accepted by the training centre and enrol as students in the work-based training with BDAC. For full application details see How To Apply

Start Date

There is no specific date for starting the training, although many start in the autumn. The start date is generally decided in negotiation between the applicant and the training centre, who usually find a spring or autumn start most convenient.  Enrolment in the BDAC training are welcome year-round, however, and seminars are on a continuous rotation so are flexible to meet student’s needs regardless of start date.

Earn While you Learn

When you begin the two-year work placement you become an employed trainee at the training centre which includes a contract with the farm for working hours and a wage. All farms pay at least minimum wage and the working hours are usually 35-44 hours per week with seasonal variability. 


During the two years of the training, you attend residential seminars which bring students from all over the UK together to consider biodynamic principles, learn the foundations of agriculture such as soil fertility, plant science and animal husbandry from highly qualified and experienced teachers and have time to reflect and share experiences. The seminars include classroom learning, outdoor exercises, farm visits, artistic activities and plenty of discussion and community. View a schedule of the seminar programme for 2023/25 here.

In addition to the seminars, there are periodic online teaching and discussion days. Students demonstrate their learning in a portfolio of work that often incorporates a variety of methods such as short written answers, journals or reflections, photos, and artistic work. Portfolios are assessed by BDAC staff with feedback and personal support also provided. For more details on the course curriculum you can read the full introduction and overview of the training here or look at a list of the topics included in the curriculum here.


The cost of the training is £500 registration fee plus a training fee of £8,640 to be paid in 24 monthly instalments of £360 each. The wages from your work placement should be enough to cover your living expenses and the cost of the training.

Course fees cover all the costs of your training on and off the farm including accommodation and lunches during the seminars. It also covers all personal support, quality assurance, registration and assessment provided by BDAC. A portion of the fee is given to your training centre as a grant to ensure their commitment to train you.

We make every effort to keep the cost of the training as low as possible while ensuring your personalised training is professional, comprehensive, accredited and holistic. Seminar days are inexpensive compared to most other training schemes or one-off workshops.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum of six months practical experience in land-based work
  • Capacity for self-guided study, motivation for active learning and an open attitude to biodynamic perspectives
  • Equivalent to GCSE level education (level 2) or higher
  • Minimum age of 18, though an age of 21 is recommended given the nature of the training (there is no upper age limit and we often have mature students)
  • Willing and able to physically work in an agricultural environment throughout the seasons and to work in the normal routine of the placement, which sometimes mean long working hours and/or weekend work.
  • Legal right to work and live in the UK. Unfortunately, BDAC is not recognised as a ‘licensed student sponsor’ and therefore we are not able to support applications for student visas in the UK. We are not aware of any routes that would allow us to support applications for work visas at this time either.

In addition to BDAC’s entry requirements, each training centre will also have their own requirements including respect of health & safety, general rules of conduct and possibly the need for a valid driving license and/or DBS check.

Expression of Interest

In order to get to know you a little, support your enquiry about our training and help you find a suitable work placement, please answer the questions below in brief. We will respond shortly.

What area of agriculture are you interested in?


What are the next steps, how do I apply?

As a first step, please submit our expression of interest form above, which will allow us to provide personalised support and answer any questions. You can also start looking at the existing training centres that have vacancies and contact those that are of interest to introduce yourself and ask about visiting. You can find a full description of how to apply here.

When can I start? When does the training start?

There is no specific date for starting the training, although many start in the autumn. The start date is generally decided in negotiation between the applicant and the training centre, who usually find a spring or autumn start most convenient.  Enrolment in the BDAC training are welcome year-round, however, and seminars are on a continuous rotation so are flexible to meet student’s needs regardless of start date.

Is accommodation provided as part of the training? What are my options?

Accommodation arrangements vary between training centres. Some offer accommodation as part of your work contract, either in a caravan, room at the farm or room/flat in the local area and costs of this accommodation will also vary. Whether accommodation is provided, what type and how much it costs should be part of your discussion with any potential training centre. Accommodation at the seminars is included in your training fees to BDAC and are usually single or double occupancy rooms. You can find more helpful questions to ask potential training centres here.

 What if I don’t have any practical experience in agricultural work?

There are many ways to gain practical experience if you’re interested in the training but haven’t worked on a farm or in a garden before. Some of our training centres themselves offer seasonal volunteer placements or other temporary opportunities to gain experience so it’s worth checking their websites or asking them directly if this is a possibility. You might also approach local biodynamic or organic farms in your area to see if they have volunteer or seasonal worker opportunities. You can also get experience through established volunteer programmes such as WWOOF UK, and Work Away.

Is the training accredited?

The training is an Ofqual regulated Level 3 Diploma in Biodynamic Farming and Growing awarded by Crossfields Institute. The curriculum was designed in collaboration between the Biodynamic Agricultural College and Crossfields Institute to be delivered by BDAC. It is endorsed by the Biodynamic Board of Studies and the Biodynamic Association UK. Crossfields Institute assures the quality and standard of the training and assessment, offering a meaningful and internationally recognised vocational qualification. Download the qualification specification here.