BSc (Hons) Sustainable Food Production (Fresh Produce)

We are pleased to confirm that Writtle University College and ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) are joining together. The merger will happen during the 23/24 academic year. Writtle’s full range of Higher and Further Education courses will continue to be delivered on site at the Writtle campus, enhanced by resources available at nearby ARU. If you are starting your course in September 2024, your degree will be awarded by ARU. Find out more about ARU, including our recent Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, at

Are you concerned about the environment, food security and sustainable development? Do you want to be part of the solution for businesses operating in an increasingly uncertain world?

In any trip to the supermarket you will see an exciting array of fruit and vegetables that are able to arrive in our homes through a deeply interconnected global world. This relies on production techniques and global supply chains impacted by economic and environmental factors. Every purchase decision we make has consequences for businesses, our own wellbeing, societies and the global environment.

World population is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050 accompanied by an accelerated increase in those living in urban areas to 70%. This presents many challenges to production systems, food quality but also to reduction of food waste both locally and internationally. An understanding of the factors that will contribute to meeting this demand for food, the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the ethical and business environment in which fresh produce operates are key to finding sustainable solutions.

The food and beverages is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and relies not only on successful production systems but also on imports. The graduate job opportunities within this sector are immense and recruiters constantly seek talented graduates who understand the business of production, the much needed resilience of global food systems and consumer trends. Besides the supply of safe, affordable and nutritious fresh products, we all want to have traceable foods that adhere to strict environmental and ethical standards.

This course, draws on Writtle University College's long history of production know how to produce business-focussed graduates able to think across discipline boundaries - skills valued by graduate employers. The course seeks to prepare students for this essential but ever changing sector. Knowledge of how consumer-led demands and buying habits are influencing the sale of produce in the UK and Europe, the importance of food security, provenance and ethical trade worldwide are all important to understanding future pressures.

Whether you wish to use your skills in UK based commercial enterprises, larger business industries or those that operate on an international scale, knowledge of this important and growing fresh produce sector provides a stepping stone to many varied graduate opportunities that exist in the UK and abroad.

(30 credits)
Natural Resources Management
(15 credits)
Optional UK / European study tour or equivalent
Crop Management Technologies
(15 credits)
Global Trends in Production
(15 credits)
International Trade and Markets
(15 credits)
Sustainable Business Solutions
(30 credits)



Optional modules
Students can select one 30 credit optional module from stage two.

These are the modules that are offered in this academic year; however, modules may be subject to change for the following reasons:

  • Staff availability - for example the availability of staff to deliver specialist modules, which cannot be delivered by staff who do not have the relevant specialist expertise.
  • In response to feedback and annual review processes to ensure we continually enhance our programmes. Changes in these circumstances will usually be made for the benefit of students.
  • Student demand - to ensure there are adequate numbers on a module to support the provision of an excellent Learning & Teaching experience.
  • The currency of the relevant module. Some modules are specified at a time when they reflect the issues that are currently topical in the subject area. They may have lost that currency by the time that the student is required to exercise the option. In the circumstances, in order to ensure that students are provided with an appropriate learning experience, those modules will be replaced by those which are relevant to the changing nature of the subject area.

The Writtle University College will endeavour to ensure that any impact on students is limited if such changes occur.


The following information provides the entry requirements for this particular course.

UCAS Tariff Points


GCE A Levels

96 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above

Irish Certificate

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 4 x H3 higher, one of which in a relevant science-based subject

Scottish Highers

96 UCAS tariff points, to include 3 x B

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


BTEC Level 3 Diploma


C & G Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720)

Distinction (96)

C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma

Merit (96)

C & G Level 3 Diploma

Distinction (96)

Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Writtle University College welcomes applicants studying Access to HE Diploma courses. For more information please contact Admissions.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

Dynamic individuals looking to help change the way we feed our growing populations. You will enjoy working with nature and advancing technologies to produce food with a smaller footprint on finite global resources and our climate. You may already be working in the food industry and want to expand and develop your skills or you may be looking to enter the sector, having a genuine interest in food quality and food security and the future of our planet.

This course will give you a holistic understanding of how food systems need to adapt.

The following list shows the variety of learning and teaching methods experienced on this course.

  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Case studies
  • Live projects
  • Workshops
  • Course work

The BSc (Hons) Sustainable Food Production (Fresh Produce) contains a variety of assessment methods to ensure practical and academic competence.

  • Essays and technical reports
  • Examinations - both multiple choice and essay questions
  • Presentations - both individually and in small groups
  • Practical assessments
  • Peer review
  • Self-reflection
  • Debates
  • Dissertation

The food and beverage sector is currently the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, contributing an estimated £28 billion to the economy annually and employing 400,000 in approximately 6,800 businesses across the country. It is widely acknowledged that this sector needs new graduates with a Grant Thornton report suggesting that on average businesses expect 10.5% of their workforce to retire within the next 10 years. Innovation to meet changing consumer needs and behaviours alongside environmental and ethical concerns are essential to deliver growth in trade.

Graduates will be able to enter management trainee roles in a range of enterprises bringing an essential understanding of global value chains being well equipped to apply for graduate training schemes in larger enterprises working within the fresh produce sector.

Employment opportunities include:

  • support to technical managers
  • Junior buyer roles
  • Food quality and planning
  • Fresh produce traders
  • Business start-up

Students will have the opportunity to gain additional professional competency training and gain experience of project management and leadership skills through internal and external initiatives .

The opportunity to work or liaise with academics and peers in the Netherlands, Finland and SE Asia, visit commercial enterprises in the UK and in Europe and develop their own network of contacts will be actively encouraged.

Inter-disciplinary projects and exposure to real life businesses and enterprises will hone their problem solving abilities preparing them for the world of work. This will be achieved through a series of visits, commissioned projects, guest speakers and industry visits and interaction with sector experts, including consultants. Students will gain valuable insight into the industry through an optional short study tour that connects modules in the final year of study and builds on a voluntary visit to Fruit Logistica in Berlin in year 2 of the course.

Good to know...

Undergraduate part-time student loans are available to students that have already studied at degree/higher education level before!

Under the equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) exception rule, our Agriculture, Horticulture and Sustainable Food honours degrees are all eligible for part-time funding.

Find out more

Make a Difference

Agri-Tech - A More Sustainable Future