Rural Skills SCQF Level 4

What is special about this course?

Scotland's foresty industry is growing and is set to expand substantially over the next decade, with the management of forests in Scotland and the processing of Scottish timber a major contributor to the Scottish economy. It means there's no better time to join the industry.

The Rural Skills NC provides an introduction to forestry craft/conservation skills, including fencing, tree identification and planting, and gives you insight into the wide range of careers in the forestry industry.

The Scottish School of Forestry has close links with industry and strong partnerships with agencies including the Forestry Commission, the Cairgorms National Park Authrority and Scottish Natural Heritage, as well as private companies like Euroforest, Tilhill and BSW Timber.

You will learn within the Scottish School of Forestry's woodland environment, and take part in site visits and practical projects, which have previously included a new wildlife pond and dipping platform.

The course is delivered by lecturers who have up-to-date industry experience and qualifications, ensuring our teaching is current and relevant.

Entry requirements

  • You should be a minimum preferred age of 16, before starting this course.
  • Have an interest in working in land-based industries including forestry, rural and estate work.
  • All applicants are invited to interview.

Units include:

  • Tree and shrub planting
  • Fence construction
  • Brashing/pruning using brashing equipment
  • Hand drainage
  • Maintenance of hand tools used in forestry work
  • Using and maintaining a mobile sawbench
  • Accident prevention and emergency procedures
  • Rural species identification and habitats
  • Forestry woodland sk
  • Rural estate maintenance
  • Construct rural features and structures
  • Forestry woodland skills
  • Small powered machine operation
  • Land-based engineering
  • Build and repair drystone dykes
  • Developing skills for employment
  • Communication
  • Information and communication technology
  • Numeracy
  • Studies advisor
  • Rural work activity

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Face-to-face
  • Full-time

How long will my course last?

1 Year

Where can I study my course?

    • Scottish School of Forestry

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.


You may be eligible to apply for an Educational Maintenance Allowance or Bursary.

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • Progress to Certificate in Forestry
  • Employment in the areas of estate work, forestry, conservation, gardening or grounds maintenance.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

"If you like being outdoors and doing practical work then this course for you. It's a great introduction to the forestry industry and perfect if you're not sure which career route you want to follow," said Neil Stewart, programme co-ordinator for NC Rural Skills.

Apply for Rural Skills SCQF Level 4

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22

I want to start in 2022/23

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Inverness College UHI. Inverness College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.