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Masters Degrees (Agroecology)

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Food security is of critical concern globally, and the development of food systems that provide food of high quality and quantity in a sustainable way, is now a research and policy priority. Read more
Food security is of critical concern globally, and the development of food systems that provide food of high quality and quantity in a sustainable way, is now a research and policy priority.

The MSc in Agroecology and Food Security is designed to equip professionals and graduates with the knowledge to critically analyse and assess the relationships between agroecological food production and management, farming systems, climate change economics and the environment.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

Run by Coventry University's Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) whose mission is to create resilient food systems worldwide:
-Draws on the outstanding range of academic and practical expertise of CAWR staff plus world-renowned guest lecturers
-Is designed for students from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds and from the natural and social sciences (e.g. previous experience of agriculture not necessary)
-Provides unique content in terms of its cutting edge focus on transforming the food system through alternative paradigms, concepts, and methodologies to enable real and equitable change
-Is based at the UK’s national centre for organic horticulture in 10 acres oforganic gardens

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

The course will provide you with the knowledge of the major agricultural production systems found in different parts of the world and the main theoretical approaches to understanding contemporary food systems.

The course covers a range of subject areas including:
-Food security
-Agroecological production systems
-Clean energy, climate and carbon
-Agroecological techniques and practices
-Stabilisation agriculture
-Management of natural and environmental hazards
-Environmental impact assessment
-Ecological management and assessment
-International environmental law
-Remote sensing and digital image analysis
-Project management

For each module, teaching normally takes the form of weekly 'face-to-face' contact at the University (including lectures, workshops, seminars and exercises) throughout each semester, with associated directed and self directed study, which may be undertaken off-campus.

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

All students undertake an individual research project, which may be associated with an appropriate organisation or company in the UK or overseas. Equipped with a detailed understanding of food systems and a range of appropriate practical skills your potential for employment will be strong.

Opportunities present themselves in national and international government agencies, non governmental policy, research and development organisations, the private sector including food companies and the farming sector.

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. Read more

MSc Organic Agriculture

The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare the students for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level.

Programme summary

This programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level. The programme is unique in its combination of detailed consideration of the underlying principles and processes from a natural science perspective with social and economic studies. Creative thinking is required to design new sustainable farming and marketing systems instead of simply optimising existing systems. The programme has an international character that uses case studies and offers project opportunities in both the developed and developing world. The curriculum has been carefully formulated to provide a balance between fundamental and applied science. Various university groups participate including farming systems ecology, soil quality, animal science, entomology, rural sociology, environmental policy, education and economy, making this a well-rounded and holistic programme.

Specialisations

Agroecology
Due to concerns on conventional farming practices, food safety issues and pollution, consumers increasingly demand wholesome agricultural products that are produced in a sustainable way. In addition to the demand for organic products by consumers in industrialised countries, there is a need for scientific agroecological farming practices in developing countries and countries in economic distress. In these regions, farmers cannot afford external inputs like pesticides, fertilisers or expensive seeds. Courses focus on: the analysis and design of sustainable organic farming systems; studying the relationship between plant and animal production; soil and landscape; analysing factors affecting plant and animal health; organic product quality. Students learn a systems approach to conduct research projects involving integrated agroecological systems.

Consumer and Market
Socio-economic constraints affect the demand for organic products, and are major bottlenecks to expand organic production. Improved understanding of consumer preferences is essential to stimulate sustainable production of healthy food and renewable resources. Production, processing and marketing of organic products is increasingly affected by (inter-) national policy and legislation. Insight into these aspects is crucial to expand organic production systems. Courses focus on: analysis of consumer perception; insight into relations between government policy and consumer behaviour; development of strategies for certification and trademarks for organic products; globalisation of food production and consumption; environmental education; global versus local production. Students acquire skills to analyse complex problems at the intersection of organic agriculture and society.

Double degree in Agroecology
The double degree programme combines the strengths of the two co-operating institutes, adding the specialist knowledge in agroecosystems management of FESIA with the expertise in designing and evaluating organic food production chains in Wageningen. Students get the opportunity to understand structure and function of complex agroecosystems. They learn to apply systems approaches in studying, designing and evaluating agricultural systems and food production chains, and to develop creative solutions for sustainable farming and marketing of organic products. Action learning and action research through cooperation with farmers, food system professionals and consumers will shorten the distance between practice and theory.

Your future career

Graduates have career opportunities in agribusiness, research, non-governmental organisations and public administration. They often hold jobs such as scientist, consultant, policy maker or quality assurance officer.

Alumna Natasja Poot.
“I have chosen the MSc Organic Agriculture because I was looking for a programme in which all aspects of agriculture are discussed. Courses addressed topics on soils, plants, animals and their interactions. I did not want to limit myself to just organic agriculture, but I can apply the knowledge to all conventional integrated farming systems as well. After graduating, I started at BLGG as a product manager Soil Health. BLGG is a laboratory in the agricultural sector that offers innovative analyses and advices that help farmers in their everyday management. In my position, I am focusing on developing tools for soil-borne diseases, nematodes and soil suppressiveness.”

Related programmes:
MSc Food Quality Management
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Animal sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. Read more

The course

On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems. This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.

How will it benefit me?

An understanding of agro-ecology and the organisms and systems that underpin agricultural systems can facilitate the ability to manage agricultural systems in a more sustainable manner.
This course will provide the foundation for a career in both conservation and in agriculture.
The course will provide you with specialized training in agroecology and farmland conservation.

You will be able to:

Appraise the role of agro-ecology within the wider context of global food security and sustainable food production
Evaluate the strategic and operational issues and conflicts affecting the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems in order to select the most appropriate conservation management solutions.
Evaluate the interactions between organisms and consider these when making management recommendations for successful agro-ecological landscapes
Develop the ability to solve conflicts in agro-ecosystems by the application of novel research techniques

The course will:
Prepare you for a career in conservation agriculture, or agriculture or conservation more widely.
Offer vocational training in the field of agroecology.
Enable you to make a more informed choices for further study, such as PhD studies or other career development

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This course will prepare you for a research career in the agricultural and agri-environment sectors or for subsequent doctoral studies in agroecology and environmental sciences. Read more
This course will prepare you for a research career in the agricultural and agri-environment sectors or for subsequent doctoral studies in agroecology and environmental sciences.

It is taught by researchers from the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research (CAER), one of the leading centres for agroecology research worldwide and highly respected by employers in the sector.

You will develop a multi-disciplinary appreciation of the underlying environmental, social and economic issues surrounding contemporary agricultural systems. You will also gain a rigorous training in research methods and statistical analyses commonly used in agriculture, ecology and environmental science.

You will then join one of the University’s thriving research teams to conduct a 30-week research project supervised closely by experts in the field. This will provide you with the necessary independent research skills to pursue a career in the sector.

WHAT WILL YOU STUDY?

-Research Methods for Agriculture, Ecology and Environment
-Research Project in Agriculture, Ecology and Environment
-Issues in Agriculture, Ecology and Environment

WHAT CAREER CAN YOU HAVE?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae

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Course Starts September, January or May. This course, offered by a leading research institute in grass-microbe-animal interactions in relation to sustainable efficient farming, is aimed at professionals working within the agri-food sector. Read more
Course Starts September, January or May

Course Description

This course, offered by a leading research institute in grass-microbe-animal interactions in relation to sustainable efficient farming, is aimed at professionals working within the agri-food sector. It provides students with an in-depth understanding of the components of ruminant production and mixed farming systems, focussing on the latest research into how these systems can be made more sustainable and efficient.

The aim of this Professional Doctorate programme is to produce a qualification which, whilst being equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, is more appropriate for those pursuing professional rather than academic careers. Our DAg programme comprises taught modules and two work-based research projects, carried out through two-day workshops, distance learning and a mixture of live and virtual supervisory meetings. While the primary academic focus is on the completion of an advanced piece of research, the collaborative route provided by a work-based research project provides an ideal opportunity to embed new knowledge in the work place and ensure that research is relevant to industry. As such, it is crucial that a student’s employer is supportive of both their research aims and the time commitment that the proposed research will involve. Self-employed students should aim to undertake research which will be closely aligned to their business.

Modules

The ATP DAg is delivered in two parts:

Part I is undertaken for a minimum of two years and comprises two taught modules from the ATP menu*, a taught ‘Research Methodologies’ module; and a portfolio of work or a research thesis (approximately 20,000 words in length). Each taught module is worth 20 credits and takes 12-14 weeks to complete. The short Part 1 thesis should involve analysing existing data from the candidate’s workplace. For example: Reviewing historical mineral deficiency data by species and region; analysing and interpreting the findings. Students may exit here with an MRes.

Part II is undertaken for a minimum of three years and comprises a longer portfolio of work or a research thesis (up to 60,000 words). It will involve experimentation and must embody the methodology and results of original research. It should, ideally, be built upon the Part 1 thesis. Thus, from the example above, could be something like: Changing practices and introducing innovation to combat mineral deficiencies.

* Optional taught modules - some of which are delivered by Bangor University (BU) - may be chosen from:

• Genetics and Genomics
• Grassland Systems
• Home-Grown Feeds
• Low Input Beef Sheep and Dairy
• Ruminant Gut Microbiology
• Ruminant Health & Welfare
• Ruminant Nutrition
• Ruminant Production
• Silage Science
• Agro Ecosystems Services (BU)
• Carbon Footprinting & Life Cycle Assessment (BU)
• Resource Efficient Farming (BU)
• Soil Management (BU)
• Upland Farming (BU)

Each module is worth 20 credits and takes 12-14 weeks to complete.

Fees

Currently only available to UK and EU students
• (Bursaries are available to those employed in the UK agri-food sector)

Agriculture, Beef, Sheep, Dairy, Ruminants, Mixed Farming, Grasslands, Pastoral, Farming, Agroecology, Sustainability, Meat, Milk, Food Production

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Course Start Date. May. 2nd Start Date. September. 3rd Start date. January. Distance Learning only. This course, offered by a leading research institute in grass-microbe-animal interactions in relation to sustainable efficient farming, is aimed at professionals working within the agri-food sector. Read more
Course Start Date: May
2nd Start Date: September
3rd Start date: January

Course Description

Distance Learning only

This course, offered by a leading research institute in grass-microbe-animal interactions in relation to sustainable efficient farming, is aimed at professionals working within the agri-food sector. It provides students with an in-depth understanding of the components of ruminant production and mixed farming systems, focussing on the latest research into how these systems can be made more sustainable and efficient.

This scheme aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Students must complete three taught modules and a 120 credit work-based dissertation. While the primary academic focus is on the completion of an advanced piece of research, the collaborative route provided by a work-based research project provides an ideal opportunity to embed new knowledge in the work place and ensure that research is relevant to industry. As such, it is crucial that a student’s employer is supportive of both their research aims and the time commitment that the proposed research will involve. Self-employed students should aim to undertake research which will be closely aligned to their business.

Modules

This programme comprises any two optional taught modules from 14 optional modules, some of which are delivered by Bangor University (BU):

• Genetics and Genomics
• Grassland Systems
• Home-Grown Feeds
• Low Input Beef Sheep and Dairy
• Ruminant Gut Microbiology
• Ruminant Health & Welfare
• Ruminant Nutrition
• Ruminant Production
• Silage Science
• Agro Ecosystems Services (BU)
• Carbon Footprinting & Life Cycle Assessment (BU)
• Resource Efficient Farming (BU)
• Soil Management (BU)
• Upland Farming (BU)

Each module is worth 20 credits and takes 12-14 weeks to complete.

Before beginning work on their dissertation, each student is required to undertake a ‘Research Methodologies’ module which trains them in statistics, ethics, research design etc. and supports them in developing their proposal. We anticipate that most students will take two years to complete their dissertation which will be approximately 20,000 words in length. The dissertation should involve analysing existing data from the candidate’s workplace. For example: Reviewing historical mineral deficiency data by species and region; analysing and interpreting the findings.

Fees

Currently only available to UK & EU students
• (20% Bursaries are available to those employed in the UK agri-food sector)

Agriculture, Beef, Sheep, Dairy, Ruminants, Mixed Farming, Grasslands, Pastoral, Farming, Agroecology, Sustainability, Meat, Milk, Food Production

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Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. Read more
Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. The Environmental Change and Global Sustainability (ECGS) Master’s programme trains you in wide-ranging interdisciplinary thinking skills and provides you with the ability to:
-Study environmental and sustainability issues in your respective fields of expertise.
-Solve problems of socio-ecological sustainability in cooperation with various social actors.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

ECGS is a truly multidisciplinary Master’s programme. It covers an introductory Core Module common to all students, followed by two distinct study lines.

The introductory Core Module focuses on the methodologies of environmental and sustainability science as well as the interactions between science and society. The Core Module also offers a pool of optional methodological studies, providing you with the necessary research tools to tackle socio-ecological challenges.

If your orientation is in natural sciences, the Environmental Change study line can provide you with an understanding of the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can give guidance toward their sustainable use.

If your interests are more in the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, the Global Sustainability study line provides an understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of global sustainability challenges so that you can help to develop solutions that take social and environmental justice into consideration.

Selection of the Major

You can apply for one of the two study lines in the ECGS Master’s programme: the Environmental Change study line or the Global Sustainability study line. You can refine your expertise in your chosen study line by choosing from study modules related to your specialised field of science or from interdisciplinary phenomenon-based modules.

Environmental Change modules are offered in, for example, the following research fields: aquatic sciences, soil and earth sciences, environmental ecology, environmental biotechnology and agroecology. Global Sustainability modules include themes such as environmental and natural resource economy, environmental policy, development studies, public and social policy, consumer research, forest policy and economics, and development geography. ECGS also offers a variety of modules integrating both natural and social scientific perspectives including phenomenon-based modules on the Baltic Sea and the Arctic as well as a variety of interdisciplinary fields such as climate change, food and consumption systems, urban studies and socio-ecological systems studies.

As an international applicant, you will be assessed and accepted for the Master’s program based on the scientific relevance of your bachelor’s degree and your success in previous studies.

Programme Structure

You will graduate with a Master’s degree in Science (M.Sc.) or Social Sciences (M.Soc.Sc.). Your Master’s degree (120 credits, ECTS) will consist of the following studies:
-Advanced studies, 60 credits, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
-Other studies, 60 credits, including 30 credits of Core Module studies and 30 credits of elective science specific studies from either ECGS modules or other relevant Master’s programs.

Career Prospects

The interdisciplinary ECGS Master’s program provides you with a unique education which is widely applicable for a future career path. Upon graduating from ECGS you will have sufficient expertise in environmental sciences, sustainability sciences and environmental policy to act as a specialist in the public, private and third sectors, and you will have gained essential skills to undertake a career in sustainable business and communication. The Master’s program prepares you to advance to doctoral level studies and thereafter positions in environment-related research. ECGS has a multidisciplinary learning community with faculty from a wide range of sciences, accommodating students in a multicultural network with excellent career prospects.

Internationalization

The ECGS Master’s program, taught in English, trains you to tackle environmental challenges which transcend national borders. The faculty encourage international interaction and the programme promotes a vibrant multicultural atmosphere. You can also include a student exchange in your Master’s level studies.

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