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Significant increases in the global human population, increasing climatic instability and a concurrent reduction in fossil fuel availability, impacting upon agricultural production and policy. Read more
Significant increases in the global human population, increasing climatic instability and a concurrent reduction in fossil fuel availability, impacting upon agricultural production and policy. Food production must increase without a simultaneous increase in resource use.

Improvements in crop yield and production efficiency often come through the utilisation of individual elements of new research. Integrated Crop Management (ICM) however utilises multiple facets of research simultaneously to bring about larger, more sustainable results. This course focuses on incorporating the latest research to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking in subjects such as pest dynamics, genetic improvement, crop technology, sustainable practice and soil management.

This MSc, delivered at Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire will integrate these topics alongside a broader critical evaluation of crop sciences enabling you to design bespoke ICM programmes for given situations.
It is aimed at graduates in biological sciences who are looking to find employment as agronomists, farm advisors, agro-technical specialists particularly in allied agricultural industries. Successful completion of this MSc degree will also facilitate progression to PhD level research in food production science.

COURSE CONTENT:

Year 1

Integrated approaches in high-input cropping systems

High-input crop production systems typically focus on achieving both high yields and profitability. This module explores the science and agronomic principles of a range of crops under such management regimes as well as their associated problems and limitations. Consideration will be given to integrated management approaches currently being adopted by industry as well as the major drivers of these changing practices. These include legislation, resistance to agrochemicals and public acceptance.

Invertebrate Dynamics in Crop Production

Approximately 10-15% of global crop production is lost to invertebrate pests. Conversely, invertebrates constitute a significant ecosystem service through pest predation and pollination. In any integrated production system, the management of invertebrates is therefore fundamental to effective crop production. This module will focus on critical evaluation of current research on invertebrate ecology and dynamics and applying this to their potential impacts on conventional cropping systems. Concepts of pest population dynamics, herbivory and species life histories will be considered in relation to their effects on the crop. Alongside this, their ‘value’ as pollinators, predators, vectors and the effects of lethal and sub-lethal pesticide doses will be evaluated.

Contemporary agronomic research and development

Research into agronomy, technology and management is of critical importance if the industry is to continue to adapt to modern pressures and challenges worldwide. This module will explore the research path including laboratory to field trials and, ultimately, application into practice. Case studies will be explored where research and development has made or could make a significant impact to management practice.

Year 2

Integrated approaches in low-input cropping systems

Low-input cropping systems seek to optimise crop yields whilst using fewer inputs when compared to conventional crop production systems. In parts of the world this is due to a lack of financial and physical resources whilst in others this is due to perceived environmental benefits. This module explores the science of the integrated management of crops under such systems, including enhanced soil management and factors influencing nutrition and disease control. Limitations will also be considered as will approaches that conventional crop production could learn from low-input management systems.

Global Drivers for Agricultural Change

This module examines the global drivers behind the need to refocus agricultural production to meet the needs of the increasing world population and mitigate the impacts of climate change. It will focus on concepts such as the effects of globalisation; the economic issues with pesticide development; the globalisation and privatisation of agricultural technology and the use of targeted pest control techniques. Furthermore, the module will assess the impacts of corporate responsibility and the necessity of having sustainable global supply chains.

Research Methodology and Design

This module provides students with the essential personal, organisational, management, theoretical and statistical skills needed to work at Postgraduate Level. It will explore research philosophies, research process and design and the process of questionnaire development and design. The module will develop skills in advanced data organisation, presentation, dissemination and problem solving.

Year 3

Masters Dissertation

The dissertation is a triple module and allows students to design and conduct a substantial piece of independent, supervised research related to the field of study. The dissertation is an independent piece of academic work which allows the student to identify and work in an area of interest to them and manage the research process to agreed deadlines.

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Arboriculture is the science and practice of tree care and management. Urban forestry is about greening our towns and cities to create a healthy and sustainable urban environment. Read more
Arboriculture is the science and practice of tree care and management. Urban forestry is about greening our towns and cities to create a healthy and sustainable urban environment. Together, these two closely related disciplines have a vital role to play in creating a liveable environment. The numerous environmental, economic and social benefits of urban trees and woodlands can dramatically improve the quality of life in our towns and cities and this has been identified as a government priority in several recent policy documents.

This on-line MSc Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, awarded from the University of Central Lancashire, is a ground-breaking course which recognises the multidiscipline approach of the subjects. The course aims to extend student's existing expertise to the full range of skills and knowledge of social, technical and strategic tree management issues now required by senior positions in the industry.
The MSc will encourage debate and critical evaluation of current practices and research within this field. The course will enable students to reflect on current issues and develop problem solving skills which encourage originality of thought on current issues within Arboriculture and Urban Forestry.

Year 1

Urban Development and Urban Greening

This module will examine the nature of the urban environment and the historical development of urban greenspace management. It will explore the current nature and extent of urban green space management in Britain and overseas and reflect on the role of urban trees and woodland in improving the quality of life for urban dwellers.

The Science of Tree Production and Establishment

This module will look at the latest techniques in establishing trees in urban areas and challenge conventional views on tree production, planting, landscaping and post-planting maintenance in the light of scientific advances in these areas.

Trees and Urban Planning

This module will explore key statutory and common laws concerned with the regulation and preservation of trees. It will consider trees in relation to the regulation of land used in terms of development control and reflect on the wider context of trees and planning in the development of urban landscapes.

Year 2

Tree Physiology and the Urban Environment

This module aims to advance the knowledge of students in arboricultural science and its applications that rely upon knowledge of a tree’s biological system and physiological functions. The module will investigate key areas of the physiology of trees, including modifications in tree physiology that satisfy different environmental conditions of the urban environment, tree defence systems and associated tree health care treatments. The learning outcomes of this module reflect the need for important findings from scientific investigations into tree physiology to be applied to tree management. This cross-fertilisation of tree science and tree management is much needed, and students will benefit from a deeper understanding of trees as living organisms and the influence of different management choices.

Research Methodology and Design

This module provides students with the essential personal, organisational, management, theoretical and statistical skills needed to work at Postgraduate Level. It will explore research philosophies, research process and design and the process of questionnaire development and design. The module will develop skills in advanced data organisation, presentation, dissemination and problem solving.

Tree Risk Management

This module will investigate the complex relationships between tree biomechanics, the development of defects and infection strategies for fungal diseases and other pathogens. The module will evaluate these facets in the wider context of tree risk management and the development of risk management strategies for tree populations.

Year 3

Masters Dissertation

The dissertation is a triple module and allows students to design and conduct a substantial piece of independent, supervised research in the field of arboriculture or urban forestry. The dissertation is an independent piece of academic work which allows the student to identify and work in an area of interest to them and manage the research process to agreed deadlines.

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