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Masters Degrees (Crop Improvement)

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This course examines crop improvement through advances in resource use efficiency, crop protection and modern crop improvement and breeding techniques. Read more
This course examines crop improvement through advances in resource use efficiency, crop protection and modern crop improvement and breeding techniques. Focusing upon the understanding of plant to crop systems, and with an emphasis on research training, the course is ideally suited to those wishing to pursue careers in research institutes, plant breeding, agro-industry and advance to higher research degree (PhD) study.

The course consists of a number of taught modules and a major research project.

Specialist facilities for plant work include modern glasshouses and controlled environment growth rooms in which plants and tissue cultures can be raised. The laboratories contain a wide range of modern equipment including ultracentrifuges, apparatus for radioisotope studies, gas liquid chromatography and spectrophotometry. A number of experimental plots containing arable and horticultural crops are available for use by students, particularly in relation to their projects. Crop Science fieldwork is carried out as part of the normal arable rotation on the farm, which is within easy reach of the laboratories.

The School also has a Tropical Crops Research Unit - computer controlled glasshouses are available for research on a range of tropical species.

Links with industry further enhance the course by providing valuable industry knowledge and experience and relating the subject to commercial practice

Scholarships may be available -please see our web-site.
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This MSc takes advantage of our unique expertise in Plant Genetics to provide expert, cutting-edge training in a highly prized discipline. Read more
This MSc takes advantage of our unique expertise in Plant Genetics to provide expert, cutting-edge training in a highly prized discipline. The degree provides an ideal grounding for PhD research or a career in plant breeding and crop improvement with modules including Genetics, Plant Genomics, Plant Molecular Genetics and Statistics for Plant Science.

Your taught modules will be complemented by a six-month laboratory-based research project, giving you the opportunity to work closely with world-leading scientists from the John Innes Centre and our School of Biological Sciences.

The John Innes Centre – based on Norwich Research Park alongside UEA – is one of the world’s leading research institutes in plant genetics and crop improvement, so there are few places in the world where you’ll find a better opportunity to work with such leading authorities and world-class facilities.

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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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In this century, food security and the need to develop sustainable agriculture will become dominant issues affecting the whole world. Read more
In this century, food security and the need to develop sustainable agriculture will become dominant issues affecting the whole world. The global population is projected to increase dramatically from 7 to 9 billion in the next 30 years, causing an unprecedented demand for food and increased pressure on land. The aim of this Food Security Degree is to provide you with knowledge and skills relating to the broad topic of food security, incorporating socio-economic, animal and crop aspects.

Why this programme

-This exciting Food Security MSc is taught through collaboration between academics with world class expertise in diverse aspects of food security.
-It discusses the demographic, social and economic issues, the challenges of achieving sustainable agriculture and presents the factors affecting food production from crops and animal sources.
-The programme will include guest lectures on a range of topics and site visits.
-Students will acquire knowledge of technology transfer and commercialisation.
-Students will gain practical laboratory skills in molecular biology and in genetic modification.
-Students will undertake a project that will develop their investigative skills and their ability to critically appraise and integrate information from different sources.
-A key feature of this Food Security Degree is that it provides a very broad perspective on Food Security.

Programme structure

We welcome students from diverse educational backgrounds and we anticipate that many will be unfamiliar with all the topics in this programme. Therefore the courses will provide a general introduction to each topic and, in addition, we offer optional lectures to bring students with different backgrounds ‘up to speed’ in subjects they may not have encountered previously.

The programme starts with a discussion of fundamental issues in food security and subsequently expands on key topics, including animal food, crop improvement and the importance of insects in agriculture. You will acquire practical laboratory skills as well as the ability to critically evaluate publications and will learn about commercial issues relating to food production. Finally, you will undertake an investigative project.

The Programme comprises 11 courses:
-Introduction to Food Security
-Food Security Fundamentals: food of animal origin
-Food Security Fundamentals: crops
-Role of Insects in Food Security
-Molecular Lab Skills
-Global Animal Production
-Quantitative Methods
-Plant Genetic Engineering
-Crop Biotechnology Applications
-Technology Transfer and Commercialisation
-Food Security Project

Teaching Methods
Most courses are taught through lectures and tutorials, in which there will be discussion of key concepts and training in the critical appraisal of published information. In addition, some courses include guest lectures and site visits. The course on Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research will include workshop sessions. Two courses provide training in laboratory skills: Molecular Lab Skills and Plant Genetic Engineering. The project will involve an independent investigation of a selected topic in food security under supervision from an expert in the field.

Career prospects

Food security is a major challenge of this century and hence there will be opportunities to develop careers in several areas. Career prospects includeworking in Agri-industry, research institutes, government advisory, international advisory, media and research positions.

The breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills you will acquire in this Masters Programme will help you obtain employment or undertake research in the food security sector.

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- check at. http://www.unipd.it/en/biotecnologie-alimentazione. http://www.unipd.it/en/how-apply. Instructions in English. http://www.unipd.it/en/educational-offer/second-cycle-degrees/school-of-agricultural-sciences-and-veterinary-medicine?ordinamento2011&keyIF0362. Read more

Admission Notice now available

- check at
http://www.unipd.it/en/biotecnologie-alimentazione
http://www.unipd.it/en/how-apply

Instructions in English:
http://www.unipd.it/en/educational-offer/second-cycle-degrees/school-of-agricultural-sciences-and-veterinary-medicine?ordinamento=2011&key=IF0362
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Biotechnologies for Food Science

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the University of Padova inaugurated a new curriculum of the Master Degree “Biotechnology applied to Food Security and Nutrition” (Second Cycle Degree) entitled “Biotechnologies for Food Science " to be entirely taught in English.
The “Biotechnologies for Food Science " Master degree (MSc) is an interdisciplinary and research-oriented Master of Science Programme and explores how to produce healthier and safer food following a cross-cutting, farm/field-to-fork approach. It is focused on the application of advanced biotechnologies in food production and safety and it is the ideal trait-d’union between the requests of consumers, of producers in the agro-food sector and research applied to production and food-safety.
The course has a strong component on cutting-edge methods, such as genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, metabolomics, nanotechnologies, all in the context of animal and crop production as well as food quality and safety. Theoretical lessons are mixed with practical training, offering hands-on experience in advanced DNA, RNA, and protein analysis together with substantial lab sessions in bioinformatics. Lectures will deal with food production, hygiene and quality, molecular methods of agro-food analyses, effects of agro-biotech products on human beings and environments. Moreover environmental stresses, disease mechanisms, pathogens and pests will be treated as essential to understand how to protect crop and farm animals and how food might impact on human health: the lectures move across animal infectious disease, immunology, microbiology, plant pests and pathogens as well as abiotic stresses to show how biotechnology might help preventing disease and improve food production. As consumers are increasingly worried about the presence of contaminants in food and on the real origin of what they eat; the Programme includes a course in food toxicology and regulation, and one on traceability for food authentication.
Our Programme is based at the Agripolis campus, where are located four departments of the School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Padova, all of which contribute to the MSc course, offering the best opportunities for a rich, cross-disciplinary experience in a highly qualified scientific environment.

Who is the MSc candidate?

This programme is open to Italian and foreign students from the EU and abroad, interested in learning and implementing effective value-added practices for the production of high-quality food products both in the EU and in international markets. English knowledge must be minimum at B2 level (CEFR). Applying students might possibly have a three-year Bachelor’s degree in a field connected with the Master’s curriculum. Good background in molecular biology, biochemistry, and microbiology is requested.

How is the programme organised?

Biotechnologies for Food Science is a 2-year Master programme (120 ECTS, equivalent to a Master of Science). Requirements for graduation include courses and preparation and defense of the Master thesis. Students will be encouraged to spend a period of their studies abroad, through Erasmus+ or other local programmes and agreements. Financial support to meet part of the cost for thesis work is granted to best students.
Visit the MSc “Biotechnologies for Food Science” page on the Università di Padova web-site (http://www.unipd.it/en/biotecnologie-alimentazione) for more details.

Teaching methods

Teaching takes place in an international environment and includes lectures and laboratory activities, practical exercises and seminars by experts; opportunities for intensive tutoring and for master thesis-related stages of at least six months duration will be available with outstanding companies in the sector of the food industry or with other relevant organisations in the private or public sphere. The Programme assists students to find suitable internship opportunities with qualified laboratories in Italy and abroad.
Examinations are written or oral and assess students’ participation also through reports, presentations, and group work.

Course structure

During the two-years MSc course students attend the following 12 course units

Applied genomics for animal and crop improvement
Applied Bionformatics
Food Microbiology and Food Microbial Biotechnology
Molecular basis of disease, immunology, and transmissible diseases
Laboratory of advanced DNA, RNA, and protein analysis
Biotechnology for crop production
Epidemiology and risk analysis
Traceability tools for species authentication  
Advanced technologies for the agrifood sector (nanotechnologies, proteomics, metabolomics)
Biotechnology for plant protection
Food toxicology and food regulation
Foreign language (English)

First year
During the first year of the programme the student will acquire knowledge on animal and crop genomics, focusing on the most advanced methods for high throughput genomic analysis (transcriptomics, genome-wide SNP analysis, epigenomics) and on the most recent approaches for selective breeding (genomic selection, genomic prediction). In parallel, the student will learn how bioinformatics tools might be applied to manage large sets of data, how biological data bases are organized and how to link different types of data. Extensive practical training in bioinformatics will be offered with various sessions in a dedicated lab. Food-borne pathogens and the positive role of microorganisms in food processes will be examined in an integrated microbiology course, while the molecular basis of pathology, host-response to infection, epidemiology, and diagnostics of transmissible diseases will form the basis of two courses. A course on biotechnology for crop production will introduce the molecular and physiological basis of crop production. Biotechnological approaches to improve crop yield, with particular attention to fruit production, and to reduce impact of abiotic stresses will examined. Molecular tools for food traceability and an intensive practical lab in DNA/RNA/protein analysis applied to food control will conclude the first year.

Second year
In the second year, the first semester have three courses. One will focus on novel technologies (proteomics, metabolomics, nanotechnology) and their application to food production. A second one will extend knowledge on plant biotechnology exploring advanced technologies for crop disease and pest management. A third one will deal with contaminants in food and food legislation. The second semester is completely dedicated to lab internship. It is possible to join a research lab in the campus or to have a working stage in the private sector.
link to the Campus descriptions:
http://youtu.be/gR4qcWUXvGg

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Life and plant science undergraduates, and professionals in commercial horticulture and agriculture looking to develop their career, from the UK and overseas, will benefit from a broad, research-led syllabus. Read more
Life and plant science undergraduates, and professionals in commercial horticulture and agriculture looking to develop their career, from the UK and overseas, will benefit from a broad, research-led syllabus. Taught content will equip the graduate with the expertise needed to work independently in a range of areas of current commercial plant science, at supervisory or management level, or in applied research. As well as ensuring a thorough grounding in basic science and horticultural technology, the modern molecular biology content is particularly relevant, since new technologies are rapidly entering the commercial arena. The independent research project will be set in a research institution or appropriate local industry, and will be designed around the student's interests and expertise.

The MSc focuses on methods used in the evaluation and improvement of conventional crops that feed the growing world population, but also alternative protected crops and ornamentals along with postharvest management, business and environmental concerns, and plant stress and disease in a changing climate.

Experts in this increasingly important area are needed in businesses nationally and internationally, in research and innovation, and at government and agency level where the ability to understand and follow current developments is required to guide and direct global sustainable solutions to population change.

The aims of the programme are:
• To provide knowledge of the science of plant biology and its application in the commercial and research arena
• To introduce the practicalities of horticulture and agriculture technologies including consideration of sustainability
• To examine the commercial aspects of this business area, including the planning, execution and evaluation of trials to exploit and develop novel approaches, practices, and crops
• To allow the student to synthesise, evaluate and critically judge which technologies and research findings are of value and appropriate to their current or future employment environment in a UK or international setting.

Visit the website http://www.gre.ac.uk/pg/engsci/aps

Food and Agricultural Sciences

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) has an internationally-recognised academic reputation and provides taught postgraduate courses in a wonderful environment for students.

NRI provide research, consultancy, training and advisory services to underpin sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction. The majority of our activities focus on the harnessing of natural and human capital for the benefit of developing countries, though much of our expertise has proved to be of growing relevance to industrialised nations.

What you'll study

• Molecular and plant biology principles for plant improvement
• Research methods in plant science
• Independent research project
• Plant growth and cropping technology

Options:
• Agroforestry
• Agronomy and crop physiology
• Applications and aspects of commercial crop science
• Food and markets
• Planning for personal and professional development
• Plant disease management

Fees and finance

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Find out more about our fees and the support available to you at our:
- Postgraduate finance pages (http://www.gre.ac.uk/finance/pg)
- International students' finance pages (http://www.gre.ac.uk/finance/international)

Assessment

Examinations, coursework, research project dissertation.

Specialist equipment/facilities

Molecular biology laboratories, horticultural and agricultural facilities

Career options

Production managers - management of plant/crop production (protected and non-protected crops) and postharvest facilities.

Development specialists - selection, development and evaluation of existing and novel plants and crops.

Retailing produce - food and crop technologists, retailing food and non-food derived crops and products, including fresh produce and postharvest technologists.

Institutes, NGOs and governmental bodies - governance and policy linked to application of horticultural/agricultural technologies.

Applied research scientist - application of plant science into practice.

Find out how to apply here - http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/apply

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There has never been a more urgent need to train scientists in the area of food security, equipped with skills in agronomy; plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics; and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. Read more

Food security: a global concern

There has never been a more urgent need to train scientists in the area of food security, equipped with skills in agronomy; plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics; and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. The Royal Society report Reaping the Benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture published in October 2009, provided the clearest evidence of the challenge of ensuring global food security during the next 50 years. Crop yields need to rise significantly, but in a manner that requires much lower dependency on chemical intervention and fertilisers.

Meeting the challenge of sustainable agriculture

This programme was developed in collaboration with the agricultural industry, government agencies including Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), and farmers and food manufacturers, to provide a multi-disciplinary training in sustainable agriculture and global food security. Research-led teaching in molecular plant pathology, plant sciences and microbiology is strongly supplemented by Rothamsted Research, North Wyke expertise in grassland management, soil science and sustainable farming systems. Leading social scientists also provide valuable input in rural land use and the rural economy. The combination of expertise in both arable and pastureland systems ensures a truly rounded learning experience.

The curriculum takes account of the key skills shortages in the UK to train highly skilled individuals who can enter government agencies, agriculture and food industries and fulfil very valuable roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security. The programme provides opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences including field trips.

Expert teaching

Teaching is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry. Scientific staff from Fera provide specialist lectures as part of the Crop Security module, members of the Plant Health Inspectorate cover field aspects of plant pathology, and a LEAF1 farmer addresses agricultural systems and the realities of food production using integrated farm management. In addition, teaching staff from the University and BBSRC Rothamsted-North Wyke will draw on material and experiences from their academic research and scientific links with industry.

Industrial and practical experience

All students will have opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences. Teaching visits will be made to the Plant Health Inspectorate in Cornwall to see quarantine management of Phytophthora, and to a local LEAF farm to review the challenges and approaches to food production in integrated farm management systems. You will gain specialised experience in practical science or policy making through a dissertation or project placement with external agencies. Defra and Fera, for example, are offering five dissertation and/or project placements annually.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of modules. The list of modules may include the following; Professional Skills; Research Project; Sustainable Land Use in Grassland Agriculture; Crop Security; Sustainable Livestock and Fisheries; Political Economy of Food and Agriculture and Research and Knowledge Transfer for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand. Please see the website for an up to date list (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/foodsecurity/#Programme-structure)

Addressing a skills shortage to tackle global food security

The MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture curriculum has been designed in collaboration with the agricultural industry to tackle the skills shortage that exists in this vital interdisciplinary area. This programme will provide the highly skilled individuals required in government agencies, agriculture and food industries for critical roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security.

Global horizons

With food security and sustainable agriculture a global concern, opportunities for specialists in the areas of agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant improvement will be worldwide. By combining expertise across the natural, social and political sciences, this programme provides valuable interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in both arable and pastureland systems. Graduates will be prepared to take on the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture, being able to adapt to farming systems across the world and identify cross-disciplinary solutions to local agricultural problems.

Learning enhanced by industry

The programme is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry, with specialist lectures, teaching visits to observe the practical application of techniques, and industrial placement opportunities for project work or dissertations in practical science or policy making.

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Plants provide food, raw materials, and a healthy environment and are the cornerstone for life on earth. Plant Science is key to understanding and enhancing plant life. Read more
Plants provide food, raw materials, and a healthy environment and are the cornerstone for life on earth. Plant Science is key to understanding and enhancing plant life. Research in the Department of Plant Agriculture is divided into four areas: Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Production Systems, and Bioproducts.

Plant Biochemistry and Physiology is a broad discipline. Faculty and students in this area study the response of plants to environmental change and plant development at the ecosystem, whole plant, and molecular levels. Students investigate ecologically friendly management strategies, study underlying molecular and biochemical mechanisms for regulating plant development, investigate how plant performance can be optimized in the field or closed environments, and contribute to cultivar development.

Plant Breeding and Genetics has long been a key focus of our faculty and students. Through breeding and biotechnology, Guelph researchers help society by developing new field-crop, fruit, ornamental and vegetable cultivars that are grown in Canada and worldwide. Also, Plant Agriculture faculty and students seek both to understand the fundamental mechanisms that enable plant improvements and to discover novel methodologies and technologies that will be the foundation for future advances..

Crop Production Systems research seeks to develop or test agricultural management strategies for yield improvement and economically and environmentally sound production practices in field and horticultural crops such as ornamentals and turf. Students in this area assist producers and industry in the control of weeds, insects, or plant diseases, and investigate the efficacy of new management protocols for production of high quality crops.

Bioproducts is a multi-disciplinary field and will deal with background sciences ranging from chemical engineering to plant science. Students deal with products and materials made from cellulose, oil, protein, starch and other compounds derived from various plant parts such as seeds, stalks/stovers, hulls and cobs of crop plants. Students will develop their expertise in analytical methods, factors affecting quality of plant-derived raw materials,

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