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Masters Degrees (Organic Farming)

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The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. Read more
The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. The organic sector requires highly trained individuals to work as certification officers, advisers, agronomists, farmers, farm managers and livestock specialists. SRUC offers this programme to enable students with a variety of academic and working experiences to gain a fast-track understanding of the key technical production, marketing and management aspects of organic farming and food.

This enables students to build on their existing expertise and aspirations, and to give them enhanced career opportunities as practitioners, promoters and facilitators within the sector.

The organic farming courses are offered on a part-time distance learning basis to allow those in continuing employment or with family commitments to be able to participate. Course participants come from a wide range of backgrounds, including farmers, growers, vets and other agricultural and food sector workers who wish to develop their career and businesses in the organic food and farming sector, as well as those from unrelated backgrounds wishing to increase their knowledge and understanding of organic systems.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:
- An ability to critically appraise organic farming as an agricultural system
- A good understanding of the organic sector
- A sound knowledge of the science underpinning organic farming
- An understanding of the marketing, business & quality assurance requirements for organic produce
- Work placement experience
- Research skills (MSc only)

The course is accessible through its delivery by part-time on-line distance learning.

Course Content

The course modules comprise of a mix of technical production, marketing and management, and skill development modules.

Organic Forage and Livestock Production

This module will provide an understanding of the role of forage legumes in organic systems and describe grassland management systems that maximise the contribution of legumes. Students will also be given an understanding of the organic approach to livestock production, particularly in terms of animal welfare, preventative health management and nutrition.

Soils and Nutrient Cycling

This module will aim to provide the students with the tools for optimal management of their soils. Ultimately, they should be able to describe soil properties, evaluate soil fertility and assess management requirements in the context of organic farming. The module provides an understanding of the chemical, physical and biological features of soil fertility and nutrient cycling and develops practical skills in soil assessment and whole farm nutrient budgeting.

Organic Crop Production

This module will provide an understanding of methods of crop production for arable and vegetable field crops, with particular reference to organic farming in the UK. The module will develop an understanding of breeding, establishment, nutrition, protection, harvesting and storage in the context of organic crop production of field crops.

Organic Farming Case Study

This module will improve the student's ability to undertake whole farm analysis and in particular organic conversion planning. Whole farm analysis involves a range of skills and examination of a wide range of issues: technical, financial, marketing and environmental. The module will require the student to integrate the knowledge gained in other modules, to provide an evaluation and plan for the conversion to organic production of an actual farm example.

Organic Farming Profession

This module will provide an overview of the philosophy, principles, history and development of the organic farming industry. The organic standards will be introduced and the ways in which they are used to regulate the organic food and farming industry at UK, European and world levels will be covered. The roles of the main UK organisations that influence the development of the organic sector will also be explored.

Organic Farming Work Placement

This module will allow students to become familiar with an organisation or business in the organic food and farming sector during a 6-week (or equivalent) work placement. The student will gather relevant and unique material to enable them to carry out a technical and business analysis and make recommendations for future development of the organisation or business in question. The material will also be used in class discussion and to contribute to group learning.

Issues in Organic Farming

This module explores the public goods delivered by organic farming. It develops an understanding of food quality and the role and application of Quality Assurance (QA) Schemes in the organic food sector to meet the needs of relevant legislation and consumer concerns. The module also provides an overview of the principles of environmental management in the context of organic agriculture, helping students gain an appreciation of the potential impacts of agricultural enterprises on the environment, measures for minimising such impacts, and opportunities for incorporating positive environmental management measures into farm business plans.

Marketing and Business Management in the Organic Farming Sector

This module will provide an understanding of the concepts, principles and techniques involved in marketing management and how they are applied in the context of the organic farming sector. Financial accounts are one source of information regarding an organic business, and aid the process of planning and control. This module will provide an understanding of accounts to assist in the process of setting goals within a business and assessing the financial consequences of alternatives.

Course Format

This course is studied part time through on-line distance learning. This allows those in continuing employment or with family commitments to participate. With the exception of several weekend schools and a short study tour, the learning is carried out in the student's home or work place.

The MSc Project (taken following successful completion of taught modules)
Provides an opportunity for in-depth individual research on a topic related to organic farming.

Postgraduate Diploma

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level for students who opt not to progress to the Masters. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study 4 modules per year and complete the PgDip in two years. This would normally take an average of 12 to 15 hours study time a week.

Study Tour

The study tour is used to visit a range of organic and conventional farms as well as businesses operating in the organic food supply and distribution chain. In the taught modules an element of student choice is often built in through the use of essay and other course work topics that cover areas of potential interest. There is also a Work Placement module. Students following the distance learning course may gain exemption from the practical element of the placement but will require to complete a report of their work experience.

The study weekends and short study tour are an integral part of teaching delivery and students are strongly recommended to attend these if they are to succeed in this course.

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This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. Read more
This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. You will learn and test the latest approaches in the integrated delivery of soil, crop and livestock, and food supply chain management.

Through a combination of lectures, field trips, seminars, practical classes and research projects you will develop advanced knowledge and skills in:
-Managing organic farming and food production units or businesses in different macroclimatic, agronomic and market contexts
-Agronomic approaches used in organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production systems
-Underlying principles and standards of organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production, processing and retailing/marketing systems
-Applied and strategic research underpinning the development of organic and other sustainable farming and food production systems
-A wide range of analytical laboratory methods

You will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day field trip as part of the module on Mediterranean perennial crop production systems in Crete, Greece. The trip is organised in collaboration with ecological farming experts from the Greek National Science Foundation (NAGREF).

As part of your studies you will also undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported through training in designing and delivering a laboratory project or field-based investigation. You will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner.

This research project and thesis may be undertaken at the University, in industry, in Crete as part of existing Nafferton Ecological Farming Group research and development projects, or in another country.

Our staff

You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape.

Strategic research embraces work on:
-Soil quality
-Rhizosphere function
-Plant-soil feedback
-Soil-carbon dynamics
-Nutrient cycling

Applied research addresses issues of:
-Climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
-Ecological (organic) farming systems
-Low-input crop systems
-Agriculture-environment interactions

Professor Carlo Leifert is the Degree Programme Director for MSc in Organic Farming and Food Production Systems. Carlo is a member of the Food Security Network in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS) and is part of the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group (NEFG). He currently manages EU and DEFRA funded projects focused on improving resource efficiency, productivity and food quality and safety in organic and 'low input' crop and livestock production systems.

Delivery

The course is taught in a block format with a six-week block and then two-week teaching blocks.

You will be taught through:
-Lectures
-Seminars
-Practical and field classes
-Tutorials
-Case studies
-Small group discussions

You will be expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS). This allows us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

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The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of the sustainability issues associated with Northern European agriculture, and is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams. Read more
The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of the sustainability issues associated with Northern European agriculture, and is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams.

Having completed the MSc you will be able to identify farming systems and determine their key characteristics, and critically evaluate the environmental impacts of conventional, integrated and organic farming systems. You will also learn to assess and exploit the latest developments in technology, and produce integrated farm management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social and environmental requirements.

The course

The continuing production of safe, wholesome food in an environmentally sensitive manner is a major political issue for national governments and internationally within global commodity markets. A report produced by the UK Cabinet Office in 2008 (Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century) predicts that the global population will rise to 9 billion by 2050 rising from a current estimate of nearly 6.8Bn. This increase in population size will substantially increase the demand for food. The global estimates vary in magnitude, but it is thought approximately 25% of crops are lost to pests and diseases, such as insects, fungi and other plant pathogens (FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation 2009)

In a 2009 response to the emerging issues centred on global food security, the UK BBRSC launched a consultation exercise entitled Future Directions in Research Relating to Food Security. In seeking responses as to the direction of future research BBSRC identified a number of key themes. These included the:
■ Translation of research into commercial practice and the creation of effective partnerships to enable exchange of knowledge and development of skills in the uptake of new scientific findings
■ Establishment of require long-term programmes in research and training, underpinned by investment in the agricultural research infrastructure
■ Focus on applying the latest science to increasing crop and animal productivity globally while minimising negative environmental impact (including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the efficient use of water, energy and other inputs, conserving biodiversity and landscapes), reducing losses from pests and diseases, enhancing food safety and quality for improved nutrition, and reducing waste throughout the food supply chain.

This course is intended to provide students with a key understanding of the issues involved in the sustainable production of food in accordance with the themes outlined above and is underpinned by an extensive programme of associated research at Harper Adams.

How will it benefit me?

The course provides an overview of the key issues involved in sustainable agricultural production within a global context. Since there is a focus on the underlying scientific principles, the course is suited to students of all nationalities in addition to those from the UK. Initially, you will learn to identify global farming systems and determine their key characteristics, before undertaking more complex evaluations of conventional and integrated or organic farming systems. You will undertake training in the use of the latest resources and use these to produce global integrated farm management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social, economic and environmental requirements. You will also have the option of undertaking a case study module where you will be able to focus exclusively on farming system of relevance to your background or intended career destination. The research project will provide training in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of appropriate experiments or surveys to address research questions or problems relevant to sustainable agriculture.

Careers

Students have typically entered a wide variety of professions. Some have worked for government departments and agencies such as Natural England or the Environment Agency. Others have joined agrochemical companies or found positions within agricultural or environmental consultancies.

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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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The Research Masters (ResM) is a Masters level degree awarded by Plymouth University through the Duchy College node - a research node of Plymouth University’s Centre for Agriculture and Rural Sustainability (CARS). Read more
The Research Masters (ResM) is a Masters level degree awarded by Plymouth University through the Duchy College node - a research node of Plymouth University’s Centre for Agriculture and Rural Sustainability (CARS).

All ResM students are supervised by college staff based in Cornwall on the Stoke Climsland or Newquay campuses and co-supervised by Plymouth University staff. The ResM culminates in the examination of a thesis based on a period of extended research, preceded by two taught modules that equip the student for research.

The ResM programme at Duchy is tailored to individual needs and commonly involves working with an industry partner. There are full-time and part-time routes.

Full and partial fees bursaries may be available, please contact Dr Peter McGregor for more information and eligibility criteria.

Indicative project titles for Agriculture & Food:
• Agricultural change and its social, economic and environmental implications
• Farm family wellbeing
• Succession and retirement in farming
• Impact of organic farming on the rural economy
• Sustainable farming and food
• The food and farming economy of Devon and Cornwall

Proposed project titles:
• Generating virus free tulips: A collaborative project with the Botanic Garden Cambridge. You will be based in the nationally renowned micro-propagation laboratory at Duchy College Rosewarne (moving to Eden Project by Sept 2016) and undertake a series of experiments to generate virus free tissue and help preserve a rare and valuable tulip accession of the Botanic Garden Cambridge. Techniques will include tissue culture and molecular viral detection.

Student case study: “Study is flexible and fits in alongside my employment plus the tutors are experts in their field. When I finish I hope to use my knowledge and research to enhance the training offered to farmers in the South West” (Polly Gilbert, ResM Agriculture & Food).

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management.

Crop science

Genes and physiological traits, such as:
-Resistance to crop pests and diseases
-Molecular-assisted selection and breeding methods
-Plant environment interactions and their relationships to stress biology
-Physiological basis of crop yield and quality
-Biotransformation of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants
-Herbicide selectivity in cereals and competing weeds

Soil science

-Soil ecology and the contribution of soil biodiversity to soil quality
-Soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics
-Interpretation of soil and landscape processes to improve understanding of recent and historical environmental change
-Land degradation processes and their control

Ecological (organic) agriculture

-Functional biodiversity for control of pest, disease and weed pressure
-Long term factorial systems comparison experiments for in depth study of different aspects of conventional and organic farming systems

Agricultural water management

-Irrigated agriculture
-Interactions between land-use and hydrological response in a semi-arid environment
-Soil hydrological processes affecting management of salinity in irrigated land

Delivery

We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.

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Sustainable rural development is seen as critical to survival of rural areas at a global level. Central to the success of any rural development programme, is a skilled team of experts to think strategically about rural development and ensure its delivery. Read more
Sustainable rural development is seen as critical to survival of rural areas at a global level. Central to the success of any rural development programme, is a skilled team of experts to think strategically about rural development and ensure its delivery. This graduate programme will be of direct relevance to those interested in becoming leaders in rural development and promoting sustainability in the rural sector. It will also be of interest to those currently employed in rural development.

AIM
The Diploma course is strongly inter-disciplinary. It aims to develop an understanding of the underlying processes of economic, social and environmental practice with an emphasis on sustainability. Thus, as well as teaching the theories and concepts underlying rural development, the course places strong emphasis on the application of theory to development problems in rural areas, with an emphasis on the EU.


STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
Students on the full-time diploma course are required to take a total of four taught modules and a double module Work Experience Placement during the academic year from September to June.


Global Sustainability, Local Solutions and Rural Policy (single module)
This module explores the history of Rural
Development locally and provides an introduction to European Union, national and regional policies and strategies. Students will become familiar with key policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy, EU Rural Development Programmes, Rural Development Programme, and a range of EU legislation relating to rural policies.

Students will have had the opportunity to develop the following knowledge:

• CAP reform, Decoupling and Single Farm Payment
• Use of Community Initiatives such as LEADER
• Diversification of the rural economy
• Rural Champion, Rural White Paper and Rural Proofing
• Agri-Environment Programmes, Countryside Management, Forestry and Organic Farming schemes

Rural Development: Rhetoric and Reality (single module)
This module aims to provide students with the basic skills necessary to take responsibility for a project management process from start to finish. The following are the main areas covered.
• Fundraising and income generation
• Social inclusion: key concepts
• Rural poverty
• Physical Planning for Rural Areas
• Sustainable Rural Tourism
• Community Development

Foundations for Sustainable Development (i) (single module)
This is a broad ranging module exploring the major global issues in environmental sustainability, such as Climate Change, Biodiversity, Waste Management, Water Management, Renewable Energy. The module will introduce concepts and methodologies such as Environmental Economics, Ecological Footprinting and Environmental Impact Analysis as well as moral and ethical ways of considering sustainable development problems.

Methods for Rural and Sustainability Research (single module)
The purpose of this module is to provide students with a basic understanding of the various methods which are used in both rural and sustainable development practice and research.
The module is intended to complement other modules in the curriculum by providing students with a range of techniques which can be utilised in gathering knowledge, undertaking analyses, reporting findings and applying knowledge. Formal lectures are supplemented by case studies and visiting speakers.


Work Placement/Internship (double module)
Each student will work with a University tutor to identify and undertake a specific piece of work either in their own workplace or in a suitable co-operating organisation that has a rural or sustainability interest. The placement must normally be completed during years 1 & 2 of the degree and will be guided by an agreed set of learning objectives and work tasks. Assessment will be based on the student’s diary or log, a final report prepared by the student and an oral presentation to students, staff and the placement mentor. This internship will offer students the opportunity to combine theory with practical tasks and to develop professional work habits.

The aim is to ensure, by the end of the programme, adequate coverage of the range of disciplines relevant to sustainable rural development. All taught modules will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and written and oral examination.


PROGRESSION TO MSc
Students who attain the required standard in the six modules and submit a satisfactory research proposal may progress from the Graduate Diploma to the MSc by completion of a dissertation which is equivalent to three modules. This element of the programme involves original research including a literature review, data gathering and analysis. The research will be carried out under the supervision of a member of the academic staff from July to September (inclusive).

Up to date information on course fees can be found at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/finance/TuitionFees/

The University provides information on possible sources of awards which is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/PostgraduateCentre/PostgraduateFunding/

Additional information for International students

http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/InternationalStudents/

Applicants who are non-EEA nationals must satisfy the UK Border Agency (UKBA) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes, by providing evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

*Taken within the last 2 yrs.

Please see http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs for more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals.

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Sustainable food production is increasingly important as the human population grows. we need to produce more food, more sustainably. Read more
Sustainable food production is increasingly important as the human population grows: we need to produce more food, more sustainably. This MSc, taught by world-class researchers, provides a unique opportunity for you to gain a rigorous scientific background if you are aiming for a career in habitat management, crop production, plant physiology, ecological research, scientific communication or agricultural policy.

Cutting-edge programme topics include sustainable agricultural intensification and food production; agri-environment schemes; organic farming; land sparing; genetically modified crops; emerging crops; effects of climate change and mitigation measures; interactions between managed species and the environment; ecosystem services including pollination; pest/disease control; and maximising production while minimising environmental impacts.

The programme covers a broad but highly applied subject area; the focus ranges from the molecular to the global level. You will also develop transferable skills including statistics, data handling, scientific writing, and research methods. This programme may provide a springboard to PhD research or lead to a career in industry, including management and technical career paths, policy, conservation, charities or NGOs, or ecological consultancy.

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The Rome Business School’s. Master in Agribusiness Management. Read more

The Rome Business School’s Master in Agribusiness Management is the ideal academic course for professionals seeking a world-class degree programme in these disciplines, leading to a successful global career in the agro network field (production, seed and crop, harvest and stock in agriculture, market of commodities, food supply chain, food and wine business).

With the Rome Business School’s international perspective, the programme offers a unique learning experience and a global professional exposure, enabling participants to study in one of the best cities of the world or online. The programme’s quality teaching and networking services all contribute to make it the perfect fit for anyone who is looking to rise to the top in the world of farming, food production, or in the start-up agribusiness system.

Objectives

In particular, on completing the programme, participants will be able to:

- Understand the characteristics and trends of the agri-food market and the role played by the farmers, industrialists, and their representatives in the organizations.

- Recognize the intersection of agribusiness with other areas of economic and social concern, such as economic development and new ways of production and business diversification (organic farming, biofuel, biogas, circular economy, etc…).

- Identify and manage the characteristics of the main food businesses and develop effective managerial strategies.

- Develop a comprehensive business plan for agri-food corporations.

- Utilize the most advanced marketing techniques to promote businesses and organizations.

- Manage the financial dimensions related to agricultural activities.

- Understand and utilize project management techniques for agricultural businesses.

- Manage the agri-food supply chain.

- Learn about the start-up ecosystem related to agribusiness.

- Master the use of new technologies within farmer or industrialist organizations and the most advanced production tools and channel.

- Learn about the international organizations operating in the agribusiness sector and the international policies and support linked to this economic sector.

- Meet farmers or food producers that changed their companies by taking new and radical approaches.

Structure (12 months)

The Rome Business School’s Master’s Degree in Agribusiness Management is structured in:

- 6 months of Lectures + Additional Activities

- 6 months of project work

- Company visits



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The Graduate Diploma in Agriculture is particularly appropriate for students who are re-directing their careers towards agriculture. Read more
The Graduate Diploma in Agriculture is particularly appropriate for students who are re-directing their careers towards agriculture. In addition to developing the pure agriculturist, the course provides students with a detailed knowledge of the UK agricultural industry.

Students are able to handpick their modules from a broad range of subject areas, to create a bespoke course, tailor made to meet their individual requirements. The ability to customise course content makes this the ideal opportunity for graduates, and professionals from other disciplines, looking to re-direct their career towards agricultural and associated rural industries.

A summer study tour, and £250 worth of rural skills training, are included in the cost of the course.

Structure

The course may be studied full-time over one academic year, or part-time over two, three or four years.

You will complete three compulsory modules, followed by four modules selected from a wide range of undergraduate modules allowing you to tailor the course to meet your career aspirations. You can undertake practical skills training courses at the Rural Innovation Centre to further enhance their employability.

You will participate in lectures, farm walks and visits, case studies, assignments, and management projects to develop your knowledge across curricular themes. You will also take part in a summer study tour, which exposes you to a variety of agricultural enterprises.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to complete pre-course reading in order to secure a minimum basic knowledge of agriculture and to highlight possible areas of weakness.

Modules

• 2256 Applied Agricultural Science
• 3100 Farm Business Management
• 3227 Agricultural Management

Plus choice of FOUR elective modules from:

• 1008 Agricultural Mechanisation and Buildings
• 1046 Human Nutrition, Health and Society
• 1054 Introduction to Food Production
• 2086 Red Meat Chains
• 2087 White Meat Chains
• 2232 Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship and Enterprise Development
• 3006 Emerging Agricultural Issues
• 3008 Advanced Livestock Production
• 3009 Agricultural & Equine Journalism
• 3010 Game & Deer Management
• 3011 Rural Business Diversification
• 3020 Advanced Crop Production
• 3067 Farm Machinery Management
• 3084 Entrepreneurship
• 3087 Advanced Dairy Food Chains
• 3090 Forestry and Woodland Management
• 3093 Farmland Ecology
• 3096 Wine Industry
• 3097 Small Scale Farming and Local Food Supply
• 3104 Food and Agri-business Strategies
• 3205 Management Information Systems for Farming Businesses
• 3207 Farming and Integrated Environment Local Delivery
• 3210 Applied Agricultural Finance
• 3218 Sustainable Business and Agrifood Supply Chains
• 3228 Integrated Organic Systems

Career prospects

Many graduates enter practical farming or take up commercial or administrative posts in the related land-based industries. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers as:

• Farm Managers
• Farm Workers
• Senior Planners
• Project Managers
• Livestock Skills Instructors

Graduates may qualify for progression on to a Masters course.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.rau.ac.uk/STUDY/POSTGRADUATE/HOW-APPLY

Funding

For information on funding, please view the following page: https://www.rau.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/funding

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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
• Organic and Low Input Ruminant Production
• Ruminant Gut Microbiology
• Ruminant Health & Welfare
• Ruminant Nutrition
• Global Ruminant Production
• Silage Science
• Farm Business Management
• Plant Breeding
• 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.

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NEW PROGRAMME. The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) is excited to announce the launch of a new programme entitled. Read more

NEW PROGRAMME

The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) is excited to announce the launch of a new programme entitled MSc Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty (title subject to validation), which will commence in September 2018. The programme will encompass enhanced knowledge from our now larger team of experts and will be informed by recent research. This will replace the MSc in Agroecology and Food Security which will run for the last time in the September 2017-18 academic year. Please check our website for details which will be published very soon.

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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.

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, the course:

-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 of organic 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;
  • gender, food systems and natural resources; 
  • 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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Students can choose to start in September, May or January. About the course. This Sustainable and Efficient Food Production postgraduate course centres on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact within the extensive pasture-based production sector. Read more

Students can choose to start in September, May or January

About the course

This Sustainable and Efficient Food Production postgraduate course centres on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact within the extensive pasture-based production sector. The programme provides flexible, accessible, postgraduate level training for people employed in the agri-food sector. Training comprises distance learning modules and work-based research projects. These are accessible as CPD or as credit-bearing units, which can be built towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.

Taught by experts at both Aberystwyth University (AU) and Bangor University (BU), the Sustainable and Efficient Food Production course offers you a highly vocational option. In the most recent joint submission to the Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014), the department was placed in the top 10 universities in the UK for research intensity and 78% of our research was world-leading or internationally excellent.

To achieve an MSc students must complete five optional modules (including up to three from BU) plus Research Methods and a Dissertation.

Course structure and content

Two to five years to complete a full MSc. 14 weeks for one module by distance learning Three intakes per year (January, May, September). Students will be eligible for a UK Student Loan if the course is completed in 3 years.

Core modules:

Dissertation

Research Methods

Optional modules - Choose any 5 from:

Contact Time

We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each topic comprises a 12-14 week distance learning module worth 20 credits which can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest; or built towards a postgraduate qualification. The research elements of our qualifications are carried out in your work place with regular academic supervision. The training is web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection (i.e. are able to stream videos such as on YouTube), you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material includes podcast lectures, e-group projects, guided reading, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials. By signing a re-registration form each year you will have access to e-journals and library resources for the full five years.

Assessment

There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion.



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Students can choose to start in September, May or January. About the course. This scheme aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Read more

Students can choose to start in September, May or January

About the course

This scheme aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Students must complete three taught modules including research methods and a 120 credit work-based dissertation / research thesis (approximately 20,000 words in length).

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.

Students may build on the MRes to work towards a Professional Doctorate.

Course structure and content

An MRes can be completed in 2-5 years but we would expect most students to spend 1 year on their taught modules and 2 years on their work based dissertation. 12 or 14 weeks for one module by distance learning. Three intakes per year (January, May, September).

Students will be eligible for a UK Student loan if their course is completed within 3 years.

Core modules:

MRes Research Project

Research Methods

Optional modules:

Contact time

The MRes comprises three taught modules (including Research Methodologies and Advances in Bioscience) followed by a 120 credit work-based dissertation (20,000 words).

We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each taught module comprises a 12 or 14 week distance learning module worth 20 credits which can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest; or built towards a postgraduate qualification. The research elements of our qualifications are carried out in your work place with regular academic supervision. The training is web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection (i.e. are able to stream videos such as on YouTube), you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material includes podcast lectures, e-group projects, guided reading, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials. By signing a re-registration form each year you will have access to e-journals and library resources for the duration of your registration.

Assessment

There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion. Research is monitored and assessed.



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The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems. Read more

MSc Plant Sciences

The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems.

Programme summary

Plant Sciences deals with crop production ranging from plant breeding to the development of sustainable systems for the production of food, pharmaceuticals and renewable resources. It is linked with a professional sector that is highly important to the world economy. The programme focuses on the principles of plant breeding, agro-ecology and plant pathology and the integration of these disciplines to provide healthy plants for food and non-food applications. Technological aspects of crop production are combined with environmental, quality, socio-economic and logistic aspects. Students learn to apply their knowledge to develop integrated approaches for sustainable plant production.

Specialisations

Crop Science
Sound knowledge of crop science is essential to develop appropriate cultivation methods for a reliable supply of safe, healthy food; while considering nature conservation and biodiversity. An integrated approach is crucial to studying plant production at various levels (plant, crop, farm, region). This requires a sound understanding of basic physical, chemical, and physiological aspects of crop growth. Modelling and simulation are used to analyse yield constraints and to improve production efficiency.

Greenhouse Horticulture
Greenhouse horticulture is a unique agro-system and a key economic sector in the Netherlands. It is the only system that allows significant control of (a-) biotic factors through protected cultivation. The advances in this field are based on technological innovations. This specialisation combines product quality with quality of production and focuses on production, quality- and chain management of vegetables, cut flowers and potted plants.

Natural Resource Management
The development of sustainable agro-ecosystems requires understanding of the complex relationships between soil health, cultivation practices and nutrient kinetics. Other important aspects include the interactions between agriculture and nature, and competing claims on productive land worldwide. Natural Resource Management provides knowledge and tools to understand the interactions between the biotic and abiotic factors in agro-systems to facilitate diverse agricultural demands: bulk vs. pharmaceutical products, food vs. biofuel, conservation of biodiversity, climate change, and eco-tourism.

Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources
Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources ranges from the molecular to the population level and requires knowledge of the physiology and genetics of cultivated plants. Plant breeding is crucial in the development of varieties that meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality and sustainable production. The use of molecular techniques adds to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating selection by marker assisted breeding.

Complete Online Master
In September 2015, Wageningen University started the specialisation "Plant Breeding" as the first complete online Master of Science. For more information go to http://www.wageningenuniversity.eu/onlinemaster.


Plant Pathology and Entomology
The investments made in crop production need to be protected from losses caused by biotic stress. Integrated pest management provides protection by integrating genetic resistance, cultivation practices and biological control. This specialisation focuses on the ecology of insects, nematodes and weeds, and the epidemiology of fungi and viruses, including transmission mechanisms. Knowledge of plantinsect, plant-pathogen, and crop-weed relations establishes the basis for studies in integrated pest management and resistance breeding.

Your future career

Graduates in Plant Sciences have excellent career prospects and most of them receive job offers before graduation. They are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Graduates with a research focus are employed at universities, research institutes and plant breeding or agribusiness companies. Other job opportunities are in management, policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and (non-) governmental organisations.

Alumnus Maarten Rouwet.
“I was born in Germany and raised in the East of the Netherlands. After high school I applied for the Bèta-gamma bachelor at the University of Amsterdam where I majored in biology. After visiting the master open day at Wageningen University I knew that the master Plant Sciences had something unique to offer. In my master, I specialised in plant breeding, an ever so interesting field of research. I just started my first job as junior biotech breeder of leavy vegetables at Enza Zaden, a breeding company in Enkhuizen. One of my responsibilities is to identify resistances in wild species of lettuce and to implement these in breeding programmes of cultivated lettuce.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Organic Agriculture
MSc Plant Biotechnology.

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