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Agriculture×

Masters Degrees in Agricultural Sciences

A Masters in Agricultural Sciences develops expertise in the advanced research techniques that support modern farming and livestock management. You will explore current scientific theory and have the opportunity to research new techniques and practices.

These courses are usually laboratory-based MSc programmes, focussing on research and analysis rather than business and economics. Many are interdisciplinary, drawing on branches of Biology, Chemistry and other sciences.

Why study a Masters in Agricultural Sciences?

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Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?. Read more
Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?

Join the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences on the Viikki Campus to find solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. The University of Helsinki is the only university in Finland to offer academic education in this field.

In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you can pursue studies in plant production sciences, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science, depending on your interests and previous studies. For further information about the study tracks, see Programme contents.

Upon completing a Master’s degree, you will:
-Be an expert in plant production science, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science.
-Be able to assess the sustainability and environmental impact of food and energy production.
-Be able to apply biosciences, ecology, chemistry, physics or statistics, depending on your study track, to the future needs of agriculture.
-Have mastered the key issues and future development trends of your field.
-Have mastered state-of-the-art research and analysis methods and techniques.
-Be able to engage in international activities, project work and communication.
-Be able to acquire and interpret scientific research information in your field and present it orally and in writing.
-Have the qualifications to pursue postgraduate studies in a doctoral programme or a career as an expert or entrepreneur.

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

Programme Contents

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks:
Plant production sciences – plants as sources of food, feed, energy, beauty and wellbeing
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to apply biology to the breeding, cultivation, protection and production ecology of crop or horticultural plants. Producing sufficient food is one of the great challenges facing humanity. Plant production sciences have an important mission in finding solutions to this challenge. Plants are cultivated not only for food and feed, but also for bioenergy, green landscapes and ornamental purposes; plant production sciences seek new, improved solutions for all these purposes.

Animal science – animal health and wellbeing
During your studies, you will become familiar with issues pertaining to the wellbeing, nutrition and breeding of production and hobby animals as well as with the relevant biotechnology. In this study track you will apply biochemistry, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology for the benefit of sustainable animal production. The Viikki Research Farm, in urban Helsinki, provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning!

Agrotechnology – technology with consideration for the environment
This study track provides you with the opportunity to study technologies that are key to agricultural production and the environment, from the basics to the latest innovations. Advances in technology and automation offer new horizons to fearless inventors interested in developing machinery and engineering for the reorganisation, implementation and adjustment of production in accordance with the needs of plants and animals.

Environmental soil science – dig below the surface
These studies allow you to literally dig beneath the surface. The soil is a central factor for the production of renewable natural resources, the diversity of nature, and the quality of water systems. As an expert in environmental soil science you will know how the soil serves as a substrate for plants and affects the quality of food, and how it can be improved.

Selection of the Major

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks, allowing you to focus on a specialisation according to your interests and previous studies: plant production sciences (quota of 40 students), animal science (quota of 25 students), agrotechnology (quota of 15 students), and environmental soil science (quota of 5 students).

You can be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences either directly from the relevant Bachelor’s programme or through a separate admissions process. A total of 80 students will be admitted through these two admissions channels.

Programme Structure

With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s programme can be completed in two academic years. The degree comprises:
-60 credits of advanced studies in the selected study track, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits)
-60 credits of other studies from the curriculum of your own or other degree programmes

The study tracks of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to construct thematic modules around importance topical issues: the bioeconomy, the recycling of nutrients, food systems, and the production and exploitation of genomic information.

You must also complete a personal study plan (PSP). Your studies can also include career orientation and career planning.

Various teaching methods are used in the programme, including lectures, practical exercises, practical laboratory and field courses, practical training, seminars, project work and independent study.

Career Prospects

As a graduate of the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you will have the competence to pursue a career or to continue your studies at the doctoral level.

According to the statistics of the Finnish Association of Academic Agronomists, the current employment situation for new graduates is positive. Graduates have found employment in Finland and abroad as experts in the following fields:
-Research and product development (universities, research institutes, companies, industry).
-Administration and expert positions (ministries, supervisory agencies, EU, FAO).
-Business and management (companies).
-Teaching, training and consultation (universities, universities of applied sciences, organisations, development cooperation projects).
-Communication (universities, media, companies, ministries, organisations).
-Entrepreneurship (self-employment).

As a graduate you can apply for doctoral education in Finland or abroad. A doctoral degree can be completed in four years. With a doctoral degree you can pursue a career in the academic world or enter the job market. The qualifications required for some positions may be a doctoral rather than a Master’s degree.

Other admission details

Applications are also accepted from graduates of other University of Helsinki Bachelor’s programmes as well as from graduates of other Finnish or international universities. In these cases, admission will be based on your previous academic performance and the applicability of your previous degree. For the latest admission requirements see the website: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/masters-admission-masters-programme-in-agricultural-sciences-master-of-science-agriculture-and-forestry-2-years/1.2.246.562.20.29558674254

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There is an increasing need for specialists within agriculture who have an understanding of both the business and technical aspects of the industry. Read more
There is an increasing need for specialists within agriculture who have an understanding of both the business and technical aspects of the industry. This postgraduate course is aimed at people who are interested in pursuing a career within the land based industries in a professional capacity. This could include consultants, agronomists, animal nutritionists, farm managers/ owners and those working for government departments on technical and regulatory issues.

There is currently a high demand for well trained and suitably qualified personnel within the agricultural industry, and a need for specialists who not only have an understanding of their sector, but have the skills to interact professionally with their clients. A core group of modules will focus on topics such as professional leadership and management, food and agricultural policy, business planning, project management. In order to develop the student’s own area of expertise there are a number of elective modules in business, crop or livestock production. Many positions require professional qualifications so there is the potential within the course to study FACTS, BASIS or AMTRA (additional fee and assessment will be required for these qualifications). In addition, the Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM) considers this course as suitable evidence of CPD for those wishing to pursue ‘Professional Agriculturalist’ status.

The course is offered on a part-time distance learning basis to make it accessible to those in employment or with family commitments to be able to participate. Applicants may 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 land-based sector.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:
- the technical and management skills required in modern agricultural professional practice
- the knowledge and understanding of how policy decisions impact on the land-based sector
- the ability to appraise research information and apply this to sustainable agricultural practice

The MSc Agricultural Professional Practice degree is awarded by the University of Glasgow.

Course Content

The programme is a mix of technical production, management, and skills development modules. The MSc consists of eight taught modules, followed by a period of dissertation project work. Five modules are compulsory:

Professional Leadership and Management
This module will develop key skills required for professional practice in Agriculture eg. communication skills, facilitating meetings, networking, customer relations, presentation skills and dealing with the media. It will also focus on professionalism, leadership and management skills and will include the setting of personal goals for career progression and identifying relevant CPD opportunities. Participants will be encouraged to identify and display appropriate attitudes, behaviors and values for their own situation.

Food and Agricultural Policy
This module will develop an understanding of the local, national and international policies that impact on the whole food chain from agricultural production, through business development to the consumer.

Business Planning and Decision Making
Business planning, analysis and decision making are essential components of successful rural business management. The applied nature of this course allows students to choose a business with which they are familiar thus making the experience relevant to their own work environment. This module will assist in the process of formulating a business plan to a professional standard, suitable for submission to a potential lender. The process of planning and control, and assessing the financial consequences of that plan will also be covered in the module.

Project Management for Agricultural Professionals
A key role of any agricultural consultancy is management of projects for clients. Underpinning this work is the role of project management. Firstly, this module will consider how to plan a project, manage resources and monitor progress. Secondly, this module will consider how to design an investigation and then analyse and interpret data from this work. The assignments will apply this information in work related projects.

Topical Issues in Modern Agriculture
The purpose of this module is to allow students to integrate the knowledge they possess and, by constructing a reasoned argument, develop broader understanding of their professional area and its relevance to related industries and the wider society. It is designed to develop the critical analysis and evaluation skills of students whilst dealing with complex issues and making informed judgements. The module will typically consist of a series of structured online debates on selected topics of contemporary relevance. Students will engage in constructive discussion of the topics giving critical analyses of the issues. Students will also research an issue that is relevant to their profession and then present it to the class, for peer review.

A further three modules are chosen from a range of options, including:
- Integrated Agricultural Management
- Sustainable Nutrient Management
- Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine
- Arable Crop Protection
- Grassland and Fodder Crop Protection
- Animal Feed Technology

MSc Project (taken following successful completion of taught modules)
This module takes the form of an in-depth investigative or research project on a topic related to agriculture which will be decided in consultation with the Module Leader and project supervisor. It will develop investigative skills and enable the critical evaluation and presentation of information.

[[Course Structure ]]
The programme is studied by part-time distance learning, with learning material presented using SRUC’s online learning environment which allows students to undertake the course from their own home or workplace.

The course is supported by regular weekend schools where participants attend SRUC Aberdeen for seminars, practical sessions and farm visits which provide a valuable part of the learning experience through group discussions and presentations.

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study four 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 during ‘term’ time.

Students wishing to complete the MSc, and who reach progression standard, will then go on to complete a research project following successful completion of all the taught modules.

Study weekends are an integral part of teaching and learning through interaction with peers, industry subject specialists and teaching staff. Students are strongly recommended to attend the two study weekends in September and February if they are to succeed in this course.

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Memorial University's Master of Science in Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences program is a rigorous, hands-on study of resources and agriculture in the context of boreal ecosystems. Read more
Memorial University's Master of Science in Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences program is a rigorous, hands-on study of resources and agriculture in the context of boreal ecosystems. The program focuses on the science and economics of plant, soil, land, and water resources. The program integrates brand-new labs in the Boreal Ecosystems Research Facilities, and through a combination of course, lab, and field work, and a required thesis, helps prepare students for any number of careers in environmental and agricultural industries.

Grenfell Campus is renowned for its environmental programming which enables students in its programs to draw upon a wide range of faculty with diverse environmental interests. Located in western Newfoundland, Grenfell is ideally placed to provide hands-on experiences in a diverse boreal environment. This includes wetlands, boreal forest, the atlantic ocean, numerous river systems, and sub-arctic tundra. With approximately 1,300 students, the university campus is an ideal size to allow students to work closely with faculty in pursuit of their studies.

The MSc program requires a selection of core courses and courses for specialization, followed by a mandatory thesis.

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The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialised multidisciplinary research organisation within the University of Greenwich. Read more
The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is a specialised multidisciplinary research organisation within the University of Greenwich. The Institute received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for its research activities on food security in the developing world. Much of NRI's research work is concerned with natural resources, agriculture and social development in developing countries, although it has an expanding portfolio of activities in Europe and other industrialised countries.

NRI provides a thriving environment for MPhil and PhD students working in agricultural and food sciences. Each of NRI's departments has a strong portfolio of research activities, of which students form an important and integral part.

The Agriculture, Health & Environment Department works on the worldwide development of appropriate cost-effective and sustainable approaches to controlling pests, diseases and weeds that affect crop production. Use of biocontrol and control methods involving no (or very low) conventional pesticides are increasing in importance in our work, especially for export crops.

The Department also has researchers who share a common interest in the many species of insects, ticks and rodents that cause injury to their hosts and transmit diseases to both humans and animals. Research is undertaken in the UK, using NRI's state-of-the-art laboratories, insectaries and glasshouses, and also overseas. Particularly strong areas of research include the epidemiology of insect-borne virus diseases, molecular diagnostics, pest and disease modelling, aerobiology and biometeorology, migrant pests, medical and veterinary entomology and integrated pest management.

The Food and Markets Department works on commodity management and food safety of cereals, grains, root crops, perishables and other crops. The Department works with all aspects of the operations of the food industry, including, for example, storage, post-harvest technology, quality analysis and management, compliance with food standards, food processing and value addition, value chains, private and public sector standards and market development. NRI's work provides many opportunities for postgraduates to be involved in multidisciplinary projects.

We offer full-time or part-time attendance, with students based on our campus or in their home countries, or some combination.

Visit the website http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/pg/res/afs

What you'll study

Recent research project topics include:

- The impact of host plants on the efficacy of nucleopolyhedrovirus as a biopesticide

- Reasons for multiple loans in microfinance and their effect on the repayment performance

- Evaluating the impact of climate change on postharvest quality of perishables

- Laboratory based investigation of the sensory cues used by vector mosquitoes to locate host animals

- Dormancy and sprout control in root and tuber crops

- Investigations into the oviposition behaviour of Anopheles gambiae

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

Students are assessed through their thesis and oral examination.

Career options

Postgraduate research students from NRI have a good record of finding employment within their specific technical discipline or in the field of international development.

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

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The M.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture aims to provide advanced knowledge in the field of agricultural systems as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems. Read more

Sustainable agriculture

The M.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture aims to provide advanced knowledge in the field of agricultural systems as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems.

Programme Summary

The context of the topics is international, having as its main area of investigation warm-temperate environments at a global level. The graduate in Sustainable agriculture must work to achieve food security objectives associated with improving the quality and wholesomeness of food products. The graduate must know the issues related to biodiversity, global change and ecosystem services, which are analyzed according to a systemic and adaptive approach, considering also the traceability of processes.
To address the global challenges, students are equipped with a wide learning platform, and are able to make comparisons between different production systems at the international level in terms of environmental, socio-economics, and regulatory environments.

Dual degree with USA

With the aim of strengthening this global approach to sustainability and food security, the degree program has been included in an internationalization project in collaboration with the University of Georgia, USA, which enables students to achieve a dual degree in "Sustainable Agriculture" (Italy) and "Crop and Soil Science" (USA).

Who is the MSc candidate?

The course is intended for highly-motivated national and international students and is conceived for Bachelor graduates with a main interest in agricultural and environmental sciences.

What career opportunities does the MSc provide?

The graduate in Sustainable Agriculture is able to perform a wide range of activities in a professional and efficient manner:
1) Operate internationally by conducting activities of planning, management, monitoring, coordination and training in agricultural production processes to meet the needs of the international market;
2) Be involved in activities of experimentation and research in both the public and private sectors (eg. Biotechnology companies);
3) Fill a position or interact with international organizations such as FAO, EU and World Bank;
4) Be involved in the transfer of technologies (innovation broker);
5) Manage technical and international business related to agricultural products and processing, and related to agricultural mechanization;
6) Play an active role in private and public structures aimed at land management and the management of water resources, including historical, cultural and landscape values of agricultural land;
7) Collaborate in the establishment and operation of projects in basic and applied research in the field of agricultural production in the international arena.

How is the programme organised?

The training course in Sustainable Agriculture, lasting two years, includes two main areas of study:
1) Production: training in the areas of agronomy, crop and animal productions, soil science, plant breeding, and integrated management of pests and diseases, all aimed at the sustainability of the production process and its social implications;
2) Technology: training in the areas of management and protection of air-soil-water, use of biomass of agricultural plants and animals, land management, and management of the production process (at different geographic scales) considering both innovative technologies and socio-economic aspects.
Learning is based on active studies covering activities in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field as well as the possibility of using the contribution of Italian and foreign teachers, and industry experts that can provide specific case studies. The program offers intensive individual tutoring of students, as well as the opportunity to intern for six months, in companies in the public and private sectors, possibly abroad, for the study of cases of excellence in preparation of the thesis

Visit the MSc “Sustainable agriculture” page on the Università di Padova web-site http://www.unipd.it/en/educational-offer/second-cycle-degrees/school-of-agricultural-sciences-and-veterinary-medicine?ordinamento=2016&key=AV2293 for more details.

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This programme is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in agriculture and sustainable development in the private sector, research, NGO or government communities. Read more
This programme is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in agriculture and sustainable development in the private sector, research, NGO or government communities. It provides a firm grounding in research methods applicable to the study of sustainable agriculture and the intellectual tools for understanding sustainable agriculture systems. The courses combine theoretical approaches and empirically based learning from case studies of real projects and agricultural scenarios.

Teaching will focus on case studies from NRI's corporate experience of looking at how research into agricultural issues, both in the natural and social sciences, can be translated into knowledge and products that have real impact on increasing the effectiveness of agriculture in delivering food security and enhancing livelihoods for all stakeholders. The potential role of agricultural innovations, both in technology, including biotechnology, knowledge systems, extension services and institutional partnerships in promoting development are also a strong theme in courses.

The aims of the programme are:

- To understand modern agricultural systems and the associated technologies of production together with their potential impacts on agriculture and livelihoods

- To understand the social, institutional and economic context within which agriculture operates

- To understand modern agriculture and its role in sustainable development.

Visit the website http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/pg/agr/agrsustdev

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

- Research Methods (15 credits)
- Tools for Sustainable Agriculture (15 Credits)
- Integrated Pest Management (30 credits)
- Independent research project dissertation (60 credits)

- Four 15-credit options from a list that currently includes: Agronomy; Agroforestry; Economics, Agriculture, and Marketing; Livestock and Sustainable Agriculture; Plant Disease Management; Agricultural Innovation for Development; Soils and Environments (60 credits)

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

Assessment consists of a combination of assignments, essays, presentations, reports, portfolios and formal examinations.

Career options

This programme provides specialist expertise for those working or seeking to work in agricultural development or research, or pursuing an advanced agricultural or development qualification in the UK and overseas. Students graduate with a broad general knowledge of agricultural applications in sustainable development and also more focused in-depth knowledge.

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

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This course gives you an understanding of how agriculture interacts with the environment. There is an emphasis on sustainability and the ecological consequences of unsound management. Read more

Course overview

This course gives you an understanding of how agriculture interacts with the environment. There is an emphasis on sustainability and the ecological consequences of unsound management. It gives you the skills for a career related to sustainability in farming systems, environmental management or rural development.

The course is comprised of compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests.

Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as: sustainable development and environmental change; quantitative techniques, experimental design and data analysis; assessment of land use capability, habitat potential, risks of water pollution, and soil quality and ecosystem services; analysis, interpretation and presentation of field data with regard to environment and habitat assessment; science, policy and action underlying climate change and land use.

As part of your studies you undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis. This research project and thesis may be based overseas.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/agricultural-environmental-science-msc/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/agricultural-environmental-science-msc/#howtoapply

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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 two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role. Read more

MSc Biosystems Engineering

The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role.

Programme summary

During the master Biosystems Engineering, students are educated in finding innovative solutions. The programme combines knowledge of technology, living systems, natural and social sciences with integrated thinking using a systems approach. Solutions can be applied to either the field of food or nonfood agricultural production. During the programme, you develop independence and creativity while acquiring skills that enable you to analyse problems and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Biosystems Engineering is a tailor-made, thesis oriented programme based on the specific interests and competencies of the student.

Thesis tracks

Farm Technology
This topic consists of four main themes, namely automation for bioproduction, greenhouse technology, livestock technology and soil technology. All these topics have the shared goal of designing systems in which technology is applied to the demands of plants, animals, humans and the environment. Examples of such applications include precision agriculture, conservation tillage, fully automated greenhouses and environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems that also promote animal welfare.

Systems and Control
Production processes and various kinds of machinery have to be optimised to run as efficiently as possible; and with the least amount of possible environmental impact. To achieve this, computer models and simulations are developed and improved. Examples include designing control systems for a solar-powered greenhouse to include a closed water cycle and designing a tomato-harvesting robot.

Information Technology
Information and communication play a vital role in our society. It is necessary to acquire, use and store data and information to optimise production processes and quality in production chains. This requires the design and management of business information systems, software engineering, designing databases and modelling and simulation.

Environmental Technology
Environmental technology revolves around closing cycles and reusing waste products and by-products. Processes have to be designed in such a way that they either reuse waste or separate it into distinct and reusable components. Examples include the production of compost, the generation of green energy or the design of environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems and greenhouses.

AgroLogistics
The goals of agrologistics are to get the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right time and to the right place as efficiently as possible while fulfilling the requirements of the stakeholders (such as government legislation and regulations). This requires the design of effective, innovative logistics concepts in agrifood chains and networks. Examples are the design of greenhouses developed for optimal logistics or designing a dairy production process with minimal storage costs.

Biobased Technology
The importance of biobased economy is increasing. Energy savings and the use of renewable energy are directions for achieving an environmentally sustainable industrial society. Biomass of plants, organisms and biomass available can be turned into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. In this track, you learn more about process engineering, biological recycling technology, biorefinery and how to abstract a real system into a physical model and analyse the physical model using dedicated software.

Your future career

Most graduates are employed in the agrofood sector, or related sectors of industry and trade, from local to international companies. They are project leaders, product managers, technical experts, sales specialists or managers at many kinds of companies including designers of agricultural buildings (animal husbandry systems, greenhouses) and bioenergy production systems. Others find jobs with IT companies (climate control computers, automated information systems) or firms in the agro-food chain that produce, store, process, distribute and market agricultural products. In the service sector or at governments, graduates enter careers as consultants, information officers or policymakers in the fields of technology and sustainable agricultural production, while others enter research careers at institutes or universities.

Alumnus Patrick Honcoop.
"I am working as a product manager at 365 FarmNet in Germany. 365FarmNet supports farmers to manage their whole agrarian holding with just one software application. I am responsible for the content of the software. I am the link between the farmers, the agrarian holdings and the software developers. I really enjoy these dynamics and variety within my function. Just like during my studies, when we visited farmers, companies and fairs during courses and excursions organised by the study association."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Geo-information Science
MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications
MSc Organic Agriculture

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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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Like other products in the horticultural production chain, fruit, vegetables and flowers reach domestic and international markets through many channels. Read more

Keeping pace with developments

Like other products in the horticultural production chain, fruit, vegetables and flowers reach domestic and international markets through many channels. Stakeholders in the chain have to respond not only to the changes brought by technology, they also have to deal with an ever-greater number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food quality standards. Designed to increase your ability to anticipate and exploit these developments, this programme examines each stakeholder in the chain (suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers), particularly in the stages from input to processing. It also approaches the overall chain from the perspective of logistics, economics, quality control, marketing channels, and information flows.

The programme is primarily aimed for mid-career horticulture professionals involved in management or co-ordination. Typically, they will currently be working in a commercial role or in a ministerial section or department. Others may be involved in regional development policies or development projects. Yet others may be lecturers at institutes of higher education.

Competences

In line with the educational principles at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences, this programme ensures that participants develop competences with regard to:
• facilitating the governance of sustainable value chains
• initiating innovative chain processes and projects
• supporting business service entrepreneurs
• demonstrating a professional attitude in a changing international business environment
• conducting applied research that contributes to an efficient and sustainable value chain
• developing policies for inclusive value chains
• effectively communicate value chain developments to specialists and non-specialists

Career benefits

Managers and advisors of programmes and companies related to horticulture chains will gain specialised competences that enable them to improve the management and innovative capacity of the organisation. One would be able to function effectively in the areas of logistic efficiency, provision of information, quality control, reducing production cost and improved profitability, managing chain innovation or chain differentiations. The graduate will be able to identify and connect the relevant stakeholders in the value
chain to meet the goals of the organisation.

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Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Read more

Staying in step with international developments

Milk, meat, eggs and their various derivatives find their way to domestic and international markets through a complex series of people and channels. Stakeholders in these livestock production chains have to respond to the changes brought by technology and they also have to deal with an ever increasing number of national and international laws and regulations, such as those governing international food-quality standards and sustainable labels.

As primary producers are affected by international trade agreements, local livestock production can no longer be seen in isolation from such developments, which is precisely what this programme is designed to anticipate. It therefore examines each actor in the chain (suppliers, farmers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers), particularly in the stages from input to processing. It also approaches the overall chain aspects from the perspective of economics, logistics, quality control, certification, marketing channels, and information flows.

The programme is meant for mid-career livestock professionals in the public or private sector involved in management or consultancy. Others may be involved in regional development policies or development projects or they may be lecturers at institutes of higher education. These managers have the task to facilitate the actors and supporters of the chain or to mainstream the concept of value chain development.

Competences

In line with the educational principles at Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences, this programme ensures that participants develop competences with regard to:
• facilitating the governance of sustainable value chains
• initiating innovative chain processes and projects
• supporting business service entrepreneurs
• showing a professional attitude in a changing international business environment
• conducting applied research that contributes to an efficient and sustainable value chain
• developing policies for inclusive value chains
• effectively communicate value chain developments to specialists and non-specialists

Career opportunities

Managers and advisors of programmes and companies related to livestock chains will gain specialised competences that enable them to improve the management and innovative capacity of their organisation. By integrating livestock chain subjects with management skills and by addressing entrepreneurial and institutional aspects of agriculture, the programme will train them to anticipate changes in demand and policies at local, national and international levels. It will thus enhance their ability to manage and innovate.

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The M.Sc. Read more
The M.Sc. Life Science Economics and Policy is an international Master's program with all courses offered in English integrating issues of economics and policy with the life sciences, and equips graduates with in-depth knowledge to work on important challenges within the bioeconomy, some examples of which are described below.

• Determine the impacts on society and the environment of regulatory policies of the natural sciences.
• Independently analyse the economic impacts of policy changes, and present them to the public in an easy-to-understand format.
• Evaluate and develop company strategies in response to changes in policy frameworks.
• Evaluate the economic outcomes of new policies, and make policy recommendations.
• Independently formulate research questions and translate them into research projects to find answers to these inquiries.

Learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes are strived for: a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of research methods; economic theory and modelling; data collection and analysis; and of the latest developments in contemporary research. Social competencies and skills are developed to equip graduates to operate with self-confidence in their future professions.

All courses are taught in the English language to equip students for an international working environment.

Is this program for you?

Are you interested in agriculture, the biological sciences, economics, governance, and how they integrate in policies and regulations for society, industry, and government; in regulatory affairs; in research; in topics like globalisation, food security, and the the bioeconomy; or are you planning a career in the corporate life sciences? Are you passionate about innovation, solving challenging problems, or risk management? If yes, then this program will equip you for the above, and more.

Employment opportunities

Firms and institutions involved in any way in the food value chain and the life sciences arena are potential employers. Possible employment opportunities are: a specialist leadership position such as Regulatory Affairs in industry (e.g. food processing, biotechnology), or in international organisations such as: the World Bank; the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the European Commission (EC); the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), or as a consultant, or a researcher in an academic or private institution.

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Commodities produced in forested landscapes such as timber, palm-oil, shea-butter, cocoa, and coffee go through a complex series of stakeholders and channels before making their way to domestic and international markets. Read more

Keeping up with international developments

Commodities produced in forested landscapes such as timber, palm-oil, shea-butter, cocoa, and coffee go through a complex series of stakeholders and channels before making their way to domestic and international markets. Stakeholders within these forest commodity chains have to work with ever changing consumer demands, market and certification regulations, technological advancements, and an increasing number of national and international laws and regulations.

Forest Chain Management specialists are equipped with the competences needed to examine each actor in the chain (including producers, smallholders, suppliers, processors, traders, retailers and consumers) and analyse the different stages from harvest to processing and consumption [from forest to floor] from various perspectives, including sustainability. They will thus enhance their ability to manage, facilitate and innovate these forest value chains.

Competences

Upon graduating, you will be able to:
• analyse rural livelihoods and food and nutrition security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand their coping strategies
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• develop appropriate strategies and interventions for local food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other stakeholders

Career opportunities

Rural Development and Food Security specialists explore effective responses to mal- and undernourishment, by defining needs, constraints, coping strategies and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities. In selecting appropriate context-specific interventions, which reflect understanding of the local context in its wider context, they consider stakeholder relationships and how collaboration could be organised to each stakeholder’s benefit while helping farmers to safeguard their ability to ensure local food security. In the face of globalisation, slow economic growth and political instability, specialists may design and implement responses for (non-)governmental organisations or partners in the private sector, in the form of projects, programmes, market structures or policies.

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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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