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We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
Read more about this course
A 2:2 honours degree, or an international equivalent, in a relevant subject, such as: agronomy (crop production); biological sciences; earth sciences; geography; environmental sciences; agricultural sciences; zoology. We also consider applicants on an individual basis with degrees in other areas, and those with non-standard qualifications and/or relevant professional experience.
I chose to study at Newcastle University because I am from the North East, I completed my undergraduate degree here and I know the university excels at research and teaching.
The best aspects of the degree programme was the fieldwork. We went on many trips to farms and had a week long field class in Arnside, Cumbria where we practiced habitat assessment and mapped the vegetation, soil and topography relationships within Roudsea wood Nature reserve.
Since graduating I did a temporary four month contract with the Environment Agency. This involved collecting soil samples and identifying pollution problems on farms. Since finishing this role, I have been offered a permanent contract with EBLEX (English Beef and Lamb Executive) as a Beef and Sheep Scientist. In this role I will be involved in the knowledge transfer of new science to the sector improve the competiveness and sustainability of beef and lamb production in the UK.
The main advantage of my studies was my dissertation. I developed a method to assess and compare the sustainability of the organic and conventional systems at Nafferton Farm. I am currently editing this to be published. With this being a contentious issue, it demonstrated my understanding and ability to collate and interpret information from the vast academic literature on the topic to form my own method and proposals. This was a key selling point for the EBLEX role.
Additionally, the Ecological livestock production module involved visits to several livestock farms in the area and discussed the practices of livestock farming. This improved my understanding of aspects of livestock production which will assist me in my new role.
Since graduating, several of my lecturers, namely John Gowing, Dr Jeremy Franks, Dr Julia Cooper and Gillian Butler, have kindly passed on job adverts to me, this support and encouragement has greatly exceeded my expectations of the university staff.
Additionally I would not have been able to study at Newcastle University were it not for the sponsorship provided by the NFU Mutual Centenary Award. They funded 75% of my course fees for my second year of study (part-time). I would recommend anyone accepted onto this course with an interest in sustainable agriculture, climate change and agriculture or international development to apply for this grant.
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