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Full time & Part time September MSc, PGDip, PGCert Full Time: 1 year, Part Time: 2years/3years
Agriculture (1) Biological Sciences (4) Food Sciences (15) Geography (17)

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Unleash your potential with the Agroecology programme at Harper Adams University. This course delves deep into the intricate balance between food production and natural resource conservation, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate complex agricultural landscapes. Through modules like Sustainable Farming Systems and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, you will master the art of sustainable intensification and global food security. The programme offers a pathway to diverse career opportunities in conservation agriculture, advisory roles, policy-making, and research. With a UK honours degree or equivalent qualification, along with relevant experience, you can embark on this transformative journey. The block-based study format ensures focused learning, while the option to pursue a PgC, PgD, or MSc allows for tailored progression. Benefit from the university's strong industry connections and outstanding employability rates, setting you on the path to success in the dynamic fields of agriculture and conservation. Join us and become a driving force in shaping a sustainable future.

About the course

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On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems.


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Entry Requirements

A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered.

Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes.

 Course Content

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Where is Harper Adams University


Student Profiles

Tara O’Neill

Harper Adams University MSc Agro-ecology graduate Tara O’Neill hopes to ultimately become a researcher involved in the development and implementation of sustainable agricultural systems both at home and abroad.

To help her on her journey, she was awarded the Clyde Higgs MSc Scholarship to support her with her Masters studies at the University.

The 24 year-old student from Downpatrick, County Down, said the scholarship is already helping her: “I’m very grateful to receive this scholarship, which has made a significant contribution to my study costs and allows me to dedicate more time to my work.

“I’d like to thank the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, who fund the scholarship, for their kind support as I embark on my post-graduate study.

“My ambition is to develop a research career in applied ecology and entomology, particularly looking at controlling insect pests without the use of chemicals and looking at methods to make agricultural systems more sustainable.

“As part of my undergraduate degree in zoology, I spent a year working with the Biological Control Unit of Rhodes University, South Africa, where I helped reduce invasive water weeds using insects. I really enjoyed the practical and applied elements of the work and seeing changes that affected not just the environment but the local communities too.

“Agriculture is something we all depend on, and by integrating research with education and outreach programmes I hope to contribute to changing how we farm, by improving the sustainability of our food systems we provide not just for ourselves, but for the future.”

Beth Williams

Beth Williams, 23, received the first Organic Farmers & Growers Scholarship, dedicated to the memory of late OF&G Director Bill Allen.

Studying Countryside Management at honours degree level, including a voluntary placement year working with Shropshire Wildlife Trust heightened Beth’s interests in engagement, education and widening participation in the agricultural sector.

Beth, from Edgmond, near Newport, explained: “My motivation to study the MSc Agro-ecology stemmed from my passion and interest for the topics covered during my degree in Countryside and Environmental Management at Harper Adams. The concepts of integrated land management and the issue of UK food security were my main interests during the second year of my studies.

“Then the final year of study confirmed my passion for engaging people with the need to balance the use of natural resources with the ability to feed the global population.

“Importantly, I felt that the broad scope of the MSc Agro-ecology course would enable me to pursue my ultimate career aspirations; to work in an educational capacity with organisations such as the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board to make a positive difference on the way people engage with the UK farming industry.

“I am incredibly grateful to Organic Farmers & Growers for awarding me the scholarship. The support not only relieves financial pressure to enable me to achieve my full academic potential but is also allowing me to undertake education facilitator certificates with organisations such as the National Farmers Union and education charity Farming and Countryside Education, which will help me to undertake a role in educational engagement in the future.”

Shona Russell

An undergraduate degree can inspire multitudes of questions that can only be answered by continuing your studies. This is true for Shona Russell, who studied BSc (Hons) Agri-Business before returning to Harper Adams to start her MSc Agroecology course.

Shona said: “I have always been passionate about protecting the environment and sustainable farming, but I came across a new term since starting my graduate role which is “Regenerative Agriculture”. The ethos is not about sustaining what we already have but returning our degraded resources to what they were pre 1970’s.

“My undergraduate dissertation was about a species of fruit fly which is invasive from Japan called Spotted Wing Drosophila. I looked at the level of perceived threat among UK soft fruit farmers, population trends and climate change and information sharing between farmers and governmental authorities on how to mitigate and prepare for infestations. I was already interested in this area, hence choosing it for my dissertation subject, but through the research I learnt more and more about the relationships between pest, environment, wildlife, crop and farmer.

“This gave me a thirst for more knowledge but I had no more time left at university! I was offered a graduate job with G’s, a global fresh produce company, and started in August. My role is as a Future Farming Trials Coordinator and I work setting up trials, collecting and analysing data with a goal to aid G’s regenerative agriculture goals. This is by reducing the amount of artificial fertiliser, pesticides, water consumption and increasing soil health for years to come. I have already learnt so much about regenerative agriculture and ecosystem services whilst being here.

“When I was made aware of the Agroecology Masters course it seemed the perfect fit. I really felt that gaining a deeper knowledge of agroecosystems would help me one day to have some expertise in this area, make me even more employable, and allow me to contribute to this crucial facet of our agricultural future.”

While working and studying, Shona still has great ambitions. She commented: “I want to continue working in the same industry as a researcher and hopefully be able to be part of projects that will influence the way that UK agriculturalists treat their soil and environment."


Our Alumni Association, The Harper Adams Club, awards an annual scholarship of up to £2,000 to assist a Harper Adams graduate to undertake an MSc course at Harper Adams.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Candidates must have been awarded a first degree or HND at Harper Adams and have been accepted for a full- or part-time Masters course

Application Procedure

.The scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis by means of an interview.

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NFU Mutual’s annual Centenary Award is now open for applications. The award provides bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected students who are undertaking a postgraduate course in agriculture (Masters or PhD) within the UK.

The Centenary Award was created by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust in 2010 to celebrate NFU Mutual’s 100th birthday, with the objective of creating a legacy for the future. To date, 43 agricultural students have received bursaries to help further their studies.

The award is open to individuals who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK, in autumn 2021.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Coming soon


The award is open to students from the UK who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a closely related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK

Application Procedure

Further information about the scheme can be found on the NFU Mutual website:

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The successful scholarship recipient will receive an award valued at up to £4,000 for the academic year that they study on campus at the University.

The scholarship will be payable in two equal parts; half to be paid in February 2020 and the balance in May 2020. Payment is conditional on the scholar remaining registered as a full time student at Harper Adams. They must pass all modules of study and submit at least one written report to the Development Trust prior to the receipt of their second payment.

This is a competitive award which will be evaluated on the merit of the submitted application, along with academic achievements to date and interview. The decision of The Bill Allen Memorial Scholarship Panel is FINAL and they reserve the right to withdraw their award at any time should they feel this action is required.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Applicants must have been offered a conditional or unconditional place on the MSc Agro-ecology programme at Harper Adams University
You must be starting your studies in Autumn 2019
Have achieved, or expected to achieve, a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree at the point of application. If an applicant is awaiting their degree results at the point of application, the award may be offered conditionally upon confirmation of the applicant achieving a 2:1 Honours degree or higher

Application Procedure

Apply via The Harper Adams University Development Trust

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