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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. This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.
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We judge all candidates on their individual merits, but generally the minimum requirements for postgraduate courses is an honours degree (at least a 2:2 or equivalent) or HND with experience, or equivalent. These requirements may be relaxed in respect of cognate degrees or for non-graduates with extensive, relevant professional experience (which demonstrates the outcomes that a Bachelor's degree with honours would have, as stipulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2008).
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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.”
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