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This course examines crop improvement through advances in resource use efficiency, crop protection and modern crop improvement and breeding techniques. Focusing upon the understanding of plant to crop systems, and with an emphasis on research training, the course is ideally suited to those wishing to pursue careers in research institutes, plant breeding, agro-industry and advance to higher research degree (PhD) study.

Whilst the course is based at the School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, students will have an opportunity to see practical aspects of agriculture in other parts of the UK through visits to growers, farms, research stations and other academic institutions.

  • Through taught modules and a research project, the course aims to give you an advanced knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the theoretical, practical and transferable skills of crop improvement and allied industries.
  • You will also develop an awareness of the latest developments and requirements of agro-industry in the area of crop improvement. 
  • Finally, this course will give you the technical knowledge and practical skills required to undertake research and/or develop a leading career in the field of crop improvement and related agro-industries. Links with industry further enhance the course by providing valuable industry knowledge and experience and relating the subject to commercial practice.

Specialist facilities for plant work include modern glasshouses and controlled environment growth rooms in which plants and tissue cultures can be raised. The laboratories contain a wide range of modern equipment including ultracentrifuges, apparatus for radioisotope studies, gas liquid chromatography and spectrophotometry. A number of experimental plots containing arable and horticultural crops are available for use by students, particularly in relation to their projects. Crop Science fieldwork is carried out as part of the normal arable rotation on the farm, which is within easy reach of the laboratories.

Key facts

The University has one of the largest plant and crop sciences divisions in the UK with 20 permanent academic staff, based at the Sutton Bonington Campus. Students have an exciting opportunity to study with world renowned researchers in this important and rapidly advancing field which offers major career opportunities in agro-industry, academia and research institutes.

  • The school is ranked the no. 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science in the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality
  • Specialist facilities include modern glasshouses and controlled environment growth rooms in which plants and tissue cultures can be raised, together with excellent facilities for fieldwork
  • The school also has a Tropical Crops Research Unit in which computer controlled glasshouses are available for research on a range of tropical species

Scholarships may be available - please see our website.


Visit the Crop Improvement (MSc/PGDip) page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!

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