Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.
Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.
This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.
This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.
Compulsory courses typically will be*:
Fundamentals of Plant Health Forensic Plant Health Plant Health in a Global Context Research Skills and Field Trip Dissertation
Option courses may include* (select two):
Atmospheric Quality and Global Change Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions Foundations in Ecological Economics Frameworks to Assess Food Security Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability Principles of Environmental Sustainability Soil Ecology and Taxonomy Soil Protection and Management Applications in Ecological Economics Case Studies in Sustainable Development Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management Environmental Impact Assessment Forests and Environment Integrated Resource Planning Interrelationships in Food Systems Land Use/Environmental Interactions Soil Science Concepts and Application Sustainability of Food Production Understanding Environment and Development
*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.
On completion of this course our graduates will have gained: •Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management •Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health •An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions •The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems •Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security •Improved analytical skills and critical thinking
Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.
Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.