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Agriculture×

Masters Degrees in Arable & Fruit Farming, United Kingdom

We have 5 Masters Degrees in Arable & Fruit Farming, United Kingdom

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This course examines crop improvement through advances in resource use efficiency, crop protection and modern crop improvement and breeding techniques. Read more
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.

The course consists of a number of taught modules and a major research project.

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.

The School also has a Tropical Crops Research Unit - computer controlled glasshouses are available for research on a range of tropical species.

Links with industry further enhance the course by providing valuable industry knowledge and experience and relating the subject to commercial practice

Scholarships may be available -please see our web-site.
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Agriculture at Reading is rated best in the UK (QS World Ranking 2016). Develop skills for working along the research-extension-development continuum. Read more
  • Agriculture at Reading is rated best in the UK (QS World Ranking 2016)
  • Develop skills for working along the research-extension-development continuum
  • Examine agriculture’s contribution towards the UN’s sustainable development goals
  • Analyse the biophysical, economic and social contexts for sustainable intensification of farming systems in developing countries
  • Programme includes optional horticulture pathway

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Rethinking agricultural development (including horticulture): implementing solutions
  • Agriculture in the tropics
  • Experimental agriculture/horticulture

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. Read more
The Organic food and farming sector within Europe is continuing to develp in response to governmental Action Plans and CAP policy development. The organic sector requires highly trained individuals to work as certification officers, advisers, agronomists, farmers, farm managers and livestock specialists. SRUC offers this programme to enable students with a variety of academic and working experiences to gain a fast-track understanding of the key technical production, marketing and management aspects of organic farming and food.

This enables students to build on their existing expertise and aspirations, and to give them enhanced career opportunities as practitioners, promoters and facilitators within the sector.

The organic farming courses are offered on a part-time distance learning basis to allow those in continuing employment or with family commitments to be able to participate. Course participants come from a wide range of backgrounds, including farmers, growers, vets and other agricultural and food sector workers who wish to develop their career and businesses in the organic food and farming sector, as well as those from unrelated backgrounds wishing to increase their knowledge and understanding of organic systems.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:
- An ability to critically appraise organic farming as an agricultural system
- A good understanding of the organic sector
- A sound knowledge of the science underpinning organic farming
- An understanding of the marketing, business & quality assurance requirements for organic produce
- Work placement experience
- Research skills (MSc only)

The course is accessible through its delivery by part-time on-line distance learning.

Course Content

The course modules comprise of a mix of technical production, marketing and management, and skill development modules.

Organic Forage and Livestock Production

This module will provide an understanding of the role of forage legumes in organic systems and describe grassland management systems that maximise the contribution of legumes. Students will also be given an understanding of the organic approach to livestock production, particularly in terms of animal welfare, preventative health management and nutrition.

Soils and Nutrient Cycling

This module will aim to provide the students with the tools for optimal management of their soils. Ultimately, they should be able to describe soil properties, evaluate soil fertility and assess management requirements in the context of organic farming. The module provides an understanding of the chemical, physical and biological features of soil fertility and nutrient cycling and develops practical skills in soil assessment and whole farm nutrient budgeting.

Organic Crop Production

This module will provide an understanding of methods of crop production for arable and vegetable field crops, with particular reference to organic farming in the UK. The module will develop an understanding of breeding, establishment, nutrition, protection, harvesting and storage in the context of organic crop production of field crops.

Organic Farming Case Study

This module will improve the student's ability to undertake whole farm analysis and in particular organic conversion planning. Whole farm analysis involves a range of skills and examination of a wide range of issues: technical, financial, marketing and environmental. The module will require the student to integrate the knowledge gained in other modules, to provide an evaluation and plan for the conversion to organic production of an actual farm example.

Organic Farming Profession

This module will provide an overview of the philosophy, principles, history and development of the organic farming industry. The organic standards will be introduced and the ways in which they are used to regulate the organic food and farming industry at UK, European and world levels will be covered. The roles of the main UK organisations that influence the development of the organic sector will also be explored.

Organic Farming Work Placement

This module will allow students to become familiar with an organisation or business in the organic food and farming sector during a 6-week (or equivalent) work placement. The student will gather relevant and unique material to enable them to carry out a technical and business analysis and make recommendations for future development of the organisation or business in question. The material will also be used in class discussion and to contribute to group learning.

Issues in Organic Farming

This module explores the public goods delivered by organic farming. It develops an understanding of food quality and the role and application of Quality Assurance (QA) Schemes in the organic food sector to meet the needs of relevant legislation and consumer concerns. The module also provides an overview of the principles of environmental management in the context of organic agriculture, helping students gain an appreciation of the potential impacts of agricultural enterprises on the environment, measures for minimising such impacts, and opportunities for incorporating positive environmental management measures into farm business plans.

Marketing and Business Management in the Organic Farming Sector

This module will provide an understanding of the concepts, principles and techniques involved in marketing management and how they are applied in the context of the organic farming sector. Financial accounts are one source of information regarding an organic business, and aid the process of planning and control. This module will provide an understanding of accounts to assist in the process of setting goals within a business and assessing the financial consequences of alternatives.

Course Format

This course is studied part time through on-line distance learning. This allows those in continuing employment or with family commitments to participate. With the exception of several weekend schools and a short study tour, the learning is carried out in the student's home or work place.

The MSc Project (taken following successful completion of taught modules)
Provides an opportunity for in-depth individual research on a topic related to organic farming.

Postgraduate Diploma

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level for students who opt not to progress to the Masters. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study 4 modules per year and complete the PgDip in two years. This would normally take an average of 12 to 15 hours study time a week.

Study Tour

The study tour is used to visit a range of organic and conventional farms as well as businesses operating in the organic food supply and distribution chain. In the taught modules an element of student choice is often built in through the use of essay and other course work topics that cover areas of potential interest. There is also a Work Placement module. Students following the distance learning course may gain exemption from the practical element of the placement but will require to complete a report of their work experience.

The study weekends and short study tour are an integral part of teaching delivery and students are strongly recommended to attend these if they are to succeed in this course.

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Provides a multidisciplinary understanding of food production, access and use. Analysis of the complex challenges faced by developing countries. Read more
  • Provides a multidisciplinary understanding of food production, access and use
  • Analysis of the complex challenges faced by developing countries
  • Option to enrol in free, complementary Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme
  • Prepares you for a range of career options in international food and development sectors
  • Suitable for graduates from most disciplines

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Theories and practices of development
  • Food security and development
  • Agriculture in the tropics
  • Policy analysis
  • Global issues in nutrition and health

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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There is an increasing need for specialists within agriculture who have an understanding of both the business and technical aspects of the industry. Read more
There is an increasing need for specialists within agriculture who have an understanding of both the business and technical aspects of the industry. This postgraduate course is aimed at people who are interested in pursuing a career within the land based industries in a professional capacity. This could include consultants, agronomists, animal nutritionists, farm managers/ owners and those working for government departments on technical and regulatory issues.

There is currently a high demand for well trained and suitably qualified personnel within the agricultural industry, and a need for specialists who not only have an understanding of their sector, but have the skills to interact professionally with their clients. A core group of modules will focus on topics such as professional leadership and management, food and agricultural policy, business planning, project management. In order to develop the student’s own area of expertise there are a number of elective modules in business, crop or livestock production. Many positions require professional qualifications so there is the potential within the course to study FACTS, BASIS or AMTRA (additional fee and assessment will be required for these qualifications). In addition, the Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM) considers this course as suitable evidence of CPD for those wishing to pursue ‘Professional Agriculturalist’ status.

The course is offered on a part-time distance learning basis to make it accessible to those in employment or with family commitments to be able to participate. Applicants may come from a wide range of backgrounds including farmers, growers, vets and other agricultural and food sector workers who wish to develop their career and businesses in the land-based sector.

Specific course objectives are to provide graduates with:
- the technical and management skills required in modern agricultural professional practice
- the knowledge and understanding of how policy decisions impact on the land-based sector
- the ability to appraise research information and apply this to sustainable agricultural practice

The MSc Agricultural Professional Practice degree is awarded by the University of Glasgow.

Course Content

The programme is a mix of technical production, management, and skills development modules. The MSc consists of eight taught modules, followed by a period of dissertation project work. Five modules are compulsory:

Professional Leadership and Management
This module will develop key skills required for professional practice in Agriculture eg. communication skills, facilitating meetings, networking, customer relations, presentation skills and dealing with the media. It will also focus on professionalism, leadership and management skills and will include the setting of personal goals for career progression and identifying relevant CPD opportunities. Participants will be encouraged to identify and display appropriate attitudes, behaviors and values for their own situation.

Food and Agricultural Policy
This module will develop an understanding of the local, national and international policies that impact on the whole food chain from agricultural production, through business development to the consumer.

Business Planning and Decision Making
Business planning, analysis and decision making are essential components of successful rural business management. The applied nature of this course allows students to choose a business with which they are familiar thus making the experience relevant to their own work environment. This module will assist in the process of formulating a business plan to a professional standard, suitable for submission to a potential lender. The process of planning and control, and assessing the financial consequences of that plan will also be covered in the module.

Project Management for Agricultural Professionals
A key role of any agricultural consultancy is management of projects for clients. Underpinning this work is the role of project management. Firstly, this module will consider how to plan a project, manage resources and monitor progress. Secondly, this module will consider how to design an investigation and then analyse and interpret data from this work. The assignments will apply this information in work related projects.

Topical Issues in Modern Agriculture
The purpose of this module is to allow students to integrate the knowledge they possess and, by constructing a reasoned argument, develop broader understanding of their professional area and its relevance to related industries and the wider society. It is designed to develop the critical analysis and evaluation skills of students whilst dealing with complex issues and making informed judgements. The module will typically consist of a series of structured online debates on selected topics of contemporary relevance. Students will engage in constructive discussion of the topics giving critical analyses of the issues. Students will also research an issue that is relevant to their profession and then present it to the class, for peer review.

A further three modules are chosen from a range of options, including:
- Integrated Agricultural Management
- Sustainable Nutrient Management
- Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine
- Arable Crop Protection
- Grassland and Fodder Crop Protection
- Animal Feed Technology

MSc Project (taken following successful completion of taught modules)
This module takes the form of an in-depth investigative or research project on a topic related to agriculture which will be decided in consultation with the Module Leader and project supervisor. It will develop investigative skills and enable the critical evaluation and presentation of information.

[[Course Structure ]]
The programme is studied by part-time distance learning, with learning material presented using SRUC’s online learning environment which allows students to undertake the course from their own home or workplace.

The course is supported by regular weekend schools where participants attend SRUC Aberdeen for seminars, practical sessions and farm visits which provide a valuable part of the learning experience through group discussions and presentations.

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study four modules per year and complete the PgDip in two years. This would normally take an average of 12 to 15 hours study time a week during ‘term’ time.

Students wishing to complete the MSc, and who reach progression standard, will then go on to complete a research project following successful completion of all the taught modules.

Study weekends are an integral part of teaching and learning through interaction with peers, industry subject specialists and teaching staff. Students are strongly recommended to attend the two study weekends in September and February if they are to succeed in this course.

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