Contemporary Agronomic Research and Development
Research into agronomy, technology and management is of critical importance if the industry is to continue to adapt to modern pressures and challenges worldwide. This module will explore the research path including laboratory to field trials and, ultimately, application into practice. Case studies will be explored where research and development has made or could make a significant impact to management practice.
Integrated Approaches in High-input Cropping Systems
High-input crop production systems typically focus on achieving both high yields and profitability. This module explores the science and agronomic principles of a range of crops under such management regimes as well as their associated problems and limitations. Consideration will be given to integrated management approaches currently being adopted by industry as well as the major drivers of these changing practices. These include legislation, resistance to agrochemicals and public acceptance.
Invertebrate Dynamics in Crop Production
Approximately 10-15% of global crop production is lost to invertebrate pests. Conversely, invertebrates constitute a significant ecosystem service through pest predation and pollination. In any integrated production system, the management of invertebrates is therefore fundamental to effective crop production. This module will focus on critical evaluation of current research on invertebrate ecology and dynamics and applying this to their potential impacts on conventional cropping systems. Concepts of pest population dynamics, herbivory and species life histories will be considered in relation to their effects on the crop. Alongside this, their ‘value’ as pollinators, predators, vectors and the effects of lethal and sub-lethal pesticide doses will be evaluated.
Global Drivers for Agricultural Change
This module examines the global drivers behind the need to refocus agricultural production to meet the needs of the increasing world population and mitigate the impacts of climate change. It will focus on concepts such as the effects of globalisation; the economic issues with pesticide development; the globalisation and privatisation of agricultural technology and the use of targeted pest control techniques. Furthermore, the module will assess the impacts of corporate responsibility and the necessity of having sustainable global supply chains.
Integrated Approaches in Low-input Cropping Systems
Low-input cropping systems seek to optimise crop yields whilst using fewer inputs when compared to conventional crop production systems. In parts of the world this is due to a lack of financial and physical resources whilst in others this is due to perceived environmental benefits. This module explores the science of the integrated management of crops under such systems, including enhanced soil management and factors influencing nutrition and disease control. Limitations will also be considered as will approaches that conventional crop production could learn from low-input management systems.
Research Methodology and Design
This module provides students with the essential personal, organisational, management, theoretical and statistical skills needed to work at Postgraduate Level. It will explore research philosophies, research process and design and the process of questionnaire development and design. The module will develop skills in advanced data organisation, presentation, dissemination and problem solving.
The dissertation is a triple module and allows students to design and conduct a substantial piece of independent, supervised research related to the field of study. The dissertation is an independent piece of academic work which allows the student to identify and work in an area of interest to them and manage the research process to agreed deadlines.
- Entry requirements
- Learning and assessment
- Professional accreditations
- Special requirements
Applications are sought from individuals possessing a minimum of Lower Second Class (2.2) Honours Degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline.
Candidates not possessing an Honours Degree at the above grade but with relevant professional qualifications and experience will be welcomed. All non-standard applicants may be interviewed to assess suitability for the course.
Career experience plus evidence of study skills may also be considered. Consideration will be given to non-traditional qualifications and relevant work experience. Applicants are encouraged to produce evidence of their potential to benefit from the course. Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Experience/Learning (APE/L) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to have an English qualification to IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
All offers may be subject to successful interview.
Learning and assessment
Our virtual learning environment will provide learning resources, guidance and collaborative links to all students irrespective of their location. Students will participate in online lecture seminars and discussion groups, and receive support from a personal tutor but will also be expected to demonstrate autonomy for their own learning. Students will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and research.
Modules are assessed using a variety of methods, including written reports, essays, literature reviews, dissertation, research proposal, presentations and group work.
What work experience can I get?
There is no formal work placement on this course. However, students are encouraged to develop industry links to support their studies and enhance their CV.
On successful completion of the course, students may apply for PhD.
The MSc Integrated Crop Management helps equip students to operate as agronomists, farm advisors, agro-technical specialists particularly in allied agricultural industries.
Integrated Crop Management is a discipline with global application. The course aims to cover concepts and examples from a range of environments where crops are grown. The syllabus of the course will permit graduates to consider technical roles anywhere on the planet.
Students will be encouraged to develop links with local and national agricultural organisations such as AHDB and BASIS organisations.
Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:
- Access to broadband internet and a computer
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