MSc Crop Production (Horticulture) - Writtle University College

MSc Crop Production (Horticulture)

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  • What is Crop Production (Horticulture)?

    Production Horticulture is an expanding industry with vast amounts of fresh food and flowers being transported around the world. The industries which support this expansion rely on the latest technologies and have seen great change in recent years in production techniques and how and where crops are grown.

    With the world’s population continuing to increase and climate change impacting upon production, it is vital to continue to investigate new growing systems and to establish new crops which can be grown sustainably. Soil, water and resource management are key considerations.

  • About the Course

  • Students studying at Writtle University College will have access to the Research glasshouse, farms and the postharvest unit which undertakes research and trials in conjunction with commercial companies.

    This provides the opportunity to study a range of crops relevant to the chosen area of horticulture or agriculture.

    Students will examine crop growing using resources at the University and through visits to growers and post harvest facilities; they will develop an understanding of the supply chain from the field through to sale. Together with visiting speakers from industry, this develops students’ awareness of the latest trends and research in industry.

    The teaching staff have developed close links with industry on a worldwide basis and the research and consultancy work is used to underpin the curriculum.

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  • Course Content

  • The course combines theory, practical experience, industrial visits and presentations from industry experts.

    There are opportunities to participate in trial work and to undertake original research in the UK or abroad. The course attracts both home and international students from many different countries providing a stimulating environment in which to study crop production. There is a common first semester which provides an introduction to all aspects; students will contextualise assignments related to their chosen area. Option modules in semester two provide a further opportunity to specialise prior to undertaking the dissertation.

    Information about each module can be viewed by clicking on the module title within the table below.




    Summer period is Dissertation only.
    180 appropriate credits are required for the named award.
    Compulsory Modules must be taken but could be condoned subject to the Rules of Assessment.
    Optional Modules may be taken and could be condoned subject to the Rules of Assessment.
    Core Modules must be taken and passed.

    *It is not possible to take both Experiential Learning modules.

    These are the modules that are offered in this academic year; however, the optional modules available may be subject to change for the following reasons:

    • Staff availability – for example the availability of staff to deliver specialist modules, which cannot be delivered by staff who do not have the relevant specialist expertise.
    • In response to feedback and annual review processes to ensure we continually enhance our programmes. Changes in these circumstances will usually be made for the benefit of students.
    • Student demand – to ensure there are adequate numbers on a module to support the provision of an excellent Learning & Teaching experience.
    • The currency of the relevant module. Some modules are specified at a time when they reflect the issues that are currently topical in the subject area. They may have lost that currency by the time that the student is required to exercise the option. In the circumstances, in order to ensure that students are provided with an appropriate learning experience, those modules will be replaced by those which are relevant to the changing nature of the subject area.

    The Writtle University College will endeavour to ensure that any impact on students is limited if such changes occur.

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  • Who is the Course for

  • The course is designed for those who already have an interest in crop production as well as those who wish to develop or update their existing knowledge.

    Applicants will normally be graduates in agriculture, horticulture, engineering, biosciences, geography, business and economics or will have extensive relevant industrial experience.

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  • Delivery and Assessment

  • Delivery is through a combination of lectures, practical, formative and summative coursework, tutor and student led tutorials, case studies and group work, including seminars and presentations.

    It is developed through a series of visits to commercial/industrial and research establishments and through dissertation-related studies. Appropriate knowledge and understanding is enhanced if students opt to undertake their dissertation work in an industrial situation. Students who undertake their dissertations outside the UK, will also gather a measure of this enhanced experience.

    Knowledge and understanding is assessed using a combination of examination (seen and unseen), assessed coursework (lab reports, projects, case studies, presentations) and problem-based learning scenarios which include interpretative exercises.

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  • Career Prospects

  • On successful completion of the course graduates possess the knowledge to gain employment with crop producers and in management positions with major import/export organisations.

    There are also opportunities to undertake further research.

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  • Related Learning Opportunities

  • Students have the opportunity to undertake trial work and research for commercial partners within the postharvest unit and trial work in the research glasshouse and on the farm.

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This modular course can be completed in one year on a full-time basis. Part-time students can take two - three years to complete the course.

The part-time programme offers greater flexibility for those with demanding commitments at home or work.



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