MSc Crop Production (Agriculture) - Writtle University College
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MSc Crop Production (Agriculture)

The importance of crop production

Rising population, climate change and competing demands on land are challenging farmers and growers to meet the world's demand for food in the 21st century. It is imperative that to meet the challenge sustainable principles are applied to maintain and enhance the environment while making use of modern technologies and techniques. Soil, water and resource use are key considerations as are biodiversity and development issues.

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.

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.

Key

COMPULSORY MODULES
OPTIONAL MODULES
CORE MODULES
 

Note:
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 In conjunction with advice from the Course Team, students will select 15 credits of option modules in Semester 2.
Core Modules must be taken and passed.

Differentiation between MSc Crop Production (Agriculture), MSc Crop Production (Horticulture) and the MSc Postharvest Technology course and pathways will be through assignments in the Sustainable Crop Production, Postharvest Systems Management and the Dissertation 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.

Admissions to this course are subject to the normal policies and procedures for postgraduate students at Writtle University College .

Candidates from the United Kingdom higher education sector will normally hold a first honours degree at 2.2 or above in a related subject (such as agriculture, horticulture, floristry, environmental sciences). Prospective students with a first honours degree in another discipline but with significant work experience in horticulture, agriculture or related areas will also be considered for entrance on the masters’ programme.

Applications from international students will be considered in line with Writtle University College’s Admission Policy. International students will be expected to have achieved the equivalent of the minimum entry for UK students; qualifications and experience will be review by the Admissions Officer and assessed using UK NARIC criteria. Applications from European students will be guided by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Those international students whose first language is not English will be expected to have achieved a qualification in English as a Foreign Language or its equivalent in line with current Writtle University College postgraduate admissions policy.

Consideration will be given to applicants outside the stipulated guidelines if they are able to demonstrate significant relevant industrial experience.
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.
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.
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.
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 .