WUC launches new degree course in Regenerative Agriculture

August 2020

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College (WUC) has launched a pioneering, new degree course. BSc (Hons) Agriculture (Regenerative Systems) is the first of its kind in the UK, recognising the importance and immediacy of the challenges facing world agriculture and the environments and societies in which they operate.

Many agricultural systems have relied on practices that have over exploited natural resources at a cost. At the core of the new course are principles of sustainability, focusing particularly on soil health, natural resource management and biodiversity. The societal role of farming and food systems is also integral, in not only the provision of safe, nutritious and, where possible, local food but also the ecosystem services central to the quality of life.

Climate change, world hunger and Covid-19 have brought these issues into sharp focus internationally, while the UK faces the uncertainties of the new Agricultural Policy and leaving the EU. A new approach is therefore required building in resilience and an understanding and an empathy with the environment and the society in which food is produced.

Dr Anya Perera, Head of School for Sustainable Environments & Design, said: "The agricultural industry needs a new generation of skilled graduates, able to think across disciplines and problem solve by applying fresh thinking and new approaches. Students will be encouraged to take a progressive approach to farming production systems that encompasses sustainable practice and responds to political, economic and scientific change."

Regenerative Agriculture is an alternative approach to farming production systems. Students will gain an understanding of how to create and enhance resilient systems and relate to the science of managing the soil, landscapes and communities. The course has been developed to encompass thinking across conservation agriculture, agro-ecology, climate smart agriculture, carbon farming, technology use, and integrated management practices.

Students will have the opportunity to combine expert theory and hands-on experience, using WUC's established estate. The course will include farm-level practices and ways in which they contribute to global goals of building resilient local food chains, the provision of ecosystems services and mitigating the impact of climate change.

Students will enjoy access (dependent on government guidelines) to WUC's fantastic facilities which include a 138 hectare farm for crop production plus cattle, pig and sheep units and scientific laboratories.

BSc (Hons) Agriculture (Regenerative Systems) focuses on crop production. Click here for more information: https://writtle.ac.uk/BSc-(Hons)-Agriculture-(Regenerative-Systems)

BSc (Hons) Agriculture (Regenerative Systems and Livestock) focuses on livestock. Click here for more information: https://writtle.ac.uk/BSc-(Hons)-Agriculture-(Regenerative-Systems-and-Livestock)