FdSc Agricultural Machinery Engineering

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. The United Kingdom is one of the main users of agricultural and horticultural machinery. Imported machinery is developed, adapted and modified in the UK to support the high crop yields and temperate climate, which make the UK different to the rest of Europe and North America. The aim of the Myerscough agricultural engineering course is to provide the skills that make an organisation successful, and provide an in depth understanding of the industry.

Agricultural machinery engineering is a multidisciplinary subject which involves the design, construction and preparation of agricultural vehicles. It also includes the planning of teamwork and project management. This course provides the grounding and understanding of the fundamentals of the machinery business whilst also having the opportunity to specialise in the technology and working practices employed by the industry. You will gain an understanding of the current industry practices and standards.

Course modules

Year 1

Academic and Vocational Skills

This module provides students with first-hand experience using a relevant work environment to develop academic, practical and technical skills. Students will be encouraged to record and reflect on their own personal development during the module. The module is fundamental to the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment and will provide the foundation for further development through study on the ‘Industry Project’ module at Level 5.

Agricultural Machinery Management

The module aims to provide students with a good working knowledge on the compatibility of power units with implements/equipment and the effect this has on the finance/management of a business. Students investigate in detail how operational systems are controlled by the equipment available, the level of staff training required and how the equipment is operated. Students will be given the opportunity to analyse and evaluate data produced when operating equipment, giving the students the potential to use this information to influence management decisions.

Engineering Principles

This module will provide students with the knowledge and practical experience of the most commonly used manufacturing processes including lathework, milling, CNC machining and welding.

Information Technology and CAD

Employers are demanding higher levels of IT skills and competency. This module takes a practical approach and will enhance and consolidate existing IT skills such as MS Project and Excel. An introduction to and the use of Computer Aided Design is provided.

Machinery Principles and Technology (Double module)

This module aims to discuss the principles of agricultural machinery systems and to allow investigation of the strength and suitability of materials in relation to different roles within machinery. Safety systems within machinery will also be considered. The student will also develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of primary and secondary data.

Year 2

Drive Train Systems for Agricultural Machinery

The systems used to enable movement within modern agricultural and construction machinery are complex. This module will involve learning about the engine, transmission and hydraulic systems. These have become increasingly complex in recent years. The student will examine the materials used, type of construction and design methodology behind these systems.

Electronic Control Systems for Agricultural Machinery

Modern machinery has a large dependence on a wide variety of electronic control systems from ECUs to more sophisticated diagnostic and control systems. This module will demonstrate the basic principles of how these systems work and the effect they have on the wider vehicle.

Manufacturing and Fabrication (Double module)

Evaluate appropriate materials, develop problem solving and technical skills and organise and analyses team operations in a vehicles/machinery context. This module combines theory and practical experience working with materials used within the industry.

Industry Project

This module builds upon the practical, technical and personal skills developed in the Academic and Vocational Skills module. It will provide a structured work environment for students in which to identify a suitable project, work with their supervisor in developing the project and report on the outcomes. Students will be encouraged to develop professional working relationships, manage their own time and workload and provide evidence of this. Project management skills will be developed through supporting lectures. The module encapsulates the ethos of foundation degrees in providing engagement in a work environment for students to investigate a particular project in relation to a specific industry sector.

Technical Systems for Agricultural Machinery Engineering

This module deals with data capture from vehicle/machinery systems. The subsequent analysis of the available information will enable students to make diagnostic recommendations with respect to ‘User’ and ‘component’ performance. Students will also investigate the range and type of sensors used in such data logging systems.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

· 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

· BTEC/C&G Level 3

· 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

· 3 Irish Highers at C or above

· International Baccalaureate at 24 points

· NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and presentations, both singularly and in groups. Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to taught sessions. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to Myerscough’s virtual learning environment, specialist IT hardware and software, and reference facility.

Assessment:

Students will face a variety of assessments including formative and summative assessment, essays, technical reports, group and individual presentations, individual study projects and case studies based on work experience.

Additional Information:

Other than the American opportunity, there are also links with New Zealand and Canada which are less formal. Modules may include guest speakers of standing within the industry. Off site visits of significance may also be undertaken.

What work experience can I get?

There is no formal work placement on this course. The Academic and Vocational Skills and Industry Project modules will utilise both on and off site working environments to provide the opportunity for students to develop real practical and technical skills and help prepare them for employment in their chosen subject area.

There is the option to intercalate and take a gap year to work in the industry anywhere in the world. This enables students to gain experience in a real working environment as well as increasing employment prospects.

Progression

On successful completion of the course, students may apply to top-up to a full Honours Degree in one year, for example BSc (Hons) Agricultural Machinery Engineering (Top-up)

Careers

Students gaining the Foundation Degree may seek employment in the Agricultural Engineering industry and opportunities exist in all sections. Positions may include for example, a technician in any field of agricultural engineering, sub-contracting, dairy engineering or farming.

Professional accreditations

Institution of Agricultural Engineers, Agricultural Engineering Association.

Ohio State University (in-term placements)

The College has links with leading machinery manufacturers and engineering companies throughout the UK and Ireland.

Special requirements

Steel toe capped footwear and fireproof overalls.

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course include:

· Flame proof overalls and safety footwear - £85

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

· Accommodation and subsistence on field trips and visits - £40

· Team Polo shirts - £24

Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural engineering involves the development, operation, maintenance and testing of highly specialised agricultural machinery. Students learn practical skills such as how agricultural machines work, maintenance techniques, welding and fabrication and machinery repair. 

The courses incorporate a mix of practicals, classroom lectures, industry visits and case study exercises, including assessment in practicals and written assignments. Employers are keen to employ Myerscough students as they have both the practical workshop skills and the managerial expertise that they require.

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.