BSc (Hons) Agriculture

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.

Agriculture is an exciting and fast developing industry, harnessing new science and technology to increase productivity and efficiency on farms. Creative approaches, critical thinking, and innovation are needed to drive forward this longstanding yet resilient industry.

World population is expected to grow by over a third, or 2.3 billion people by 2050 and with this farming faces many challenges: it has to produce more food and fibre to feed a growing population with a smaller rural labour force, more crops for the bioenergy market, and adopt more efficient and sustainable production methods and adapt to climate change (FAO, 2009)

There is a shortage of skilled professionals in a wide variety of positions in the sector who can take on these challenges of new agriculture production, harnessing technology and forging policy. BSc Agriculture aims to help fill this skills shortage giving you a wide knowledge of the industry, along with analytical and problem solving skills demanded of such roles.

Making use of our new Farming and Food Innovation & Technology Centre, this course will focus on livestock and crop production as well as essential business entrepreneurism. The final year options allows you to specialise in either livestock or crops or continue to study a mix of both with an emphasis on sustainable and novel technologies.

Course modules

Year 1

Agricultural Machinery Management

Students will discuss the principles of agricultural machinery systems and investigate of the strength and suitability of materials in relation to different roles within machinery. Safety systems within machinery will also be considered. You will also develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of primary and secondary data.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy, physiology and environmental assessment are introduced through this core module. With a focus for the agricultural students on livestock, you will explore the fundamentals of animal biology, an understanding of which will help foster successful livestock farmers. The module includes some lab practicals.

Academic and Professional Skills

Here we will explore the professional requirements for a successful career in the sector along with equipping students with the time management, academic writing and critical thinking skills needed to succeed in education and your chose profession. It is aimed that you have a strong start to the degree and you develop vital transferable skills useful in future project management, data analysis, reporting and presenting information to different audiences.

Essential Plant and Soil Science

Here students explore the underpinning knowledge and understanding of plant biology and soil science. For plants (crops) students discover how plant form and function relates to their basic needs in terms of light, water, nutrients and reproduction. Soils will enable you to recognise soil properties (in both soil samples and in the field) and their influence on plant growth and development.

Principles of Crop Production

Gives an introduction into the principles of growing a range of agricultural crops covering the establishment, nutrition, protection, harvesting and storage of crops. Constraints on crop production from pests, diseases and adverse environmental conditions are also introduced.

Principles of Livestock Production

Introduces the main production systems of a range of livestock produced in the UK. Health, disease and biosecurity, animal welfare standards, breeding, nutrition & costings will be included as students develop a full picture of the UK livestock industry.

Year 2

Business and Entrepreneurism

Here you will evaluate entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process to develop your business planning skills. This includes marketing and finance in order to aid the formulation of sustainable and enterprising business plans suited for a fast changing growth industry.

Crop Physiology and Production (Option)

A module exploring the science underpinning crop growth and production in arable crops and fresh produce. A critical appreciation of management practices that exploit and apply this knowledge will be developed

Forage Crop and Grassland Management

Central to farm profitability is the scientific basis of grassland & forage crop production as we seek sustainability in livestock production systems. In this module, emphasis will be placed on the fundamental principles with the application of science to allow students to make effective forage crop management decisions

Livestock Nutrition and Breeding (Option)

Essential for those destined for a career in livestock here you will develop a broad understanding of the biological and biochemical principles which underpin animal nutrition and breeding. Dietary requirements and modern breeding techniques along with the use of cutting edge science will explore how to maximise yield from our livestock.

Managing the Agricultural Environment

Students will evaluate some of the impacts of recent changes in farming practice (in the UK) on plants and animals living in agricultural habitats such as moorland, upland rough grazing, lowland pastures, silage, crops and field margins. Strategies for the conservation of farmland biodiversity are investigated, as is the concept of ecosystem services which is a way of attributing economic value to the environment.

Production of Non-combinable Crops

An opportunity to examine the developments and use of current and emerging crop technologies and evaluates their ethical, environmental and economic issues. The design of effective experiments and data interpretation to validate new technologies and crop products will also be covered.

Research Methods

Experimental design and data analysis are core themes in this module. It will introduce concepts of statistical testing and further develop skills in presenting and interpreting results of scientific investigations. The module will give students vital skills in formulating research questions and designing an effective experiment in preparation for the final year research project.

Year 3

Developments in Food and Farming Innovation

This module explores the productivity of UK agriculture. Students will examine case studies of innovation in the food and farming supply chain with the aim of creating and justifying innovative solutions to given food and farming situations in order to improve agriculture productivity.

Developments in Global Land Use (Option)

A module that critically evaluates the issues with current global land uses. In particular, it will focus on subjects such as climate change, energy use, water management and soil degradation and how current techniques could be altered to achieve lower impacts.

Policy Developments in the Rural Environment (Option)

Here students focus on the global political, economic and legislative developments and how these will affect the rural environment in the future. The module will establish the framework within which the rural policy operates and explore the direction in which legislation and policy are headed.

Research Project (Double module)

An opportunity for a student to pursue an in-depth study of the student's own choice which is related to their substantive areas of study. Students will work independently, under limited supervision, in order to develop and demonstrate their research and academic skills and abilities. The dissertation will normally be based on an academic topic using primary and/or secondary data collection techniques. In both cases academic theory is to be critically evaluated and applied to the research topic.

Sustainable Crop Science

Students will explore advances in the application of emerging sustainable technologies and practices in crop production, including water use efficiency, plant nutrition and crop protection.

Sustainable Livestock Science

Students will explore the advances in the application of scientific research to emerging sustainable extensive and intensive livestock production systems, including water and feed use efficiency, animal nutrition and breeding.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

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

Plus 104 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

• 3 A-levels (A2) at C or above

• BTEC/C&G Level 3

• 4 Scottish Highers at C or above

• 4 Irish Highers at C or above

• International Baccalaureate at 24 points

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

Students will face a variety of assessments including examinations, essays, debates, assignments, technical reports, group and individual presentations, individual study projects and industry based case studies.

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops.

This course makes use of the extensive on-site research facilities and the College farms.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.

Study trips are organised to visit a variety of successful agricultural livestock and arable enterprises in the Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Wirral areas. These farm businesses have welcomed Myerscough student visits to supplement the learning in specific modules. Farm diversification and commercial energy generation projects are also visited including wind farms, large scale anaerobic digestion units and biomass plants.

Additional Information:

Guest speakers often visit and include industry experts in areas such as crop protection and marketing, agricultural waste management, animal nutrition, livestock technology, AI and breeding. Extra curricula activities include a week long study tour takes based in Europe and attendance at national events and conferences including British Cattle Breeders annual conference.

What work experience can I get?

Through core modules and electives students will gain some hands on experience in a variety of scenarios to build skills that can be used in a working environment. The timetable usually allows students to undertake some work experience during the week and summer breaks.

Progression

On successful completion of the course, students may apply for further qualifications such as MSc, M Phil or PhD.

Careers

Graduates will be in a position to apply for posts available in the agricultural industry (and other related industries) including:

Agricultural or crop or livestock research

Agricultural finance and insurance

Agricultural journalism

Arable specialist

Agronomist

AI Technician

Animal Nutritionists

Crop Chemical specialist

Crop Marketing

Consultants

Contractor

Farm Business Advisor

Farm Management

Feed Sales Management

Lecturers

Livestock Breeding specialist

Plant Breeding specialist

Veterinary Drugs Representative

Professional accreditations

Students will be encouraged to form links with local and national agricultural organisations such Tenant Farmers Association, NFU, Dairy Co, EBLEX, Breed Societies, RASE, agricultural discussion groups and Young Farmers Associations.

Special requirements

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

  • Approx £100 - Waterproofs, safety boots, wellingtons and overalls

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

  • Approx £1100 - Field trips and visits (including possible overseas trips)

Agriculture

Myerscough College is one of the leading institutions for Agriculture in the UK. Our courses will help prepare you for a career in the industry, by combining relevant background skills with the knowledge of crop and livestock technology as well as business enterprise.

There is currently a significant demand for highly trained and well educated professionals to enter the industry. This has been fuelled by the increasing awareness that food production, farming, tourism, the environment and rural affairs are all interconnected.

They say: Nicola Chappelhow

"Myerscough gave me a great understanding of different types of agriculture and set me up nicely for my job as a milk recorder."

 

Alumni – Oliver McEntyre

To anyone looking to study Agriculture or Countryside at Myerscough College, I’d say go, embrace it & leave with the knowledge that the qualification will stay with you for the rest of your career and open doors that might not have been opened without the time and experience Myerscough offers.

Meet Oliver

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.