BSc (Hons) Agronomy + Crop Science

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. This course has been designed to equip students with the underpinning knowledge of science and technology associated with the crop production industry. The production of crops is currently facing many new challenges, including climate change, evolving legislation and the ability to produce food sustainably; however there is also a constant demand for skilled professionals in a wide variety of positions within the industry, ranging from crop breeders, agronomists and growers. Successful crop production therefore requires individuals who can innovate and use up-to-date knowledge to advance the industry and ensure that it keeps pace with change. Furthermore, the responsibility of producing food sustainably falls firmly on agriculturalists that are able to use novel techniques and be receptive to new ideas

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.

Principles of Crop Genetics

This module provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of genetics in crops plants. Important concepts will be explored and students will gain knowledge into how genetics can be applied and used to drive forward crop genetic improvement through the breeding of new elite varieties.

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.

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.

Identification and Epidemiology of Crop Pests, Diseases and Weeds

The identification of agricultural weeds, crop pests and diseases are crucial skills to any trained field agronomist and allows appropriate recommendations of crop protection measures. This module equips students with the necessary identification skills of major weeds, diseases and pests using classroom- and field-based sessions. Principles of classification and nomenclature will be gained to enable students to use appropriate diagnostic keys. This module also examines the interactions between these biotic agents and crop plants with the ultimate aim of providing a deeper understanding of exactly why some agents become problematic to agriculture.

Year 2

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

Non-combinable crop production represents an important but specialist area of the arable industry in the UK. Therefore a detailed understanding of the agronomic practices and market considerations for major non-combinable crops is essential for a career in agronomy. This module discusses the optimisation of agronomic practices in sustainable production systems to meet the end market needs

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.

Crop Physiology and Production

This module explores 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.

Precision Crop Production

The adoption of technologies involved in precision farming is continuing to rise and these have the capability of increasing both the profitability and efficiency of crop production. This module investigates the concept of within-field variability and technologies/ approaches to enable within-field management.

Year 3

Advances in Agronomy

This module examines the developments and use of current and emerging crop agronomic practices/ 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.

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)

This module 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)

This module focuses on the global political, economic and legislative developments and how they will affect the rural environment in the future. The module will establish the economic framework within which land use operates and the direction in which legislation and policy are headed.

Research Project (Double module)

This module will provide an opportunity 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 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

This module explores advances in the application of emerging sustainable technologies and practices in crop production, including water use efficiency, plant nutrition and crop protection.

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

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. This course makes use of the extensive on-site research facilities and the College farms. Students will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations will form an important part of the course. Students will also have access to specialist IT hardware and software including an on-line learning platform.

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.

Additional Information:

Students are encouraged to consider undertaking additional industry relevant qualifications such as ATV Operations, Sprayer Use, and Pesticide Application.

The College also has good links with a range of local agricultural enterprises and students will be provided with opportunities to visit and develop working relationships with these organisations.

Progression

On successful completion of the BSc (Hons) programme students may wish to apply for further qualifications such as the MSc Integrated Crop Management, M Phil or PhD.

Special requirements

Extra Costs:

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

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

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are 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.