MSc Integrated Crop Management

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. Significant increases in the global human population, increasing climatic instability and a concurrent reduction in fossil fuel availability, impacting upon agricultural production and policy. Food production must increase without a simultaneous increase in resource use.

Improvements in crop yield and production efficiency often come through the utilisation of individual elements of new research. Integrated Crop Management (ICM) however utilises multiple facets of research simultaneously to bring about larger, more sustainable results. This course focuses on incorporating the latest research to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking in subjects such as pest dynamics, genetic improvement, crop technology, sustainable practice and soil management.

This MSc, delivered at Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire will integrate these topics alongside a broader critical evaluation of crop sciences enabling you to design bespoke ICM programmes for given situations.

It is aimed at graduates in biological sciences who are looking to find employment as agronomists, farm advisors, agro-technical specialists particularly in allied agricultural industries. Successful completion of this MSc degree may also facilitate progression to PhD level research in food production science.

Course modules

Year 1

Contemporary Agronomic Research and Development

Research into agronomy, technology and management is of critical importance if the industry is to continue to adapt to modern pressures and challenges worldwide. This module will explore the research path including laboratory to field trials and, ultimately, application into practice. Case studies will be explored where research and development has made or could make a significant impact to management practice.

Integrated Approaches in High-input Cropping Systems

High-input crop production systems typically focus on achieving both high yields and profitability. This module explores the science and agronomic principles of a range of crops under such management regimes as well as their associated problems and limitations. Consideration will be given to integrated management approaches currently being adopted by industry as well as the major drivers of these changing practices. These include legislation, resistance to agrochemicals and public acceptance.

Invertebrate Dynamics in Crop Production

Approximately 10-15% of global crop production is lost to invertebrate pests. Conversely, invertebrates constitute a significant ecosystem service through pest predation and pollination. In any integrated production system, the management of invertebrates is therefore fundamental to effective crop production. This module will focus on critical evaluation of current research on invertebrate ecology and dynamics and applying this to their potential impacts on conventional cropping systems. Concepts of pest population dynamics, herbivory and species life histories will be considered in relation to their effects on the crop. Alongside this, their ‘value’ as pollinators, predators, vectors and the effects of lethal and sub-lethal pesticide doses will be evaluated.

Year 2

Global Drivers for Agricultural Change

This module examines the global drivers behind the need to refocus agricultural production to meet the needs of the increasing world population and mitigate the impacts of climate change. It will focus on concepts such as the effects of globalisation; the economic issues with pesticide development; the globalisation and privatisation of agricultural technology and the use of targeted pest control techniques. Furthermore, the module will assess the impacts of corporate responsibility and the necessity of having sustainable global supply chains.

Integrated Approaches in Low-input Cropping Systems

Low-input cropping systems seek to optimise crop yields whilst using fewer inputs when compared to conventional crop production systems. In parts of the world this is due to a lack of financial and physical resources whilst in others this is due to perceived environmental benefits. This module explores the science of the integrated management of crops under such systems, including enhanced soil management and factors influencing nutrition and disease control. Limitations will also be considered as will approaches that conventional crop production could learn from low-input management systems.

Research Methodology and Design

This module provides students with the essential personal, organisational, management, theoretical and statistical skills needed to work at Postgraduate Level. It will explore research philosophies, research process and design and the process of questionnaire development and design. The module will develop skills in advanced data organisation, presentation, dissemination and problem solving.

Year 3

Masters Dissertation

The dissertation is a triple module and allows students to design and conduct a substantial piece of independent, supervised research related to the field of study. The dissertation is an independent piece of academic work which allows the student to identify and work in an area of interest to them and manage the research process to agreed deadlines.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

Applications are sought from individuals possessing a minimum of Lower Second Class (2.2) Honours Degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline.

Candidates not possessing an Honours Degree at the above grade but with relevant professional qualifications and experience will be welcomed. All non-standard applicants may be interviewed to assess suitability for the course.

Career experience plus evidence of study skills may also be considered. Consideration will be given to non-traditional qualifications and relevant work experience. Applicants are encouraged to produce evidence of their potential to benefit from the course. Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Experience/Learning (APE/L) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to have an English qualification to IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview.

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

Our virtual learning environment will provide learning resources, guidance and collaborative links to all students irrespective of their location. Students will participate in online lecture seminars and discussion groups, and receive support from a personal tutor but will also be expected to demonstrate autonomy for their own learning. Students will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and research.

Assessment:

Modules are assessed using a variety of methods, including written reports, essays, literature reviews, dissertation, research proposal, presentations and group work.

What work experience can I get?

There is no formal work placement on this course.

Progression

On successful completion of the course, students may apply for PhD.

Careers

The MSc Integrated Crop Management helps equip students to operate as agronomists, farm advisors, agro-technical specialists particularly in allied agricultural industries.

Integrated Crop Management is a discipline with global application. The course aims to cover concepts and examples from a range of environments where crops are grown. The syllabus of the course will permit graduates to consider technical roles anywhere on the planet.

Special requirements

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

  • Access to broadband internet and a computer

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.