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    Taught postgraduate

    PgC / PgD / MSc / MRes Agroecology

    Key information

    Year of entry


    1 year (full-time)
    2 to 3 years (part-time)

    Start date

    September 2024


    Final award: MSc
    Intermediate awards: PgC, PgD

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    Course description

    On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems.

    The course

    This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.  

    This course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.  The course will utilise our teaching strengths and offer an alternative focus for students with an interest in both agriculture and the natural environment, and will complement other specialist postgraduate courses such as the Entomology courses,  Integrated Pest Management, and Weed Science.

    Specifically the course will enable students to:

    • Identify the nature, structure and complexities of multifunctional landscapes.
    • Evaluate the interactions between organisms and consider these when making management recommendations for successful agro-ecological landscapes
    • Evaluate the strategic and operational issues and conflicts affecting the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems.
    • Appraise the role of agro-ecology within the wider context of global food security and sustainable food production
    • Select the most appropriate conservation management solution in a range of agricultural and other environments.
    • Develop the ability to solve conflicts in agro-ecosytems by the application of novel research techniques

    How will it benefit me?

    An understanding of agro-ecology and the organisms and systems that underpin agricultural systems can facilitate the ability to manage agricultural systems in a more sustainable manner.

    This course will provide the foundation for a career in both conservation and in agriculture.

    The course will provide you with specialized training in agroecology and farmland conservation. Specifically, the course which will:

    • prepare you for a career in conservation agriculture, or agriculture or conservation more widely.
    • offer vocational training in the area of agroecology.
    • prepare you for PhD. studies.
    • enable you to make a more informed choices for further study and career development.


    "Studying MSc Agroecology at Harper Adams University is one of the best things I have ever done. It has enabled my desired career change and my dream to come true - I now have a job with a global NGO that empowers farmers to implement integrated farm management and agroecology.  It is a thrill to be taught by lecturers who are so knowledgeable and actively contribute to high-level, evidence-based scientific literature.  I highly recommend studying MSc Agroecology at Harper Adams, to empower yourself and become part of the industry to promote biodiversity and help advance sustainable, regenerative agriculture."

    Jenna Higgins, Technical Officer, LEAF.


    The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.

    Students on this scholarship are eligible to apply for The Organic Farmers and Growers Scholarship.

    Block-based study

    Modules are delivered in one week (and in a select few modules two week) blocks on campus. You will know in advance which weeks require physical attendance as they’ll be scheduled on the timetable. In addition to this, you will be required to allocate time for self-study to complete the assignments associated with each of the modules. Some modules may also include research and/or exam elements, these are also highlighted on the timetable.

    Additional module information

    For the Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) students must choose either Biodiversity and Ecosystems Service OR International Agroecology as a core module. 

    For the Master of Science (MSc) students must choose between Biodiversity and Ecosystems Service OR International Agroecology as a core module. You may also choose to study either a social science route or a natural science route by selecting either Advanced Research Methods (Social Sciences) OR Experimental Design and Analysis.

    Students may also choose other modules from the Harper Adams postgraduate programme not listed below instead of optional modules, if they are available on the timetable. 

    Entry requirements for 2024

    A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification.  Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered.

    Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes.

    What will I study?

    Optional modules are indicative and may be subject to change.


    The type of jobs that require the skills that you will gain include:

    • Conventional, organic and integrated agriculture positions
    • Advisory work such as farm/crop consulting
    • Policy jobs such as in agriculture and environmental agencies
    • Non-governmental agencies and organizations
    • Agricultural firms
    • Extension advisors
    • Conservation organizations
    • Environmental consultants
    • Policy Analysts
    • Natural Resources Manager 
    • Scientists and researchers

    98% Employability

    Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

    (HESA 2017)

    No. 1

    In the UK for graduate employment
    (Graduate Outcomes 2020)


    We work with more than 700 businesses to deliver, develop and drive forward higher skills

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