Postgraduate - Pig Production PgC / MRes | Harper Adams University

PgC / MRes

Pig Production

Year of entry


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

Start date: September 2018

Do you want to develop your technical pig production practice to postgraduate level?

Harper Adams University has developed a Masters degree in Pig Production.

The course

The pig meat sector continues to show a consistent growth in consumption globally, with greater levels of expansion in developing regions of the world. Pork production exceeded 110milion tons in 2013. With the anticipated expansion in world human population of 9.3 billion the demand for pig meat is expected to continue into the future with China representing particularly large markets. As with poultry the pig sector is a major consumer of animal feed grain. There will be competing demands for this feed, which the pig sector will need to respond to. 

The global pig industry of the future will be characterised by highly productive genotypes managed by an increasingly smaller number of large, vertically integrated, production companies. These businesses will be operating in an environment of ever increasing technical complexity and market demands. Managers will need to deliver economic sustainability whilst making the most of technological advances and adapting to issues such as carbon foot print and environmental pollution, antimicrobial resistance, animal health and welfare.  Given that there are clear opportunities for growth within the pig industry, the challenges to be faced will require a sound understanding and application of the fundamental scientific principles in biology and health, environmental sustainability and business management. 

There are clear career pathways in the pig industry which require technically aware personnel across both production and the wider allied industries.  Individual job descriptions will increasingly include national and international roles. This programme will provide the scientific platform for students to progress and address these and other emerging issues through focused and tailored assignments which allow students to plot their own pathway of learning.

The programme is designed to offer a portfolio of multidisciplinary topics within a selection of specialised integrative modules to advance students’ understanding of the relevant biosciences underpinning pig meat production.  This will be presented within a theme of mono-gastric animal production where there are many similarities of principle and scientific approaches.

In summary the course:

  • Recognises the global context within which food production now operates.
  • Explores the sciences underpinning food animal husbandry and animal production systems.
  • Support students to identify, analyse and solve biological, technological and economic problems encountered in pig production systems.
  • Support students to evaluate the wider global, environmental, economic, social, ethical and political issues associated with pig production systems.

How will it benefit me?

The course will:

  • Prepare students for a career in pig production.
  • Offer vocational training in the area of applied pig production.
  • Prepare students for PhD studies.

Entry requirements for 2018

Final award: PgC / MRes

Full-time: one year (MSc loan eligible)
Part-time: two years (MSc loan eligible)
Part-time: three years

Entry requirements: For PgC entry candidates should possess one of the following: 

  1. Honours degree (at least a 2.2)
  2. A good UK based HND or Foundation Degree, together with related industrial or professional experience of at least two years
  3. A Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate or equivalent
Teaching and learning

Elective Modules

Elective modules from the list below can be studied in addition to the core modules identified above.

  • Food chain related
    • Food Product Development 
    • Meat Science and Public Health
    • Animal Production, Meat Processing and Quality
    • Food Policy and Ethics
  • Farm Business Management
    • Farm Business Management
    • Farm Business Analysis
    • Farm Business Strategy
  • Agri-Business Management
    • Leadership and People Management
    • Principles of Finance
    • Strategic Management and International Agribusiness
    • Food Business Operations Management
    • Agri-Food Marketing
  • Systems Related
    • Precision Farming Technology
    • Animal Welfare and Bioethics

Modules are usually delivered as an intensive short course, taught over a one week block, with a maximum of 5 days per 15 credit module providing in the region of 35 hours of contact time.  

Teaching may consist of formal lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises, laboratory sessions, study visits or the use of guest speakers.

The PgC is offered full-time and part-time to allow those in work to study towards an award at a pace that suits their needs and time available.


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