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PgC / PgD / MSc

Agricultural Engineering (Mobile Machinery)

Year of entry


2 years full-time

Start date: September 2019


Open only to students eligible to work and study in the UK

Do you want a career in engineering but don’t have an engineering degree? Or want to take your engineering qualification to the next level?

The course

This course is specifically aimed at students who didn’t study engineering as their first degree but want to develop a career in the field and – ultimately – achieve chartered engineering status.
It will appeal to those with a science or maths-based undergraduate degree who would like a more applied qualification, with a view to careers as a product specialist, in product support or technical sales roles within the agricultural mobile machinery industry.
The course will also suit engineering graduates who wish to gain the required academic qualification for registration as a Chartered Engineer, and/or who wish to develop into the agricultural machinery sector.

It will help you understand the agricultural environment and crop production processes, and to evaluate and support the machinery and technologies that are employed there.

You will:

  • Get experience in the design, development and appraisal of new products, systems and/or test equipment.
  • Learn to communicate ideas and technical management solutions to different audiences.
  • Develop the skills for technical specialist roles in the mobile agricultural machinery industry.
  • Enhance your job prospects with high level academic study and the development of professional practice.
  • Master the art of formulating an hypothesis, designing suitable methods to test it and draw valid conclusions.
  • Use research techniques to solve problems encountered in the agricultural engineering industry.
  • Fulfil the academic requirements for a Chartered Engineer’s matching section if you have completed an accredited honours degree in an appropriate engineering discipline, or for an Incorporated Engineer’s matching section for those with a scientific or mathematical honours degree.


Did you know: Research conducted by the Engineering Council found the average median salary for a chartered engineer has risen to £63,000.

(Published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in January 2014)

Entry requirements for 2019

To study for the master’s degree you will need either:

  • An honours degree in a mathematical, analytical or engineering based discipline, with either a first or 2:1 honours classification.
  • A postgraduate diploma (PgDip) or equivalent in a mathematical, analytical or engineering based subject.

For the postgraduate certificate or diploma you will need either:

  • An honours degree in a mathematical, analytical or engineering-based subject.
  • A good UK-based HND or foundation degree in a mathematical, analytical or engineering based discipline, together with at least two years’ related industrial or professional experience.
  • A graduate diploma/certificate or equivalent in a mathematical, analytical or engineering based subject.

Applicants with prior related experience will also be considered.


Accredited by: Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE)

The MSc degree programme is accredited by the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. The award has been developed to meet the Engineering Council Output Standards for Masters Degrees other than Integrated Masters.

Teaching and learning

Course structure

This two-year course is split into two distinct parts.

Year 1

During your first year you’ll study nine modules, each taught in a one-week block, Monday to Friday, at Harper Adams. Taught modules begin in September and are generally complete by June. Each module is worth 15 credits; a total of 120 in all. This will develop your ability to operate in a technical role within the agricultural engineering industry, which you’ll need for the second part of the course. You’ll also undertake further study in your own time, completing projects, tutorial exercises, written assignments and, if required, exam preparation.

Year 2

You’ll spend your second year working in industry, on a placement, during which you will complete a 60-credit major research project. The placement period is an important part of the course, giving you the opportunity to gain experience of applying your skills within a commercial environment.

Students will graduate with a high quality engineering qualification and the ability to:

  • Solve agricultural machinery problems by applying scientific and engineering principles, and developing technologies
  • Develop economically viable, innovative products, processes or systems to fulfil new needs as relevant to the agricultural mobile machinery industry.
  • Apply analytical and quantitative methods, modelling techniques and computer software to analyse and solve unfamiliar agricultural mobile machinery problems.
  • Manage engineering activities with an awareness of the legal, economic, social, and environmental context of agricultural mobile machinery to evaluate commercial risk.
  • Understand and judge good commercial engineering practice and how it is applied to agricultural mobile machinery problems involving technical uncertainty.

Learning and teaching methods

You’ll learn through formal lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises, laboratory sessions, study visits and guest speakers. Some modules could be delivered by distance learning. You’ll also study in your own time, completing tutorial exercises, undertaking written assignments and, if required, preparing for exams.

Course materials are supplied, including text, tutorial exercises and readings. As well as reading lists for each module, tutors will provide an up-to-date list of specified journal/conference proceeding references before the start of each module so you can become familiar with the latest developments in your field of study.

Every student studies the Research and Information Skills module, which gives you the basic skills required for extracting information and interpreting data.


You’ll be assessed through exams and coursework, which may include literature review-based essays, problem-based assignments, sponsored industry projects requiring oral and written reports, portfolios, individual and team scenario exercises, and experimental work. Students will be provided with prompt written feedback from written assignments. Time constrained exams can be both closed and open book.


A member of the engineering academic staff will be your placement supervisor, who will help you to develop a personal development plan to ensure you get the best out of your placement experience and meet the required standards for graduation.


PgD or PgC students who achieve an average grade of 50% or higher in their first year may be able to progress to the full MSc.


The course is designed to develop the independent learning, problem solving and research skills required to become a successful industrial or research engineers.

It will give those with an undergraduate degree in engineering the necessary academic qualification to register as a Chartered Engineer, and careers at a higher level within the agricultural machinery sector.

For those with a scientific or mathematical based undergraduate degree it will provide a more applied qualification, and open up careers as product specialists, and in product support or technical sales roles within the agricultural mobile machinery industry.

98% Employability

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

(HESA 2017)


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