The effective control of pests and diseases is fundamental to the use of plants by man for economic, environmental and general well-being. The threats to plant biosecurity have increased with the globalisation in trade and travel, which has resulted in increased volume and diversity of plants and plant products entering the UK and other Member States of the European Union.
The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic plant pathology and the application of this science to control current plant pests and pathogens, to reduce the introduction on invasive pests and pathogens and to minimise their impact when introduced.
The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams University. This course is primarily aimed at new Plant Health and Seed Inspectors within Defra but will also be of benefit for staff working within plant businesses (e.g. plant importers, growers and distributors) responsible for biosecurity.
This is a blended learning course where each module is delivered as 60% online over a six week period followed by two days of face to face delivery on campus. All module assessments are by coursework assignments. There is a two day induction to the course at the start of the academic year in September.
Students in full-time employment would normally complete the course over two years. Students may enrol for a single module with or without the assignment for CPD purposes.
The course is strongly aligned to the competencies of the Royal Society of Biology Plant Health Professional Register.
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.