Outstanding teaching

Harper Adams University has a long and distinguished history as the UK's leading specialist in higher education for agriculture and the wider land-based and rural industries.

It is our mission to equip graduates to develop and steer a sustainable food chain and rural economy for the future. Excellent teaching and facilities, internationally recognised research and strong links with industry and professional bodies are our trademarks. In this unique academic community we create and share the knowledge and expertise to enlighten and develop minds, solve problems, enhance lives and create opportunities. Harper Adams is providing the higher level skills needed to shape the future, and help you to fulfil your personal aspirations.

In its most recent review the Quality Assurance Agency expressed 'confidence' (the best possible result) in our courses and standards, especially the way we work with employers to develop the curriculum, and how we support your learning.

Applied research and meeting the needs of students and industry are central to our postgraduate taught courses. You will be taught by highly qualified, supportive lecturers active in research, industry and academia. Informed by research and business, our range of highly specialised courses is constantly developing and expanding. Students are also able to create a more bespoke degree combining research with taught modules.

Our postgraduate courses are highly applied and careers-focused and aim to significantly enhance your theoretical knowledge and practical skills through inspiring, topical and applied teaching.

“Studying at Harper Adams has enabled me to gain new insights into how the world works and new perspectives into how people involved in the industry think.”

Entrepreneur Fujin Liow (pictured above), from Malaysia, studied MSc Entomology. Harper Adams is the UK's leading provider of postgraduate entomology courses.

Levels of study available

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) / Postgraduate Diploma (PgD)

These qualifications are achievable in a shorter space of time and cost less than a full Masters degree, which suits some students who have limited time to study, are interested in a narrower range of modules, or do not need the full MSc for their career development. Many students who achieve the certificate carry on studying at diploma level, and then undertake the research project to achieve the MSc degree.

Master of Science (MSc) degree

MSc courses include a significant taught element, research project and dissertation; one third of the course will be research-based and two-thirds taught. The degree can be completed in 12 months full-time or up to five years part-time, though in practice most students qualify within two to three years.

Master of Research (MRes) degree

The MRes provides a larger research element than MSc programmes: two-thirds research and one-third taught. It provides training in how to become a researcher and can be a good stepping stone to those considering a PhD or a career in research.

Part-time or full-time study

We recognise that our students come from a wide range of backgrounds with differing demands on their time. Studies show that more than half of UK students choose part-time postgraduate degrees. We have therefore developed our teaching to be accessible to both full-time and part-time learners. There are a large number of applied programmes available at Harper Adams that have been developed to support a specific career direction. Teaching is delivered in blocks, many materials can be accessed online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and most modules are assessed by assignments. Our library and IT departments recognise that many postgraduate students are part-time, and have set up their online systems to help you access them whilst off-campus. This enables part-time students the flexibility to balance their academic studies with paid work or other responsibilities and full-time students opportunity to gain work experience whilst they study. Our Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) and Master of Science (MSc) qualifications are completed within 12 months full-time or up to five years part-time, although most students take between two and three years.

Modules and block study

Full-time taught courses last one year and are delivered as a series of modules. Modules are typically worth 15 credits. This represents 150 hours of study time required to complete the module from start to finish. Each module is usually taught in either five or ten-day blocks, allowing considerable flexibility whether you are studying full or part-time. Most courses offered contain a number of optional modules enabling you to tailor your course to your precise requirements

Each module is taught as an intensive short course, with a maximum of five days per 15-credit module, with approximately 35 hours of contact time. The remaining 115 hours are for you to undertake further reading in your own time, complete tutorial exercises, undertake written assignments and if required, to prepare for an exam. However, modules that are worth 30 credits (300 hours) are taught as two blocks of five days duration.

Individual course materials will be supplied which are made up of a combination of text, tutorial exercises and readings including up-to-date extracts from relevant publications.

Online learning

We have developed our online learning environment (the VLE or Learning Hub) to enhance the applied nature of most Harper Adams postgraduate courses. While much of your learning will be – as you would expect – hands-on and geared towards enhancing your applied skills, our virtual learning environment provides resources to complement your lectures, seminars, field visits and practicals, giving you a great combination of fl exibility and support. Online resources can include: course materials, text and video materials, interactive exercises, and access to the library catalogue and online journals.

How many credits do I need?

For the majority of courses 60 credits are required for a PgC and 120 credits for a PgD. The MSc is earned by submitting a major project (60 credits), in addition to the successful completion of the modules specified for the PgD. The only exception is PgD REALM, for which you will need 180 credits over 12 taught modules.

Major projects can be carried out in conjunction with industry or other research institutes away from Harper Adams. Projects are submitted in August and graduation takes place in September. Our PgD and MSc qualification should be completed within 12 months full-time or up to four years part-time, although most students take between two and three years.

Assessment and research projects

Assessment is mainly by written coursework and most assignments require the completion of applied real-world tasks relevant to your potential future career. However, some modules include written examinations. Tutor support is available via appointment, e-mail or telephone for the duration of the course. For the MSc, in consultation with a supervisor, students complete a Research Project on a topic of their own choice. You will be able to choose a topic of real interest for in-depth study which can be related to your current or future occupation where appropriate. Projects can be carried out in conjunction with industry or other research institutes. The situation is similar for students on the MRes route but their research component will be overseen and coordinated by a research professor.

All research conducted by Harper Adams is of international quality and more than 50 per cent is either world leading or internationally excellent.

Research Excellence Framework, 2014