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New postgrad agroecology course launched

Posted 18 March 2015

An example of agroecology

A new postgraduate course that addresses how best to integrate food production with conservation, has been launched at Harper Adams University.

The Agroecology qualification, one of only a few courses of its type in the UK, aims to prepare students for a career in conservation agriculture, striking the balance between producing enough food to meet demand whilst protecting the planet’s natural resources.

Graduates from the course, which is available at PgC, PgD and MSc level, will receive specialist training from long-established experts within the field, supported by an extensive programme of research.

Dr Nicola Randall, Senior Lecturer in the Crop and Environmental Science Department, said: “Harper Adams has long taught courses in the areas of agriculture, countryside management and food supply chain management. This postgraduate degree will enable students to integrate these topic areas, something that is key for sustainable intensification.

“The university is dedicated to addressing the issue of food security and feeding our ever growing population, so is therefore ideally placed to deliver this exciting new course.”

The course includes modules that directly investigate farming and ecological systems, such as Sustainable Farming Systems and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

It also provides students with a good understanding of the wider socio –economic and political drivers that are valuable when making decisions around a sustainable food chain. Students may also have the potential to study up to two online modules with the University of Florida.

Following graduation, graduates can expect to enter roles in research, farm conservation, environmental and farm consultancy, food policy analysis and more.

Dr Randall, who has recently returned from an agroecology networking trip to India, said: “Agroecology is a key aspect of sustainable agriculture – a topic of high policy importance both nationally and internationally.

“We already offer agricultural and ecological courses at postgraduate level. This course will utilise our teaching and research strengths, and provide an alternative focus whilst complementing the other courses at Harper Adams University.

“This really is an exciting subject area for those interested in food security.”

Applicants are required to have an honours degree, postgraduate diploma or good UK-based HND or foundation degree with related professional experience.
Subject to validation, the course welcomes applications for study commencing September 2015.

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