Postgraduate

Organic Farming and Food Production Systems MSc

Organic Farming and Food Production Systems MSc

Full time: 12 months

Profile

This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. You will learn and test the latest approaches in the integrated delivery of soil, crop and livestock, and food supply chain management.

Through a combination of lectures, field trips, seminars, practical classes and research projects you will develop advanced knowledge and skills in:

  • managing organic farming and food production units or businesses in different macroclimatic, agronomic and market contexts
  • agronomic approaches used in organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production systems
  • underlying principles and standards of organic/biological/ecological/sustainable food production, processing and retailing/marketing systems
  • applied and strategic research underpinning the development of organic and other sustainable farming and food production systems
  • a wide range of analytical laboratory methods

You will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day field trip as part of the module on Mediterranean perennial crop production systems in Crete, Greece. The trip is organised in collaboration with ecological farming experts from the Greek National Science Foundation (NAGREF).

As part of your studies you will also undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported through training in designing and delivering a laboratory project or field-based investigation. You will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner.

This research project and thesis may be undertaken at the University, in industry, in Crete as part of existing Nafferton Ecological Farming Group research and development projects, or in another country.

Our staff

You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape.

Strategic research embraces work on:

  • soil quality
  • rhizosphere function
  • plant-soil feedback
  • soil-carbon dynamics
  • nutrient cycling

Applied research addresses issues of:

  • climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
  • ecological (organic) farming systems
  • low-input crop systems
  • agriculture-environment interactions

Professor Carlo Leifert is the Degree Programme Director for MSc in Organic Farming and Food Production Systems. Carlo is a member of the Food Security Network in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS) and is part of the Nafferton Ecological Farming Group (NEFG). He currently manages EU and DEFRA funded projects focused on improving resource efficiency, productivity and food quality and safety in organic and 'low input' crop and livestock production systems.

Find out more about staff researching Integrated Agricultural Production.

Delivery

The course is taught in a block format with a six-week block and then two-week teaching blocks.

You will be taught through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical and field classes
  • tutorials
  • case studies
  • small group discussions

You will be expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS). This allows us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

A sample of job titles our graduates now hold

Environmental Monitoring And Compliance Technician, Wildlife Biologist, Rural Development Officer

A sample of employers our graduates now work for

Inland Fisheries Ireland, Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, Foundations For Farming

Data based on responses from 48 UK, EU and International postgraduate leavers (2011/12, 2012/13) studying Agriculture. See more about what our graduates do.

Related Degrees

  • Food and Rural Development Research MSc

    The Food and Rural Development Research MSc is designed to provide high quality training for those interested in a research career focusing on food social science, rural development and rural sociology. The research focus makes the course ideal if you are interested in gaining a Master's qualification and then continuing on to a PhD.

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc

    Our course provides specialist skills and knowledge about the most important issues related to the sustainability of agricultural production and food security. Our MSc is suitable if you have an interest in sustainable agriculture and food security and want to develop a broad knowledge of the subject.

All related programmes

Fees & Funding

2016-2017 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.

MSc

UK/EU

Full time: £7,165

International

Full time: £17,580

You can read more about our tuition fees and discounts available.

Funding opportunities

Funding for UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
The Clyde Higgs Postgraduate Scholarship 2016/17

5

An award of £5,000 is available for home students.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials - Developing Ionic Electrolytes for Electrochemical Energy Storage Application

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteriaa full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Humanities and Social Science Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships

Up to 35 scholarships

£2,000 tuition fee discount

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme

Maximum of £10,000

PhD in Marine Science and Technology - Shipping Exhaust Gas Emission Modelling, Indexing and Regulation

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid. £13,726 living expenses per year.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

PhD Studentship in Marine Science & technology - Modelling and Simulation for Sustainable Marine Engineering Systems

1

Home Tuition Fees will be covered plus you will receive an annual stipend of £14,057 for 3.5 years.

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - iBUILD: Innovative business models from smart infrastructure systems

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid.  £13,863 living expenses per year.

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Understanding the relationship between value, business model and the engineering of infrastructure projects

1

You may be entitled to a full or partial award.  A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,863. A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - iBUILD: Valuing Infrastructure Resilience

1

Candidates need to meet EPSRC eligibility criteria for EPSRC DTA awards.  A full award includes an annual stipend of £13,863 (2015-16).

PhD in School of Chemistry - Imaging and electrochemical investigation of biomolecules using scanning probe microscopy

1

100% tuition fees plus a £14,057 p.a. stipend (RCUK stipend level).

PhD in School of Chemistry - Advanced Materials for Redox Flow Batteries

1

100% tuition fees plus a £14,057 p.a. stipend (based on RCUK stipend levels).

PhD studentship: Mathematical modelling in Animal/Veterinary Science: Macro mineral digestion and metabolism in livestock

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus £16,557 (with Industrial Enhancement)

NERC DREAM (Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods) PhD CDT Studentship

2

100% tuition fees (UK/EU rate), plus an annual tax-free maintenance grant at UK Research Councils’ national minimum rate, which in 2015/16 is £14,057.

EPSRC PhD Studentships – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

UK students – 4 studentships
Non-UK EU students – 1 studentship

100% of UK/EU tuition fees.
UK students – annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £20,000.
Non-UK/EU students - annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £15,000.

PhD Studentship in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - New drilling methods for ground source heat pumps

1

An annual stipend is approximately £14,496 per year (depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria).  Funding is available for UK and EU citizens. 

The Clyde Higgs Postgraduate Scholarship 2016/17

5

An award of £5,000 is available for home students.

Hodcroft Larsen Postgraduate Bursary for Female Engineers - 2016 Entry

Up to 2.

£3,000

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences – Monitoring and Assessment of Masonry Arch Bridges

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award).

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,296 (2016/17, depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria.  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. 

The Iland Postgraduate Research Scholarship (for research relating to European Culture or Global Challenges)

1

£10,000 per year.  The scholarship is payable towards the UK/EU rate of tuition fee, with the remainder awarded as living expenses.

Konishi Foundation Scholarship in East Asian Studies

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296

PhD studentship in Neuroscience - Exploring Chloride Regulation and its Consequences in Neuronal Networks using Novel Optogenetic Strategies

1

100% of UK/EU PhD tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296

PhD Studentship: Regulation of Vascular Permeability by Sphingosine 1 - Phosphate (NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation)

1

100% of tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296.

PhD Studentship: Modification of Leucocyte-Endothelial Interactions in Perfused Donor Organs (NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplanation)

1

100% of tuition fees covered at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296.

PhD Studentship in Primary Care

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £16,000 

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: The Use of Perovskite-type Oxygen-carriers for Hydrogen Production via Chemical Looping

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Next generation of composite molten salt-ceramic membranes for selective separation of NOx, SO2 and CO2

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: State of the art novel catalysts for environmental reaction engineering

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Data-driven modelling of glass durability and glass pouring rate in nuclear waste vitrification process

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria), and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

David Goldman PhD studentship in Innovation and Enterprise

1

100% tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) equal to that provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (estimated rate of £13,590 in 2016/17). 

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Joint Newcastle University UKEAS Taiwan Postgraduate Scholarship

1

The scholarship will have a value of £2,000, payable towards tuition fees.

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,500 - £11,500 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Newcastle University International Postgraduate Scholarship (NUIPS)

Partial scholarship payable towards tuition fees

Country-specific Scholarships

Varies.

International Masters' Excellence Scholarships (Medical Sciences)

£1,500

All students Number of awards Value of awards
MRC and EPSRC-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node Bursaries

10

Tuition fee bursaries of £2,390 

PhD Studentship in Controlled Metal-ion Assembly Using Modified Nucleic Acids: Towards Designer Materials

1

100% tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at Research Council UK rate (£14,296 2016/17).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2016 entry

£15,000 bursary (£7,500 per year). The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - MSc Scholarships

Not specified

UK/EU students - £500 scholarship; non-EU international students - £1,500 scholarship 

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 - £10,0000.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Instalments
2% Tuition Fee Discount

2% off annual tuition fee

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Varies

Varies.

Sir Mark Waller Postgraduate Law Scholarships

6 for international students, 2 for home/EU students.

Full and partial (£2,500-£3,000) tuition fee scholarships.

Charities and Trusts

Varies

Allergy Module Funding

Varies

The Crown Estate Bursaries - MSc Marine Technology Education Consortium (MTEC)

9

Partial tuition fee bursaries of £3,600.

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

1x £5,000 PhD scholarship
1x £5,000 Masters scholarship
4x £500 scholarships

£12,000 across six awards.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

Robinson Bequest Scholarships
The North of England P and I Association Limited (NEPIA) Studentship

1

£2500

Postgraduate Masters Scholarships in Geography, Sociology and Politics

up to 12

Full and partial tuition fee scholarships at the UK/EU rate.

PhD Studentship - Do age-associated B-cells contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,296.  Also significant additional funding to cover research expenses, general training, travel and meeting costs.  

Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD School of Chemistry – Broadband Rotational Spectroscopy

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,057 2015/16).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in School of Chemistry – Probing Femtosecond Dynamics with Core Hole Spectroscopy: Theoretical Approach

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,057 2015/16).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Dyson PhD Studentship in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University

2

100% tuition fees plus £19,500 per year tax-free stipend.

Charles Letts Memorial Postgraduate Scholarship 2016/17 entry

5

Up to £1,500

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

PhD Studentship in Electrical Power: Electrical Machine Topologies in Integrated Drives for Electric Vehicles

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of up to £19,000 depending on experience (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Electrical Power: Integrated Drives for Electric Vehicles with Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of up to £19,000 depending on experience (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Urban Studies

1

£15,000 per year for 3 years. The scholarship is payable towards 100% of tuition fees, with the remainder awarded as living expenses. 

Santander Mobility Awards for 2016/17

10 minimum

Maximum value of £1,400

PhD Studentship in Chemistry - Developing Advanced Computational Tools for Ultrafast X-ray Scattering

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship - Prediction in brain-body interaction as a basis for emotions (and feelings)

1

The studentship carries an award of £14,296 per annum plus 100% of UK/EU tuition fees.

PhD Studentship in Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) - Understanding the dynamics of metaldhyde in agricultural catchments

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Non-EU nationals can apply but will need to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) - Stakeholder involvement in agri-food and environmental policy evaluation

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Non-EU nationals can apply but will need to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD School of Mathematics and Statistics – Single-electron sources and quantum electronics

1

The studentship includes tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,057 per annum (2015/16 level), a desktop computer and £1,500 travel allowance.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Mathematical modelling studies of rhythmic hydrogels for medical applications

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Personalized Hierarchical Visualization for Enhanced Decision Support using Big Data

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual living expenses in excess of £14,057 (full award) 

Activia Training UK Scholarship Award

2

£500 for college and university students in the UK.

PhD Studentship in Marine Transport – The economics of the ship repair market: cyclical effects and economic waves

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,296.  International students may apply, however tuition fees will only be covered at the UK/EU rate. Limited financial support may also be available for research and fieldwork costs.

Research Excellence Academy Scholarship in the Constructions and uses of the European past in heritage and political discourse

1

The scholarship includes the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016-17 Research Council UK rate).

PhD Studentship in Diagnostic Test Evaluation Methodology - Evaluations of diagnostic tests in the presence of an imperfect reference standard and the health economic considerations

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and annual living expenses of £14,296.  Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering – Super-miniature engineering using MEMS technologies: next generation sensors for turbulence measurements

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Research Excellence Academy Studentship in Prehistoric fuel use in the archaeological record: developing the potential of ash through integrating microfossil analysis and geochemistry

1

100% of tuition fees and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016-17 Research Council UK rate).

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

You will be considered on an individual basis if you have lower or non-standard qualifications and significant, relevant industry experience.

International students

If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5.

You must also read our English language requirements, including:

  • all minimum sub scores you must have
  • other English language tests we accept
  • extra English language support

Academic qualifications that we accept from your country to meet our entry requirements are listed on your country page.

How to Apply

Use our Applicant Portal to apply for your course. We have a step-by-step guide to help you.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.

Deposit

If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.

Contact

Julia Cooper
Degree Programme Director        
School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6932
Email: afrd-pg@ncl.ac.uk

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