Postgraduate

Organic Farming and Food Production Systems MSc

Organic Farming and Food Production Systems MSc

Full time: 12 months, part time: 24 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

Module changes

Module changes

Modules change annually to take account of:

  • changing staff expertise
  • developments in the discipline
  • the requirements of external bodies and partners
  • student feedback.

Most module information for 2017 entry will be available from mid-May 2017.

Fees & Funding

2017-2018 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.

MSc

UK/EU

Full time: £7,500
Part time: £3,750

International

Full time: £18,435

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

Newcastle University has guaranteed that EU students entering our University in 2017 will pay the UK (Home) rate of fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Funding for UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme

Maximum of £10,000 (2016 entry) or £10,280 (2017 entry)

Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships 2017/18

40

£5,000

Non EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

255

£3,000

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

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

All Students Number of awards Value of awards
MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

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
Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships 2017/18

40

£5,000

Two PhD Studentships in Environmental/Animal Science/Clean Technology - Assessment of Environmental Impact of European Pig Systems

2

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,533  

Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate Taught Home and EU Scholarship Scheme 2017

Not specified.

£2,000 scholarships (which will be deducted from your tuition fees) and full fees scholarships.

Humanities and Social Science Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships

Up to 18 scholarships

£2,000 scholarships, awarded as a tuition fee discount.

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme

Maximum of £10,000 (2016 entry) or £10,280 (2017 entry)

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

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

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 in Civil Engineering Discrete Element Method modelling of non-spherical particles: application to geomaterials, process and mining engineering

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award). 

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

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.

EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Nanoscale Tomography and Chemical Analysis of Soft Materials in 3D

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award).  Additional contribution from Proctor and Gamble to be confirmed before commencement.  Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

EPSRC Studentship – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

1

100% tuition fees and UK/EU rate for 4 years of study (MSc year + 3 years PhD), plus an annual stipend of £14,533.

PhD Studentship in Agricultural Biochemistry - Safener activity and metabolic resistance to herbicides in dicots

1

Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the four-year duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,701 (2016-2017). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Virulence factors of human and bird Trichomonad parasites targeting host proteoglycans: integrating evolutionary genomics and molecular cell biology

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. 

PhD in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering: High-fidelity simulations of turbulent reacting flows involving localised ignition and flame-wall interaction

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend according to the EPSRC minimum rate (~ £14,000 per annum).  Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

PhD in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering: Computational analysis of ignition probability in biogas-air mixtures

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend according to the EPSRC minimum rate (~ £14k per annum). Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

PhD in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Investigating Cooperative - ITS to deliver Infrastructure as a Service

1

UK: 100% of tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057. EPSRC full award, plus an Industrial Case top up from Siemens of £20,000.  EU: fees only.

BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Cellular Medicine - Investigating the impact of insulin resistance on ageing, appearance and wellbeing using sleep as a model system

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

STREAM PhD in Civil Engineering – Performance monitoring and full-scale cost of manufactured SUDS components to manage urban runoff

1

Stipend of £17,000 per annum with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU rate depending upon EPSRC.  This award is only available to UK/EU students.

STREAM EngD in Civil Engineering – Understanding and communicating impacts of water resource infrastructure removal

1

Stipend of £19,000 rising to £20,000 with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU Rate depending upon EPSRC

STREAM EngD in Civil Engineering – Advancing the use of Flow Cytometry (FCM) in the water sector

1

Stipend of £19,000 rising to £20,000 with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU Rate depending upon EPSRC.

Five EPSRC DTA PhD Studentships - School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

5

Funding for up to 5 PhD studentships:
UK citizens are eligible for 100% tuition fees being paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award)
EU citizens are eligible for a fees only award (partial award)
International citizens are not eligible to apply for this funding.

PhD studentship in Computational Visual Neuroscience – How Specific Classes of Retinal Cells Contribute to Vision: a Computational Model

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,283 (full award). Additional funding is available for international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Newcastle University Business School Enterprise and Innovation Scholarship 2017-18

1

£3,000 payable towards tuition fees.

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
Faculty of Medical Sciences International Masters Excellence Scholarship

£1,500

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate International Scholarship Scheme (2017)

Not specified

£2,000 tuition fee scholarships

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

255

£3,000

International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

15

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Chinese Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £5,000 for a range of Business School postgraduate courses.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme

6

Tuition fees, living expenses, return economy air fare, study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas plus a warm clothing allowance.

Newcastle Santander Scholarships

10

£5,000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees.

Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

USA Athlete Scholarship

10

£5000- £8000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees and a comprehensive support package (see Overview for further details).

All students Number of awards Value of awards
Florence Hilda Yates Music Scholarships

2

100% of UK/EU tuition fees for the MMus or MLitt in Music. Successful international candidates will be required to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees. 

Postgraduate Masters Scholarships in Geography, Sociology and Politics

up to 12

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

MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

Not specified

£2,000

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2017 entry

£18,000 bursary (£9,000 per year) and a contribution towards travel costs. The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

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

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

Not specified.

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com are offering £12,000 in scholarships for postgraduate study.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

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

1

£2500

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

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.

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000 for a range of Business School Master’s courses.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

MBA Leadership Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £10,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research – Characterising Gene Expression Profiles in B-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia to inform Treatment Options

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Mechanistic understanding of cell wall biosynthesis to combat antimicrobial resistance

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,525.   Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation MLitt/PhD Studentships for Studies Relating to Japan

Up to 3 (MLitt or PhD)

£10,000,contributing towards your MLitt/PhD tuition fees and living costs. 

Masters by Research (MLitt) Scholarships in the School of Modern Languages

1

The Scholarship includes the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £7,500 living expenses.

MA Scholarships in the School of Modern Languages

Scholarships are available up to the value of £5,000, awarded as a tuition fee discount.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research - Molecular Characterisation of Primary Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and Preclinical Investigation of Response to Non-genotoxic Activators of p53 via the MDM2/p53/PPM1D Signalling Network

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Eleanor Pinkney Oddie Postgraduate Scholarship for Latin

2

£1000

PhD Studentships in Neuroscience - Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research Studentship

4

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Six PhD Studentships- Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI)

6

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,553.  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

PhD Studentship in cutaneous medicine and systems biology: Biomarker discovery and integration with computational modelling to predict psoriatic plaque resolution in response to UVB therapy

1

100% UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553.    Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU and international fees.

PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosomes

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre - 14 Biomedical Scientist PhD Studentships

14

The funding covers a three year PhD. The award is available to UK/EU and non-EU international students, however the award only covers fees at the UK/EU rate and international students will need to fund the difference between UK/EU and international fees. Support includes a stipend of £14,553 per year (equivalent to the Research Council rate), and funds for travel and conference attendance (£5,000 per year).

PhD in the School of Chemistry - Photo-activated switchable systems in the solid state

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,553 - 2017/18).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship in Linguistics

1

100% UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £14,553 living expenses per year (2017-18 Research Councils UK rate).

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship - Designing dynamic models to understand and predict the responses of complex ecological networks to environmental perturbations

1

100% tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of (up to) is £14,553 pa (17/18), a desktop computer, and £1,500 travel allowance. 

Kidney Research UK PhD Studentship in Immuno-nephrology: Investigating the trigger events in atypical haemolytic ureamic syndrome using comparative models

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD studentship in the Institute of Cellular Medicine - Uncovering the role of neutrophils as drivers of hepatocellular carcinoma

1

100% UK/EU tuition fees and annual living expenses of £19,000.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Development of Novel PET-MRI methodologies for Dementia Research

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,282Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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

To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

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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