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

John Gowing is the Degree Programme Director for this course. Read more about our agricultural research.

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.

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 2018 entry will be available from mid-May 2018.

Fees & Funding

2018-2019 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.

MSc

UK/EU

Full time: £10,200
Part time: To be confirmed 

International

Full time: £21,600

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

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.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: international.recruitment@ncl.ac.uk for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at international.recruitment@ncl.ac.uk for further information.

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

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

John Gowing
Degree Programme Director        
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6900
Email: snes.programme.enquiries@ncl.ac.uk

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