Increasing world population and the effects of climate change mean society faces key challenges to use resources more sustainably, to provide food security and to provide energy from renewable sources.
Agriculture is at the centre of many of these challenges and offers a diverse area of study. At Newcastle we draw on a broad range of subject areas – from biology, soil science and nutrition, to management, accounting and law – to offer a rich and relevant study experience.
In the third year of this degree, you will specialise in farm business management. This focuses on the management of each element of an agricultural business: the whole estate; the farm; and individual arable, livestock and diversified enterprises.
Core modules develop your skills in:
There are practical workshops and demonstrations of the major software used in farm business planning and control. There are opportunities throughout the course to apply the techniques learned to real farm case studies by preparing whole farm physical and financial plans, feasibility studies of diversification enterprises, and estate management projects. You also write a dissertation on a farm business management topic of your choice.
We are ranked in the top five UK universities for agriculture in The Times Good University Guide 2013, The Guardian University Guide 2013 and The Complete University Guide 2014 and we rank in the top 10 nationally for overall student satisfaction in the 2012 National Student Survey.
Agriculture at Newcastle also ranks in the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Teaching in agriculture at Newcastle is research-informed, meaning you will learn from staff engaged in real-world research on the University's farms. This means you are learning at the cutting edge of the discipline.
You can also engage in research of your own through a research-led final year dissertation, which gives you the chance to explore a topic that interests you in more depth.
The scientific principles that underpin agriculture are taught through lectures and laboratory practicals, particularly in the first year. Visits to the University farms and other local farming businesses are used to reinforce the theoretical teaching.
Throughout the course, you carry out project work and submit reports, both as individuals and in groups.
Assessment is by formal examination at the end of each semester and by continuous assessment based on course work. Teaching and assessment methods may vary from module to module; more information can be found in our individual module listings.
Visit our Teaching and Learning pages to read about the outstanding learning experience available to you at Newcastle University.
The first and second years are the same for students on all four of our agriculture degrees. This means it is possible to transfer between any of our agriculture degrees up to the end of Stage 2 should you find your interests change during this shared period of study.
Stage 1 covers the basic scientific and quantitative aspects of the subject such as soil, crop and animal science, and economics. We also introduce you to laboratory work and IT applications for applying statistical techniques to agricultural data.
At Stage 2 you apply the principles established in Stage 1 to the husbandry of both animal and crop production, and to farm management. You also take a crop pests field course in the second summer focusing on the major insect, fungal and weed pests that affect crop production. Here you will engage with leading industry experts in the field.
At Stage 3, the degrees divide and you can either continue to study a broad curriculum in our Agriculture BSc degree or follow a more specialist route in Agronomy, Animal Production Science, or Farm Business Management.
See the Modules section for more information about what you will study at each Stage.
UK and EU students have the opportunity to broaden their academic experience by taking part in a study abroad exchange.
The University is highly regarded within the industry and has been a leader in agricultural education since 1891.
We have strong links with the local farming community, which provide experience of a wide range of farming practices including arable, dairy, beef, sheep, pig and field-scale vegetable enterprises. You will also have regular visits to the University commercial farms (see below).
We also provide hands-on experience through a second-year project managing your own crops, and vacation opportunities that include lambing and harvest jobs.
The University owns two farms:
Both farms operate as viable businesses, providing excellent case studies for your developing knowledge and skills.
Our laboratories provide important research and teaching environments. We also offer excellent computing facilities, including computers running industry-specific software, with real world applications for accounting, budgeting, crop and livestock management, and statistical analysis.
As an agriculture student at Newcastle you will be part of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The School's main teaching and laboratory facilities are located on campus in the Agriculture Building.
We are a close-knit community with a friendly cohort of students and close interaction between staff and students.
We pride ourselves on the support we provide to help you make the transition to university study, including a student buddy scheme and a personal tutor to support your academic and personal wellbeing.
You will have the chance to join the student-led Agric society, which is responsible for fostering community spirit within the School, and our staff–student committee, which helps to shape our degrees.