Skip to main content


ACE1055 : Introduction to Agricultural Mechanisation

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Simon Parker
  • Lecturer: Dr Jeremy Robert Franks, Mr James Standen
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To develop a basic understanding of mechanisation principles and the implications of agricultural machinery ownership to a farm business.
An introduction to resource selection, management, efficiency, return and resource planning.

Outline Of Syllabus

Agricultural production system types determine mechanisation requirements.

Syllabus to include an understanding of the mechanisation requirements associated with

Generic agricultural machinery – tractors and materials handling systems & ground working tools

Animal Production systems, to include forage management, harvest, storage and feeding equipment and waste management.

Arable production systems, to include metered distribution (fertilisers, sprays) and harvesting equipment

Machine selection criteria, operating costs, capital investment, value changes, replacement planning

Contemporary developments in machinery, including Artificial intelligence, monitoring systems and variable application systems.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Preparation for problem solving case study exercise
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Introduce syllabus content, rationale,
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Completion of formative exercise
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Completion of semester 1 examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion200:3010:00Revision for semester 1 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Practical session examining the capital & operational cost of machinery in a range of scenarios
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00Background research and reading beyond the course material.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork23:006:002 Visits: First to a dealership / supplier Second to a contractor / large farming concern
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:002 Farm visits to undertake practical investigation of the principles & theories presented in lecture
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Writing up lecture notes, visit notes and practical notes.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will introduce the theory and the requirement, the visits to a dealership and a contractor will develop the understanding of the selection process. Fieldwork on the farm visits will permit students to see machinery in operation and or to undertake calibration of variables.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A40Testing the understanding of the key principles discussed in the module
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M60A scenario based problem involving qualified decision making & reasoned explanation for choice of equipment. (max. 1500 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MA scenario based exercise testing the variables affecting machine choice (max. 2 hrs)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The planning and decision making aspects of the module are assessed in the coursework exercises that involve reasoned processing of data to arrive at a justifiable outcome. The use of a PC based decision planning scenario will permit students to understand better the variables that need consideration in the decision process, the formative assessment will cause better understanding of the planning process.

The pragmatic application of appropriate tools for purpose are more knowledge biased and therefore are assessed in an exam scenario in which the mechanical and procedural aspects of machine purpose, operation and use can be assessed effectively through discussion

Reading Lists