Agrifood MSc


Fact file

Qualification name:Agrifood
Duration:Part time 24 Months
Entry requirements:Candidates will usually be expected to have a first degree (minimum of second class) in a biological, chemistry, biochemical engineering or other relevant science from a university recognised by the University of Nottingham.
Other requirements:Relevant workplace experience may be accepted as qualification for entry to this course. These entrants will be able to register for a postgraduate certificate only. Once students have achieved success in the first 60 credits they will then be permitted to progress to further studies and higher qualifications. Only when these students have achieved 120 taught credits with a 50% pass mark will they be permitted to progress to the research project associated with a Masters degree. In this case, they will be required to complete the core module Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists in preparation for their research project.
IELTS:6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
Part time details:2 years part-time
Start date:September
Campus:Sutton Bonington Campus


Course Overview

The MSc AgriFood has been developed in conjunction with the agrifood industry as a highly flexible programme that can be tailored to individual training needs, to enable professionals working in the agrifood sector to undertake high level, structured, continuing professional development.

The University of Nottingham, in conjunction with Cranfield University, Harper Adams University and Rothamsted Research are working in partnership to develop and deliver this innovative programme that will enable participants to develop their work-based learning and research skills.

Course modules are available in the four main subject areas of animals, crops, food and nutrition and transferable skills. Students are able to select from a wide range of modules to tailor-make a programme that fits their personal interest and professional requirements.

This programme (also available as PGDip, PGCert or as individual modules) offers a sound foundation for professional development on which to build your future success. It has been designed to suit your personal and professional situation, whether that is a single module, a postgraduate certificate, diploma or the complete masters programme. 

Key facts

  • This programme has been specially developed by professionals in the School of Biosciences, one of the University's most successful schools, in conjunction with the AgriFood ATP’s academic and industrial partners and collaborators.
  • Our dynamic teaching team offers the opportunity to learn under the guidance of expert practitioners, educators and researchers.
  • You will have the opportunity to:
     - gain a thorough knowledge of Agrifood science and technology
    -  develop skills of analysing technical problems and work-based  problem solving
     - develop practical skills in relation to work related situations and issues
     - evaluate research in Agrifood and allied disciplines

Course Details

This programme has been designed with maximum flexibility in mind: you study part-time and follow a modular structure which allows you to progress at a rate to suit your own personal and professional situation.

You can enrol on individual modules or pursue a route leading to the award of certificate, diploma or masters in Agrifood. It is envisaged that most students will start with one module and then decide whether they wish to complete further study and discuss these options with the course leader. Depending on which qualification you choose this may be up to maximum of four years. 

Course structure and dates

Modules run throughout the year and are timed to fit in with industry requirements. Each qualification requires the following minimum credits for completion:

Masters: 180 credits (core modules 10 credits; optional modules 110 credits; research project & dissertation 60 credits)

Diploma: 120 credits (no core modules; optional modules 120 credits)

Certificate: 60 credits (no core modules; optional modules 60 credits)

Please see modules section for more information

Student support and guidance

Following acceptance on to the course, each student will have the opportunity to discuss their individual needs with members of the course team resulting in an agreed plan of study. All students will be allocated a personal tutor who will provide academic and pastoral support throughout the course. Information on University provisions for student support will be given to each student. 

Academic enquiries

Informal discussions with the course manager are possible. Please contact:

Dr Debbie Sparkes
t: +44(0)115 951 6074 

Course location  

Depending on your choice of modules, you may be taught at one or more of the Agri-Food ATP partners:

  • The University of Nottingham's Sutton Bonington Campus
  • Cranfield University Campus
  • Harper Adams University
  • Rothamsted Research

Sutton Bonington is 20km south of Nottingham. The campus is a 25 minute bus or car journey to University Park Campus, with connections to Nottingham City. The campus is only 4.5 km from the new East Midlands Parkway railway station at Ratcliffe on Soar with direct links to London (around 90 mins), Nottingham, Derby, Leicester. 


Taught modules consist of:

1) Core modules

Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists (10 credits; compulsory for masters programmes)

This includes: principles of experimentation in agrifood science, basic statistical principles, experimental design, hypothesis testing, sources of error, analysis of variance, regression techniques, presentation of data, use of Genstat for data analysis. There are two routes through the module; one focusing on crop improvement and one focusing on more general issues.

Work based research project (60 credits; masters programme only)

In this dissertation module you will have the opportunity to undertake an individual and substantial piece of work in an area of personal interest relevant to agrifood science, involving the application of investigative, critical and analytical skills, and the presentation of a report (12,000-15,000 words) of the process and outcome of the work, together with a viva voce examination.

This module is primarily carried out via independent study/activity. Individual tutorials with the designated supervisor and advisors appropriate to the area of study are also arranged over the duration of the project.

2) Optional modules which you choose to suit your area of interest and personal commitments. Please see our webpages for full list and more information.
Please note that module availability may change from year to year and different modules may be available from those detailed. 


UK-based students employed in the agrifood sector
It is highly likely that you will qualify for a bursary for the whole of your course. Please look at our funding page to find out about the bursary application process.

If you are currently not in employment it may be possible to gain funding through the Agrifood Charities Partnership
To find out more about funding please contact Ms Deborah Kendale by emailing or telephoning +44 (0)115 951 6285

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2016 entry scholarships will open in late 2015. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.


This course is designed for people who are currently working in the agrifood sector to enhance your career prospects and promotion opportunities.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 87% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,800 with the highest being £29,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Make an enquiry


Ms Deborah Kendale
Agrifood ATP Manager
School of Biosciences
The University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
LE12 5RD
t:    +44 (0)115 951 6285 
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The University of Nottingham
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