How can we produce more crops more efficiently – and with fewer resources?
It’s a big and very topical question, when environmental constraints and growing demand for food and bioenergy are generating higher food prices and greater price instability.
You will learn about the science and production of crops, from the genetic and cellular level to the field and farm level; this is a unique opportunity to develop a thorough scientific understanding of crop science combined with management skills and commercial awareness.
The course takes an applied approach, through investigation and experiment and includes visits to commercial and research organisations as well as regularly drawing upon the expertise and experience of speakers from industry.
Your final year research project offers the opportunity to become involved in the research activities of one the country's top agricultural research centres on campus. Current research at Nottingham includes work on control of cereal disease, increasing nitrogen and water-use efficiency and research of worldwide importance to increase production of staple crops such as wheat and rice.
The course is based at Sutton Bonington Campus, also home to the University's 450-hectare commercial Farm and Dairy Centre.
University Farm and Dairy Centre
The 450 hectare University Farm is home to 200 dairy cows (robotically milked) plus 380 hectares of arable crops and land in environmental stewardship.
The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching in crop and livestock management and business management.
Environmentally, the farm has land in an organic rotation, uncropped field margins & corners and two 'beetle banks'.
Recent developments include robotic milking facilities, additional storage capacity for silage and new housing for the dairy young-stock.
One of the big issues at the farm from a management perspective is the introduction of 'NVZ' regulations- storing and spreading of animal manures will be more tightly controlled in the future.
The farm has a role in both our teaching and research: for example, your research project might involve trial work on the farm and financial information is available for case study work. The Farm Manager also gets involved, providing a strong link between the commercial farm and the teaching.
See our other agricultural sciences degree options: Agriculture; Agricultural and Livestock Science; Agricultural and Environmental Science
You will learn about the science that underpins crop growth and development and also take specialist modules such as Contemporary Agricultural Systems.
You will focus on more practical aspects such as Applied Crop Science, World Agroecosystems, Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Crop Management Challenge (grow your own crop of wheat!). You will also start your research project in year two. This allows students who wish to study a field crop, such as wheat or oilseed rape, a full growing season for their research.
You will undertake your research project and also study from a wide selection of optional modules.
Industry Placement year
You can take advantage of an optional industry placement between years two and three of your degree. This year-long placement as a paid employee allows you to develop a range of skills and enhance your employment prospects. Read more
International Study Options
Combining Agricultural and Crop Science with a Certificate in European Studies (D4RV) offers the opportunity to follow your chosen degree in another European country.
Students can also apply for a Universitas 21 placement at one of our partner universities enabling study periods in a variety of overseas locations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA & China.
ABB-BBB, at least two science subjects at A level (which can include maths and/or geography), and an additional A level or equivalent.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in listening and writing, 18 in reading and 20 in speaking)
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
Notes for applicants
Our modular courses are flexible and offer the opportunity to combine your main studies with modules in other subject areas (please note that all modules are subject to change).
Sponsorships for this course
NIAB TAG’s Agricultural Science Student Education Training (ASSET) programme is a joint initiative with four leading crop science universities; Nottingham, Reading, Harper Adams and Newcastle, aimed at encouraging more students into the plant science sector. The programme supports crop science students in their studies by providing valuable agronomic information and leads, as well as important networking links with the applied research and agronomy industry through NIAB TAG.
Nottingham's Mike Neaverson (graduated 2012 BSc Crop Science) won a £3,000 bursary. Mike hopes to progress into a career in either farm management or agricultural consultancy.
Scholarships - for details of scholarships, please see www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
More detailed information on course structure and modules
Typical year-one modules
Applications of Biology
Genetics and Cell Biology
Contemporary Agricultural Systems
Typical year-two modules
Applied Crop Science
Research Project in in Agriculture 1
Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Crop Management Challenge
Typical year-three modules
Research Project in Agriculture 2
Field Crops Cereals
You start your research project starts in the second semester of Year 2 and continue throughout Year 3. This extended project allows students to undertake field experiments. Students work with a supervisor to plan, execute and report on their research. The project encourages critical thinking and involves both independent and team work.
Recent Research Projects have included:
Biodiversity in organic cropping systems
The effect of nitrogen application on disease severity in winter wheat
The physiological basis of cut-flower longevity
The influence of soil compaction on grass growth
The effect of light quality on the structural properties of wheat plants
The physiological responses of bambara groundnut landraces
The effects of soil moisture content on the growth and distribution of sorghum root systems
Resource capture in ancient wheat species
Rural Business Research Unit
On campus, this unit is lead centre for the government-funded Farm Business Survey, collecting financial and environmental data from over 1900 farms, which is available for your research project.
Read BURN the Biosciences Undergraduate Research at Nottingham web pages to find out more about undergraduate research projects. BURN is a freely accessible e-journal which showcases final-year research projects undertaken by biosciences students.
Typical optional modules
Principles of Ecology
Global Environmental Processes
Agricultural and Food Marketing
Molecular Pharming: assessing the impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Climate Change Science
Rural Business Management
Current Issues in Crop Science
Soil and Water Science
Graduates in Agricultural and Crop Science from Nottingham have excellent prospects for finding challenging and well-paid jobs. Our students are highly- and actively- sought after by a wide range of employers who value the strong academic foundation and transferable skills that students gain during their degree here.
Areas where our agricultural science graduates are working include:
• Horticultural crop production
• Produce marketing
• Agrochemical sales
• Plant breeding
• Research posts in further education or private institutions
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full time graduates of the School of Biosciences was £18,111.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.