Triangle Triangle

Course overview

  • Ranked 1st for our agriculture courses in The Complete University Guide 2020 for a 3rd year running. 
  • At Nottingham we take an applied approach, building up your science, business and practical knowledge over the three years of the course.
  • Learn from subject specialists and active researchers in the most rapidly developing areas of agriculture and agricultural business management.

University Farm and Dairy Centre

Sutton Bonington Campus is home to the University Farm and Dairy Centre - we have a 450 hectare mixed farm, with arable crops, 300 dairy cows (robotically milked), a sheep flock, environmental stewardship land and new and established woodland.

The farm is commercially run, with facilities for research and teaching, including a Farm Demonstration Centre; farm staff contribute to the teaching on our degree programmes. 

The University of Nottingham is also taking the national lead for dairy research as the Centre for Dairy Science Innovation. This has led to considerable investment and expansion in our dairy centre to deliver world leading research in livestock health and production to deliver improved food security and farming sustainability.

Additional year in Computer Science

Boost your degree even further by studying computer science for a year between years two and three of your degree, extending your degree to a four year programme.

  • A year spent in the University's School of Computer Science will give you training in software development and computing skills relevant to your final year research project and benefit you in your future career.
  • You can decide to transfer into this programme from your BSc course when you start your degree (subject to meeting progression criteria).

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level BCC in Clearing (C in one of Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Geography, Environmental Studies, Geology, Computing, Applied Science, Engineering, Psychology and PE)
Required subjects

At least two science-based subjects at A level (business studies, economics, geography and maths also accepted). Psychology accepted if combined with biology, chemistry or geography. Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies are not accepted. We may also consider ABC depending on predicted grades in specific subjects. GCSE mathematics and English language with 4 (C) or above.

IB score 32-30 (including 5 in two science subjects at Higher Level)

A levels: ABB-BBB, including two science-based subjects at A level  (business studies, economics, geography, maths and psychology also accepted), and an additional A level or equivalent. Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies not accepted.  
We may also consider ABC depending on predicted grades in specific subjects. GCSE mathematics and English language with 4 (C) or above.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

 

British Council accredited

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. 

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through The University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met. 

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our one year science foundation programme. Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.  

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.


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).

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

How you will be assessed

Study abroad

Depending on your subject you can;

  • apply to spend a semester of your second year at one of our highly ranked international partner universities including Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA via the University-wide exchange programme.
  • Consider applying for International Agricultural Science which includes a year abroad at one of our international partner universities during year 2 of the three year degree programme.
  • study abroad for an additional year at one of our highly ranked Erasmus+ partner universities in France, Austria or Spain. If you choose to transfer to this option you would take language modules in the relevant language during year two, and would have the option of studying abroad in your chosen language or in English, subject to availability.
  • take part in a summer school: we have a range of options in subjects such as business, entrepreneurship and languages available.

You can apply to study abroad for a semester or a year, depending on your degree programme, during year one of your degree. You will be guided through an internal application procedure, which varies by programme. Your application will be subject to meeting minimum academic requirements during year one.

.

Year in industry

The optional year in industry takes place between years two and three of your degree, extending your degree to a four year programme. Students apply for a placement during year two of the degree programme.

A year in industry can help you:

  • Gain the opportunity to put your learning into practice, giving you a better understanding of your studies and the chance to solidify your knowledge in an industry setting. 
  • Stand out from the crowd as a graduate: many students secure a graduate job as a direct result of their placement year.
  • Learn about what you enjoy doing, and your strengths and weaknesses, putting you in a strong position when considering your future career.

The school has excellent links with a wide range of businesses and research institutes, examples of relevant companies include KWS Seeds, McDonald's, BASF, ADAS, Velcourt and AB Agri.

You can apply for an industry placement during year two of your degree, subject to meeting minimum academic requirements. The school placements team will provide support and guidance in finding and applying for appropriate industry placements.

Modules

  • Build an essential base of knowledge in agricultural sciences, from the biological processes that make up plant and animal life, to the application of agricultural science to food production and global food security.
  • Applied modules put your science into context with the current situation on farms. 

Core modules

Applied Animal Biology

On this module you’ll gain an appreciation for how livestock production systems have developed and how product quality can be improved. You’ll be introduced to human influences on animals (e.g. domestication); the role of livestock production in global food security; biological processes involved in livestock production; techniques for manipulating growth, development, and nutrient partitioning in relation to animal products; and special management requirements for keeping livestock animals. The module also includes practical animal handling sessions with different livestock species.

Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Modern agriculture is a dynamic, fast-paced and high-tech industry. In this module, you’ll explore practical agricultural systems used by commercial UK farms. Designed for students with a farm or non-farming background, you’ll get to understand the fundamental concepts of agricultural systems within the context of contemporary markets, policy and research. Exact topics covered in the module will vary according to the issues affecting the agricultural industry in any one year, but examples include: dairy production, arable production, soils, agri-environmental interactions, labour and machinery management and farm business systems. You’ll have lectures from academics currently researching these fields and will visit the University Farm and external farms to see what you’ve learnt in practice.

The Biosciences and Global Food Security

How can you use science to help improve global food security? This module introduces you to the issues of global food security and the complexity existing in different parts of our food generation system. Looking across the food supply chain, you’ll cover the evolution of crops, crop and animal production, and the food industry. Importantly, you’ll also look at sustainable nutrition because food security isn’t just about supply – it’s important that people are getting the right kind of food. You’ll learn about these issues through a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions. You’ll also develop professional skills to work safely in laboratory situations.

Grassland Management

Grasslands are used for forage in agricultural systems but are also important as habitat for wild animals, birds and beneficial insects.

  • You’ll learn about the latest developments and policy issues around the world
  • You’ll examine the morphology and physiology of forage grass species
  • You'll understand the mechanisms of grass growth, production and utilisation. Looking at how these are influenced by management practices.

Alongside lectures, you’ll visit farms and use the latest software to identify grass plants and calculate a pasture budget. This is a 10 credit module.

The Ecology of Natural and Managed Ecosystems

Pollinator species are hugely important for natural systems and for managed systems like agriculture, but there is concern that numbers are declining. This module introduces you to the principles of ecology and looks at how organisms have evolved to interact with their environment.

You’ll cover:

  • population and community ecology
  • the various definitions of biodiversity
  • the loss of species and habitats

You’ll have lectures from current researchers in the field and the opportunity to apply your learning in the laboratory and through field visits. This is a 20 credit module.

Biosciences Tutorials and Foundation Science

The tutorials component of this module is intended to enhance your transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your degrees. This part of the module is spread throughout the year and includes three generic sessions on ‘study skills and plagiarism’, ‘study opportunities’ and ‘career and personal development’, and a series of small group tutorials with your academic tutor to develop generic skills such as finding crucial information, oral presentation, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations, and essay writing skills relevant to biosciences.

The Foundation Science content has three elements: chemistry, maths and statistics and physics. The chemistry element will include: elements and periodic table; atomic structure and bonding; intermolecular attractions, chemical equilibrium; acids and bases, oxidation and reduction; rates of reaction; basic organic chemistry, isomerism, and rings.  The Maths and Stats element will include: calculations, algebra, functions and relationships, powers, logarithms, descriptive statistics, significance, regression and presenting data. The Physics element will include: units and dimensions; power, energy and heat; light and the electromagnetic spectrum; attenuation/absorption; and radioactivity.

There is also an IT element, which interfaces with generic IT training for undergraduates provided within the University.

Introduction to Plant Science

How can mutant plants be used to improve crop yield? In this module you’ll be introduced to plant evolution and the cellular structure of plants, in particular seeds, leaves, flowers and roots, and how these multicellular tissues are constructed. You’ll become familiar with the techniques used to study plant science, including genetics and the use of mutants. Using model plants, such as Arabidopsis, you’ll look at the development of modern plant biology and genetics and then explore the applications of biotechnology in plant science. You’ll also examine the importance of plant nutrition and how the interaction with pathogens is crucial to plant growth and production. You’ll have a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions to apply your learning.

Biochemistry -The Building Blocks of Life

Have you ever wondered how some crops can resist diseases? This module provides you with the fundamentals for understanding biochemical processes in living organisms. You’ll be introduced to the basic structure, properties and functions of the four key biological macromolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. You’ll also look at the metabolic pathways occurring in cells, such as respiration, photosynthesis and the biosynthetic pathways for the key macromolecules. In addition to lectures, you’ll have practical laboratory sessions to learn how to use key biochemical techniques for the separation and analysis of macromolecules and measurement of the metabolic process.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 25 August 2020.

Choose from a wide range of optional modules and follow either a business or production orientated pathway:

Livestock production pathway: teaching covers ruminant and non-ruminant production, animal health and disease management, reproduction and fertility in livestock, animal nutrition and bioethics.

Crop production pathway: you learn about soil science, cereal and non-cereal crops, plant growth and physiology, pest and disease management, with other specialised modules available.

Business management pathway: you study economics and policy, the management of people and technology, marketing, rural business management and consultancy, all within the context of agricultural business.

Core modules

Applied Animal Science

A highly applied module, you’ll learn about animal physiology, nutrition and management and use your knowledge to think critically about production systems. Focusing on the nutrition, growth and welfare of farmed animals, you’ll cover a wide range of subjects, including investigating the energy and protein evaluation systems for ruminants and non-ruminants and the differential maturity of individual carcass components. You’ll compare systems of production for all major species of livestock and explore how these different systems integrate with each other and other enterprises on farms. Visits to local livestock farms give you the opportunity to further develop your understanding within a ‘real-life’ context and are a core component of the module.

Soils

Soils are the most complex biomaterial on earth. An understanding of the basic concepts concerning the form and function of soils is important for future management strategies such as mitigating the effects of climate change and providing safe and sustainable food. This module focuses on the important soil properties from physical, chemical and biological perspectives including soil organic matter, soil chemical reactions, soil fauna and flora, and soil-water relations.

Applied Plant Physiology: from cell to crop

Gain a comprehensive understanding of plant physiology with an applied context from the molecular level to the field. There is an emphasis on the mechanisms that plants use to capture and utilise physical resources: ie solar energy, water and nutrients. You will examine the physiological basis of resource capture and utilisation in growth and development as well as physical aspects of the plant environment incorporating key processes.

This physiological understanding will be applied in an agricultural context to consider major crop species in the UK and worldwide and the challenges growers face in different environments. The module also considers contemporary issues and future developments in agronomy and the role of the agronomist in successful crop management. You will learn through lectures, practical classes and tutorials.

Economic Analysis for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Economic analysis can help you answer important management questions: how much fertiliser should I apply to my wheat? If demand for beer is going up, how will that affect the price I receive for my barley? Through this module you’ll gain an understanding of economic ideas and principles and be able to apply them to a range of problems of interest to agricultural and environmental scientists and managers. You’ll also examine the arguments for government intervention to correct ‘market failures’ with reference to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and investigate what may happen with Brexit. In addition to lectures and farm visits, you’ll have computer-aided learning sessions to teach you planning techniques that will enable you to use your economic skills to analyse the impact of the market and policy environment on business performance and stability. 

Professional Skills for Bioscientists

In this module you will develop and consolidate your professional competencies and abilities as an agricultural scientist. You’ll improve your core professional skills in the scientific method, experimentation, data analysis and measurement techniques that enable you carry out scientifically-sound research in animal, crop or management science. You’ll also cover discipline-specific topics. There will be a mix of lectures, workshops and group activity sessions for you to work on your skills. 

Applied Agricultural and Food Marketing

An introduction to marketing and its importance in agricultural and food production. Core marketing theories and tools are examined and applied. You will learn how and why to identify market segments, and how to target and position products for these markets. Understanding the marketing mix - what to produce, what price to charge, promotion decisions, and where to place or distribute the product. There will be a particular focus on agricultural and food markets. 

Research Techniques for Bioscientists

You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.

Optional modules

Enterprise Management Challenge

This module aims to introduce you to agricultural management decision making in practice through team-based activity integrating science, business and economics. Working in small teams, and supported by teaching staff and industry consultants, you will be responsible for making management (science and business) decisions relating to the production of a crop enterprise or a livestock enterprise, based on University Farm, as for commercial purposes. Your team’s decisions – in the roles of both professional consultant and farm manager will be implemented by technical staff.

For this module you will have lectures plus significant ‘field time’, including formal field site visits and informal field observation visits.  

Principles of Animal Health and Disease

This module will introduce the major effects of diseases on the body’s physiological and immunological systems. The main types of disease will then be systematically discussed using a range of companion, farm and exotic animal species including poultry, equine, bovine and ovine species. You’ll have lectures and laboratory practicals each week.

Computer Modelling in Science: Introduction
The aim of this module is to introduce the use of computing programming and modelling in the biological and environmental sciences for model simulation and image processing.
Plant Pests and Diseases

Sugarbeet root aphids feed on the sap in the roots, causing damage and production losses. But how does this pest work and what can be done? In this module, you’ll explore how microbes and insects cause disease in plants and the effect of interactions between plants, microbes and insects. Looking globally, you’ll be able to explain the importance and the nature of the organisms that are pests and diseases of plants, including population dynamics and epidemiology. You’ll also assess the main approaches for control and management of pests and diseases, including chemical interventions, resistance breeding in plants and biological control. You’ll have lectures complemented by practical laboratory sessions, videos and demonstrations.

Practical Policy Making

Agricultural policy in the UK and Europe since the 1950s has operated through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). How will this change when the UK leaves the EU? In this module you’ll develop your understanding of how and why policies relating to agriculture, the environment and food are developed, and you will gain a valuable insight into how to influence policy. The module will be delivered via a series of lectures and guest speakers, which from organisations such as: Defra, the National Farmers Union (NFU), agri-businesses within the input supply chain and food retailers.

Agri-Business Enterprise and Innovation

Innovation and enterprise are key drivers of agri-business success and growth. You’ll explore a range of topics including:

  • knowledge transfer and exchange
  • intellectual property surrounding new innovations
  • planning issues for businesses and technologies supporting sustainable intensification projects.

You’ll examine the issues surrounding green energy, taxation, inheritance and business succession. 

Principles of Animal Nutrition

How important is protein quality in your livestock’s diet? How can you formulate an optimum diet? In this module you’ll learn about diet formulation and food analysis. You’ll examine topics such as: dietary energy and nutritional energetics, protein and amino acid nutrition, and regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. You’ll be able to calculate the different energy requirements of animals in different physiological or pathological states. There will be a mix of lectures, seminars and computer-based workshops to apply what you’ve learnt. 

This is a selection of popular optional modules, other modules are available.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on
  • Access one of the country’s top agricultural research centres to complete your final year research project in either agricultural science or business management. 
  • Choose your project to suit your interests, which can be undertaken on the University Farm or as part of an industry placement year.

Core module

Agriculture Research Project

The project gives you an opportunity to use your initiative and knowledge to undertake original research under the supervision of an individual member of academic staff. You will design the study, gain familiarity with relevant analysis techniques, undertake data collection, and where appropriate safety procedures relevant to the topic. You’ll undertake appropriate quantitative analysis and prepare a report of approximately 5000 words.

This important part of your degree gives you the opportunity to participate in the work of one of the country's top agricultural research centres. Our research at Nottingham is funded by the UK and international organisations, including the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the UK research councils and agricultural businesses and governments from around the world. This funding enables us to teach the most modern and exciting aspects of agriculture.

If you are interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from dairy cows, managing farms under the new agricultural policy environment; if you want to be involved in research into the influence of diet on reproductive performance in pigs or cows; if you want to know how seed rate and fertiliser application influences winter wheat production or how climate change will affect crop production in Africa and Asia, Nottingham is the place to be.

Recent research projects have included:

  • The effects of canopy architecture on the photosynthetic activities of wheat
  • The effect of cultivation strategy on the establishment, growth and yield of winter triticale (Triticosecale spp)
  • Understanding root growth responses of sugar beet under different water regimes, and the subsequent changes in plant morphology
  • Methods for achieving differential advantage for the small scale mushroom producer
  • Why do farmers farm?
  • Post-Brexit profitability projections for UK arable farms 2019-20: Using actual farm data and an advanced projection calculator
  • Assessing the use of a mobile NIR device to measure fresh grass quality in real-time
  • The effect of feeding system and management practices on enteric methane emissions from dairy cows on commercial farms
  • How can urban agriculture help meet the food security needs of a growing urban population by enhancing fruit, vegetable and poultry production?
  • Farmers’ markets and supermarkets: food prices vs. the consumer benefits of ‘local’ food
  • The effects of winter supplementary feeding on the relative abundance of farmland birds
  • How does future climate change affect crop yield and yield variability of maize (Zea mays) in Nigeria?
  • An investigation into English and Welsh sheep farmer opinions on Schmallenberg virus
  • A comparison of literature to farming practice of zero tillage on case study farms in the UK
  • The relationship between milk yields, variable costs and the overall profitability of dairy farms 

Rural Business Research Unit (RBRU) and University Farm 

Based at Sutton Bonington campus, the RBRU is the lead centre for the government-funded Farm Business Survey, collecting financial and environmental data from over 2000 farms; University Farm is a 450 hectare arable, dairy and sheep farm, also based at Sutton Bonington, with land and people dedicated to student teaching and research work. Both are available for your research project.

Optional

Agri-Business Innovation Incubator

Within the Agri-Business Innovation Incubator module you are supported to develop and test your own business ideas. The module will demonstrate and develop principles of innovation and entrepreneurship in a supportive tutorial environment. External inspirational practitioners provide feedback on business concepts as they are being developed. A 'Dragon's Den' experience towards the end of the module provides vital experience in business-to-business communication.

Agronomy Case Study

Act as an agronomist and apply your understanding of crop and soil management to a real life situation. You will be asked to develop a long term crop management plan for a specific scenario, taking into account, soil management, rotational design, crop protection, environmental management and policy constraints. You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a research agronomist to discuss your plan as it develops and receive feedback for further development.

 

You will discuss your plan as it develops with the module convenor, who will provide feedback for further development. Assessment is through the submission of a 10 year crop management plan for the farm scenario allocated at the start of the module.

The module is largely based on independent study with two timetabled lectures and two 1:1 tutorial meetings

Field Crops Cereals

A highly applied module, you’ll learn how to optimise the management of different cereal crops to meet the requirements of specific environments and end-uses. To do this, you’ll learn about the production strategies for the major grain cereals, with particular emphasis on factors controlling yield and quality. You’ll also examine the importance of plant structure and function (for example, the importance of the 'flag leaf' in wheat) of and the influence of the environment and management practices on crop growth and development. You’ll have a mix of lectures, seminars, in-class exercises and field work to develop and apply your understanding.

Rural Business Management

How do you apply management principles to modern rural businesses? This module will develop your knowledge of business management principles and provide you with an opportunity to apply these principles to the type of problems facing rural businesses at the present time. You’ll construct and interpret business accounts, use investment appraisal techniques, learn about labour and machinery management and explore different forms of farm business organisation. Using a ‘real-life’ case study, you’ll also learn and practice teamwork, time management and data analysis skills, which are vital when working in business. You’ll have a mix of lectures, practical classes and farm visits, as well as guest lectures from invited speakers to give you insights into the management and finance of rural businesses.

Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society

Animal-human interactions raise some prominent ethical issues. In this module, you’ll examine the ethical dimensions concerning animal agriculture, modern biotechnologies and research in the biosciences, in relation to both humans and non-human species. You’ll learn about the ethical frameworks used to analyse specific dilemmas raised by the human use of animals. Using specific animal and biotechnology case studies, you’ll interpret the main ethical theories and principles and apply them to the case studies to inform professional decision-making. You’ll have a mix of lectures and seminars to explore these concepts.

Companion Animal Science

Want to know more about the nutrition of your dog or horse, or maybe what an elephant needs to eat? In this module you’ll study the nutrition, health and welfare of major companion species, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and some zoo/exotic species. You’ll learn about the interactions between nutrition, health and longevity within the broad area of ‘clinical nutrition’. Bringing in current research, you’ll look at the problems arising from keeping animals in captivity, and how social interactions between humans and companion animals can impact upon animal health and welfare. You’ll have lectures from current researchers and have a field trip to put what you’ve learnt into practice.

Livestock Production Science

How can production systems be adapted to meet demands for animal products in contrasting global markets? In this module, you’ll use your knowledge of physiology, nutrition, genetics, health, welfare and management to study the production of meat, milk and eggs, and the wellbeing of the animals in these production systems. You’ll undertake a detailed study of the integration of the production, nutrition, product quality, management and health of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry at UK and global scales. You’ll be able to critically analyse key performance indicators and provide solutions to problems encountered in livestock production enterprises. You’ll have a mix of lectures, group work and farm visits to develop and apply your knowledge.

Plants and the Light Environment

How does light cause variation in crop yields? In this module, you’ll study the influence of the light environment on the physiology of native and crop species, extending from the cellular to community level. You’ll learn how to differentiate between different light signalling pathways in plants and demonstrate how these pathways function in plants. You’ll be able to explain how light is absorbed by plants to initiate energy transfer systems and to stimulate development and ultimately plant yield. You’ll then be able to apply your knowledge in understanding the causes of variations in crop yields and how these may be used to assist in the search for improved varieties and increased productivity in agricultural systems. You’ll have a mix of lectures, demonstrations and field trips to see what you’ve learnt in practice.

Current Issues in Crop Science

In this integrative module you’ll consider the future options and possible strategies for maintaining or increasing crop production in the UK and world agriculture. You’ll learn about the latest trends and developments within crop science, and the philosophical, ethical and policy issues associated with them. The topics covered will vary to reflect the most recent issues, but have included: the future of genetically modified crops, impact of crop production on biodiversity and prospects for organic crop production. Using your subject knowledge and research skills, you’ll be in a position to critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of developments in crop science, both for the module and in your future career.

Management Consultancy

Consultancy is a strong growth area for jobs in agriculture. In this module you’ll be introduced to the practicalities of management consultancy and have the opportunity to integrate your knowledge of management principles to a case study of your choice based on a real-life commercial farm. You’ll learn how to appraise individual enterprises and whole firms with a view to improving the respective financial and technical performance of the business. With a strong focus on working productively as an individual, you’ll assess problems and opportunities, analyse information and data, and identify and meet objectives in order to aid managerial decision-making. To find out more about how consultancy works in practice, you’ll have guest lectures from invited speakers from industry in addition to your lectures and workshops.

Agronomy Field Course

In this popular module, you’ll attend a five day field course to study selected field-grown crop species that have been chosen as models to illustrate major systems of production. You’ll examine the scientific principles that govern the management of field-grown crops through production to final end use, with particular emphasis being given to their physiology and ecology. Through field visits, you’ll observe and critically appraise the efficiency of current commercial production strategies and assess the scope to exploit plant responses to the environment at specific growth stages for optimal control of quality and yield. You’ll learn about the optimisation of quality and yield of crops through the manipulation of leaf, stem and root development, and the impact of post-harvest physiology on handling and storage. The field course is typically primarily based at the Sutton Bonington Campus with day-long trips to industry, farms and research organisations, and one overnight stay in an arable region.

Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants

The genetic improvement of crop plants is critical to address issues of food security for a growing world population and in the face of a changing climate. It is also the key to tackling environmental degradation and to meeting the increasing strict regulations on agricultural pollution which are coming into force in many Western countries. While these issues are not identical, they are linked and efficient plant breeding can be part of the solution to both. In this module, you’ll develop an understanding of crop genetic improvement through lectures, case and literature studies, research plan presentations, external expert seminars and practical exposure to crop breeding and molecular techniques. You’ll examine how modern and technological approaches can enhance crop breeding programmes and be able to assess the limitations of these approaches. The emphasis is on the application of biotechnology to conventional breeding, but you’ll also learn about genetic modification in the genetic improvement of crops. You’ll cover temperate and tropical, annual and perennial, and in-breeding and out-breeding crops.

Applied Bioethics 2: Sustainable Food Production, Biotechnology and the Environment

Building on Applied Bioethics 1, you’ll investigate widely accepted ethical principles and apply your insights to contemporary ethical issues in agricultural, food and environmental sciences. You’ll explore the ethical dimensions of prominent issues raised by the agricultural practices (including the use of biotechnology and GM crops) designed to meet the nutritional needs of the global population. You’ll also learn about how ethical theory can inform professional choices and public policies related to food production and environmental management. You’ll have a mix of lectures, tutorials and team-based exercises to develop a sound understanding of ethical principles.

Plants and the Soil Environment

What happens below the ground that affects the water and nutrient uptake by plants? In this module, you’ll examine the acquisition of water and nutrients by plants in both agricultural and natural systems, and how plants interact with the soil environment. You’ll learn about the evolution of root adaptations which enable plants to thrive in environments with limited or excess water and nutrients. In an agricultural setting, you’ll explore how water and nutrient uptake by plants can be used to improve crop productivity and resource management, and use the practical study component to investigate new methods and technologies for below-ground phenotyping of roots. You’ll have a mix of lectures and computer-based practicals to gain a fundamental understanding of how water and nutrients are acquired by plants from the soil environment, and their influence on plant growth and development.

Plant Disease Control
Discusses applied aspects of plant disease control, comprising transmission, epidemiology, detection and diagnosis, and control options. You will cover control strategies based on application of fungicides, biological control, deployment of disease resistant varieties and biotechnological approaches. You will also consider the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches. This module consists of a four-hour lecture once per week.
Systems Neurophysiology

How does the central nervous system sense the environment and react to it? In this module, you’ll learn about central nervous control of sensory and motor pathways and how these systems interact. In particular, you’ll examine the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of sensory and motor systems and their integration in posture, coordinated movement and protective reflex responses. A strong emphasis will be on the physiology and pharmacology of acute and chronic pain and you’ll study the use of analgesics to treat these conditions. You’ll also gain understanding of the methodology behind a number of neuroscientific techniques and their application in novel research. You’ll have a mix of lectures, computer-based learning and practical laboratory sessions to reinforce and apply your knowledge.

Molecular Plant Pathology
Covers the molecular techniques being used to develop an understanding of plant/pathogen interactions. You will consider the molecular biology of plant pathogens, how these cause disease, and the mechanisms used by plants to defend themselves against such pathogens. You will spend around three hours per week in lectures studying this module.
Coordinated Physiological Functions

How does the brain control physiology and behaviour? In this module you’ll build on your knowledge from previous modules to examine the detailed physiological basis of integrated behaviours in animals. You’ll cover nervous system control of cardiovascular function, respiration, body temperature, emotion, motivation, appetite and their associated behaviours. You’ll have lectures on above along with practical sessions on the integrative aspects of exercise physiology.

Plant Cell Signalling

How does a plant know when it is being attacked? In this module you’ll learn about plant signalling molecules and the ways in which these signals are integrated to ensure appropriate responses to environmental conditions or plant pathogen attack. You’ll gain a detailed knowledge of how plants use intercellular and intracellular signalling strategies to provide information about their environment, with particular emphasis on the use of molecular genetics in enabling us to determine the nature of the signals and the cross-talk that takes place between them. You’ll have lectures and demonstrations, as well as laboratory sessions to gain practical experience of the techniques for studying plant hormone signalling.

Sex, Flowers and Biotechnology

The processes of floral development and reproduction are some of the most critical stages occurring during plant growth and development. They are fundamental for plant breeding, crop productivity and horticulture. The significance of plant reproduction is particularly pertinent to issues of food security and the future development of high yielding crops. In this module, you’ll focus on recent developments that have been made in the understanding of floral development, reproduction and seed production, including the current goals, methods and achievements in the genetic engineering of crop and horticultural plants. With an emphasis on reproductive biology or fruit production, you’ll learn how such processes can be manipulated for commercial exploitation and to facilitate crop improvement. Through a mix of lectures and seminars, you’ll gain a detailed knowledge on the developmental and molecular processes associated with flowering, seed production and fruit development.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9250
Per year

International students

£23760*
Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost £40 each. If you choose to take an optional field trip, you will need to contribute around £50 towards this.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

The Felix Thornley Cobbold Scholarship

A grant of £3,000 per annum is available to a selected Home student. To be eligible, students must be living or studying in Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire or Norfolk at the time of their application.

Find out more

AgriFood Charities Partnership

The AgriFood Charities Partnership supports study for UK students on agricultural undergraduate degree programmes. 

Find out more

Rochester Bridge Trust Bridge Wardens' Spence Agricultural Scholarship

The Bridge Wardens' Spence Agricultural Scholarship is available exclusively to students studying agriculture at the University of Nottingham. Students living or studying in the following areas at the time of their application are eligible to apply:

  • Medway
  • Kent
  • London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • West Yorkshire

The scholar will receive a grant of £1,500 per annum in each of three consecutive years. Students opting to complete a one-year industrial placement or computer science module will be eligible for an additional grant of £1,500 in respect of that year. Scholars must pass each year of study at their first attempt and provide a brief report to the Rochester Bridge Trust on their academic and other achievements during the previous academic year. 

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).

You will graduate with a thorough understanding of the scientific principles of crop and animal production which, together with your business management knowledge, will place you in a strong position for a wide range of careers, ranging from farm management to specialist consultancy positions and senior roles within the agricultural and food-related industries. 

 
Recent destinations of graduates include:

  • Arable and livestock consultants
  • Agricultural business management consultants
  • PhDs and research positions in further education or private institutions
  • Agronomists
  • Animal feed industry
  • Land agency
  • Farming/rural business management
  • Management trainees for major companies
  • Supply chain management and supermarkets
  • Policy analysis
  • Marketing and communications

Average starting salary and career progression

89.5% of undergraduates from the School of Biosciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,831.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Dummy placeholder image
" Nottingham stood out to me because of the opportunities to combine my passion for agriculture with my love of languages, which I did during my Erasmus year in France. Coming from a non-farming background, the range of modules on offer was also an important factor, and has given me a good foundation and skill set on which to develop my future farming career. "

Related courses

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.