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Description

Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture Programme codePTS1BIOBIO09
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

There has never been a more urgent need to train scientists in the area of food security, equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. The Royal Society report Reaping the Benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture published in October 2009, provided the clearest evidence of the challenge of ensuring global food security during the next 50 years. Crop yields need to rise significantly, but in a manner that requires much lower dependency on chemical intervention and fertilisers.

This programme was developed in collaboration with the agricultural industry, government agencies including Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (fera), and farmers and food manufacturers, to provide a multi-disciplinary training in sustainable agriculture and global food security. Research-led teaching in molecular plant pathology, plant sciences and microbiology is strongly supplemented by BBSRC Rothamsted-North Wyke expertise in grassland management, soil science and sustainable farming systems. Leading social scientists also provide valuable input in rural land use and the rural economy. The combination of expertise in both arable and pastureland systems ensures a truly rounded learning experience.

The curriculum takes account of the key skills shortages in the UK to train highly skilled individuals who can enter government agencies, agriculture and food industries and fulfil very valuable roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security. The programme provides opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences including field trips.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The educational aims of the programme are to:

  • provide you with knowledge and understanding of topics that underpin our understanding of research-informed frontiers in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture.
  • provide you with a scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will enhance your employability and prepare you for autonomous lifelong learning.
  • enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters your academic and personal development.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

www.exeter.ac.uk/biosciences/current/modules/pgstreatham/

Stage 1


180 credits of compulsory modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIOM560 Research Project 90Yes
BIOM509 Professional Skills 15No
BIOM562 Sustainable Land Use in Grassland Agriculture 15No
BIOM563 Crop Security 15No
POLM016 Food Systems, Alternative Food Networks, and Ethical Consumption 15No
POLM073 Political Economy of Food and Agriculture 15No
SOCM035 Knowledge Exchange in the Field 15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Explain systematically current problems and/or new insights in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the field of study
2. Describe comprehensively some techniques applicable to research in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
3. Apply detailed knowledge with originality and illustrate practically how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
4. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses

Taught lectures

Field trips

Guided reading of literature, literature research and revision

Design and implementation of research project

Essay/report

Oral presentation

Short answer and multiple choice test

Literature review

Project or dissertation report

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Collate and synthesise information from multiple sources
6. Critically evaluate current research in the discipline
7. Within the independent research project module assessments demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your research
8. Undertake research in an organised and rigorous manner

Taught lectures

Field trips

Guided reading of literature, literature research and revision

Design and implementation of research project

Essay/report

Literature review

Grant proposal

Project or dissertation report

Oral presentation

Poster presentation

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Solve problems by the application of appropriate scientific principles and methods
10. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
11. Work as part of a team
12. Interact effectively with academic and professional contacts

Taught lectures

Guided reading of literature, literature research and revision

Design and implementation of research project

Essay/report

Literature review

Grant proposal

Project or dissertation report

Oral presentation

Poster presentation

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Award Rules

University regulations also allow you the exit awards of PGDip for 120 credits or PGCert for 60 credits. You will be permitted to exit with a PGCert on successful completion of BIOM562, BIOM563, POLM073 and one other 15 credit module, and a PGDip on successful completion of the 90 credit Research Project and BIOM562 and BIOM563.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Biosciences offersyou meetings each term with a personal tutor and an academic tutor. You can also expect reasonable access to all teaching staff through appointments.  

Academic tutoring: The role of academic tutors is to instil a sense of academic rigour and thinking in our students. You will have access to the Programme Director in Biosciences as a first point of contact for programme related queries. You can also expect reasonable access to all teaching staff, for academic tutorials, through appointments.

Personal tutoring: The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness.

Learning resources: The Biosciences website includes the student handbook, and in addition each module will be supported electronically through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) where lecture notes, reading lists and assessment details will be provided. You will also be able to follow your record of achievement through the student record tab on the MyExeter student portal. As an MSc student you will have access to a PC provided by your supervisors and within the location of their research laboratories for the duration of your project. In addition there is a dedicated computer suite available for Bioscience Masters students and WiFi coverage is available in the Geoffrey Pope Building.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

This programme is recognised by the Society of Biology which guarantees to students that it meets the educational requirements for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology upon graduation (AMRSB) and provides a route to full Membership (MRSB) following appropriate professional experience.

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9JREVISEDPSRSCHEME.pdf)

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

19. UCAS Code

C896

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/09/2011

Date of last revision

29/04/2019