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Agricultural Technology (BSc Hons) D473

BSc Honours

Agricultural Technology

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Key Course Information

Entry Year

2017

Course length

3 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

BBB/ABB

Faculty

Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

Optional

UCAS Code

D473

School

Biological Sciences

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

The agricultural industry is undergoing an unprecedented period of change. Traditional reliance on production is being challenged through changes in government policy at local, national, European and global levels, as well as changes in consumer demand. Agricultural production now requires an understanding of these demands and other concerns regarding food quality and safety and the environmental impact of production methods in the short, medium and long term.

 

Why Queen's?

Facilities: a unique feature of this degree is the opportunity for students to take responsibility for the operation and management of a College farm enterprise, allowing immediate practical application of knowledge.

Placement: students taking this three-year degree are required to complete a 16-week work placement period as an integral component of Stage 2. Past students have gained work placement with organisations such as the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Countryside Services, Dale Farm, Fane Valley, John Thompson and Sons, Monaghan Mushrooms, Moy Park, and Millridge Ltd and Tamar Farming Co. (both in New Zealand).

Did you know?

Agriculture and Forestry courses within the School are ranked 3rd in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2017

 

Course Content (including module information)

Applied animal and crop science and production, and farm management form the basis of this degree, thereby enabling students to gain a good grounding in these subject areas.

The degree has been developed in consultation with employers, industry and academics, to offer students a combined curriculum of formal education and practical experience, which is designed to enhance employability and graduate skills.

The BSc in Agricultural Technology, is provided jointly by the School of Biological Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Greenmount Campus, Antrim). Stages 1 and 2 are delivered at Greenmount Campus, where students are involved in the work and management of specific agricultural enterprises. Stage 3 is delivered at Queen's University Belfast.

 

COURSE CONTENT

Students take the equivalent of at least six modules in each stage, including any compulsory modules.


Stage 1

  • Applied Animal Science
  • Applied Crop Science
  • Enterprise Technology
  • Introduction to Business and Research Methods
  • Mechanisation and Farm Buildings

Stage 2

  • Agri-food Business Marketing and Management
  • Crop Production Systems
  • Livestock Production and Management
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Work Placement (16 Weeks)

Stage 3

  • Advances in Crop and Animal Science, and Technology
  • Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Farm Animal Health and Welfare
  • Global Issues in Agriculture
  • Policies for Environmental Sustainability
  • Project Work (Ag Tech)

 

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment:  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. 

Feedback:  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comments.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential. 

On the BSc in Agricultural Technology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   This programme is provided jointly with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Cafre). The partnership arrangement between Cafre and QUB capitalises on the strengths of both institutions to provide a course that is academically challenging but also focused on the application of science, business and economic principles.  Stages 1 and 2 are delivered at the Cafre Greenmount Campus and Stage 3 is delivered at Queen’s in Belfast.  The Greenmount Estate Farm is a major resource used to deliver this programme.  The campus “farm” comprises the Farm Development Centre (200 hectares) and the Livestock Development Centre (1,100 hectares).

Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  As there are limits on numbers of students entering this course, much of the teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 20-30 students).  This provides significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and gain feedback and advice on assessments.
  • Practical experience:  A unique feature is the opportunity for students to take responsibility for the operation and management of a farm enterprise at Cafre, allowing immediate practical application of knowledge. This element of the course occurs within the Enterprise Management and Enterprise Technology moduleswhich require students to work as part of a team, guided by a management board, to manage a range of agricultural enterprises.  For example, in the CREAM project students manage a small herd of high genetic merit Holstein cows and benchmark performance against elite farmers. The campus farm hosts three student learning projects: CREAM, UPLANDS and CROPS. 
  • E-Learning technologies:  Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online and through an equivalent system at Cafre. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, an IT and statistics module and interactive web-based learning activities.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Work placements:  Students taking the BSc Agricultural Technology degree undertake a 16 week work-placement at Level 2.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. Work placements take place in a wide range of organisations, including major agricultural enterprises, both in the UK and abroad.  Work placement overseas is encouraged and students have worked in America, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and England.
  • Industry Visits: Throughout the programme, industry visits plays a key part in delivery of learning for many modules.  Examples include visits to farms, processing companies, feed mills and government institutions.  These visits are not only very informative, but also help to ‘signpost’ potential career pathway options.
  • Supervised projects:  In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen.  You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage. 
  • Event organisation:  In final year, students will also be required to organise a large, industry symposium on a relevant topic.  This will involve organising speakers and a chair, inviting an audience, liaising with the press and organising catering, parking etc.  Students will be assessed on the basis of the success of the event and on their contribution to its organisation.
  • Added value qualifications to enhance employability: At Stages 1 and 2 students have the opportunity to take a range of complimentary qualifications that enhance employability e.g. PA series of spraying courses, Health and Safety, ECDL, Artificial Insemination, First Aid, Telehandler driving. 

Entry Requirements

 

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

 

Entrance Requirements

A-level:
BBB including at least two relevant subjects (see list below) + GCSE Mathematics grade C
OR
ABB including a relevant subject (see list below) + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Note: applicants not offering either Biology or Chemistry at A-level should have GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC.

BTEC Extended Diploma:
A relevant Agriculture/ Science BTEC Extended Diploma with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Irish Leaving Certificate: 
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in two relevant subjects (see list below) + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
OR
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in a relevant subject (see list below) + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

Note: applicants not offering Agricultural Science, Biology or Chemistry at Higher Level must have Chemistry at Ordinary Level grade O4. 

Relevant Subjects:
Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, ICT, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Home Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Physical Education, Psychology, Technology & Design. Other subjects considered on an individual basis.

 

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

 

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English 

How To Apply

How to Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.

Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Career Prospects

Studying a degree in Agricultural Technology provides a wide range of graduate opportunities for students interested in the agricultural, agri-environmental and related industries.

The majority of our graduates will seek careers in the agricultural, agri-environment or agri-food sectors,in roles including; marketing/sales, production and management, technical advice, and research and development in commercial companies.

 

EMPLOYER LINKS

Consultations:  

This programme was developed after extensive consultation with DARD, major farming organisations, the food processing sector, farmers and conservation organisations, and the curriculum reflects these consultations.  This close industry involvement has continued.  The initial years of this programme were overviewed by an industry group representing LANTRA, AFBI, DARD and the UFU.  This group has now been replaced by an industry Stakeholders Group.   In addition, CAFRE programmes are overviewed by an independent advisory group (College Advisory Group, CAG) appointed from the industry.

Industry representatives play a significant role in the operation of student learning projects where they use their expertise to guide students running major college enterprises (i.e. the CREAM enterprise referred to earlier).  In addition, major employers such as Dunbia, Moy Park and Thompsons have contributed bursaries to support students on the programme. 

 

Placement Employers:

Students organise an industry symposium as part of final year, providing opportunities to engage with key stakeholders within the local industry. In addition, major employers such as Dunbia, Moy Park and John Thompson and Sons have contributed bursaries to support students on these degrees.

Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:

  • Moypark
  • John Thompson and Sons
  • Countryside Services
  • Dale Farm 
  • Fane Valley
  • Monaghan Mushrooms
  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
  • Tamar Farming Co (New Zealand)
  • Millridge Ltd (New Zealand)

 

 

OTHER CAREER INFORMATION

Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  

 

Degree Plus

Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. Read more here.

 

Further Study

Further study is also an option – development of research skills in final year through project work means that graduates are also well equipped for postgraduate study, and can choose from a wide range of Master's programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics; click here for more information

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment:  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. 

Feedback:  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comments.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

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