What will I learn?

On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems.

The course

This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.

This course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas. The course will utilise our teaching strengths and offer an alternative focus for students with an interest in both agriculture and the natural environment, and will complement other specialist postgraduate courses such as the Entomology courses, Integrated Pest Management, and Weed Science.

Specifically the course will enable students to:

  • Identify the nature, structure and complexities of multifunctional landscapes.
  • Evaluate the interactions between organisms and consider these when making management recommendations for successful agro-ecological landscapes
  • Evaluate the strategic and operational issues and conflicts affecting the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems.
  • Appraise the role of agro-ecology within the wider context of global food security and sustainable food production
  • Select the most appropriate conservation management solution in a range of agricultural and other environments.
  • Develop the ability to solve conflicts in agro-ecosytems by the application of novel research techniques

How will it benefit me?

An understanding of agro-ecology and the organisms and systems that underpin agricultural systems can facilitate the ability to manage agricultural systems in a more sustainable manner.

This course will provide the foundation for a career in both conservation and in agriculture.

The course will provide you with specialized training in agroecology and farmland conservation. Specifically, the course which will:

  • prepare you for a career in conservation agriculture, or agriculture or conservation more widely.
  • offer vocational training in the area of agroecology.
  • prepare you for PhD. studies.
  • enable you to make a more informed choices for further study and career development.


The type of jobs that require the skills that you will gain include:

  • Conventional, organic and integrated agriculture positions
  • Advisory work such as farm/crop consulting
  • Policy jobs such as in agriculture and environmental agencies
  • Non-governmental agencies and organizations
  • Agricultural firms
  • Extension advisors
  • Conservation organizations
  • Environmental consultants
  • Policy Analysts
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Scientists and researchers.


Final award: MSc
Intermediate awards: PgC, PgD

Which department am I in?

School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
£14,100.00 (14,55,801) per year
This is a fixed fee
Start date

September 2021


Harper Adams University




TF10 8NB, England

Entry requirements

For international students

A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered. Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes. Students need to have: 6.0 overall (with no less than 5.5 in any component); 80 (minimum 18 reading, 17 Listening, 20 speaking, 17 writing).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.