Typical Course Length
An MRes is a Masters programme with more research than taught elements, a ‘Research Masters’. If you undertake the MRes in Agriculture you will need to successfully complete any two modules from the ATP menu and the Research Methodology and Advances in Biosciences module. You will then work with designated supervisors on a 120 credit work-based dissertation.
An MRes can be completed in 2-5 years but we would expect most students to spend 1 year on their taught modules and 2 years on their work based dissertation. 12 or 14 weeks for one module by distance learning. Three intakes per year (January, May, September).
The MRes comprises three taught modules (including Research Methodologies and Advances in Bioscience) followed by a 120 credit work-based dissertation (20,000 words).
We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each taught module comprises a 12 or 14 week distance learning module worth 20 credits which can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest; or built towards a postgraduate qualification. The research elements of our qualifications are carried out in your work place with regular academic supervision. The training is web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection (i.e. are able to stream videos such as on YouTube), you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material includes podcast lectures, e-group projects, guided reading, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials. By signing a re-registration form each year you will have access to e-journals and library resources for the duration of your registration.
There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion. Research is monitored and assessed.
Candidates must hold at least a second class Honours degree in agricultural or biological science, or a closely related discipline. Applications from mature candidates with relevant experience are welcome and will be given equal consideration.
Non-graduates must have at least 24 months of relevant full-time work experience in an agri-food industry. Relevant experience will be determined by the University. If you have employment experience which you consider may be equivalent to a degree, please give details of positions held, dates of employment, responsibilities within the position held and employer contact details on a separate sheet.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.
Module cost £750
Research supervision costs £1,950 per year
Fees are required to be paid in full before training commences.
If you are employed full-time within the UK Agri-food sector you may qualify to receive a bursary. Examples of sectors which qualify are: supermarket supply chain advisors, farmers and farm managers, agri-supplies, vets, agri-environmental advisors, agricultural consultants. We regret that teaching staff in HE establishments do NOT qualify for bursaries. Please contact the ATP office for more information. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bursary eligibility information can be found here: ATP website
This scheme aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Students must complete three taught modules and a 120 credit work-based dissertation / research thesis (approximately 20,000 words in length). While the primary academic focus is on the completion of an advanced piece of research, the collaborative route provided by a work-based research project provides an ideal opportunity to embed new knowledge in the work place and ensure that research is relevant to industry. As such, it is crucial that a student’s employer is supportive of both their research aims and the time commitment that the proposed research will involve. Self-employed students should aim to undertake research which will be closely aligned to their business.
Students may build on the MRes to work towards a Professional Doctorate.
The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.
Teaching & Learning
The menu of optional distance-learning modules available is:
Silage Science (AU) - This module will develop the trainee’s knowledge of modern forage and grain ensilage systems; and their skill to integrate recent research into their work.
Sustainable Home-grown Feed (AU) - The role of novel feeds and forages in improving animal production, whilst helping to meet and mitigate climate change challenges, will be evaluated.
Global Ruminant Production (AU) - The focus of this module is ruminants: reproductive technology, genetic improvement, dairy cattle production systems, meat production systems, meat and milk quality, and disease prevention and management.
Ruminant Nutrition (AU) - Trainees will develop understanding of: Digestion and metabolism of nutrients, ecology of the rumen and methods used to modify it; and methods used to modify characteristics of meat and milk.
Sustainable Grassland Systems (AU) - Trainees will develop in depth knowledge of pasture based systems and learn to develop management plans towards optimizing meat/milk quality and yields; and conservation requirements. The potential of new forage crops will be explored.
Carbon Footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment (BU) - This module will provide a theoretical and critical analysis of the practice and application of Carbon Footprinting (CF) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as key tools in assessing the environmental impact of agricultural systems.
Soil Management (BU) - This training will equip students to undertake soil quality assessments both in the field and laboratory, critically evaluate the results, and utilise these in the design of sustainable soil management regimes.
Upland Farming Systems (BU) - Trainees will gain insight into the UK’s upland farming systems and the pressures upon them. They will identify drivers of change and viable responses to these.
Resource Efficient Farm Management (BU) - This module looks at practices to optimise efficiency and minimise impact.
Agriculture and Society (BU) - Trainees will examine current perspectives on ethical issues surrounding food production.
Agro Ecosystem Services Assessment (BU) - This module introduces an ecosystem services approach to assessing pasture-based food production.
Ruminant Health and Welfare (AU) - Focuses on diseases of most concern and looks at adapting systems to reduce the disease risk. Students can specialise in: dairy, beef or sheep.
Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture (AU) - This module focuses on the challenges facing land based production and the role of emerging technologies to meet these challenges sustainably.
Low Input Ruminant Production (AU) - This module examines the concepts behind ruminant production in low input or organic systems and considers alternative production methods.
Ruminant Gut Microbiology (AU) - The module looks at methods used to investigate rumen microbiology and review of ways of manipulating rumen fermentation to improve productivity whilst decreasing the environmental footprint.
BDM5520 - Research Methods
The compulsory module - Research Methods - is available twice a year so that students can fit it around their optional modules. This module must be taken before you begin your research project.
BDM6060 and BDM6160 - Work-based Thesis (120 Credits):
The compulsory module – Work-Based Thesis – can be started in any semester. This module should only be taken when Research Methodology and Advances in Biosciences has been completed and will involve a work-plan developed with your ATP tutor, academic supervisor and employer (if relevant). The thesis should involve analysing existing data from your workplace.