Key facts

Course Dates
14 weeks
Entry Requirements
Graduate level or relevant experience
Fee info
from £750
IFST Membership
Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
CQFW Level
Course Provider
Aberystwyth University
Provider Reference Number
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
Aberystwyth University, Online
AFTP Cohort
Course Logistics
Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible and most of our participants work full time at the same time as studying for 10 to 15 per week, for each 20 credit module. Blocks of modules are delivered with start dates in January, May and September, with most modules offered once each year.

Steve Chapman




Course overview

The Biorenewable Feedstocks course focuses on research into a range of feedstocks including dedicated feedstock crops grown for energy and for the biopharmaceutical chemical industry. Biorefining of agricultural waste and food waste streams will also be investigated for valorisation. This course is driven by on-going biorefining and bioenergy research at Aberystwyth University in collaboration with  partners from the chemical industry.

We will explore how and why research programmes in dedicated crops can improve biorenewable feedstocks and how this drives the bio-economy. We will begin with an overall introduction to biotechnology, crop breeding in the chemical industry and biorenewable feedstock improvement and look at the societal drivers and impacts of this sector.

Participants will gain understanding and appreciation of the technologies used to identify variation in feedstocks and to improve yield and composition including: trait analysis, imaging and spectral analysis, conventional breeding, GM and association genetics. Participants will also gain knowledge of funding sources and business innovation to ‘make biotechnology happen’.

This module can be taken as a stand-alone course or as an option in the following courses:

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module participants should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the challenges facing land based agriculture to substitute for fossil carbon.
  • Evaluate the relative limitations and merits of a range of biorenewable feedstocks and match biorenewable feedstocks to potential end use in the chemical industry.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental and practical knowledge of crop performance traits and the technologies available for crop improvement.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the potential impact and limitations on the chemical industry associated with the application (and non-application) of different biotechnology options such as GM.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered in the Biorenewable Feedstocks course will include:

  • Introduction to biotechnology
  • Objectives and methodologies involved in crop breeding
  • Agricultural and food waste streams
  • Matching feedstock to end use
  • Scale of the challenge facing land-based crop production in the 21st century
  • Role of emerging technologies to meet these needs sustainably
  • Practical and economic considerations to scaling up production
    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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