Course overview

The aim of this Professional Doctorate programme is to produce a qualification which, whilst being equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, is more appropriate for those pursuing professional rather than academic careers. Our DAg programme comprises three taught modules and two work-based research projects, carried out through distance learning and a mixture of live and virtual supervisory meetings. The programme requires the involvement of the candidate’s employers in determining the focus of the work-based projects.

The DAg is delivered in two parts:

  • Part I is the MRes  which is undertaken for a minimum of two years and comprises two taught modules from the menu below, a taught  ‘Research Methods’ module; and a portfolio of work or a research thesis (approximately 20,000 words in length). The short Part 1 thesis should involve analysing existing data from the candidate’s workplace. For example: Reviewing historical mineral deficiency data by species and region; analysing and interpreting the findings. Participants may exit here with an MRes
  • Part II is undertaken for a minimum of three years and comprises a longer portfolio of work or a research thesis (up to 60,000 words). It will involve experimentation and must embody the methodology and results of original research. It should, ideally, be built upon the Part 1 thesis. Thus, from the example above, could be something like: Changing practices and introducing innovation to combat mineral deficiencies.

Completing this course results in a postgraduate qualification. See Our Qualifications for more information.

Key facts file

Course Dates:

Three intakes per year

Title: Doctor of Agriculture (DAg)
Type/Duration:

Up to 7 years

Entry Requirements:

Graduate level or relevant experience

Credits: 360
Cost: £10050.00
Fee Info:

From £10,050

CQFW Level: 8
Course Provider: Aberystwyth University
Provider Reference Number:

D4201

Course Arrangements: Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Course Logistics:

Our taught modules are designed to be flexible so that you can fit studying around your work and other commitments. A typical participant is expected to study for 200 hours when taking a 20 credit module. As a rule of thumb you should anticipate spending approximately 2-3 hours a week on online lectures, presentations and podcasts, and the remaining time on readings and assignments; the more time and effort you can put in, the more you'll benefit from studying the module and the better your grades are likely to be.

Your research will build on the research proposal developed in the ‘Research Methods’ module and we will provide structured academic support for you to carry out applied research at work.

Tutors:

Marty Spittle

 

 

Learning outcomes

Core Module:

  • Research Methods

 

Optional Modules:

  • Farm Business Management
  • Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture
  • Grassland Systems
  • Home Grown Feeds
  • Organic and Low Input Ruminant Production
  • Plant Breeding
  • Ruminant Gut Microbiology
  • Ruminant Health and Welfare
  • Ruminant Nutrition
  • Ruminant Production
  • Silage Science

Course Structure

Agriculture and Society

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The economic, social/cultural and environmental aspects of our lives are inextricably tied together. Truly sustainable, efficient food production requires that these three pillars of sustainable development are considered carefully. This distance learning module will study the environmental, economic and social implications of food production and consumption from different perspectives.

Topics will include food systems and supply chains, social concerns, ethics, controversies such as organic v conventional farming, and the development of GMOs, the conflicts between production, market, environment and culture, and future challenges around such things as climate change and resource competition.

It will provide farmers and agri-food businesses, NGOs and government agencies an insight into current perspectives on ethical issues surrounding food production at the local, regional and global scale.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

Agro-ecosystem Services

Start Date: 24th September 2018
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This module will introduce you to the ecosystem services framework for assessing pasture-based food production, with an emphasis on landscape context and scale factors. Trade-offs and complementarities between food production and delivery of other ecosystem services such as water purification and climate regulation will be examined.

The module will focus on the theme of “sustainable intensification”, using an ecosystem services approach to consider the direct and indirect (global) effects of particular management practices.

This course is an optional module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment and  in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production .

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

Climate Change

Start Date: Sept to Dec 2018
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This module will provide participants with a detailed assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change – the science, its impacts, adaptation and mitigation, and crucially how it is perceived by the public. After introducing the science and the effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere it will assess how the climate has changed historically, and look at the most recent predictions for future change both globally and for the UK. As climate change will impact upon UK food security both directly and indirectly (through effects elsewhere in the world) a global perspective on potential impacts will be taken. How agriculture can adapt to the consequences of, and mitigate its effect on, climate change will be discussed.

The module will provide practical examples of how farming systems can adapt to, and also mitigate, climate change, using wherever possible case studies based on the research experience of the module lecturers.  It will not have in-depth coverage of climate models.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production and the MSc in Industrial Biotechnology. 

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

Farm Business Management

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Farm Business Management course gives participants the skills to analyse, carry out and revise farm business plans. The module will look at all aspects of farm planning from the accounts to the physical aspects that anyone dealing with farms should be aware of. The participants will be taught how to develop a robust and logical plan and be given the task of creating a plan of their own through our unique interactive farm business. 

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Genetics & Genomics in Agriculture

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Genetics & Genomics in Agriculture course is designed to give those with little understanding of genetics a practical knowledge of the principles and technologies that underpin breeding programmes. It will focus on the challenges facing land-based production in the 21st century and on the role of emerging technologies such as Genetics & Genomics in meeting these challenges sustainably.

After initially detailing the broad objectives and methods involved in breeding programmes it will allow you to follow a specific crop or animal breeding pathway. It will give you an understanding of the methodologies applied in molecular and population genetics as well as in related disciplines such as proteomics and metabolomics, allowing you to conceptualise and apply these concepts to further agricultural production.

The Genetics & Genomics in Agriculture course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production  and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The course is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Global Food Security

Start Date: Jan to April 2019
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This course takes a global perspective on food systems and food security, and aims to equip participants with the ability to fully understand global food systems and their role in providing food security, and to be able to critically assess existing and future pressures and solutions.

A range of diverse factors are coming together to affect the global food system, and after describing the various food systems globally, different definitions of food security, and how these are evolving, the module will look at these drivers.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

Global Ruminant Production

Start Date: Jan to April 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Global Ruminant Production course focuses on how to increase the efficiency of both intensive and extensive ruminant production systems. It draws upon research within IBERS to cover topics such as the basics of performance measuring and the latest research on ruminant genetics. Using this research, participants will be enabled to reduce the environmental impact of global ruminant production.

You will explore the fundamental genetics and physiology that underpin animal production in terms of: reproductive technology; genetic improvement; dairy cattle production systems; meat production systems; meat and milk quality; disease prevention and management.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production  MRes Agriculture and the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Grassland Systems

Start Date: Sept to Dec 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Sustainable Grassland Systems course looks at the range and distribution of grassland and forage crops. Nutrient management and environmental protection are themes throughout, as are strategies for grazing and forage preservation. The role of plant breeding and management is investigated. You will evaluate the management requirements of a range of grassland systems and the factors that underpin forage cropping programmes. 

This course is an optional module in the MSc in Sustainable & Efficient Food Production and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning

Home Grown Feeds

Start Date: TBC
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Sustainable Home Grown Feeds course focuses on arable crops, which can form a key component of a pasture-based farming system. Their selection and management are often driven by very different requirements than those of intensive arable situations. The course focuses on developing management approaches to the maintenance and building of soil fertility whilst maximising livestock productivity. This approach delivers a system that is both resilient and sustainable.

You will explore rotational farming practices in the context of mixed farming systems. This includes examining different options of crops and their suitability for different situations and regions, their use in the feed ration, and crop management approaches. The environmental and economic implications of different management practices will also be evaluated in context with current UK policy.

The course is delivered entirely online through distance learning by Aberystwyth University. The Sustainable Home Grown Feeds course is also an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production, MRes Agriculture and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

Organic and Low Input Ruminant Production

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Organic and Low Input Ruminant Production course examines the concepts behind ruminant production in a low input or organic system. It considers alternative methods of production, from unique forages and sward mixtures to interesting animal breeds that could provide a more tailored product for niche markets. The course will also look at natural methods of disease control that can be adopted by low input or organic systems.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Plant Breeding

Start Date: Jan to April 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Plant Breeding course is designed to give a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to bring a variety of plant from concept, through breeding and on to market. Featured crops include: beans, peas, oats, ryegrass, clover and energy crops. We will consider all aspects of what makes a commercial plant breeding program successful. Real datasets will demonstrate the challenges a plant breeder faces when making selections. Participants will undertake case studies to look in depth at the process of breeding a crop of their choice.

The course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production, MRes Agriculture and the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The course is delivered entirely online through distance learning by Aberystwyth University, .

Ruminant Gut Microbiology

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Ruminant Gut Microbiology course will explore the fundamental research that is developing our understanding of the anatomy and environmental conditions of the rumen, covering the negative and positive effects of rumen digestion on productivity. You will explore the function and importance in the rumen of bacteria, protozoa, fungi and archaea.

The study area will investigate both traditional culture-based and modern molecular-based methods used to investigate rumen microbiology, together with a review of ways of manipulating rumen fermentation to improve productivity whilst decreasing the environmental footprint of ruminant agriculture.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production  and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Ruminant Health & Welfare

Start Date: Sept - Dec 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Ruminant Health & Welfare course focuses on the latest research and legislation by drawing on the expertise of Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College, Wales.

The first half of this course will cover the general legislation and management of ruminant health and welfare across the three sectors of dairy, beef and sheep.

The second half will offer you the choice of which of these sectors you will be assessed on. Depending on which sector you choose you will cover the latest research on those diseases of most concern and will look at how welfare is measured and could be improved in that sector. 

This course is an optional module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Ruminant Nutrition

Start Date: Sept - Dec 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Ruminant Nutrition course will outline the fundamental physiological and microbiological principles underpinning ruminant nutrition. You will look at the design of animal nutrition experiments; ruminant ration formulation and evaluation; nutrient digestion and metabolism; microbial populations and their ecology; and metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids in order to modify the characteristics of meat and milk. The module will also look at research into reducing environmental impacts from ruminants through their nutrition.

This course is an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production  and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

The module is delivered by Aberystwyth University, entirely online through distance learning.

Soil Management

Start Date: 24th September 2018
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This module is designed to teach the fundamentals of soil management to professionals interested in the sustainable and efficient management of land resources.

Sustainable soil management is reviewed in relation to increasing food production efficiency whilst limiting environmental impacts and a decline in soil quality and services. The dynamic function of the soil system will be explored, including ecosystem services, nutrient budgets, carbon cycling, greenhouse gases and mitigation.

This course will provide a basic guide to the field and laboratory assessment of soil quality in a UK context with support from lectures and structured learning with extensive on-line resources. It is particularly suited to those working in the agriculture and food production industries, as well as others concerned with the fundamental resources and processes underpinning agricultural production and its environmental impacts.

This course is an optional module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

 

Upland Management

Start Date: Jan to April 2019
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This module examines the environmental, economic and social viability of various upland farming systems in the UK. Upland environments and land-use are examined in the context of the production and marketing of food from the uplands. The impact on biodiversity and ecosystem service provision, e.g. regulated flooding, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, is reviewed, as are drivers of future change.

This course is an optional module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

Water and Agriculture

Start Date: Sept to Dec 2018
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

Water shortage and water quality issues are increasingly affecting agricultural production worldwide, and problems will increase with climate change and increasing populations. This course takes a global perspective, and aims to equip participants with the ability to fully understand the role of water in agricultural production, and to critically assess existing and future pressures and solutions. After describing the basics of crop water relationships, the course will address the pressures caused by water shortages and water quality issues, and the interactions between them.

After an assessment of trends, we will look at how existing and future technologies might be used to sustain production, and at how the governance of irrigation systems could play a part.

This course is an optional course in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional course in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

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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