Key facts

Course Dates
5 days - The course can be taken as a stand-alone training course but also makes up one of the optional courses of the Postgraduate programmes in Agrifood.
Entry Requirements
Graduate level or experienced within the animal production industry.
IFST Membership
Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
Course Provider
Harper Adams University
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
Harper Adams University
AFTP Cohort

Course overview

This short course can be used as a basis for postgraduate research or by anyone involved in a career that involves research and analysis skills.

Understanding how to source and extract the key messages effectively can be a daunting task. Consequently, this course will introduce participants to the essential skills and techniques required for information sourcing, retrieval, management, analysis, critique and presentation. It will directly underpin all the other courses within the programme for which it forms a part.

During the course of their studies, postgraduate participants will be presented with a large volume of information requiring analysis, evaluation, interpretation and communication. Often this information exists in a multitude of forms (e.g. peer reviewed journal articles, technical and professional reports, textbooks, etc.) and is available from an extensive range of conventional and electronic sources.

Participants will examine the research process and learn how to evaluate the quality of published information found within academic, professional, commercial and/or development contexts. Key areas addressed will include the purpose and design of research, including: problem definition, data collection, sampling, analysis, inference, interpretation and presentation.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Efficiently and effectively locate, select, assess, cite and reference published literature and other appropriate information sources relevant to a specialist postgraduate study topic.
  • Analyse and construct valid arguments and evaluate information systematically using explicit criteria.
  • Critically assess the appropriateness and quality of data collection, sampling, analysis and presentation for different types of data and information reported in published research.
  • Synthesise theory and research presented in reports, journal and conference papers to produce a comparative critical literature review.
  • Identify gaps and contradictions in an existing knowledge base and formulate appropriate research questions or hypotheses to guide further investigation.
  • Actively engage in independent learning though investigation, assessment, feedback and reflection and evaluate personal mastery and research and information skills development.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered on this course will include:

  • Information literacy
  • Postgraduate thinking, writing and research standards
  • Research, information and quality
  • Data collection and sampling methods
  • Data analysis and reporting


    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

    Our partners

    Our funder