Course overview

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.


Learning outcomes

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

  • Recognise the different soil types in the UK and their fundamental properties;
  • Undertake soil quality assessments both in the field and laboratory, and critically evaluate the results;
  • Use these results in the design of sustainable soil management regimes, and for calculating greenhouse gas/carbon budgets for soils;
  • Evaluate critically the impacts of land management on soils;
  • Evaluate critically the main options for agricultural soil management and their consequences for sustainable production and environmental impact (including carbon storage, greenhouse gas fluxes, chemical and microbial pollution).
Additional Course Information

Topics will include:

  • Sustainable food production
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Managing soils for future food and water security
  • The importance of soil for biodiversity
  • Climate change and soils
  • Policy context
  • Soil quality and ecosystem services
  • Soil as a valuable resource
  • Soil management for food production
  • Soils and human health

    Key facts

    Course Dates
    Sept - Dec 2019
    12 weeks
    Entry Requirements
    Graduate level or relevant experience
    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
    Bangor University
    Provider Reference Number
    Course Arrangements
    Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location
    Bangor 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 hours 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.




    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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