Course overview

The Sustainable Livestock Production Systems course will explore a range of different livestock production systems and the opportunities and challenges of implementing sustainable practices. Through eight weeks of interactive, online sessions and discussions, delivered through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment, you will develop a detailed understanding of environmental, social, and economic factors associated with sustainability across a range of livestock sectors. 

After completing the course you will have an excellent understanding of sustainability factors impacting livestock production systems and will be able to identify specific issues relating to pig, poultry, dairy, and ruminant meat production systems. This will be of particular use to professionals working with livestock and looking to develop sustainability, but would also be relevant to anyone across the food industry looking to increase their understanding of these topics.     

This module is availabe for CPD (£450) or for credit (£700).. Modules taken as CPD can later be converted to credit for a fee of £250.  

Contact Name for Enquiries: Fiona Lee or Cathy Crips

Email address:

Telephone Number: 0118 378 3312 or  0118 378 8722

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of the course, participants will be able to: 

    • Critically evaluate the challenges and opportunities facing different livestock sectors
    • Critically evaluate measures to improve the sustainability of a livestock production system
    • Use appropriate tools to identify reliable information and literature on this topic
    Topics within this course
    • Pig production systems
    • Poultry production systems
    • Dairy production systems
    • Ruminant meat production systems

    Each topic will be introduced with some interactive online material and downloadable materials.  There will be a series of online discussions and exercises to support learning.  An online presentation by each participant on a blueprint for sustainable livestock production will form the basis of discussion at the end of the course and form part of the assessment of the course.


    The course will be assessed by written coursework and a screencast/ online presentation.  The report will review the sustainability (economic, environmental and social) of a particular livestock production system and the means by which its sustainability may be improved.  This would comprise 60% of the overall course assessment.  An online presentation (screencast) will be prepared that will propose a blueprint for sustainable livestock production.  This will be uploaded for viewing by peers and academic staff as part of an online conference/discussion.  The presentation and the contributions made to the online discussion will comprise the remaining 40% of the overall course mark.

    Online exercises and quizzes, and feedback and contributions from others in the online discussion fora will provide the basis for formative assessment.


      Key facts

      Course Dates
      8 Weeks online
      Entry Requirements
      Graduate level or relevant experience
      Fee info
      Discounts available for multiple bookings & CPD Version
      CQFW Level
      Course Provider
      University Of Reading
      Provider Reference Number
      Course Arrangements
      Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
      Course Location
      University of Reading
      AFTP Cohort
      Course Logistics
      Delivered entirely online through the University of Reading's Virtual Learning Environment over an eight week period. It is suggested that material is reviewed on a weekly basis, however, participants may vary their speed of learning to suit their own requirements. The course is available to be completed for Continued Professional Development, or with the award of 10 academic credits where participants successfully complete the formative assessment requirements within four weeks of completing the online content.
      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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