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Sustainable Food Production and Land Use BSc (Hons)

SRUC Scotland's Rural College

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UCAS CODE: D702

Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons)

  • Location

    Barony

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    20-SEP-21

  • Duration

    4 Years

Course summary

BSc (Hons) Sustainable Food Production and Land Use is an applied biology degree that considers how land use practices can help to tackle today’s critical challenges of climate change, biodiversity and food security.Agriculture and land use are significant sources of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change, and the IPCC has called for rapid and substantial reductions in GHG from all sectors, including agriculture, if global warming is to be kept below 1.5°C. This will require a major transition in our agricultural and food production systems.BSc (Hons) Sustainable Food Production and Land Use is designed to equip graduates with knowledge, skills and understanding of sustainable and efficient agricultural systems that provide the growing population with food, bioproducts and bioenergy, whilst helping to combat climate change, enhance biodiversity, and minimise pollution.The curriculum reflects the recommendations of the UK Committee on Climate Change in their 2018 report ‘Land Use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change’. These include increased crop productivity, reduced food wastage and a reduction in land used for grasslands and livestock production. Such measures would release land for forestry and woodlands and for the sustainable production of biomass for biorefining and a rural bioeconomy, to not only reduce reliance on fossil fuels, but also to offset the economic and social impacts of reducing livestock production. Some land released from agricultural production could also be managed for carbon sequestration e.g. by the restoration of peatlands, and the provision of other ecosystem services e.g. water catchment management and maintaining habitats for biodiversity. These issues are all explored in the Sustainable Food Production and Land Use degree.Plants have a vital role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to generate the biomass and energy that drives all agricultural and natural ecosystems, so plant science is an important part of the curriculum. Students will investigate the latest approaches to improve the nutritional value and yields of crops and to make them more resistant to pests and diseases and more resilient to environmental stresses and climate change. They will also find out about alternative, more sustainable animal production systems, and the integration of livestock into arable rotations and agroforestry systems. Food product innovations from plants, insects and from the culture of animal cells or microbes will also be considered. Soils have the potential to store large amounts of carbon, locking it out of the atmosphere, so students will also learn how soils can be better managed to improve fertility and carbon sequestration, whilst reducing soil erosion, degradation and desertification. They will also be introduced to forestry and woodland systems and to the generation of land-based renewable energy. At an advanced level of the degree, the latest technologies for biorefining and bioproduct manufacture will also be investigated.Throughout the course, you will develop key skills in practical laboratory investigation, fieldwork, team working, problem solving, critical analysis, communication, numeracy and data handling.This degree is designed to equip students for a wide range of careers, for example as agricultural and environmental consultants, researchers and lecturers, as farm/estate managers or agronomists, laboratory technicians in novel food production companies or in posts with government bodies and environmental organisations.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 15,000per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

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A level : BCC

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University information

SRUC Scotland's Rural College

  • Campus address

    SRUC Scotland's Rural College, SRUC Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, City Of, EH9 3JG, Scotland

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