BSc Honours Agricultural Technology (UCAS Code: D473)
For entrance requirements
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For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
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For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. See further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications
If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click here
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The agricultural industry is undergoing an unprecedented period of change. Traditional reliance on production is being challenged through changes in government policy at local, national, European and global levels, and changes in consumer demand. Agricultural production now requires an understanding of these demands and other concerns regarding food quality and safety and the environmental impact of production methods in the short, medium and long term. These degrees are intended to provide the widest possible range of graduate opportunities for students interested in the agricultural, agri-environmental and related industries.
Animal science, plant science, animal and crop husbandry and production and farm management form the basis of our programmes, thereby enabling students to gain a good grounding in these subject areas.Back to top
These degrees have been developed in consultation with employers, industry and academics, to offer students a combined curriculum of formal education and practical experience, which is designed to enhance employability and graduate skills. They are provided jointly by the School of Biological Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Greenmount Campus, Antrim). Stages 1 and 2 are delivered at Greenmount Campus, where students are involved in the work and management of specific agricultural enterprises. Stage 3 is delivered at Queen's in Belfast. Students take the equivalent of at least six modules in each stage, including any compulsory modules.
Information Technology and Core Skills
Introduction to Farm Business Management
Mechanisation and Farm Buildings
Agriculture and the Environment
Alternative Land Use and Diversification
Farm Business Management
Livestock Production 1
Livestock Production 2
Supply Chain Management and Marketing
16-week Work Placement (3-yr programme)
1-year Work Placement (4-yr programme)
Advances in Crop and Animal Science and Technology
Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Farm Animal Health and Welfare
Global Issues in Agriculture
Policies for Environmental Sustainability
Professional Studies (4-yr programme)
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At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BSc in Agricultural Technology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. This programme is provided jointly with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Cafre). The partnership arrangement between Cafre and QUB capitalises on the strengths of both institutions to provide a course that is academically challenging but also focused on the application of science, business and economic principles. Stages 1 and 2 are delivered at the Cafre Greenmount Campus and Stage 3 is delivered at Queen’s in Belfast. The Greenmount Estate Farm is a major resource used to deliver this programme. The campus “farm” comprises the Farm Development Centre (200 hectares) and the Livestock Development Centre (1,100 hectares).
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
Studying for an Agricultural Technology degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Agricultural Technology. The majority of Agricultural Technology graduates will seek roles in the agricultural, agri-environment or agri-food sectors. These include roles in marketing/sales, production and management, technical advice, and research and development in commercial companies. In addition, the applied nature of the degree will equip graduates for advisory and consultancy roles within government departments and agencies. Finally, development of research skills in final year through pursuing project work means that students are also well suited for post graduate study and research.
The following is some employers that have attracted graduates from the programme in recent years: Dunbia, John Thompson and Sons, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland and Moy Park.
Consultations: This programme was developed after extensive consultation with DARD, major farming organisations, the food processing sector, farmers and conservation organisations, and the curriculum reflects these consultations. This close industry involvement has continued. The initial years of this programme were overviewed by an industry group representing LANTRA, AFBI, DARD and the UFU. This group has now been replaced by an industry Stakeholders Group. In addition, CAFRE programmes are overviewed by an independent advisory group (College Advisory Group, CAG) appointed from the industry.
Industry representatives play a significant role in the operation of student learning projects where they use their expertise to guide students running major college enterprises (i.e. the CREAM enterprise referred to earlier). In addition, major employers such as Dunbia, Moy Park and Thompsons have contributed bursaries to support students on the programme.
Placement Employers:Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
Other Employer Links: As stated, students are required to organise an industry symposium as part of final year. This provides opportunities for students to engage with key stakeholders within the local industry.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
This programme commenced in 2006 therefore it is too soon to record graduate achievements.
The Prospects website provides further information regarding the types of jobs that attract agriculture graduates.
Further study is also an option open to agriculture graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, as shown within the School of Biological Sciences website.
Other Career-related information
Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Facilities: a unique feature of this degree is the opportunity for students to take responsibility for the operation and management of a College farm enterprise, allowing immediate practical application of knowledge.
Placement: students are required to complete a 16-week work placement period as an integral component of Stage 2. Agricultural Technology with Professional Studies students are required to undertake a 46-week period of work experience on completion of Stage 2.Back to top