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Harper Adams University: Plant Health and Biosecurity

Institution Harper Adams University View institution profile
Department Postgraduate
Telephone 01952 815000
Study type Taught


The effective control of pests and diseases is fundamental to the use of plants by man for economic, environmental and general well-being. The threats to plant biosecurity have increased with the globalisation in trade and travel, which has resulted in increased volume and diversity of plants and plant products entering the UK. This has resulted in much greater risk of the introduction and establishment of new plant pests and pathogens. A recent example was Ash Dieback which is estimated will cost the British economy £15 billion.

The course is offered part-time only and intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic plant pathology and entomology, and the application of this science to control current plant pests and pathogens, to reduce the introduction of invasive pests and pathogens and minimise their impact when introduced.

This course is primarily aimed at UK government staff with biosecurity responsibilities but will also be of benefit for staff working within plant businesses (e.g. plant importers, growers and distributors) with responsibility for biosecurity.

The PgC element is a blended learning course of four modules where each module is delivered as 60% online over a six-week period followed by two days of face to face delivery on campus. All module assessments are by coursework assignments. There is a two-day induction to the course at the start of the academic year in September.

Students in full-time employment would normally complete the four PgC modules over two years. (For students wishing to complete in one year there would be an overlap of typically two weeks of two modules running concurrently where the first module students would be completing an assignment and in the second module students would be starting the on-line portion of the taught content)

Students may then progress onto the PgD by the selection of four optional modules from the applied ecology suite of courses. These are taught in one- or two-week blocks. For the MSc, a Master’s Research Project is also completed.

The course is strongly aligned with the competencies of the Royal Society of Biology Plant Health Professional Register.


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

As the population grows, so do our demands on the planet. Managing our natural resources has never been so important. Since it was founded in 1901, Harper has been meeting this challenge.

Set on a 494 hectare farm, Harper Adams is the UK’s leading specialist university tackling the future development of the world’s food production, animal sciences, engineering, land management and sustainable business. Programmes fall into 11 broad subject areas – but none operate in isolation. Community and collaboration are key at Harper Adams, meaning everyone, including staff, students and industry partners, benefits from a close network of knowledge and …

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