Newcastle University: Agricultural and Environmental Science (MSc)

InstitutionNewcastle University View institution profile
Department School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Study type Taught


This course gives you an understanding of how agriculture interacts with the environment. There is an emphasis on sustainability and the ecological consequences of unsound management. It gives you the skills for a career related to sustainability in farming systems, environmental management or rural development. The course is comprised of compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests.

Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as sustainable development and environmental change; quantitative techniques, experimental design and data analysis; assessment of land use capability, habitat potential, risks of water pollution, and soil quality and ecosystem services; analysis, interpretation and presentation of field data with regard to environment and habitat assessment; science, policy and action underlying climate change and land use.

As part of your studies you undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis. This research project and thesis may be based overseas.

OUR STAFF: You benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape. Strategic research embraces work on soil quality; rhizosphere function; plant-soil feedback; soil-carbon dynamics; nutrient cycling. Applied research addresses issues of climate change mitigation (including biofuels); ecological (organic) farming systems; low-input crop systems; agriculture-environment interactions. John Gowing, Reader in Agricultural Water Management, teaches several compulsory modules on the course. 'Much of my research activity is multi-disciplinary. The scientific context can be seen as management of land and water resources.'

DELIVERY: This course is taught in a block format with one six week block and then smaller two week teaching blocks. You are taught through lectures, seminars, practical and field classes, tutorials, case studies and small group discussions. You are expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. You are assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project. You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme which is a framework that enables us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

FACILITIES: Our facilities and our teaching staff ensure you are fully supported in your studies. Farms, Laboratories and nu-food Food and Consumer Research Facility.

nu-food Food and Consumer Research Facility:
The NU-Food Food and Consumer Research Facility has undergone a £700,000 refurbishment and now boasts a culinary training suite and a sensory laboratory and food handling facility, all supported by multi-functional rooms and a reception.

2 course options

Qualification MSc
Level RQF Level 7
Entry requirements

A 2.2 Honours degree, or an international equivalent, in a relevant subject, such as: Agronomy (crop production); biological sciences; earth sciences; geography; environmental sciences; agricultural sciences; zoology. We also consider applicants on an individual basis with degrees in other areas, and those with non-standard qualifications and/or relevant professional experience.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements: Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills). If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course.

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.


Assessment is based on a research project.

Location Main Site (Newcastle)
King's Gate
Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle University

Our University

Newcastle University is ranked one of the best in the UK for teaching and learning. We are also a world-leader in academic excellence and original research.

  • Top 200 for Graduate Employability (ranked out of 2300 world universities) in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings(r) 2018
  • First class rating and ranked 20th in the UK for Sustainability (People & Planet's University League 2017)
  • Top 20 targeted by leading graduate employers in the UK (The Graduate Market, 2012-17)
  • Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017 - the highest rating









Postgraduate study
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