Module: Crop Production Science

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    50 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1&2

Module content

This module consists of several subject areas that all relate to the scientific basis of the structure, physiology, growth, reproduction and development of crops together with their improvement, and the potential loss of crop yield and quality to weeds, pests and diseases.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of the classification of plants in relation to their utilisation in agriculture and horticulture.
  2. Use the scientific method of nomenclature in classification and understand the difference between natural and artificial classification systems.
  3. Develop an understanding of the anatomy and morphology of crop plants and the development of structures of significance in crop production.
  4. Understand and describe the process and significance of mitosis in plant growth.
  5. Appreciate the basis of the principal biochemical pathways and their role in growth processes and yield formation.
  6. Describe the principle components of the crop canopy and relate them to resource capture for growth and the significance of associated management inputs.
  7. Define and describe the terms “yield potential”, “absolute”, “attainable”, “affordable” and “actual” yield levels.
  8. Describe the constraints to realising the genetic yield potential of crops.
  9. Appreciate and describe the impact of pests, diseases and weeds on crops.
  10. Relate the biology of crop pests to the ecology of the associated crop and the importance of pest biology in the application of management practices
  11. Develop an understanding of major pathogen groups; symptom expression in relation to disease development; basic epidemiology and disease identification.

Transferable skills

Students will develop the skills required to;

  1. Write a scientific report based on self-directed series of observations.
  2. Obtain data from an experimental procedure and undertake an assessment of quality and precision of the procedure.
  3. Compare experimental data with published sources and derive appropriate conclusions.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Laboratory report 40%
Exam Unseen exam (2 hours) 60%

Key texts

  • Chapman G P.(1996) Biology of grasses CAB International
  • FITTER, A.H. and HAY, R.K.M. (2002) Environmental physiology of plants 3rd edn. Academic Press.
  • Graham, LE, Graham, JM and Wilcox, LW (2006) Plant Biology Pearson, Prentice Hall
  • Hart, JW (1988) Light and Plant Growth Unwin Hyman.
  • Hodson, M. and Bryant, J.A. (2012) Functional Plant Biology Wiley-Blackwell
  • Hopkins, WG (2008) Introduction to Plant Physiology  4th Ed. John Wiley & Sons
  • Ingram, D ,Vince-Prue, D and Gregory, PJ (2008) Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice. 2nd Edition Blackwell Publishing
  • Langer HM and Hill GD (1991) Agricultural Plants 2nd Ed Cambridge University Press
  • Maiti, R (2012) Crop Plant Anatomy CABI
  • Oxlade, E. (2007) Plant physiology, the structure of plants explained. Studymates Limited.
  • Raven, Peter H, Ray F Evert and Susan E Eichhorn (2005) Biology of plants. 7th ed WH Freeman
  • Shabala, S. (ed.) (2012) Plant stress physiology. Cambridge, MA: CABI.
  • Simpson BB and Orgorzaly MC (1995) Economic Botany 2nd Ed McGraw Hill