Module: Applied Agricultural Science

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    44 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

  • Animal physiology, biology, genetics and breeding, milk hygiene and quality, nutrition and diets, health and welfare, growth and development
  • Principles and use of classification systems
  • Plant cell biology in relation to growth and production of new biomass
  • Physiological processes of importance to crop production
  • Plant nutrition and the biology of nitrogen fixation and assimilation
  • Plant and crop growth cycles, crop canopy development
  • Phenological aspects of crop growth and development – growth stages
  • Formation of yield; ‘absolute’, ‘potential’, ‘attainable’, ‘affordable’ and ‘actual’ yields
  • Constraints to yield; impact of crop pests, weeds and diseases
  • Biology of crop protection
  • Soil formation: geology, mapping and classification
  • Soil properties: texture, organic matter, structure, soil-plant-water relationships, drainage, hydrology
  • Soil sampling and analysis
  • Soils and the environment: impacts of climate change, acidification, desertification, salination

Module outcomes

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

  1. Apply their knowledge of the scientific basis of crop and livestock production to specific farming situations
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of crop and livestock growth and development and the limitations to productivity and yield within a sustainable production environment
  3. Appreciate the value of an understanding of pest, weed and disease biology in the limitation of damage from biotic factors
  4. Analyse livestock feedstuffs and identify the key components for profitable feeding regimes for different species
  5. Demonstrate an ability to assess soils for texture, pH and nutrients and provide advice to farmers on their effective management for sustainable production
  6. Appreciate the implications of climate change on agricultural systems


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Crops assignment 33%
Coursework Livestock assignment 33%
Coursework Soils and Environment assignment 34%

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Ashman, M.R. and Puri, G. (2002). Essential Soil Science. Blackwell Science
  • Frandson, R.D. and Spurgeon, T.L. (2009). Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals. 7th Ed. Wiley-Blackwell
  • Fuller, M.F. (2004) The Encyclopaedia of Farm Animal Nutrition. CABI Publishing
  • Givens, D.I., Owen, E., Axford, R.F.E. and Omed, H.M. (2000) Forage  Evaluation in Ruminant Nutrition. CBI Publishing
  • Hay, R.K.M. and Walker, A.J. (1989). An Introduction to the Physiology of Crop Yield. Longman
  • Hopkins, W.G. (1999). Intro to Plant Physiology. John Wiley & Sons
  • Herren, R. (2000) The Science of Animal Agriculture. 2nd Ed. Delmar Publishers
  • Lawrence, T.L.J. and Fowler, V.R. (1997). Growth of Farm Animals. CAB International
  • McDonald, P., Edwards, R.A., Greenhalgh, J.F.D. and Morgan, C.A. (2002). Animal Nutrition. 6th Ed. Longman
  • Soffe, R.J. (2003). The Agricultural Notebook. 20th Ed. Blackwell Scientific
  • White, R.E. (2006). Principles and Practice of Soil Science. (4th edition) Blackwell Science
  • Willis, M.B. (1998). Dalton's Introduction to Practical Animal Breeding. 4th Ed. Blackwell Science