Module: Management Information Systems for Farming Businesses

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Christopher Brough
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    48 hours

Module content

Indicative content includes information systems for personnel management, a range of resource, crop and livestock recording systems, automated web based and desktop based recording systems, whole-farm planning & commercial farm planning software, data handling and the application of GIS, soil mapping and GPS technology within farm and rural enterprises, social media and web design.

Module outcomes

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

  1. Critically evaluate the suitability of a range of MIS software and electronic tools/control systems related to a specific farming operation and apply those chosen tools in order to analyse the farm business and identify opportunities for improving performance.
  2. Recognise and justify the role of information technology, software and electronic tools in solving routine and non-routine problems that arise in farm management including the selection, manipulation and evaluation of business data.
  3. Determine how a knowledge and understanding of crop or animal husbandry develops the design and integration of information technology / MIS in the support of management decision making, supply chain compliance and business improvements.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Report 50%
Coursework Case study 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

  • Berk, K.N. and Carey, P. (2004). Data Analysis with Microsoft Excel: Updated for Windows XP. Thomson Learning.
  • Burrough, P. and McDonnell, R. (1998). Principles of Geographical Information Systems. (2nd edition). Oxford UP.
  • Clay, D. and Shanahan, J.F. (eds.) (2011). GIS Applications in Agriculture: Volume Two: Nutrient Management for Energy Efficiency. CRC Press.
  • Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E. (2003). Strategic Information Management: Challenges and Strategies in Managing Information Systems. (3rd edition). Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.
  • Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) and Talbot, M. (2001). Development of Web-based Software for Identifying Adaptability of Cereal Varieties to Local Conditions. HGCA Project Report, 263.
  • Kuhar, J.E. (ed.) (1997). The Precision-Farming Guide for Agriculturists: The Nuts and Bolts Guide to 'Getting up to Speed' Fast and Effectively with this Exciting New Management Tool. John Deere Publishing.
  • Lee, S.D. (2001). Digital Imaging: A Practical Handbook. Library Association Publishing.
  • Longley, P.A. (ed.) (2005). Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications. (2nd edition); abridg John Wiley & Sons.
  • Madders, M. (2003). Breeding Dairy Cows for Health and Fertility Traits and the Recording Systems Needed to Achieve This. Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust. (Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Report).
  • Noble, D. and Course, C. (1993). Spread-sheets for Agriculture. Longman Scientific and Technical.
  • Robinson, G. (2004). Geographies of Agriculture; Globalisation, Restructuring and Sustainability. Pearson.
  • Robson, W. (1997). Strategic Management and Information Systems: An Integrated Approach. (2nd edition). Pearson Education.
  • SCI Agriculture and Environment Group and Stafford, J.V. (1997). Precision Agriculture '97. v.2: Technology, IT and Management. Papers: Conference, Warwick, September 1997. Bios Scientific Publishers.
  • University of Reading and Esslemont, R.J. (1993). Development of Decision Support Systems in Agriculture: DAISY The Dairy Information System. University of Reading. (Reading U Farm Management Unit Study, 30).
  • Whigham, D. (2007). Business Data Analysis Using Excel. Oxford University Press.


Supporting texts

  • The LEAF Audit, LEAF Water Management Tool, CALM Calculator.
  • Tried and Tested/Planet/ENCASH, HSE Farm Self-Assessment Software.
  • Eblex costing and tool calculators, Farm business survey.
  • Crop protection management plans, accounting software, Gatekeeper