Module: Agricultural Technology

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Nigel Warner
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

  • Contact hrs

    36 - 30 hours (Combination of lectures, seminars and workshops) and 2x3 hours Farm visits (excluding travel time)
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

Advances in the agricultural sector are creating a growing demand for new intellectual and technological skill set. Developments in sensors, robotics, automation, analytics and telematics are enabling new and sophisticated ways of managing agricultural practices. The combination of scale and precision will reduce the requirements of unskilled labour and will increase the demand for highly skilled specialists.

Students taking this module will develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of modern technologies, while critically evaluating the production efficiencies that could be achieved with the adoption of these technological innovations. The module will cover guidance systems, telematics, remote sensing, Big-Data, IoT, specific crop and animal management, robotics and analytics.

Module outcomes

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

  • Discuss and assess the operation and function of a range of agricultural technologies
  • Appraise the utilisation of farming technologies and critically argue their suitability for a range of tasks.
  • Critically evaluate the viability of implementing technological advances to increase the efficiency of farm systems


Assessment Description Weighting
First Sit Coursework1 - 2,000-word individual report - 70% / Coursework 2 - Group poster presentation - 30% / Examination - none / Practical - none 100%
Referral (capped at 40%) Coursework1 - 2,000-word individual report - 100%/ Examination - none / Practical - none 100%

Key texts

  • Burrough, P.A., McDonnell, R.A. and Lloyd, C.D. (2015) Principles of geographical information systems. 3rd edn. Oxford University Press.
  • Chuvieco, E. and Huete, A. (2010) Fundamentals of satellite remote sensing. Boca Raton, Fla.; London: CRC.
  • Stafford, J.V. (ed.) (2015) Precision Agriculture '15. Wageningen Academic Publishers.
  • Zhang, Q. (ed.) (2016) Precision agriculture technology for crop farming. CRC Press.
  • Zhang, Q. and Pierce, F.J. (2013) Agricultural automation: fundamentals and practices. CRC Press.

Supporting texts

  • Banks, A. and Melves, S.F. (eds.) (2012) Horizons in crop production: precision agriculture and no-till farming. Nova Science.
  • Caldwell, D.G. (ed.) (2013) Robotics and automation in the food industry: current and future technologies. Woodhead Publishing Limited. (Woodhead Publishing series in food science, technology and nutrition, number 236; no. 236.).
  • Taylor, J.A., Cammarano, D., Prashar, A. and Hamilton, A. (eds.) (2017) Precision agriculture '17. Cambridge University Press.


  • Biosystems Engineering
  • Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Remote Sensing