Module: Computing and Information Technology in Precision Agriculture

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    36 hours

Module content

Topics include:

  • System design and the role of hardware and software
  • Principles of electronics
  • Fundamentals of design and building of electronic circuits
  • Software design and development using scripting languages, such as Python on micro-controllers, SBCs (e.g. Raspberry Pi) and PCs
  • Interfacing circuits to micro-controllers, SBCs and PCs for control and data acquisition.
  • Data processing and display
  • Networking. Different methods of networking computer systems together (e.g. TCP/IP, MODBUS)
  • Internet, Web and cloud based applications and services
  • Use of sensors, data and electronics within agricultural production

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Understand the application of software and electronics and how they inter-relate with a focus on digital agriculture
  2. Design and prototype electronic circuits for data capture and processing
  3. Write useful computer programmes and critically assess their suitability
  4. Critically assess the contribution of computing and data science to digital agriculture and improved production techniques.


Assessment Description Weighting
Project portfolio A collection of work conducted throughout the module (Compilation of all computing & IT projects) containing written report elements, supporting hardware & software (as appropriate) (Word limit: 3000 w 100%

Assessments may differ in 2021/22 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts


  • McKinney, W. (2013). Python for Data Analysis O'Reilly  
  • Zhang, Q. and Pierce, F. J. (Eds) (2013) Agricultural Automation: Fundamentals and Practices. CRC Press
  • Zhang, Q. (ed.) (2016) Precision Agriculture Technology for Crop Farming. CRC Press


  • Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Elsevier
  • Agriculture Special edition (2016) Big Data Application in Agriculture MDPI open access

OASIS (Advancing Open Standards for the Information Society) is one of the major bodies promoting open standards in the area of e-business. Its website has information on its standards.