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  • career-opportunities You will acquire the skills necessary for career paths in the agriculture of crops, agronomy, crop trial management, and as policy development officers, technical commodity specialists and professional advisors. You will also be able to join sales teams for fertiliser, agrochemical and other specialist supply companies. We expect graduates to become the industry’s future managers and leaders. Alumni have gone on to study for a PhD or, for example, into agronomy and agricultural consulting.
    The links with experts in the industry that we made are useful when job hunting. I have also become more aware of the problems facing global agriculture and food security, which has made me want to become part of a team that can hep resolve these issues.
    Catherine Garman
    I think my MSc has given me something very impressive to place on my CV.
    Peter Illman
    Career destinations include: Regional Technical Agronomist at Bayer CropScience, Trainee Agronomist at Valley Produce Ltd, Trainee Product Technologist at Berry World, Trainee Agronomist at Agrovista, Crop Trialist at Eurofins, Agronomist and Agricultural Consultant at Agrinig, Nigeria and Senior Field Technician at University of Warwick.
  • course-structure Students will take 8 core modules, up to 2 optional modules and an individual research project, placement or dissertation.

    Core modules

    • Crop Physiology and Production
    • Advances in Crop Protection
    • Soil, Water and Mineral Nutrition
    • Climate Change
    • Organic and Low Input Systems
    • Cereal, Oilseed and Root Crop Agronomy
    • Introduction to BASIS Crop Protection
    • Plant Breeding & Trial Design for Registration
    • Project/Work Placement

    Optional Modules

    (Availability dependent on demand)
    • Biological Invasions in Changing Environments
    • Biodiversity, Conservation & Ecosystem Services
    • Challenges of Global Food Security
    • Challenges of the Global Food System
    • International Environmental Law
    • Microbiomics & Metagenomics
    • Marketing Management
    • Accounting & Financial Management
    • Business Strategy
    Further details of modules and project dissertation

    Additional vocational training

    • PA1 - Safe Use of Pesticides (By request*)
    • PA4 - Pesticide Granule Application (By request*)
    • PA6 - Knapsack/Hand-held applicators (By request*)
    • BASIS Registration (usually one week intensive revision schedule and exam; By request*) * These modules will carry an extra cost to cover additional training by external specialists and examination.


    Assessment is continuous and varies between modules. It includes essays, seminar presentations, practical reports, oral evaluation and assessed group work. The project will be assessed by a seminar presentation and a thesis. Please note that modules and courses on offer may change. We reserve the right not to run certain modules/courses based on programme review, staff availability and student demand.  
  • student-profiles
    schapmanSusannah Chapman
    Graduated with Merit in 2013 First Degree: Pharmacology First job after graduating: Senior Field Technician, University of Warwick

    What was the best thing about the MSc?
    The course provides an in depth look at crop production and agronomy, but also looks at different but related topics such as food security and food policy. This is really beneficial as you learn about the bigger picture of food production and how it affects different people. There was also lots of industry contact which is great for learning about the agricultural industry and the jobs available; we spent many days out with an agronomist, met representatives from different chemical companies, as well opportunities to attend industry events
    What have you gained from your time at Warwick?
    I think the MSc made me more employable as I improved upon and gained many skills which I didn’t necessarily have after graduating from my undergraduate degree. Undertaking a placement and getting experience of the working environment, managing a demanding workload and regular presentations have particularly helped this. “
    Did the MSc help you gain the job you have now?
    Yes, I now work for the University of Warwick as a Senior Field Technician where I work on a variety of projects and field trials. A significant reason for getting this job is because of the experience and knowledge I gained from working as a crop trials assistant during my placement.”
    pillmanPeter Illman
    Graduated with Distinction in 2013

    First Degree:
    Horticulture First job after graduating: Trainee Product Technologist, Berry World

    What was the best thing about the MSc?
    My arrival and orientation was excellent – not overdone and I felt that if I wanted more info then it would be available. My first highlights were the arrival and initial introductions to my new course mates. I also remember the trip to British Sugar. Best thing about the MSc – the project. The best thing about Warwick - the people on the course.
    What have you gained from your time at Warwick?
    An extra year of academic development and a very good qualification from a reputable university. I think my MSc has given me something very impressive to place on my CV and I think the industrial experience gained from my project helped me to get my current job working for Berry World, one of the major soft fruit marketing companies in the UK.”
    What else did you do during your time at Warwick?
    I was the co-chair of the student/staff liaison committee. I was a member of the archery club, mixed hockey, badminton and wine and whiskey society.”
    nndlovuNkulumani Ndlovu
    Graduated in 2013 First Degree: Agricultural Resources Management First job after graduating: Lecturer in Agriculture at Bishop Burton College
    What was the best thing about the MSc?
    Wonderful career advice, mock interviews by helpful staff at Student Careers & Skills as well as helping me with CV and cover letter writing. The CAL English classes and the mentor they provided were also brilliant."
    What have you gained from your time at Warwick?
    The experience at Warwick was good and I learnt a lot. I think the MSc helped me to get this job; particularly my time on placement at SGS UK played a major role in improving my job prospects."
    What is your current role?
    I am a part-time lecturer in Agriculture for degree students at Bishop Burton College. My role includes training and will hopefully lead to me gaining qualified teacher status (QTS)."
    cgarmanCatherine Garman
    Graduated with Distinction in 2013
    First degree:
    Environmental Science First job after graduating: Assistant Trials Officer at Oxford Agricultural Trials (OAT)

    What was the best thing about the MSc?
    Meeting and getting to know all the brilliant people on my course was the best bit but I also found all the modules in the MSc incredibly interesting. I always most looked forward to the BASIS trips out in the field with the agronomist, I think it was very good to have that practical experience integrated into the academic side. I also enjoyed the trips to ADAS as we got to meet a range of experts and see how and where the research takes place."
    What have you gained from your time at Warwick?
    I gained an awful lot and learnt more in one year than I did in my 3 years of undergraduate degree. I learnt how to efficiently research and write good essays, give presentations, and plan and execute my own lab studies. These have all improved my verbal and written communication skills and made me much more employable. The links with experts in the industry that we made are also useful when job hunting. I have also become more aware of the problems facing global agriculture and food security, which has made me want to become part of a team that can help resolve these issues. I think deciding to do the MSc at Warwick was one of the best decisions I ever made"
    sfairheadSebastain Fairhead
    Graduated in 2012

    What did you enjoy about your course?

    I felt the MSc in Sustainable Crop Production was an informative, well-structured course in a discipline filled with opportunity. The modules provide an overview of how science can address the pressures facing the agricultural industry, and would suite interested in agronomy, crop research and agricultural policy. A significant part of the course was the project, which allows students to develop a more in-depth understanding of a particular field. I used the project to learn about plant-pathogen interactions on a molecular level for the purpose of developing crop varieties resistant to Albugo candida.
    What are you doing now?
    I thoroughly enjoyed conducting research in this field, and have subsequently begun a PhD with the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP). The partnership comprises of the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham and Leicester to develop skills in Food Security, Bioenergy, Industrial Biotechnology and Systems Biology. My PhD is a continuation of my masters project and is both challenging and enjoyable.
    atockAndy Tock
    Graduated in 2012

    What did you like about your course?
    The MSc in Sustainable Crop Production at Warwick addresses scientific questions of increasing global importance as agricultural systems must adapt to meet the food needs of a growing world population by sustainable means. The MSc is an intensive and varied programme, providing me with a critical awareness of the practical application of the full range of sub-disciplines that inform sustainable agronomic practice. It provides a good balance of classroom teaching with practical (often lab-based) elements and visits to related businesses and advisory bodies. The range of modules taught is very good and the academic staff who teach them are friendly and engaging, specialising in a diverse range of disciplines. Students really benefit from exposure to the different fields of expertise made available through the School of Life Sciences’ links with Warwick Crop Centre on the Wellesbourne campus.
    How did the course help you?
    I think it’s probably fair to say that the School is unrivalled in terms of the number and breadth of summer mini-project opportunities offered to students, based either in the lab or at industrial placements. My project (based at Wellesbourne, under the supervision of plant geneticist Professor Eric Holub and plant pathologist Dr Joana Vicente) involved revival of heritage germplasm of navy bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to enable genetic improvement of varieties for low-input production in the UK and developing countries. This was an excellent opportunity to develop skills in biological research, including selection of near-isogenic lines for resistance to halo blight (caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola), and extraction of DNA from elite bean lines for use in future next-generation sequencing experiments.
    What are you doing now?
    In the course of the project, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to continue this research into a PhD project. The project will proceed with the development of an expandable database of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in order to map genes controlling vital physiological resilience and seed quality traits; namely, halo blight resistance, cold tolerance for seedling establishment, drought tolerance, and early maturity for harvest. Marker-assisted selection of these traits could contribute to the viability of navy bean as a rotational crop for UK farmers. In addition to the agronomic importance of incorporating legume break crops into rotations, home-grown baked beans could hold social and economic value. All in all, it was a very good year and I’d recommend it!
  • student-projects
  • why-choose-this-course Crop agriculture provides mankind’s increasing population with foods, fibres and fuel - this course provides the knowledge and practical skills for how crops are improved, grown and managed. You will gain a combination of practical skills and academic understanding to develop a critical and creative mindset. You will learn the principles of crop production, the latest advances in plant pathology, integrated pest management and weed control, and ecology.
    A significant part of the course was the project, which allows students to develop a more in-depth understanding of a particular field. I thoroughly enjoyed conducting research and have subsequently begun a PhD.
    Sebastian Fairhead
    Video courtesy of
    Entry requirements: A second class honours degree, or an equivalent qualification in a scientific or another appropriate discipline. English language standard IELTS 6.5 Flexible study: Full time 12 months. Part time 24 months. Module options: 8 core modules, 2 optional modules and a course project, dissertation or placement. Module assessments by coursework and exam. 2015/16 Fees:
    Overseas £19,680 (bursary included)
    European £6,800 (bursary included)