Environmental Management with Agriculture BSc (Hons)
About the course
Our environmental management with agriculture degree is designed to develop your understanding of environmental processes, their measurement, and the associated management techniques within the context of agriculture. The degree is underpinned by a strong tradition of practical and fieldwork learning that is supported by our own specialist field station, dedicated laboratories, and facilities for geographical information analysis.
You will develop an understanding of agro-ecosystem biology and agro-ecology. You’ll also develop knowledge in areas of biodiversity and how ecosystems function in the light of climate change.
You will focus on developing your research skills using geographic information systems, data analysis, surveying and map work.
Our field course, a week-long residential currently held in the English Lake District, forms a central part of your first year studies.
You’ll visit the Swiss Alps at the start of your second year, developing your research skills.
You will go on to develop your knowledge of sustainable agriculture and horticultural management as well as ecology and environmental quality.
Your individual research project will be the key focus of your final year studies. This is complemented by core modules focused on habitat management and monitoring. Areas of optional study include biological conservation, the management of environmental problems and the green economy, countryside management, and geospatial information
Why choose this course?
- High student satisfaction and a good study community
- Regular opportunities for students to assist staff with glaciology research and to undertake fieldwork in pursuit of final year dissertations in locations including Iceland, Switzerland and the High Arctic.
- Working with employers in Hertfordshire to address pressing environmental challenges, helping them save energy, reduce waste and put effective techniques in place to manage their environmental impact.
- Working with voluntary organisations to support community energy - overcoming the barriers to installing solar panels on school buildings and improving a community energy toolkit.
- Opportunities to get involved in ecology activities at Bayfordbury such as beekeeping, bat watching, coppicing, etc
240 UCAS points including 2 GCE A Levels (or equivalent) Plus GCSE grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics.
- Our offer for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing the UCAS score by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points
The University also accepts a number of other equivalent qualifications – to find out more about the requirements for these and other equivalent qualifications visit the UCAS website
If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English and foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Part Time, 5 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Our graduates have found successful careers within local government, town and country planning, recreational and habitat management, environmental resources management, teaching and in private environmental consultancies, as well as more general graduate recruitment schemes and postgraduate study.
Typical job titles of recent graduates
Assistant Surveyor, Conservation Officer, Environmental Consultant, Environmental developments Officer, Environmental Management Systems Developer, Environmental Manager, Environmental Officer, Environmental Support Officer, Estates manager, GIS assistant, Land Charges Assistant, Planning Officer, Production Systems Development Engineer, Senior GIS Technical Officer, Trainee Emergency Ambulance Technician, Trainee Logging Geologist, Transport Coordinator, Transport Planner.
Typical employers of recent graduates
Buildings Research Establishment, Banks Cargil Agriculture Ltd, Beds and Herts Ambulance and Paramedic Service, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Coors Brewers, Datalog Technology Ltd, Environment Agency, Granada Business Technology, Merck Sharp & Dohme, National Grid, Veolia Water, South-East Water, Sustrans, University of Hertfordshire, Vauxhall Motors, Vivendi Water.
You will develop your independent study and interpersonal skills on this course. There is an emphasis on structured research, well-prepared written and verbal presentations and computer literacy.
You will experience a wide variety of teaching styles on the programme including:
- standard lectures
- case studies
- individual and group projects
In your final year you will normally have the opportunity to hone your independent study and interpersonal skills by undertaking a major project or dissertation
If you are studying part-time you will study for 5-6 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year. The first and second year are made up of compulsory modules thereafter years three to six contain a mixture of core and optional modules depending on the pathway you are studying on. Your timetable will depend on which modules you pick.
You have the opportunity to take a work placement for a year before your final year. These optional placements will enhance your future career prospects. Successful completion of your placement may also lead to a Licentiateship of the City and Guilds Institute.
This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Topics that may be covered include: environmental concern and the green movement; the environmental spectrum; concepts of sustainable development; Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21; industrial development and sustainability, sustainable development and waste, sustainable development and water; sustainable development and energy; sustainable development and agriculture; sustainable development and the developing world; and the cost of going green.
Ecosystems and Environmental Change
Includes an introduction to: * biogeography, climate/vegetation patterns and ecological processes * role of major biogeochemical cycles * structure and functioning of major ecosystem types (UK focus) e.g. woodlands, grasslands, agro-ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems * human influences on ecosystems, including examples of management * climate change and air pollutants: impacts of ecosystems * environmental impact assessments * the key UK and EU laws that influence the management of threatened habitats * ecological data handling and descriptive statistics
Investigative Skills and Techniques
This course is designed to provide an introduction and overview of some to the basic analytical methods employed by geographers and environmental managers when undertaking their research work. The application of appropriate statistical techniques is an important research skill and students will develop their skills in statistical analysis from a combination of lectures and workshops. Students will also gain some appreciation for the special issues and problems raised by the use of geographical and environmental data. The course includes the essentials of data collection and entry, questionnaire design and administration, spatial sampling design and presenting research results. Students will develop skills in presenting research results in a meaningful way through producing a short research report.
Exploring Planet Earth
This module provides students with an opportunity to explore the Earths systems. The module provides an account of the history of the Earth, and then considers each of the major environmental systems in turn, focussing on the features and processes that define each system. Students will be able to develop an understanding of how the different systems interact and the importance of these interactions for shaping the surface of the Earth and its biological communities. The implication of environmental change on human activities is a central theme throughout the module.
The aims of this module are to enable students to understand the dynamic processes that produce rocks and geological structures, and be able to recognise them in the laboratory and in the field. The evolution of the Earth and the importance of plate tectonics in the formation of rocks and geological structures will be studied, together with introductory igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic petrology. The module will also consider weathering, erosion, transport and deposition of Earth surface materials and the dynamic endogenic and exogenic processes that impact on anthropogenic activities and cause geohazards. Meteorology will be covered to link atmospheric processes to earth surface processes.
Introduction to Field Research
This module includes a residential field course to a UK location. The module will cover a range of topics that may include cultural geography, biodiversity, geology, geomorphology, ecology, climate change and tourism impacts. Underpinning theory and linkage to wider research contexts are introduced in the lectures. Staff-led and student-led data collection methods are introduced and undertaken in the field. Students are then introduced to the analysis and synthesis of this field information through class and IT-lab sessions both during and after the field course.
This module introduces students to fundamental ecological principles such as trophic hierarchies and energy flow in respect to primary and secondary production systems. It then explores these principles in the context of agricultural systems. Students will study plant anatomy in the context of crop plants and this will introduce students to crop diversity through plant architecture and how this plays an important role in plant nutrition.
This module builds on the first semester module Agro-ecosystems Biology and introduces students to the idea of functional ecology and the diversity of organisms that play a key role in agricultural production systems. Students will be made aware of different methods of measuring biodiversity and the role pests, diseases and weeds play in the productivity of agricultural production systems. They will also be introduced to the functional role microbes play in nutrient cycling.
Ecology and Environmental Quality
This module investigates various ecological systems, both freshwater and terrestrial, from ecosystem, community and population ecology perspectives. There is a strong emphasis on practical applications of ecological science. Habitat related topics covered include woodland, heathland, grassland and aquatic freshwater ecology and management. Theoretical topics include microbial ecology; population ecology; social ecology and aspects of environmental quality in terrestrial and freshwater environments including examination of pollutants, eutrophication and acidification. Field visits and practicals are an important component and frequent use will be made of the University Field Station and associated facilities at Bayfordbury.
Graduate and Professional Skills 2 - GE
Students will complete assignments, within their discipline of choice, that include opportunities for development of their personal transferable skills. They will reflect on their development with the assistance of a personal tutor and will produce a portfolio of evidence based on the set assignments and wider experience such as from the work place or other areas of responsibility. Skills assessed are: autonomy, taking responsibility for themselves (A); group working (GW), oral and written communication (COM), information management (IM), problem solving (PS), numeracy (NUM), self evaluation and reflective practice (SERP). A component of the assessment will be workplace experience. Placement or year abroad students are exempt from this, however all other students will be required to undertake at least one weeks voluntary work experience and to produce a reflective report on their work experience.
Real World Research
This module commences with a residential field trip to Switzerland during which students will learn and apply data and information collection techniques in a real world field setting. The remainder of the module will provide students with the skills and understanding to design their own research project and fully understand the different methodological approaches and methods available. Students will also gain first-hand experience of data analysis and interpretation using where possible data sets collected from the Swiss Field Course. These skills will be practised during a group work problem based learning (PBL) exercise that draws on understanding of mountain environments and large data sets from a theoretical mountain location
Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture Management
This module provides students with an opportunity to explore sustainable agricultural and horticultural management. The module provides an overview of soil management and fertility issues, crop protection strategies and animal husbandry. The overarching framework for agricultural environmental governance will be explored through focus on law, policy, pollution control and by-product management. Lecture based learning will be supported through opportunities to see UK good practice in action through farm based learning.
Fundamentals of Geospatial Information
This module introduces the underpinning concepts and ideas behind GISci and their application and use in answering geospatial questions. Topics covered may include basic remote sensing as input to a GIS, the two main GISci data models, geospatial data collection and input methods including GPS concepts, digital cartographic issues such as map projections, symbology and visualisation of data, spatial data structures and GISci data models, geospatial databases, basic analysis techniques for both raster and vector data including Boolean logic operations, and a review of current technological trends such as OpenGIS (GML) and Distributed-GIS.
Living in a Changing and Contested World
The module focuses on understanding how the world around us is changing and how such change can be conceptualised and subsequently responded to, and why such change is contested. An understanding of how the world is changing and how such change is contested is developed by focusing on a wide range of topical issues that include: globalisation, trade, water resources, migration, indigenous peoples and cultures, air pollution, tourism, climate change, agriculture, population and food security, species invasion and deforestation. Attention is also paid to exploring and understanding change in the non-human world.
Changing Rural Britain: People, Places, Policy
This module has three key components. 1. The historic development of the British landscape. This sets a timeline for change and students explore the types of evidence used to date the past, including an assessed practical exercise in pollen analysis held at the Bayfordbury field station. 2. The role of agriculture: past, present and future and 3. rural policy and people. These aspects are reinforced by a field visit to the Peak District and the opportunity to visit a working farm and explore local rural community issues. All three elements are supported by relevant field and day visits, practicals and workshops and there is an emphasis on links to practice. The module also deals with pertinent legislation, policy, designation and planning issues as they relate to rural environments. Students explore the roles of agriculture and conservation in the UK and the implications of these factors on driving landscape change and managing different rural environments. This module also investigates topical issues as and when they arise that relate to rural environments and the livelihoods of people living in those environments and on rural futures.
Placement - GE
The sandwich placement will provide students with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in the taught years of the degree in a work-based situation. The employer will appoint a work-place supervisor, and the student will also have a University supervisor. Students will write a major report on their placement which is normally agreed with and then assessed by both the employer and university supervisor.
Year Abroad - GE
Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research project, field studies or a mixture of these components. The Year Abroad will be for two academic semesters or their equivalent. The students will therefore follow a programme negotiated by the Associate Head of School or nominee and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to commencement of the Year Abroad, the student, the programme officers from the University of Hertfordshire and from the host institution will agree a learning agreement and mode of attendance.
Individual Research Project - GE
The Research Project provides the opportunity for an individual, extended, in-depth study of a selected aspect of those disciplines covered by the programme, and may address one or more of the Division's research objectives. Lecture, workshop and tutorial sessions (which may be group and/or individual) provide support for the student, and students are allocated a University supervisor. The work may involve fieldwork, laboratory work, questionnaire surveys, or many other research procedures.
Solving Environmental Problems
Topic areas that may be covered include- sustainability and sustainable development; the economy and the environment; business opportunities and the environment; environmental governance; environmental ethics; corporate social responsibility; water management; energy management; waste management; environmental economics; environmental management systems; strategic environmental assessment; environmental impact assessment; environmental risk assessment and environmental auditing.
Sustainable Agricultural Systems
This module explores current developments in agriculture and looks to the future of farming. Current issues such as International globalisation and trade are discussed along with crop evolution with respect to pests and diseases. New technology and the benefits this brings to sustainable farming futures are investigated. These include bio energy related innovations, both usage and provision of; precision farming; integrated farm management and the trade-offs between traditional and organic farming systems. Novel concepts such as peri-urban agriculture and vertical farming are also studied. There is a strong workshop component where students will become familiar with the Foresight approach and the use of a variety of ways of exploiting expert knowledge to tackle future challenges.
This module will analyse, evaluate and discuss various aspects of both the science and practice of biological conservation, especially of species. Topics covered will include: speciation and extinction rates and risks; types of rarity; minimum viable populations and metapopulations; fragmentation, isolation and dispersal; genetic issues; population management strategies; captive breeding programmes; landscape scale conservation issues; the evaluation of sites for nature conservation; the special issues relating to the conservation of different taxonomic groups (eg mammals, birds, insects, plants, lower plants, fungi); International Conventions and Wildlife Laws; Biodiversity Action Plans and their implementation. Field visits and practicals form an important part of the module.
Implementing Geospatial Information
This module enables students to critically engage with some of the issues surrounding institutional implementation of GISci and systems, in a context appropriate for future employment. The students will be introduced to corporate implementation issues and historical issues and problems to enable them to avoid these in the future. The Internet will be heavily used to research developments in GISci, as well as for data discovery and mining for student projects, Internet-delivered advances, such as distributed GIS, Location Based Services and real-time updated GIS will be discussed. Following training on how to manage GISci projects, students will be expected to undertake both group and individual projects, producing reports for both. Where possible, the group project will be undertaken for an external organisation as a consultancy project.
Outdoor Recreation, Access and Education
The module examines a number of in-depth topics related to countryside access management and outdoor education. Students will develop a critical awareness of the underpinning laws and policies in the UK. They will develop an in-depth understanding the context (history of outdoor recreation), UK access legislation and practice, the development of rights of way, definitions and responsibilities, history of open access, role of stakeholders. They will explore outdoor education by considering visitor management and interpretation, models of outdoor education, policy and regulation, the educational background and adventure education. Students will also undertake fieldwork and practical workshops.
Habitat Management and Ecological Monitoring
This module includes analysis, evaluation and discussion of various aspects of the science and practice of habitat management and ecological monitoring in a variety of freshwater and terrestrial environments, including some relevant legislation. The importance of a holistic approach in habitat management and restoration of various habitats including: farmland, heathlands, gravel pits and freshwater ecosystems will be covered. Methods and applications of biological and ecological monitoring will be explored with a special focus on critically evaluating survey and monitoring techniques for protected species. The development and evaluation of habitat management plans and landscape scale approaches to habitat management will form an important part of the module along with the examination of national and international integrated monitoring programmes. Procedures for ecological impact assessments will be investigated forming part of a scenario based practical exercise. Field visits will also form an important part of the module.
Fees & funding
Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year
Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged on a modular basis. The cost is £1,125 for each 15-credit module
Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year
Additional course costs
This course offers fantastic opportunities for field work which gives students the chance to study the human, environmental and physical interactions in both UK and International settings.
As a part of this course students will be going on compulsory residential field trips and will have to pay a fee prior to the trip. Based on the current costs of these trips:
- The Lake District will cost in the region of £250 (first year)
- Switzerland will cost in the region of £390 (second year)
This represents a contribution to cover transport and accommodation and also includes full board (breakfast, packed lunch and hot evening meal). These trips are significantly subsidised by the University giving students a heavily discounted rate.
For the optional Development, Tourism and the Marginalised World module in the final year, there is a compulsory trip to Spain at the cost of approximately £390.
There is a further trip that is compulsory for the Changing Rural Britain module (second year) and the Outdoor Recreation, Access and Education module (final year) which costs in the region of £50 each.
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
Key course information
- Institution code: H36
- UCAS code: F7D4 BSc (Hons) Environmental Management with Agriculture
- Course code: HHGEEMA
- Course length:
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Part Time, 5 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years