This module will require students to apply scientific theories and principles underpinning adaptive management to a variety of problems encountered in different land management practices. It will require students to critically analyse current management practices, evaluate existing land management strategies against adaptive management criteria, and construct alternative sustainable strategies that are resilient, risk-robust, flexible and adaptive to change. Common features include working within the carrying capacity of the system; acknowledging that nature has finite energy; that efficiency is measured differently in natural systems and includes buffers and energy storage capacity; and that all systems are dynamic, subject to change and ruled more often by principles of chaos.

International conventions and legislation currently drive conservation policy and practice across the globe. More specifically, in Europe, a sophisticated framework that includes the Birds and Habitats Directives both refenforces and complements broader international initiatives. Increase in globalization coupled with diminishing resources and decline in biodiversity has forced change in the way biodiversity is protected. Strategies that include stakeholder engagement, partnerships, coalition building and community – based initiatives are promoted as mainstream strategies and practices to meet international objectives for halting biodiversity decline. As much of the species and habitat conservation management is evaluated and practiced according to these policies and legal frameworks it is important that the students have a comprehensive understanding of the process, and are able to evaluate critically key aspects of conservation policy and practice. Furthermore, the complex process of engaging stakeholders and wider society with biodiversity practice requires understanding and skills in leadership and negotiation. This module provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical awareness of existing problems and of new insights based on current scientific understanding and professional practice. Finally, it offers students the chance to challenge existing strategies through critical analysis, and to propose new alternatives including open standards, coalition building, conflict resolution, and integrated conservation management. These last elements of social conservation demand skills in coordinating projects and leading on initiatives within the sector.

Through this module students will develop an understanding of the cropping requirements for the future, with an emphasis on the agronomic developments needed to increase food production at a time of climate change, global market instability, increasing populations and environmental concerns. The module will concentrate on issues relating to plant breeding principles and developments, potentially suitable ‘alternative’ crops, the value of organic crop production and genetic modification. Emphasis will be on temperate crops and concerns within the UK and EU, but measures considered elsewhere in the world will also be included.

International conventions and legislation currently drive conservation policy and practice across the globe. More specifically, in Europe, a sophisticated framework that includes the Birds and Habitats Directives both refenforces and complements broader international initiatives. Increase in globalization coupled with diminishing resources and decline in biodiversity has forced change in the way biodiversity is protected. Strategies that include stakeholder engagement, partnerships, coalition building and community – based initiatives are promoted as mainstream strategies and practices to meet international objectives for halting biodiversity decline. As much of the species and habitat conservation management is evaluated and practiced according to these policies and legal frameworks it is important that the students have a comprehensive understanding of the process, and are able to evaluate critically key aspects of conservation policy and practice. Furthermore, the complex process of engaging stakeholders and wider society with biodiversity practice requires understanding and skills in leadership and negotiation. This module provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical awareness of existing problems and of new insights based on current scientific understanding and professional practice. Finally, it offers students the chance to challenge existing strategies through critical analysis, and to propose new alternatives including open standards, coalition building, conflict resolution, and integrated conservation management. These last elements of social conservation demand skills in coordinating projects and leading on initiatives within the sector.

This module is designed to help students review or improve their professional practice. Students will operate with a high level of autonomy to work upon a work-based problem, and to apply knowledge and techniques at the forefront of their discipline in an area of professional practice. They will be required to evaluate critically current scholarship and workbasedpractices and to use their knowledge to either:
a) provide a critical review of a work-based problem and suggest possible ways forward, or
b) implement and investigate novel and creative solutions to a problem.
Students will identify suitable projects and problems within their sector. Writtle College may be able to guide students towards suitable projects, depending on availability. There may be opportunities to base this module at a Higher Education Institution or research organisation abroad, subject to agreement on quality assurance.
The work carried out in this module can be linked to research to be conducted for the Dissertation.

This module presents current scientific theory in sustainable farm land management and competitive food production with a specific reference to agricultural ecology and ecosystem resilience. Climate change and continuing population growth are the two most important drivers of ecosystem degradation that threatens human wellbeing. Sustainable land management and food security requires innovative, risk-robust strategies to meet growing demands in the future and to ensure ecosystems remain fully functional and resilient to uncertain changes. Students will be able to analyse and critically evaluate current policy and strategies practiced in the UK and the wider global sphere through a review of case studies. Applications of new scientific thinking and technology will be observed in the field. The aim of the module is to provide students with the latest applied scientific theory in sustainable farming practices, agricultural ecology and food production.

This module will evaluate the factors which determine the level and location of horticultural production in relation to climatic and agro-economic factors, using a number of crop examples.
The development and changing pattern of cropping systems and production techniques will be discussed in the light of changing market requirements, environmental pressures and the need for sustainability in production.
The importance of global trade will be considered in terms of sustainability and environmental footprint; other environmental considerations such as energy consumption and use of non-renewable resources that are of increasing importance to the industry will be considered as part of the crop production process.
Current research will be evaluated and the likely future developments considered.

The conservation of historic designed landscapes is a relatively young discipline compared to the conservation of other heritage assets such as buildings and structures. Even so conservation philosophies and approaches are well-developed; these will be evaluated and their application at different sites assessed. Visits will be made to local and regional historic sites such as the Gibberd Garden and Valentines Park in Essex, and Painshill Park, Surrey, where the challenges facing these sites will be examined. This will include issues such as enabling development, climate change and economic pressures, and the impact of these upon the conservation of historic sites. The range and effectiveness of heritage protection measures will be discussed as will the role of relevant organisations such as English Heritage and its counterparts.

This module presents the scientific principles and applications of ecosystem theory and complex systems theory in the context of sustainable development with particular reference to ‘eco-mimicry’ and adaptive management. Rapidly changing environmental conditions and biodiversity loss brought on by the effects of climate change and accelerated human development have forced the global society to develop new strategies to deal with rising uncertainty and the increase in complex problems. In science recent efforts to apply complex systems theory and more interdisciplinary models to problems encountered in many aspects of environmental management has set new demands on industry to employ professional staff with the appropriate skills to be able to operate in a more multi-functional capacity. The aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive theoretical understanding of the scientific concepts underpinning sustainable environmental management and to give them the opportunity to demonstrate an ability to effectively apply this knowledge to a range of sector-related case studies.

The module focuses on several aspects of global trade and management theories necessary to achieve success in the international environment. Students will be expected to study economic models across national boundaries, assess trading relationships and partnerships, and evaluate international macro-economic data for effective decision making.

The maintenance and modification of crop quality after harvest is an area of increasing importance to horticultural products which are notoriously perishable. This module reviews the key concepts involved in postharvest biology and technology. Postharvest deterioration is often caused by pest and disease organisms and the diagnosis of crop protection problems will be developed in this module. Increasing international trade and the restrictive legislation on the use of pesticides are challenging the conventional crop protection measures. The use of biological control and other novel control techniques will be discussed.

The maintenance and modification of crop quality after harvest is an area of increasing importance to horticultural products which are notoriously perishable. This module describes a range of grading, handling, cooling, storage and inspection systems for horticultural products postharvest. The need to investigate postharvest problems will be demonstrated and the student will be encouraged to develop their own analytical approach to solving a simulated problem. A range of different storage environments will be described and under which circumstances which is used will be discussed.

This module will focus on the design and development of global supply chains for perishable horticultural produce. Students will study logistics, cool chain and supply chain management trends, concepts, tools and techniques, particularly in the context of supplying UK, European and multinational retailers. The application to and implications for emerging economies and developing countries will also be examined. Visits and case studies will be central to the learning and assessment for this module.

This module will enable students to understand the economic and political environment in which an arable or horticultural business operates and to develop a flexible, pragmatic approach to management based on strategic concepts and theories.

This module will evaluate the factors which determine the level and location of crop production in relation to climate and agro-economic factors, using a number of crop examples related to horticulture, agriculture and floristry. The development and changing patterns of cropping systems and production techniques will be discussed in the light of changing market requirements, environmental pressures and the need for sustainability in production.

The importance of global trade will be considered in terms of sustainability and environmental footprint; other environmental considerations such as energy consumption and use of non-renewable resources that of increasing importance to industry will be considered as part of the crop production process. Current research and trends will evaluated and likely future developments considered.

Rapid urbanisation is occurring around the world. Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and mega cities (above 10 million in population) are predicted by the UN to increase from the current 28 cities to 41 by 2030. This urbanisation is matched by problems of urban poverty, an inability to grow sufficient food, health issues, social exclusion, urban waste issues, poor water and air quality. Urban agriculture is seen as one means of addressing these issues. This module will critically examine a wide range of issues affecting the urban and peri-urban environment; the resiliency of food systems in light of increasing resource and energy scarcity and a changing climate will be explored together with the feasibility of urban agricultural systems. The environmental and economic aspects will be considered as well the links to wider policies on land use and health.

A combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops will provide the student with background knowledge, theoretical and applied methods to understand and critically assess selected projects.