- Name: Agroforestry
- Qualification: MSc
- Duration: 1 year full-time
In this one-year MSc programme, you have the opportunity to learn about how trees, people and agriculture can be combined in sustainably managed farms, forests and landscapes. There is a long tradition of agroforestry practice in many parts of the world, but recently it has become a major focus in international development and is now at the forefront of innovation in natural resource management. Bangor is a world leader in agroforestry with a fantastic reputation for its research activities and our graduates are either already employed when they start the course and/or have a strong track record in finding employment within the sector. Students and academic staff are active collaborators with international organisations such as the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, Costa Rica (CATIE) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). You can expect to develop the skills required for a research and professional career from the comprehensive programme we offer.
The overall aim of the programme is to provide an integrated education in natural resource management, combining ecological and social dimensions of agricultural and forest sciences, focussed on application to real world systems where trees interact with agriculture. The programme is designed to develop both subject-specific knowledge and cognitive and key skills. The course has a world focus and the University has strong links with agroforestry organisations which means that many of our students have undertaken fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as in Wales/UK. Besides fantastic overseas opportunities, we also have a university farm (Henfaes Research Centre) located a short distance outside of Bangor where many students carry out experiments for their final projects.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and gives partial fulfilment of Professional Membership Entry.
We work in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
The programme has two parts.
Part 1: runs from September to May and consists of five taught modules and a study tour. The taught part of the course is based on lectures, seminars, practical sessions and directed study, allowing an opportunity to examine a broad range of topics in detail and develop personal skills and expertise. A range of different assessment methods are used including reports, presentations, practical write-ups and online and written exams. Part 1 must be completed successfully before proceeding to Part 2, the dissertation phase.
Part 2: June to September is set aside for production of a dissertation on a topic selected by the student in consultation with their academic supervisor. Dissertations can be in almost any aspect of agroforestry that interests you; they can have a temperate or tropical focus, and can include field work either locally in Wales, elsewhere in the UK, or overseas.
Part 1 Subjects:
Agroforestry Systems and Practice: This module explores agroforestry systems and practices worldwide and introduces the concepts behind them. Through a series of case studies, the module explores ecological and biophysical interactions in agroforestry systems, and considers the range of social, economic and ecosystem benefits they deliver, including ways in which we are trying to reduce the environmental impact of food production and overcome constraints to food security.
Silviculture: The purpose of the module is to develop students’ understanding of the silviculture of single trees and trees in complex systems. This module develops an understanding of the principles and practice of silviculture, the place of silviculture in the sustainable cultivation of trees, and the role it plays in delivering ecosystem services from trees, woodlands and forests. We explore the unique characteristics of forest soils and of soil physical, chemical and biological properties, how these influence site productivity and how these are influenced by land management.
Natural Resource Management: The purpose of this module is to give students a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to managing natural resources to provide various ecosystem services, as well as a practical grounding in the ways in which natural resource managers can draw on a variety of knowledge sources to inform themselves and others of the impacts of land management interventions.
Research Planning and Communication: This module seeks to develop students’ understanding of the role of science and the scientific process in formulating and addressing context relevant questions, and communicating scientific output to different audiences. During the course of the module, students will devise, conduct and write up a policy-relevant scientific study.
Natural Resource Development: The purpose of this module is to introduce the international development context to students and to give a practical grounding in project planning. During the module, students will develop a full project proposal in line with funding guidelines for an agroforestry based natural resource development intervention.
Study Tour: We round off the taught part of the course with a study tour which gives students the opportunity to see the practical application of natural resource management principles that are discussed in earlier parts of the programme. During visits to areas which are managed for a range of objectives, you will meet and discuss with different stakeholders and collect information relevant to a specific research topic.
Dissertation: Execution and written presentation of a suitable scientific project which is devised by the student and an individual academic supervisor and validated by the Programme Director. A suitable project entails a worthwhile scientific question, of direct relevance to the degree programme being undertaken, established within the context of current knowledge and concepts that allows the formulation and testing of one or more hypotheses. This normally involves up to 5 months full-time work, typically including: 2-3 months for data collection from the field, laboratory or computer; 1-2 months for data analysis; and 1-2 months for writing-up.
Previous MSc dissertation projects and training courses held in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre can be viewed here.
This degree is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and qualifies students for associate membership.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Agroforestry Modules page.
A 2(ii) undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, e.g. Agriculture, Forestry, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Sciences, Sustainable Development, Geography or Biological Sciences. Alternatively, a first degree in an unrelated subject plus relevant practical experience may be accepted. Applicants are judged on their individual merits and age, work experience and other factors are also considered. Students with degrees in forestry, agriculture, geography, biology, environmental studies, economics, law, social sciences, philosophy and modern languages have graduated from this course.
IELTS: 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is required.
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.
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Home/EU students: apply online yourself with the help of our Guidance Notes on online application for Home/EU students. We strongly recommend you read these before you start to apply online.
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When to apply
The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer.
Agroforester is not a job description that many people would give themselves; however, graduates from this course have progressed on to relevant employment in public sector organisations, NGOs and academic institutions both in the EU and overseas. This MSc course has also formed a stepping stone in post-graduate research and has produced high calibre research scientists in the fields of tree biology, agroforestry science, and natural resource management.
“I found the blend of technical and social elements in the Bangor Agroforestry MSc programme invaluable. This degree was the ideal launch pad into an active research career in Asia and the UK.” Tim Pagella, AF Graduate
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