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Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Agronomy and Crop Physiology

Course summary

Course code: AGRI1225
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Course Coordinator(s): Christopher Atkinson


Pre and co requisites



The study of agronomy provides a fundamental understanding of the way crop grow and develop in relation to their environment. This course will provide an introduction to the processes by which crops yields are optimised with the intentions of developing both knowledge and approaches that facilitate increased food production efficiencies through understanding the complexities of sustainable

The course aims to:

present an understanding of the processes, such as photosynthesis, carbon allocation and resource acquisition, which underpin crop growth and development;
link crop productivity to the environment and how crops cope with abiotic stress, particularly those linked to limitations in resource supply;
examine the means by which resource use, light, water and nutrients, are optimised within crops;
develop an in depth case studies on the agronomy of key tropical crops, and,
describe the agronomic approaches being developed to achieve sustainable intensification of food production.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

discuss critically and evaluate the fundamental biological processes which drive crop growth;
understand how the environment impacts both positively and negatively on crop production;
critically discuss and explain the means by which the efficiency of crop growth limiting resources can be optimised;
evaluate the complexity and rationale required to promote and develop sustainable agriculture.

Indicative content

What is agronomy and why it is important?
Manipulation of the crop environment to maximise crop yields.
Development of ideas and approaches in sustainable cropping.
Routes to intensification of food production.

Teaching and learning activity

Material will be delivered in lectures, supplemented by workshop sessions and discussions. Students will be expected to give a short presentation during the course.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Scheduled contact hours:

Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work , fieldwork, external visits.
lectures 39;
seminars 0;
practical sessions 0;
tutorials 0;
formative assessment 5
Independent coursework 30
other non-scheduled time 76


20 minute seminar presentation: 20% weighting, pass mark 50%. Assessment of sustainability characteristics of an agroforestry
system not examined in the course .
LOs-(1, 2, 3, 4)

Examination: 80% weighting, pass mark 50%.
2 hour exam to test understanding of the course content.
LOs - (1 ,2, 3, 4,)