Agronomy and Crop Physiology

Module summary

Module code: AGRI1225
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Jonne Rodenburg



The study of agronomy provides a fundamental understanding of the way crop grow and develop in relation to their environment. This Module will introduce 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 agriculture. The Module 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.
• Critical knowledge of the agronomic approaches being developed to achieve sustainable intensification of food production.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Discuss critically and evaluate the fundamental biological processes which drive crop growth.
2. Understand how the environment impacts both positively and negatively on crop production.
3. Critically discuss and explain the means by which the efficiency of crop growth limiting resources can be optimised.
4. 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

Lectures, class-room debates, field visits, student seminars.


Essay: 100% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Word Length: 3000 words.
Outline Details: A critical mini-literature review on an agronomy/crop physiology topic of choice; primarily based on 5-key papers.
Formative Assessment: A 1,000-word essay (mini-literature review based on 2-3 key-papers) on the same topic as the formative assessment.