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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : BSc Hons (Royal (Dick) Sch of Veterinary Studies)

Undergraduate Course: Science for Agri-food Systems: Interactions within Systems (VETS08008)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course deals with the interactions that occur between organisms within Agri-food systems. It builds on the concepts introduced in semester 1 at the cell and organism level and scales them up to the field, farm and landscape level.
Course description Highlight any changes to the academic description. This section should include an outline of the content covered by the course and a description of the learning experience students can expect to get.

The aim of the course is to extend the scientific understanding developed in the Semester 1 Science for Agri-Food Systems: Cells to Organisms course by considering how organisms within an agri-food system interact with each other and their environment. It will be taught in the context of the global challenges of food security and environmental sustainability. The course will emphasise the importance of managing the interactions and linkages between different components within a system, including aquaculture, for successful and sustainable function. The main themes covered will include:

- Frameworks for considering interactions in agri-food and environmental systems
- Ecosystem processes including soil, air and water systems
- Beneficial and detrimental interactions between organisms (microbial, plant and animal), with respect to animal and crop health and production
- Animal behaviour, group interactions and human influence through domestication, breeding and management
- Harnessing and managing these interactions to create sustainable agricultural systems

The course will be delivered via a series of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and practical classes. Farm visits will be used to demonstrate interactions within different production systems, and examples will be used to illustrate key concepts in a global context.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Science for Agri-food Systems: Cells to Organisms (VETS08009)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 16, Fieldwork Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 140 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% Summative Assessment: Basic analysis of soils from contrasting land uses and vegetation. Write up of practical, including data calculations, presentation of data, and interpretation of results
20% Summative Assessment: Group report on "The unforeseen consequences from agricultural management choices".
60% Final Exam comprising MCQs and short answer questions

Feedback Students will be given feedback via the formative game and quiz, and during interactive laboratory practical sessions and field visits.

Feedback will be supplied within 15 working days of the submission deadline.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Interactions within Systems MCQ and SAQ Paper1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain key interactions between soil, water, air, plants and animals.
  2. Distinguish between beneficial and detrimental biotic interactions and their effects on microbial, animal and plant health and animal and plant productivity.
  3. Appraise the interactions within agricultural systems, including the environmental impacts arising from agricultural systems.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Enquiry and lifelong learning
Outlook and engagement
Research and enquiry
Personal effectiveness
Keywordsagri-food,environment,soil,air,water systems,microbe,plant,animal interactions,ecosystems
Course organiserDr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5412
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)51 7454
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