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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Intelligent Agriculture (PGBI11066)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryAgriculture is a fundamentally important part of modern biotechnology, and will increase in importance during the next 50-100 years. The planet's population is predicted to peak at over 9 billion in the second half of this century. To provide food and dignified living conditions, agricultural productivity will have to increase 50% by 2030 and 70% by 2050. This task is extremely urgent and challenging, as it will have to coincide with a transition to more sustainable and less energy-intensive agricultural practices and be achieved with less agricultural land due to climate change and urbanisation.

This course will focus on plants and explore the fundamental constraints and opportunities for sustainable food and bioenergy production, as well as the use of plants to supply high-value products for human welfare.

Teaching objectives
- In lectures, to provide a framework for understanding contemporary constraints and opportunities for modern use of plants for food and non-food products;
- In paper analysis, develop skills in critical analysis and provide confidence in working with complex concepts in biology and society;
- In oral presentations, promote skills in succinct oral communication of science.

Course objectives
- To provide a knowledge base of the fundamental biotic and abiotic factors contributing to increasing or diminishing plant productivity;
- To provide a knowledge base of the fundamental societal factors that impact the development opportunities for intelligent agriculture;
- To provide a knowledge base of the fundamental environmental constraints that will condition increases in plant productivity;
- To provide a knowledge base for rational decisions in the relative balance of plant use for food and non-food purposes;
- To provide a knowledge base for the analysis of the balance of energy and resource inputs and outputs in the use of plants for non-food purposes.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Plant Biotechnology (PLSC10023)
Other requirements Students must not have taken Plant Biotechnology (PLSC10023) during their fourth year honours at the University of Edinburgh.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of constraints on, and opportunities for improved agricultural practice and food production,conventional and GM plant breeding
  2. Produce and critique rational strategies for achieving sustainable, high-yield agriculture
  3. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of agro-biotech fuel, synthetic feed-stock production, natural production of high value and pharmaceutical plant products
  4. Demonstrate that they have the ability to research relevant scientific literature to create written and oral presentations that are concise, coherent and cogent
  5. Show in-depth knowledge of the plant biotechnology field and produce a logical, considered and integrated strategy for a solution to specific plant biotechnological problems
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsBIOTECH Intel Agri
Course organiserDr Alistair McCormick
Course secretaryMs Andrea Nichol
Tel: (0131 6)50 8643
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