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PgC / PgD / MSc / MRes Integrated Pest, Weed and Disease Management

PgC / PgD / MSc / MRes Integrated Pest, Weed and Disease Management

Different course options

Full time | Harper Adams University | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Medical Sciences

Course type


Course Summary

The course

The continuing production of an abundant supply of safe food produced in an environmentally sustainable manner is a major political issue for national governments and internationally within global commodity markets. Our global population is predicted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 (United Nations, 2015), which, together with the effects of climate change, will place pressure on the agri-food industry to provide higher yields whilst also minimising land and resource use with the aim of increasing sustainability. Although global estimates vary in magnitude, it is thought approximately 25% of crops are lost to pests and diseases, such as insects, fungi and other plant pathogens (Savary et al., 2019).

The UK imports a substantial proportion of its food and an international approach must be taken, that includes both temperate and tropical pest management issues. The Government Office for Science policy document The Future of Food and Farming (2011) emphasises the need for global sustainability, that many current systems of food production are unsustainable and that multi-disciplinary solutions are likely to be most appropriate. This approach is reflected in the imminent implementation of the EU Sustainable Use Directive (2009/128/EC).

The course will offer students training in techniques to facilitate crop food production, covering a broad range of topics in applied entomology, plant pathology, weed science and nematology. All students receive training in fundamental skills that will enable them to enter either a pest/disease management work environment or a research career in applied entomology, plant pathology or pest management. There is, however, considerable flexibility within the course thus enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Research projects are available in a wide range of subjects covered by the research groups within the Crop and Environment Sciences Department and choices are made in consultation with expert staff. Projects at linked research institutes in the UK and overseas are also available. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from entomologists and plant pathologists in collaborating governmental organisations and commercial biological control companies. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organisations. Examples of collaborating organisations include, CEH Wallingford, Forest Research, Horticultural Development Company, The International Pesticide Application Research Centre, The Natural History Museum London and Rothamsted Research.

Examples of collaborating organizations include, CEH Wallingford, Forest Research, Horticultural Development Company, The International Pesticide Application Research Centre, The Natural History Museum London, Rothamsted Research, and Wye Bugs.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the MSc you will be able to identify the underlying causes of major pest and disease problems and recognise economically important insects, plant diseases and weeds. You will also be able to apply integrated pest control methods and oversee their application.

The course will focus on the ecological and management principles of pest control, and you will learn to evaluate the consequences of pesticide use and application on the biological target. You will also receive training in the evaluation of the economic and environmental costs of integrated approaches to pest control in relation to biological effectiveness.


This module will allow postgraduate students to develop high level problem solving and research skills. Students are initially required to identify research concepts and evaluate their significance in the context of the wider literature. Based on this assessment, students are then required to design studies in order to further investigate the problem and contribute to the knowledge base. The student, under direction from the supervisor, will take responsibility for the planning, execution and writing up of the project. In addition to supervisory input, the student will also be supported by formal workshops that address aspects of project design, including data analysis and presentation.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered. Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes.

University information

Harper Adams University has been providing world-leading, specialist education in the fields of agriculture, farming, and animal science for 120 years. It is now the UK’s market leader, by share of volume of students, for postgraduate degrees in agricultural and veterinary subjects (HESA, 2018). The university offers master’s programmes developed in conjunction with industry, across a range of topics related to agricultural production,...more