Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Improved Feeds and Forages
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Forum posts  10%
Semester Assessment Electronic group poster  on issues and developments in feed and forage science. Discussion threads and note of individual contributions to be submitted.  20%
Semester Assessment Critical literature review (2,000 word)  of the potential of novel feeds and forages to maximize the delivered ecosystem services  35%
Semester Assessment Production of a briefing note (1,000 word)  targeted to the farming community summarizing the utilization of a novel feed  20%
Semester Assessment Forum posts  15%
Supplementary Assessment Re-submission of failed or missing course work  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Review and evaluate the development of new forages for ruminants.

2. Review and evaluate the development of novel cereals and grain legumes for ruminants.

3. Critically appraise the potential for current research in feed and forage development to allow agricultural production to adapt to the challenges of climate change.

4. Critically appraise the potential for current research in feed and forage development to decrease the greenhouse gases produced by animal agriculture.

Brief description

This module will consider in detail the principles and practices underpinning the development of new feeds and forages. Advances in both grass and legume breeding with be considered and the use of novel forages in the nutrition of farmed livestock considered. The module will also encompass advances in production of grains fed to ruminant livestock including, maize and oats. The role of novel feeds and forages in helping meet the challenges of climate change will be considered both from the prospective of adapting farming systems to adapt to the environmental challenges of climate change but also in terms of helping mitigate the production of greenhouse gases from livestock production systems and reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production.
Through an integrated programme of workshops and distance learning, students will evaluate the role of novel feeds and forages and investigate the factors underpinning the development of such crops. Current research being carried out in IBERS will have a significant impact on the precise module content.


This module will comprise of a 2 day workshop providing a total of 10 hrs of lectures and seminars followed by a self-access distance learning pathway equivalent to a further 30 hrs of formal input.

The module will include the following areas:
  • Grass genetics and grass breeding
  • Clover breeding and genetics
  • Novel forage crops
  • Grain legumes
  • Forage maize.
  • Oat and barley breeding
  • Adapting to climate change
  • Reducing greenhouse gases from animal livestock
  • Reducing environmental footprint of livestock production

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number One of the assessments will be based around the potential of novel feeds and forages to decrease greenhouse gases from animal production systems will require the student to calculate emissions from different aspects of the production system.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments and in regular forum posts.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work and in the forum assessment.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self study and work towards their assignment and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills The underlying genetics in feeds and forages that govern the development of new feeds and forages.
Team work Students will be required to work together to produce the poster page.


This module is at CQFW Level 7