Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 hour lectures per week
Other 4 day field trip


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Outline the aims and objectives of farming systems and identify the regulations governing farming in the UK and the European Union.

Identify the main principles governing crop and livestock systems

Discuss the role of the market and other factors influencing productivity

Discuss the contribution of farming to food quality, environmental and social policy objectives

Brief description

An appreciation and understanding of agricultural systems is a fundamental requirement for agricultural students. The module deals with interactions among the components of agricultural systems, among hierarchical levels of agricultural systems, between agricultural and other land use systems, and between agricultural systems and their natural and social environments. In particular, its aim is to encourage integration of knowledge among those disciplines that underpin agriculture. The module provides an introduction to the objectives, principles, practices and performance of farming systems and the natural, economic and social factors which shape contemporary agriculture.


The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and a study tour encompassing visits to farms and agricultural and food businesses and will cover the following aspects:

  • The structure of the agricultural industry
  • Historical development
  • The natural environment
  • Social, political and economic environment
  • Farming systems: components, classification and distribution
  • Systems approach to agricultural business management
  • Resources and opportunities
  • Biological and Economic efficiency
  • The impact of Agricultural Policy
  • Obtaining and applying knowledge
  • Agriculture and the community

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Both the study tour and assessed presentation will develop communication skills and this will be assessed
Information Technology Students will be expected to use Word and Powerpoint when compiling and presenting the tour assignment
Personal Development and Career planning Industry contacts will be made during study tour
Problem solving Will form part of the coursework set
Research skills Students will gain research experience both prior to and during the study tour in addition to the completion of coursework
Team work The study tour and associated coursework provides for significant opportunities for group interaction and discussion

Reading List

Recommended Text
Haines, M (1982) An introduction to farming systems Longman Primo search Soffe, R J (editor) (2004) Agricultural notebook 20th Blackwell Science Primo search Spedding, C R W (1988) An introduction to farming systems Elsevier Primo search Spedding, C R W (1992) Fream's Principles of Food and Agriculture Blackwell Scientific Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4